Flower Power for Summer Balance
As an Ayurvedic company dedicated to formulating products with 100% pure, herbal ingredients, we have the pleasure of working with an array of incredible plant medicine and would like to share with you some of our favorite healing flowers from the PAAVANI apothecary. By communing regularly with these medicinal flowers we are able to nurture a personal relationship with them which allows us to feel connected to the natural world. This connection is something that has personally helped us to keep our nervous systems and minds balanced as we try our best to navigate through this unusual summer of social distancing and more time at home.
We believe that cultivating a personal relationship with plants is an essential component in helping us as humans to reawaken to the Ayurvedic idea that our true nature is spirit. This concept teaches us about our eternal connection to the source energy of the universe instead of our separateness from that which is not human. Our conscious awareness of this Ayurvedic philosophy subtly heightens each time that we come into contact with plants due to their innate primal connection to Mother Earth and the cosmos. This interconnection to spirit occurs each time a plant transforms light into life. Plants receive nourishing life energy from the sun’s light and we then receive this healing energy each time we consume or utilize a plant for food or medicine.
To stay connected to spirit and cool & calm this summer, here are some of our favorite flowers with power that we would like to encourage you to build a relationship with and incorporate into your daily life.
To be walking in a field of blooming, golden sunflowers at the peak of summertime- talk about a way to connect with the plant world! Being located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, we are not too far from the Sacramento Valley where many agricultural farms are based, including farms devoted to growing acres upon acres of sunflowers. The beautiful sight of sunflowers in bloom along Interstate 80 during the heat of the summer never gets old and is always worth a stop to immerse oneself in the splendor, awe and abundant prana which these vivid, cheerful flowers emanate.
Sunflowers, as most of us are familiar with, produce sunflower seeds, a favorite go-to snack for many, but this seed’s ability to nourish us does not stop there. Sunflower oil, which is a light honey color, is rich in antioxidants thanks to its abundance of Vitamin E. Ayurveda recognizes sunflower oil as a cooling carrier oil that is ideal for pitta type skin, meaning that it will help to balance sensitive skin which is prone to inflammation and redness. To incorporate the healing benefits of this flower into your day, practice self-abhyanga with a Body Oil that contains sunflower oil like our Pitta and Tridoshic Body Oils. You can also find sunflower oil in our balancing Nose Oil intended to moisturize, cleanse and protect the mucous membranes- something that we could all use during this unprecedented time.
This past spring, I visited a friend’s home to drop off some moving boxes. As we met on her patio I scanned the little blooms all around in the grass and exclaimed “Oh, look! You have calendula growing!”. My friend did not know what calendula looked like but was familiar with the flower and was thrilled to hear this news. We decided that she would soon need to harvest the calendula and make a Sun Oil with them as a way to enjoy their medicinal and magical properties all summer long.
If you take a closer look at your favorite PAAVANI skincare products, you will notice that we utilize calendula flowers in a lot of our herbal formulations. This is because these flowers have a gentle, cooling energy and have tremendous potential to heal dry, cracked, inflamed skin as well as even out skin tone. In herbalism, calendula is considered a vulnerary, meaning that it helps to heal wounds. Also, these flowers contain Vitamin A & E which help to combat free radical damage. As you can see, with these actions combined, calendula has the ability to heal, nourish and rejuvenate various skin types. To be specific, you can find calendula in our Vata Toner, Tridoshic Toner, Clarify Toner, Cool & Calm Blend Tea and Anti-itch Remedy.
When looking at a passionflower, one might suspect that it must be a gorgeous ornamental bloom which is grown for display purposes only, after all, could a flower so stunning have the ability to offer anything more than aesthetic pleasure? The answer is yes! Passionflower is not only a treat for the eyes, it also has potent healing benefits. Passionflower grows wild in the southeastern regions of the United States and is also native to South America. Some other names that it goes by is maypop, wild apricot and ocoee.
We love passionflower for its ability to promote relaxation and a good night’s sleep. This flower is capable of doing both of these actions because it is a nervine sedative, meaning that it calms stressed and excited nerves. Therefore, if you have a vata imbalance in the form of anxiousness, anxiety and/or overwhelm or you are experiencing an increase in pitta dosha in the form of thinking excessively about your to do lists as you are trying to get to sleep, passionflower could be a wonderful herbal ally for you. Although passionflower is beneficial for vata dosha, it is considered a cooling herb in Ayurvedic herbalism; hence, it is best to enjoy passionflower combined with other vata supporting herbs that have a warming energy like ashwagandha and/or ginger. You can find passionflower in our Cool & Calm Blend: a pitta balancing tea.
We were introduced to chrysanthemum during our Ayurvedic studies at the California College of Ayurveda and we quickly understood why this flower has been used for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines. Each chrysanthemum flower is made of bunches of tiny flowers, also known as florets, and their sacred geometry displays their connection to the cosmos. Their divine connection, as Dr. David Frawley explains, has the ability to assist humans in surrendering ego and embracing devotional energy. This we believe is key to cultivating a stronger connection to one’s true nature as spirit.
On a physical level, chrysanthemum is a cooling herb that helps to regulate pitta dosha in the body. For example, chrysanthemum is commonly used as an eye wash to improve vision and soothe alochaka pitta. Chrysanthemum tea has classically been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine by steeping 2 teaspoons of dried chrysanthemum flowers with one cup of boiling water. This tea has been known to help ease headaches and reduce pitta type emotions like anger and irritability. Topically, chrysanthemum cools inflammation while cleansing and purifying the skin. You can experience the healing energy of this flower in our Pitta Toner.
Activate Flower Power
The beauty and wisdom embodied in plants and flowers alike have the ability to bestow upon us nourishment, compassion, healing energy, open hearts and open minds. If you have not already dived into the world of plant medicine, this summer could be the perfect time to connect with plant allies through cooking, gardening, self-care practices and learning more about their medicinal and energetic properties. We hope that we have encouraged you to access the flower power around you in your daily life in order to stay vital, healthy and able to pursue your dharma or spiritual work in this lifetime. Comment below to tell us about your favorite flower that gives you power.
To learn more about our earth-based ingredients, visit our Ingredients page.
For more herbal remedies to stock on your home apothecary shelves, please read what co-founder, Leah Klatt, has to recommend in Porch's blog post, Herbal Remedies You Can Make at Home - Expert's Advice.
As always, these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases. If pregnant, consult a qualified herbalist or physician before use.
Inspired by Flowers
Man holding sunflower image courtesy of Alyssa Keys. Model: Jalen Tyre.
Passionflower Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels.