Sesame Oil: ‘King Of Oils’

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Overview

Sesame oil has many valuable uses, according to Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. For more than 5,000 years, Ayurveda has prescribed the use of sesame oil for everything from massage to enemas. Conditions for which sesame oil has been prescribed include constipation, dry cough, skin conditions, dry and brittle hair and nails, general debility and weak bones. The potential health benefits of sesame oil are reason enough to consider the following applications.

Sesame oil is mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus, which is a record of many oils and plants that were used in ancient Egypt. The Ebers Papyrus dates back to approximately 1800 B.C. Sesame oil is also very popular in India, where it has been used as part of Ayurvedic medicine practice for centuries.

A Question of Qualities

For any herb, food or medicine to be effective, according to Ayurveda, it must provide the qualities necessary to restore balance in the body. As an example, if you are suffering from too much dryness, Ayurveda recommends a remedy that will deliver moist, lubricating qualities to offset the excess dryness. This is a simple explanation for the therapeutic action that sesame oil and sesame seeds are capable of providing. Sesame oil, specifically, is a tonic.
The King of Oils

Sesame oil is considered to be the “king of oils.” It is a powerful tonic, or something that increases the quantity and quality of the body’s tissues. With its many uses as a tonic, sesame oil is nourishing and rejuvenating to the skin, bones and nerves. Additionally, applications of sesame oil often result in a calmer state of mind. One of the most popular uses for sesame oil is in self massage, known as abhyanga.

A Massage a Day

Abhyanga refers to the practice of massaging warm oil, often sesame oil, into the skin. The recommended duration for abhyanga is 15 minutes, after which the excess oil is rinsed off in a steamy shower. The intention is to absorb as much of the oil as possible. Sesame oil is the only oil that has the power to penetrate all seven layers of the skin, deep into the body’s organs and tissues, ultimately strengthening the bones.

Nutritional Value of Sesame Oil

In addition to external application, sesame oil can be taken internally. Eating a handful of sesame seeds provides recommended levels of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and protein. When taking herbs, sesame oil is often used as the carrier for the herbs. The therapy works synergistically, feeding the bones via the blood. Also worth considering is a sesame oil-based enema that irrigates the colon and delivers such powerhouse nutrients as zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium directly to the digestive tract.

TRIDOSHIC BENEFITS

Within the Ayurvedic tradition, sesame oil is viewed as tridoshic, meaning it has benefits for all three doshas–vata, pitta and kapha. Doshas are similar to the concept of energetic forces and are factors in regulating health and disease. Each individual has varying degrees of each dosha, some especially influenced by one or two, and some with a more balanced energy. Sesame oil has a special effect on vata, the dosha that usually needs attention.

SHIRODHARA

The pouring of warmed sesame oil infused with herbs onto the forehead for several minutes is called Shirodhara, according to Ayurveda. This therapy is traditionally used for nerve calming; releasing stored emotions; purifying the mind; and relieving fatigue, anxiety, nervousness and mental exhaustion. It may be performed after facial massage. Ayurveda medicine considers Shirodhara massage a psycho-spiritual treatment important for achieving higher states of consciousness.

CARRIER OIL

Sesame oil is beneficial as a carrier oil, also called base oil, for aromatherapy facial massage. Essential oils are very strong, and nearly all of them must be diluted with a carrier oil before applying to skin. Each carrier oil has a different group of properties providing specific therapeutic benefits. A sesame oil face massage provides the antioxidants vitamins A and E to facial skin. Antioxidants protect skin from cell damage that can be caused by free radicals. Sesame oil also provides protein to skin and is a moisturizer.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

Most people have no adverse reactions to sesame oil, and it is widely available and relatively inexpensive. Sesame oil is a medium-weight oil, so it flows easily from the container at a rate appropriate for massage, including Shirodhara.

Sesame oil for Pain:  is one of several aromatherapy oils that can be used to manage pain. It is also an ancient oil that has been used by various civilizations in the past. Sesame oil benefits a variety of health problems where pain is a factor. Sesame oil, when applied externally, may help to treat pain and muscle spasms that occur in health problems such as backache, joint pain, dysmenorrhoea, sciatica and colic. It may also help to relieve stress and anxiety and promotes strength and vitality. Holistic health care practitioners believe sesame oil may have anti-cancer properties and may be capable of preventing the growth of malignant melanoma. Sesame oil may be beneficial in easing the pain caused by rheumatism.

Sesame oil can be used both internally and externally. However, in the practice of aromatherapy, sesame oil is usually used externally. Massage a small amount of sesame oil over the area that is causing you pain. Combine sesame oil with other carrier oils, such as olive oil, or essential oils for a more synergistic blend. Massage sesame oil over your body and leave it to soak in for up to 15 minutes. Wash the oil off with a warm bath or shower.

SESAME SEED OIL FOR SINUS RELIEF

Blow your nose thoroughly into a tissue. This will clear the passageways and ensure there is no obstruction preventing the oil from coating the nasal cavity. Administered through the nostrils, the oil coats the mucous membranes in the nasal cavity and can ease discomfort and kill bacteria.

Pull several drops of oil into an eyedropper tube. Lie down or tilt your head back and start with one drop in each nostril. Keep your head tilted back until you feel the oil running down the back of your throat. You can either swallow the oil or spit it out. Administer this remedy up to three times a day. If the oil can be tolerated in your nostrils without irritation, increase the dosage to two drops in each nostril, but do not exceed three drops in each nostril.

SESAME OIL FOR WRINKLES

Sesame oil’s high concentration of antioxidants, including vitamins A and E, as well as its richness in beneficial fatty acids, may help moisturize and nourish the mature skin. Given sesame oil’s moisturizing, nourishing and natural sunscreen properties, you may find the oil a good choice for plumping up fine lines and preventing sun-related wrinkles.

HOME REMEDIES 

Constipation

Sesame oil is a mild laxative that is sometimes used as a natural treatment for constipation. One homemade formula instructs you to mix 1 to 2 tbsp. of sesame oil with 1/4 tsp. ginger and a touch of tamari sauce. When taken on an empty stomach, it loosens the bowels. Other remedies include taking a teaspoon of pure oil before bed each night or habitually cooking with sesame oil.

Dandruff

Some people use sesame oil to treat an itching, flaking scalp. Massage the oil into your scalp and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it out. You might also wrap your hair in a towel and let it stay on your head overnight for better results. This kind of remedy is only intended to help cure dandruff that is caused by a skin disorder. Other types of dandruff can be caused by dehydration and lack of proper hygiene, which are better cured by drinking more water and washing your hair more often.

Skin Care

Sesame oil contains vitamin E and antioxidants, which might inhibit skin damage caused by free radicals. Because of these properties, some home remedies call for you to rub it on your skin as a moisturizer, anti-aging cream and as a treatment for skin diseases, such as eczema and psoriasis. Because it can dissolve impurities and toxins on the skin that will not dissolve in water, it is also used as a face rub for acne. Some people use it as a natural mild sunblock.

Nutrition Facts

Sesame oil is high in copper, which is essential for hormone production and oxygen transport. It is also high in manganese, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B1, or thiamin. Although it is also high in calories from fat, it is a polyunsaturated fat, which can help lower cholesterol when taken in moderation.

 

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