Sesame is one of the most widely used Ayurvedic medicines. If sesame seeds were not there, I would say, 40 % of Ayurvedic formulas would have been non-existent. Sesame is used in multiple dosage forms – powder, paste, oil, in the form of sesame recipes. The wonder herb is used in multiple ways through different routes of administration. Externally, internally, orally, over the eyes, nasally, rectally etc. It is high time that we explore the sesame benefits.
Botanical name: Sesamum indicum Linn. Ayurvedic Name: Tila.
Difference between black and white sesame seeds:
There is no much difference between the two. The white variety is hulled black sesame seed. Black contains more calcium content that the white.
Sesame synonyms: benne seed, til, sim sim, abongra, Hu ma, Zhi ma, Sesamzaad, Cham kkae,Sesamo, Shiro goma, Semilla de ajonjolí, Sesam, Sésamo, Sezam indyjski. Graines de sesame, Sésame blanc.
Indian Synonyms of sesame: Tila, Til, Ellu, Tara, Gumbulu etc.
Used parts:Sesame Seed, oil and whole plant. The whole plant is used in the preparation of special Ayurvedic medicine called Tila Kshara.
Sesame oil composition: Sesame is rich in Vitamin E. Hence acts as a natural anti oxidant. It also contains Vitamin K. Sesame contains magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin B6.
Master Charaka – Of all the varieties of oil, sesame oil is best for improving strength and imparting oiliness to the body. (Charaka sutrasthana 13th chapter).
Master Sushruta enlists Ayurvedic properties of Sesame with the following terms. All these terms can be attributed to sesame seed benefits or benefits of sesame oil. –
Dantya - Good for teeth. Hence sesame is used in three ways for good teeth.
- Advised for chewing.
- Its paste is kept at the place of tooth ache.
- sesame oil is used for oil pulling.
In conditions like tingling of the teeth, weak teeth, and disease of the mouth caused by Vata imbalance, water mixed with sesame seed paste is held in the mouth for 3 – 5 minutes. It is called as Gandusha treatment. (Reference)
Pathya - One of the things to be taken regularly. Hence sesame oil is one of the widely used oil for cooking in the Indian household.
Agni janana – Improves digestive power.
Medha janana – Improves intelligence.
Vranashodhana – Cleanses wounds.
- Sesame is made into the form of paste is traditionally applied over wounds for quick wound healing.
- Sesame oil is used for oil pulling to heal mouth ulcers.
- Sesame oil is processed with many herbs having wound healing property to prepare wound healing oils.
Twachya, Balya, Keshya – Improves the quality of skin and hair. Improves overall strength. If you ever wish to do a massage with some oil, please consider sesame oil. Sesame oil is used as the base for most of the herbal oils.
Sesame calms Vata and Kapha, slightly increases Pitta.
Sesame oil is an excellent laxative.
Sesame oil is an excellent skin moisturizer and skin softener.
Sesame oil is a safe oil for massage of babies and children. It helps to strengthen the bones, muscles and joints.
Sesame oil is used for massage, Shirodhara, etc procedures which help to calm the mind and induce deep relaxation and helps to have natural sleep and relieves headache.
various uses of sesame –
- Sesame oil is used in Ayurveda for food preparation, massage, oil pulling.
- Sesame oil is used as a base to prepare many medicated oils which are used in panchakarma procedures like Basti.
- Sesame paste is used for internal administration and also for application over wound.
- Oil prepared with Sesame oil base is used for nasal installation, as ear drops etc.
- Sesame seeds are used in various food recipes.
Ayurvedic medicines with Sesame oil as ingredient:
90 % of the herbal oils of Ayurveda are prepared with Sesame oil base.
Sesame oil is also used as ingredient in many herbal jams like Kalyanagulam
Benefits of sesame oil head massage:
One who applies sesame oil on his head regularly does not suffer from headache, baldness, graying of hair, nor do this hair fall. Strength of his head forehead is specially enhanced; his hair become black, long and deep-rooted; his sense organs work properly; the skin of his face becomes brightened; applying sesame oil on the head produces sound sleep and happiness. (reference)
Related: Why sesame oil is better than coconut oil for your hair?
Sesame oil is sweet with accompanying astringent taste, suitable(can penetrate through the suitable channels of the body), hot in potency and Vyavayi (which undergoes Paka or chemical change after it is pervaded all over the body). It aggravates Pitta, binds bowel and reduces the quantity of urine but it does not aggravate kapha. It is the best among the balances Vata. It promotes strength, skin health,, intelligence and power of digestion. In combination with various drugs (Samyoga), seasamum oil is said to cure all diseases. In the ancient time, kings of demons, by virtue of the use of oil overcame aging, got rid of diseases as well as fatigue-less, acquired great strength instantaneously and fought battles( successfully). – Charaka Sutrasthana 27
A simple tip: If you use sesame oil for massage, better to follow it up with hot water bath. It helps to calm Vata, and also to get rid of oil from skin. The gap between the massage and bath can be half an hour to many hours. Longer the gap, better the effect.
Question: Can application of plain Sesame oil in knees and legs at night before going to sleep lead to developing pains? I have a vatha body. And I have developed such pain. Only thing I am doing differently these days is applying plain sesame oil in eye lids, sole of foot and lil on knees and legs like moisturiser. What am I doing wrong here? Thank you for your time. looking forward to hearing from you.
There are two probabilities:
1. The sesame oil that you are using might have moisture in it, causing the pain. To rule out this possibility, I suggest you to heat the oil for 2 – 3 minutes in mild fire before application.
2. If there is hidden stiffness in your joints, then applying oil can cause increased stiffness and pain. To rule this out, Take a teaspoon of black pepper, add it to 200 ml of sesame oil and heat it for 4 – 5 minutes, filter it and store in an air tight container. Or Use Maha Narayana oil for applying, in place of regular oil.