Sesame and Sesame Oil Benefits – Total Ayurveda Details

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. 

Sesame seeds

Sesame facts:
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.

Sesame benefits:
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

Sesame Oil - Til tail

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.

Sesame paste for amenorrhoea –
In women having delayed periods, a tablespoon of sesame seeds are soaked in water overnight. Next day morning, it is taken out of water, mixed with half a tablespoon of jaggery, mixed thoroughly to make it a paste and is administered to the patient.
The process is repeated for up to 5-7 days, before expected date for periods.

Sesame seed paste for hemorrhoids:
If there are no secretions from hemorrhoids, sesame oil is applied over the mass. Then, sesame seeds are taken in a cloth pack and local fomentation is given. This is done to relieve pain, swelling and the size of the mass. (Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana, 14th chapter)

Does hotness of sesame oil worsen graying of hairs?
Pitta is responsible for grey hairs. Pitta means hotness.
Most of the hair oils are based with sesame oil. Sesame oil is hot in nature.
So, does not sesame oil, being hot, increase pitta and worsen grey hairs?

Sesame oil qualities:
These two are listed as qualities of Sesame oil –
Twachya – Good for skin, hence used as base for so many Ayurvedic oils for skin diseases.
– improves quality of hair. Keshya word encompasses – promoting hair growth, reducing hair fall, and relieving grey hairs.

So, irrespective of hotness, sesame oil contains enough phyto-nutrients to promote hair qualities.

Hotness of sesame oil – Useful in better absorption:
Anything that is being applied on the skin surface, if it has to get absorbed well, it needs to have some hotness. This is because of two reasons.
1. Skin absorption is handled by a type of Pitta called Bhrajaka Pitta.
2. Skin absorption is also a type of digestion. Digestion only happens with hotness (Pitta).

In preparing hair oils, as we have seen before,

Sesame oil is added with water and a few herbs, boiled till the total water evaporates. This is done to get all the useful nutrients from the herbs into the oil.

The job of sesame oil is to transfer these herb nutrients into the scalp skin. So, it, being hot does that job very well.

So, if we add other spicy items to the oil, like pepper, ginger etc, then they will add to the hotness of the oil, leading to worsening of grey hairs.
But in most of the hair oils, used for treating grey hairs, like Neelibhringadi oil, Kayyunyadi oil etc, milk is added as an ingredient. This is because, milk acts as coolant, pacifies Pitta and relieves grey hairs.
For this same reason, amla is also added. Amla, being coolant, helps to balance Pitta.

So, bottom line is,
hotness of sesame oil is useful for better absorption of herb nutrients into the scalp skin.
The slight hotness is balanced out by the usage of ingredients like milk and amla, which would ensure that the overall hotness is not too much to cause Pitta increase.

Sesame oil for enema:
In case of Ascites with Vata Dosha predominance, Til Tel, processed with sour herbs is administered as enema (reference: Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 13th chapter)

Sesame oil side effects:
Excess consumption of til oil causes Hikka – hiccups and Shwasa – respiratory disorders with difficulty in breathing. (Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 17th chapter).

Dr JV Hebbar B.A.M.S, MD (Ayu), is an Ayurveda Doctor. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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  1. Is Sesame oil the best for cooking?

  2. thanks for your insight on sesame oil. Will massaging with sesame oil cause body hair growth or make the complexion dark ?

    • sesame oil massage neither promote body hair growth, nor it would make the complexion dark.
      Rather, sesame oil will help in improving blood circulation to the skin and tissues, and help remove dead skin cells and improve skin quality and texture.


      whether Oral intake of sesame oil in the empty stomoch for free motion is advisable

  3. can sesame oil be taken orally mixed with warm soup and if so how much for a day

  4. I heard that oil pulling with sesame or sunflower oil is an
    old Ayurvedic traetment. Is it so? if yes could you tell me about it?

  5. Very nice article. Could you please answer my query?
    My body appears hot most of the times, when it is so i feel not good, if somebody touches my hands they ask me why your body is hot? lips also get dry. Can I apply sesame oil on my body to bring it to normal? how frequently can I do this?

    Thanks in advance

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Dear Mr Srinivas,
      Coconut oil application would help more than sesame oil.
      Try this very easy to prepare coriander drink

      • Hello Sir,

        I am pregnent(7th month),is it good to use sesame oil for the body massage?till the due date?
        2.My feets ands palms are always hot,which is uncomfertable,so is that a good idea to use sesame oil for the body massage in this situation?
        3.In pregenecy is that good to take the above drink you have mentioned?

        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

          During pregnancy, sesame oil can be used for body massage, but massage should be very mild and gentle. But care should be taken while massaging stomach, chest and back areas. I would only recommend just gentle application in these areas. The general feeling of hot palms and feet will go away naturally. Do not bother taking the coriander drink.

  6. hi
    sesame seeds is very best seeds

    i want to sesame oil how can purchase

  7. is it best for premature ejaculation???

  8. Dear Sir,

    I just had an ACL reconstruction surgery & Arthroscopy. Will the sesame oil help if I use it to massage around my knee?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes it will help but I would rather suggest to consult an Ayurvedic doctor and get a more suitable massage oil.

  9. samantha says:

    i am loosing hair on forehead area i started eating black and white sesame i have gastritis will it be a problem and tell me a easy way to eat row sesame

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      I do not think there is a relationship between losing hair and eating sesame. You may also use sesame in food articles, apart from eating it raw. regards

  10. Does sesame seeds and oil help in reduction of high BP. If yes then how many spoons should be consumed?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes it helps. Ideally one – 2 spoons of sesame seeds is more than enough per day.
      Along with it, regular exercise, salt, oil, non veg diet restriction, Yoga, Pranayama, avoiding junk food and aerated drinks are other ways to get the BP under control. Having said that it is best to consult your doctor for regular BP monitoring and advice.

  11. thanks for your help .

  12. Sirishasundar says:

    I use sesame oil for curries and tadkas. Can I use it while planning for pregnancy.

  13. Anny Muka says:

    Thanks for those informations,can you tell me about the benefits of sesame leaves.regards

  14. varsha rohra says:

    which oil is gd for cooking til oil or olive oil as my cholestrol level is high

  15. ABDUL SHAKOOR says:

    if i apply sesame oil on body and go for sea bath is it any benefit for my body?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes it would benefit. Due to Sun exposure, the benefits of sesame oil will be enhanced.

  16. Thank you for such a beautiful and very helpful post
    I wanted to ask does sesame oil applied on face and neck will give a soft and supple skin with natural skin glow…i mean my skin has tanned and its texture has become very rough will it help in giving natural texture to skin…and can i use at night as a moisture or can i use for the whole day too …and it is necessary to take hot bath everyday as i am going to apply sesame oil or natural water temperature is fine

    Application of sesame oil help in softening hair ?…

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Daily application of sesame oil helps to soften skin and hair. Yes, it improves glow.
      You can use it in night, in very small quantity. Just a thin layer of application is good.
      You can wash off with normal water also, but warm water is just a better choice.

  17. i have probelm of piles last i years sesame oil is benefit for me

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      I suggest you to consult an Ayurvedic doctor for complete treatment of piles. You can take Sesame oil.

      • Manikandan says:

        Does Sesame oil prevent hair fall? Can i apply sesame oil for hair at night time & How much should i apply for hair & skin?

        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

          Yes it prevents hair fall. You can apply at night. Just as any hair oil quantity is good enough. For body, around 5 spoons of oil is good enough for a self massage.

  18. Very good information.. My query is Can we apply sesame oil directly to body(face also) or we have to mix it with any other oil?How much quantity of oil is good enough to whole body, are there any restrictions like not to use more oil at a time??

  19. Is sesame oil cures Psoriasis? I am suffering with Dandruff for 20 years now, i have used many shampoos (Expensive ones included) regularly but works only for the day. I am not sure if its a dandruff or Psoriasis. I have purchased Sesame seeds from a store and processed pure for Oil. I am not sure if it is a Cold Pressed or not. Can this oil cures Psoriasis/Dandruff. thanks & regards,

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      I would say, it helps in relieving dandruff / psoriasis to some extent but it might not alone cure it. Consult an Ayurvedic doctor for a detailed check up.

      • I have purchased Sesame seeds from a store and processed pure for Oil. I am not sure if it is a Cold Pressed or not. Can i use this oil for face and hair without knowing what kind of process? Thanks


  21. Anubhav jain says:

    in which season we can use it ?

  22. can we use it to control premature ejaculation. If yes than please tell how.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      There are better herbs and medicines in Ayurveda for premature ejaculation. Please consult an Ayurvedic doctor.

      • you are advised me to contact with some other doctor than how we can get help from you. Please kindly you tell us some better medicine for controlling premature ejaculation.

        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

          If you want my email consultation, then please note that it is a paid service. Rs 250 or USD 7 for one month. Payment options –
          Once you make the payment, I will get in touch with you by email.
          However, please note that consulting an Ayurvedic doctor directly is a better option.

  23. Archana says:

    I have got a lot of mouth ulcers due to eating of raw garlic and dalchini which was advised by a naturopath for total health fitness. Can seasame oil help in reducing the ulcers or please advise any other remedy

  24. Varun Kumar says:

    Sir is Sesame oil hot…i and many believe it s cold and apply for oil bath so that it cools the body…Can u suggest oils which are very cooling and good for pitta…

  25. donroy81 says:

    Hello Dr. Hebbar, I have tried sesame oil pulling and can vouch for its effectiveness for post nasal drip and phlegm accumulation. I have observed that on daily practice, there is a nauseating feeling for a while (1-2 weeks). Several people attribute this to “toxin released into the bloodstream”. Does Ayurveda subscribe to this theory? Maybe there are herbs that can help with toxins/ uneasy feeling, Neem? Manjistha?

  26. rohit raj says:

    Highly valuable suggestions .
    i think my sperm to be thin how can i make thick means to boost spermcell.iam unmarried and age 30

  27. Praveen A V says:

    Sir, I feel that there is some contradiction. Please correct me and help me understand.

    In your Ashtanga Hriday Sutrasthan 5th Chapter, it is said that Sesame Oil balances Kapha.

    In the current article, it is said that, Sesame calms Vata and increases Kapha and Pitta.

  28. dr jayashree k s says:

    sir, in kaiyyadeva nigantu, its given that krishna tila is best because of its shukrala property.. but not getting any information to prove this…. and also many experiments have undergone which proved that shweta tila is best… so please help me in this… thanking u

  29. Hello Doctor, for external applications, could you comment on olive oil vs sesame oil. Which one is more warming?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      There is no much difference between the two, when it comes to ‘hotness’. They are quite similar in hotness.

  30. Hello Doctor, wanted to know which oil to use to stop continuous ringing sound in the ears, (tinnitus problem), all tests are normal in my case, many thanks, Harish

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Usually Ksheerabala taila 101 is used to treat such condition, in combination with other medicines. Please consult your Ayurvedic doctor.

  31. Can we mix sesame seed with castor oil and apply on hair?

  32. Dr Hebbar,
    I appreciate your efforts bringing in the Ayurvedic knowledge to others.
    Can one take a tea spoon of sesame oil by mouth during preganancy?
    Note: living in a cold weather and also a 40 hr / week desk job.
    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or articles already written for pregnant women especially in view of working women who sit for long hours.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, a pregnant lady can consume a teaspoon of sesame oil.
      I am yet to write about pregnancy care with Ayurveda.

  33. manjeetb4u says:

    Milk is cold and sesame seeds are hot in potency.can I take sesame seeds with milk.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      There is no general rule that hot and cold food stuffs should not be mixed. For example, garlic (hot) is processed with milk to make garlic milk remedy, used in bloating, edema etc. Of course, too hot and too cold stuffs should not be mixed. For example, hot coffee with ice cream. But I have not come across a text reference to avoid sesame seeds with milk. Both have oiliness (unctuousness) in common. For this combination, it is better to go for hot milk, to minimize the cold effect of milk.

      • manjeetb4u says:

        1.Can we take sesame seeds before or after having sugarcane or curd.
        2.In Ashtanga Hridayam (under chapter Rasayana),Vagbhata prescribes having sesame seeds daily with cold water as anupana.Please tell me at what time we should consume sesame seeds like this.A local vaidya told me to take this one hour before evening meal for rasayana purpose.He also told me that in morning sesame is taken to make the bones stronger and in night to enhance sexual virility.Can you please tell me what would be the best time and way to consume sesame seeds for rasayana purpose and also if we can take it before or after food for the same purpose.
        Many many Thanks.

        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

          1. Hi, sesame seeds can be had after sugarcane juice. But to have it after curd, it is better to keep a gap of at least 10 minutes.
          2. Please go with your doctor’s advice.

  34. sesame oil enema …..can i get it done for bladder neck obstruction…i have mild liver enlarged..

  35. Good article

  36. Does taking sesame oil help regulate periods? I ‘ve heard traditionally sesame oil is given to girls when they attain puberty..Does it help in increasing the flow and clearing the uterus during the cycle?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      In women having delayed periods, a tablespoon of sesame seeds are soaked in water overnight. Next day morning, it is taken out of water, mixed with half a tablespoon of jaggery, mixed thoroughly to make it a paste and is administered to the patient.
      The process is repeated for up to 5-7 days, before expected date for periods.

  37. My baby is 5 months old and she is having dry skin, can I use sesame oil for massage for her since summer is approaching I was a bit doubtful.

  38. Hi doctor,
    I have premature grey hairs. I m using tail prepared from sesame oil and bhringa. But because of sesame hotness I m bit concerned that it ll increase grey hairs. Please comment.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, this question is so good that I have made a youtube video as the answer. Watch it here –
      I also have included the answer within the article above.
      Conclusion is – It is not too hot to cause graying of hairs.

  39. most important, sesame supports ashti dhatu (bone) and hairs, like nails and teeth are a by product of bone ashti dhatu.

  40. Abhishek says:

    Sir your articles are are very informative

  41. madinaaa says:

    Is sesame oil for massaging n cooking one??

  42. amit shaw says:

    i can use seasame oil with castor oil for my it is so itchy plz help me

  43. Hi Doctor,

    We are using sesame oil for daily cooking
    Is sesame oil increases Uric acid level or decreases uric acid levels ?, Please suggest me, can i use Sesame oil or not ?

  44. Plz give some remedy to gain weight with sesame seeds, especially face is weak and arms are weak.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Take a teaspoon of sesame seeds along with a teaspoon of ghee. Follow it up with a cup of hot water. – Do this once a day, preferably in the morning, before food.

  45. What does it mean for sesame oil to be cured or uncured, and which to use? Should oil be cold pressed from raw or roasted sesame seeds?

  46. Hello doctor i have rhumatoid artherities past 1 year..can i use sesame oil..

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