Ayurveda is the ancient science that unveils mystic ways of treating diseases and healing life. It is said that this 5000 years old knowledge is bestowed to the sages by god himself. There have been many instances where Ayurveda has proven its miraculous efficacy by treating the untreatable and healing the unhealable.
One of the master ingredients in the sacred books of Ayurveda is the sesame oil. This invigorating oil has the longest history of more than 5,000 years and has been used by the acharyas to address a myriad of maladies. This nutritional goldmine is carefully extracted by pressing the seeds of the Sesamum indicum plant and used in different ways to uplift health and well being. It was the first crop used for extracting oil.
In the early days, sesame oil was used as a flavor enhancer and natural health stimulant. Later in the Vedic period, the full potency of this oil was unveiled. The multifarious benefits of sesame oil have been well quoted in the Ayurvedic encyclopaedias scripted by Charak Samhita, Sushrut Samhita and Vagbhata acknowledging its healing and nutritive properties.
Therapeutic properties and nutrients of Sesame oil:
Sesame oil is packed with vitamin E (potent antioxidant), iron, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, dietary fiber and flavonoids phenolic antioxidants. All these enriching nutrients make Sesame oil a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immune-stimulant, restorative, anti-rheumatic, carminative tonic, anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, cardiac, dermatologic, laxative, emollient, warming and anti-depressant properties.
Ayurveda hails the use of sesame oil for its ability to strengthen the system, detoxify the body and lubricate all the vital organs of the body. Regular use of this golden syrup stimulates cell growth, protects the liver from oxidative damage and maintains cholesterol level in the body. The high zinc level in the oil is also amazing for bone health.
Therapeutic uses of Sesame oil:
Early Ayurvedic manuscripts recommend oil pulling as one of the most effective methods to improve oral health. Ayurveda describes oil pulling as the practice of swishing sesame oil in the mouth for about 20 minutes and spitting out the milky remains. This simple Ayurvedic therapy helps in eliminating harmful toxins from the body, enhances immunity and protects dental health.
Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massage therapy
Abhyanga or body massage is an important therapy in the Ayurvedic treasure. A relaxing massage with warm sesame oil relieves stress, cures pain and promotes physical strength by nourishing muscles and bones, and supporting comfortable joint movement. Gentle massage on the feet and the scalp promotes healthy, sound sleep patterns. These benefits are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts as Twachya , Balya and Keshya.
Balya (benefits for children)
Sesame oil is completely safe for massaging the babies and children. It is known to strengthen the bones, joints and muscles by penetrating deeply into the muscles and the bone marrow. Massaging the child with sesame oil helps in improving overall strength and immunity.
Twachya (benefits for the skin)
Gifted with vitamin E and zinc, sesame oil helps in improving skin elasticity, repairing damaged skin cells and promoting the production of collagen which aids in preventing the symptoms of aging, wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, wounds, burns and other skin infections.
Keshya (benefits for the hair)
A head massage with warm sesame oil is not only relaxing but also very beneficial. It stimulates hair growth, controls dandruff, nourishes the scalp, kills the infestation of lice, and eases anxiety and fatigue.
Nasya is the method of administering herbal oils and medicines through the nostrils. According to Ayurveda, applying a few drops of Sesame oil in the nostrils helps in treating all illnesses above shoulders. This aids in alleviating stress, sinusitis, allergies, headache, and cold.
When used in daily diet, Sesame oil is highly beneficial for the entire system. Ayurveda suggests the daily use of this oil and professes its properties of healing and cleansing internal and external wounds and augmenting the power of digestion and metabolism.
The Ayurvedic claims of the marvel of sesame oil are now backed by scientific studies and evidential proofs that make it a must-have item in our daily life. Devoid of any harmful reactions or contradictions sesame oil is one such blessed thing that comes only with benefits.