What Are the Benefits of Gingelly Oil?

Sesame Oil in a small bowl
A small bowl of gingelly oil. (Image: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images)

Gingelly oil is another name for sesame oil. It's also known as til oil. It's commonly used in cooking, just like vegetable oil and olive oil. Practitioners of both Western medicine and the Indian system of Ayurveda recognize significant health benefits in gingelly oil. You may find it worth your while to use it for all your edible oil needs -- and all your skin care needs as well. Use caution, however, if you suffer from peanut allergies or other nut allergies, as you may experience similar allergic reactions to sesame seeds.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Substituting gingelly oil in place of other vegetable oils can help to lower your blood pressure. The "Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine" reported on a study demonstrating that after 45 days of using gingelly oil in place of other edible oils, 50 hypertensive patients between the ages of 35 and 60 showed normal levels of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Initial high blood pressure levels returned after 45 days of withdrawing gingelly oil from their diets.

Aids in Weight Loss

In that same study, "A significant reduction was noted in body weight and body mass index (BMI) upon sesame oil substitution."

Lowers Cholesterol

According to George Mateljan, author of "The World's Healthiest Foods," sesame seeds contain sesamin and sesamolin, two types of "lignans" or beneficial fibers that can lower your cholesterol.

Source of Antioxidants

Mateljan also points out that the substance sesamin has been shown to increase vitamin E supplies in animals and to protect the liver from oxidative damage. The "Journal of Medicinal Food" reports that a study involving gingelly oil fed to rats with induced diabetes demonstrated raised antioxidant levels.

Promotes Healthy Skin

Dr. Savitha Suri recommends massaging your body once weekly with gingelly oil to protect your skin from drying out and cracking during the winter. He additionally suggests regularly massaging your feet with warm gingelly oil to prevent the skin there from fissuring.

Use in Oil Pulling

Cold-pressed gingelly oil is recommended for use in the Ayurvedic practice known as oil pulling. The procedure is intended to pull toxins out of your system and reduce inflammation throughout the body. It requires only that you gently swish a tablespoon of gingelly oil around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. Spit it out, then rinse your mouth with warm water or mouthwash. Finally, brush your teeth with baking soda. You should perform oil pulling the first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.

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