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.
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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.
Consult a Qualified Health-Care Provider
If you are seeking assistance for a current health condition, please consult with a qualified health-care provider or certified ayurvedic practitioner. Ayurveda is a unique medicine because it not only considers your condition, but also your individual constitution. An ayurvedic practitioner can determine the most appropriate diet, herbs and treatment protocols based on your current condition and constitution.