Sesame is one of the most widely used Ayurvedic medicines. 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.
Difference between black and white sesame seeds
There is not much difference between the two. The white variety is just the black sesame seed with the hull removed. Black contains more calcium than the white. The new research has found that black sesame oil has better penetrating effects on skin. Also, black sesame oil grown in India has better qualities than that grown in the US or Australia.
As per Bhavaprakasha, the ancient Ayurvedic textbook, the black sesame seeds are the best.
White is of medium quality and the rest of the sesame seeds, including red, are of inferior quality.
Sesame oil composition
Sesame is rich in Vitamin E. It acts as a natural antioxidant. It also contains Vitamin K. Sesame contains magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin B6. 90 % of the herbal oils of Ayurveda are prepared with a sesame oil base. Both Master Charaka and Master Vagbhata explain oil selection and they both explain that sesame oil is the best.
Sesame seed benefits
Master Charaka – Of all the varieties of oil, sesame oil is best for improving strength, and imparting oiliness to the body.
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.
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 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 seed and oil are excellent laxative.
- Sesame seed and oil is an excellent skin moisturizer and skin softener.
- Sesame oil is safe for massaging 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.
- Sesame oil imparts beauty to hair, is sweet, bitter and astringent in taste, hot in potency, imparts strength, helps in treating vitiated kapha and vata doshas, worm infestation, pruritus, itching and imparts good complexion to the skin.
- Black variety sesame treats diabetes, haemorrhoids and oedema and imparts strength to the teeth.
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 panchakarmaprocedures like Basti.
- Sesame paste is used for internal administration and for application over wounds.
- Oil prepared with Sesame oil base is used for nasal installation, as ear drops etc.
- Sesame seeds are used in various food recipes.
Sesame oil qualities
It is sweet with accompanying astringent taste, can penetrate through the suitable channels of the body, hot in potency and undergoes 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 drugs that balances Vata. It promotes strength, skin health, intelligence and power of digestion. In combination with various drugs, sesame oil is said to cure all diseases. In the ancient times, kings of demons, by virtue of the use of oil overcame aging, got rid of diseases as well as was fatigue-less, acquired great strength instantaneously and fought battles successfully.
- 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 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.