Sesame oil, also known as ‘til’ or ‘gingelly oil’, is derived from sesame seeds and is an edible vegetable oil. According to Charaka, the ancient Indian Ayurvedic scholar, sesame oil is the best oil and is used in several Ayurvedic preparations. Modern scientific research has confirmed that sesame oil has many benefits because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. This oil is extracted from sesame seeds after their outer shells burst. Methods of extraction are usually manual. Cold-pressed oil is pale yellow in colour and has a higher proportion of fatty acids than that extracted from hot pressing methods. It has a mild, nutty flavour and is used in cooking.
According to Ayurveda, sesame oil is used for pacifying the ‘vata’ dosha. There are numerous benefits associated with sesame oil use, which are little known to the Western world. The main constituents of sesame oil which are beneficial for health are polyunsaturated fats, lignins (Sesamol and Sesamin), vitamin K, and vitamin E. Sesamol and Sesamin serve as antioxidants, polyunsaturated fats are good for heart health and the benefits of vitamins are numerous.
In continuation to our recent articles on ‘natural and healthy living,’ let us unravel the various health benefits derived from using sesame oil in various ways.
The benefits of sesame oil for body massage have been known for centuries. Charaka had described its benefits for massage during ’Abhyanga’, the traditional Ayurvedic oil massage. The oil is rich in linoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-bacterial properties. It also contains rich amounts of vitamin E. Since it can penetrate the skin pretty quickly and enter the skin, it is able to neutralize the free radicals in the tissue beneath the skin. It hydrates and moisturizes the skin, prevents premature ageing of the skin.
Sesame oil is traditionally used in cooking in South Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is rich in polyunsaturated fats which are associated with reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and lowering the risk of heart attack. It also reduces cholesterol levels and thus protects the heart.
LOWERS CANCER RISK:
Presence of polyunsaturated fats (DHA) in red blood cell membranes has been associated with reduced risk of breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
LOWERS RISK OF PREMATURE BIRTH:
Supplementation with polyunsaturated fats has been shown to decrease the incidence of premature birth by prolonging gestation. Therefore, consumption of sesame oil and sesame seeds during pregnancy is recommended.
REDUCES RISK OF OSTEOPOROSIS:
Sesame oil contains 13% of ‘percent daily value’ of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for binding of calcium in bones and other tissues; reduces bone loss and prevents osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Vitamin K is known to slow tumour growth too.
ESSENTIAL FOR BLOOD COAGULATION:
Vitamin K present in sesame oil is very essential for blood coagulation.
Several studies have proven the benefit of ‘Oil Pulling,’ the traditional method of swishing oil in your mouth. The method involves taking a tablespoon of sesame oil or coconut oil and swishing it in the mouth and pulling in between the teeth along with the saliva. Ideally, this should be done for 15 to 20 minutes. You can start with 5 minutes and slowly build up to 20 minutes. This should be done ideally in the morning before breakfast. Oil pulling benefits:
- Activates the enzymes in saliva, which help in digestion.
- Relief from bleeding gums.
- Visible whitening of the teeth.
- Reducing harmful oral bacteria.
- Improves appetite.
- Alleviates halitosis or bad breath.
- Relief from gum and tooth sensitivity.
You can read about the ‘Health Benefits of Oil Pulling’ in detail here.
IMPROVES METABOLISM AND CIRCULATION:
Since sesame oil pacifies the ‘vata dosha’ in the body, it helps in boosting circulation and improves metabolism. In South Indian cuisine, sesame oil is used for pickling mangoes since it reduces the heat of the spices used in the pickles.
GOUT AND ARTHRITIS RELIEF:
Sesame oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Since inflammation is the cause of discomfort in gout and arthritis, massaging and/or internal consumption of sesame oil will help to alleviate these conditions.
Talking about sesame oil is incomplete without mentioning its benefits for hair. It can be used for hot oil massage once a week, as a regular hair oil, or simply applied half an hour before washing your hair. You will find that with just a few applications of sesame oil, your hair looks rich and lustrous.
So, friends, it is a big YES from us for sesame oil for its numerous benefits. Mesmara’s Cold-pressed Sesame Oil is manually extracted from black sesame seeds, has high purity and is nutrient dense. No dangerous or harsh chemicals have been used in the extraction process. It has a higher smoke point and can be used for deep frying. It is available in a safe and convenient package. Click here to buy it.