Sesame oil, famous as ‘The Queen of Oils’, is highly nourishing and healing. It is desirable for its nutty flavour and aromatics in the culinary world and is a staple cooking oil in Asian cuisine.
Sesame oil is made from raw, pressed sesame seeds (white or black sesame seeds) and has culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic uses. Sesame seeds are ancient, domesticated nearly 4.5 millennia ago, and the oldest known oilseeds.
Ayurvedic philosophy of combining natural remedies with yoga/ meditation and lifestyle choices continues to be relevant in the world. Sesame oil is revered in Ayurveda since Vedic times. Many Ayurvedic products contain Sesame Oil for its nourishing, rejuvenating and nurturing properties.
Uncertainties of the pandemic, work deadlines, school holidays planning, Christmas and New Year plans and other things that need to be wrapped up before the year-end are sure to generate stress and exhaustion. Amidst all this, we should remember to follow a balanced lifestyle and take care of ourselves. There are some simple things that we can incorporate in our lifestyle to de-stress and relax. One of them is Sesame Oil (mention of Sesame Oil in this article includes Black Sesame Oil)!
Ayurveda and Oil
Ayurveda is a ‘science or knowledge of life’ and originated in India nearly 5,000 years ago. Its philosophy is based on holistic and all-natural healing to balance the mind, body and spirit. Ayurveda is based on the constitution of the human body and its relationship with its environment.
Ayurvedic philosophy is founded on five elements – Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Ether as the building blocks of life. These elements are represented in our bodies as three basic energies or ‘doshas’ - Vata (Ether and Air), Pitta (Fire and Water) and Kapha (Earth and Water). These three energies govern our body and mind. Usually, one or two of these energies are dominant in an individual and any imbalances in these energies result in illnesses.
1. Vata (Ether & Air)
This element is cold, light, dry, rough, flowing, and spacious. A Vata-dominant person should follow a regular daily routine, manage stress through meditation, and maintain a warm body temperature. If Vata is imbalanced or higher, practising Abhyanga (anointing of the body with oil) with warm oils regularly in a warm place is recommended. The best oils for Vata are:
2. Pitta (Fire & Water)
This element is hot, light, sharp, oily, liquid, and mobile. A pitta-dominant person should focus on work-life balance and avoid extreme heat. The best oils for Pitta are:
- Brahmi oil (oil with ‘Brahmi’ herb)
- Sunflower oil
- Coconut oil
- Neem oil
3. Kapha (Earth & Water)
This element is steady, stable, heavy, slow, cold, and soft. A Kapha-dominant person should focus on regular exercise, a healthy diet, maintain a warm body temperature, and establish a regular sleep routine. The best massage for Kapha is ‘Udvartana’ which refers to exfoliating/massaging the body with a paste made from oil, powders and herbs. Kapha dosha needs less oil than Vata or Pitta. The best oils for Kapha are:
Ayurvedic oils provide a holistic health approach to wellness and work wonders for your body and mind. However, it is important to consult your doctor or a natural medicine practitioner.
Sesame Oil, Ayurveda and Wellness
Sesame oil is rich in nutrients and is known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It is a good source of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. It is rich in unsaturated essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid and oleic acid. It contains phytosterols, Vitamin E and is high in anti-oxidants.
Spice Zen’s Organic Sesame Oil and Organic Black Sesame Oil is produced in Australia from premium quality, certified organic raw white or black sesame seeds respectively, which are cold-pressed only once in a cork-screw oil press. The naturally pressed oil is rested to allow any solid sesame particulates settle by gravity. The oil is bottled in its purest natural form without the use of any chemicals, preservatives or processing aids. This results in the finest pure organic cold-pressed oils with maximum natural flavours and micronutrients just as nature intended.
This light gold coloured oil has a delicate, sweet, nutty flavour with all the natural goodness and nutrients. The taste of this artisanal raw oil is very natural, soft and pleasant and differs from the generally available sesame oils, that may be chemically-ridden and heavily processed.
Sesame Oil and Ayurveda
Ayurveda is centred around an ancient saying that prevention is better than cure. This is based on the idea that regular personal healthcare is more beneficial than taking care of yourself only when you are sick. One of these daily practices in Ayurveda is self-massage or Abhyanga with Ayurvedic oils.
Abhyanga: Anointing with warm oil every day is as vital in Ayurveda as exercising and breakfast. It helps in balancing and rejuvenating the mind, body and spirit and relieves the body from stress and various toxin build-ups. It is believed that Abhyanga has the following benefits:
- Nourishes and soothes dry skin.
- Pacifies the three doshas (bio-energies)
- Relieves fatigue and enhances stamina
- Calms your nerves and improves sleep
- Improves blood circulation
- Lubricates the joints
- Enhances mental alertness
- Improves elimination of impurities from your body.
For enhanced benefits, Ayurvedic herbs, such as thickening hibiscus, growth-stimulating Amalaki, antimicrobial bhringraj, or protective Brahmi, can be infused into the oil. Just keep a gorgeous bottle of Spice Zen’s Sesame oil and tone your body by massaging the oil for 5-10 minutes before showering. This not only adds a smooth and silky touch to your daily routine but this little gesture of showing kind, loving, self-care is quite an exhilarating experience. Almond oil and Mustard oil are good choices as well.
Sesame Oil and Wellness
Sesame contains “sesamin”, one of the main lignan compounds. Some studies indicate that it has cholesterol-lowering effects and combined with Vitamin E in sesame oil, it may reduce chronic diseases and help fight free radicals in your body.
Sesame oil is more resistant to oxidation than other cooking oils and is good for cooking and deep-frying.
Sesame oil is an ideal general-purpose oil used to repair sun-damaged skin, as a moisturiser, anti-ageing oil, radiant skin tone, excellent makeup remover and for skin, hair and head massage. It is used for oil pulling, nasal treatment, gargling and improving nervous, digestive and gastrointestinal health.
Did you know that sesame oil may help remove acne/ acne scars? Simply dab it onto the affected area with a cotton ball and leave it on overnight. You may want to exfoliate your skin first to remove dead skin cells and debris. This will help the oil absorb more easily.
Sesame oil can also be used for:
- Mouthwash: Sesame oil’s antibacterial qualities make it an effective mouth rinse. Using oil as a mouthwash is an Ayurvedic technique known as oil pulling.
- Constipation relief: Research shows that diluted sesame oil helps relieve minor constipation. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil with water and drink daily.
- Hair and scalp nourishment: Massage a small amount of sesame oil into your scalp and leave the oil on your hair/scalp for at least an hour before rinsing.
- Promote Sleep: To promote healthy sleep patterns, massage the scalp and soles of the feet with sesame oil before bedtime.
- Body Massage: Massage it all over your body to release skin impurities, then bathe or shower with warm water.
- Nasya Treatment: Sniff a little sesame oil to protect your nose and sinuses against common pathogens. Using your little finger, massage and rub the oil inside your nostrils. Then pinch and release the nostrils, breathing sharply.
- Soothe Baby skin: sesame oil protects the baby’s tender skin against rash caused by the nappy/ diaper.
Caution: Oil therapy is very helpful but not a substitute for ongoing care by a qualified health practitioner.
Are you interested in knowing more about cold-pressed oils? Check out our collection here! Some of our other organic cold-pressed oils include:
Do stop by our website for more!