Sesame seeds are one of the most widely used condiments in Indian cuisine. Apart from that, it is extensively used in home remedies as well as in making Ayurvedic medicines. Notably, the gingelly seed oil is highly revered in Ayurvedic texts.
Sesame oil is commonly used as the base oil in almost every Ayurvedic oil and medicine. Also sesame oil is used in cooking. Sesame seeds benefit health by helping reducing cholesterol levels, boosting immunity, improving the quality of skin & hair, etc.
Sesame seeds – All you need to know
Sesame in Ayurveda is known by its Sanskrit name ‘Tila.’ Sesame plant is a small bush that is indigenous to India & South Africa. It grows extensively in the warmer regions. It has small, narrow, & glabrous leaves.
A capsule shaped fruit from the sesame plant on maturity naturally split open to release the sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are flattened, ovoid, & pointed at one end. Sesame plant flowers are yellow colored and tubular. They are also found in pink, white, or purple colors.
Seeds, oil, & even the whole plant of sesame are used in Ayurvedic medicine. 3 varieties of gingelly seeds are found and they are black, white, & red or brown sesame seeds. The black variety of sesame seeds is the most common and best suited for medicinal purposes, while the white variety is more abundant in oil.
Properties of Sesame
Ayurvedic texts describe the properties of sesame in detail. Rasa or taste of sesame is sweet, astringent, somewhat bitter & pungent. Sesame seeds are highly unctuous and heavy in nature. Vipaka or post-digestive effect of sesame seed is pungent and it is hot in potency.
Gingelly seeds contain a high amount of oil, which consists of oleic & linoleic acids. These fatty acids play an important role in skin health as it promotes healthy cellular activity. They are also high in minerals like copper, manganese, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, & magnesium.
Tila are rich in protein, phospholipids, and vitamin E, A, & B. This is also one of the reason that Gingelly seeds are one of the best rejuvenating drugs in Ayurveda. Tila boosts immunity and revives the old & weak cells of our body.
Sesame oil contains anti-oxidants like sesamolinol, & sesamol. They reduce the oxidation rate of oil, thus, imparting it a longer shelf-life and makes it most preferred cooking oil. Even though the oil content is high in white ones, Ayurveda considers black sesame seed oil as the best.
What are the benefits of sesame?
Sesame is best known to lower the increased levels of Vata dosha. Therefore, it alleviates the inflammation of bones, muscles, & joint pain. It increases Agni (digestive power), kapha, and pitta dosha in the body. It has other health benefits such as –
- Improves the health of skin, hair, & teeth
- Fortifies immunity and cures body weakness
- Lowers the blood cholesterol levels and is highly beneficial for brain cells
- Nourishes muscles and increases the body strength & energy levels
- Improves the quantity as well as the quality of breast milk
- Decreases urine output and acts as a good laxative
- Good for the brain and enhances memory retention
- Speed up the process of wound healing
- Regulates bleeding in women suffering from dysmenorrhoea & amenorrhoea
How to use gingelly seeds?
Using sesame seed oil is not the only way to avail the benefits of this wonderful herb. It can be used both internally as well as externally in the form of powder, paste, decoction, poultice, or sweet balls.
Burns & Wound healing
- Applying the paste of Tila mixed with ghee (clarified butter) & honey improves healing of the wound
- Make a paste of sesame seed with milk and apply it on the burns of the skin. It reduces burning sensation and pain
- Applying sesame seed oil is also beneficial in skin disorders
- Gargling with milk boiled with sesame seeds and licorice is useful in strengthening loose teeth
- Chewing sesame seeds daily cures pyorrhoea and toothache
- Gargling with lukewarm sesame seed oil mixed with asafoetida & black cumin seed powder instantly cures toothache
Eating 1-2 teaspoon of black gingelly seeds every day raises haemoglobin levels, regulates sex hormones and fights against anemia & weakness.
Make a paste of sesame seeds with water and give it with butter for bleeding piles.
Painful & irregular menses
- Boil 12 g sesame seed powder in one & half cups of water until only one-fourth cup remains. Add little jaggery to this syrup and drink it every morning for 15 days to regulate the menstrual cycle
- In case of absence of menses, consuming ½ teaspoon of black sesame seed powder three times a day induces bleeding
Hair & Skin
- The decoction of black sesame leaves when used for washing hair, promotes hair growth and blackens them
- Daily massage of lukewarm sesame seed oil makes skin soft & smooth
How much to consume?
3-5 g of sesame powder is a suitable dose for internal consumption per day. As it is hot in nature, take only 20-40 ml of its decoction. If you want to eat sesame seeds directly then you may take 10-12 g of seeds per day.
Now we know that sesame is not only an excellent taste enhancer but also is of great medical importance. With the teachings of Ayurveda, you can use sesame seeds in different forms as per the need.
As sesame seed oil is the best of all oils, try to incorporate it in your food as well as lifestyle. A daily dose of sesame seed in any form will surely help you live long, healthy, and young.