Monthly Archives: February 2012

Herb of the week – Sesame

Sesame

Did you know that half a cup of sesame seeds contains three times more calcium than half a cup of whole milk? In addition to being an excellent dietary source of calcium, sesame seeds are also a good source of manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1 (thiamin), zinc, vitamin E, healthy protein, and fiber.

Botanical name: Sesamum indicum Linn. Ayurvedic Name: Tila.

Used parts: Sesame seed, oil and whole plant.

The whole plant is used in the preparation of special Ayurvedic medicine called Tila Kshara.

Sesame benefits:

Ayurveda details: Master Sushruta enlists Ayurvedic properties of Sesame with the following terms. All these terms can be attributed to sesame seed benefits or benefits of sesame oil. -

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.

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 is made into the form of paste is traditionally applied over wounds for quick wound healing.
  • 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 increases Kapha and Pitta.

Sesame oil is an excellent laxative. Sesame seeds contain a lot of fiber that provide roughage to the stool, which softens the contents in the intestines and making it easier to eliminate.

Sesame oil is an excellent skin moisturizer and skin softener.

Sesame oil is a safe oil for massage of 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.

Various uses of sesame –

  • Sesame oil is used as a base to prepare many medicated oils which are used in panchakarma procedures like Basti.
  • Sesame paste is used for internal administration and also for application over wound.
  • Oil prepared with Sesame oil base is used for nasal installation, as ear drops etc.
  • Sesame seeds are used in various food recipes.

As an Antioxidant – a special element called “sesame-lignin” helps get rid of free radicals that cause aging and cancer, including fatty acid production.

Cholesterol reduction – sesame seeds are effective for atherosclerosis as it has been confirmed by various experiments.

Prevention of hangoversesamin from sesame seed helps in the liver function by breaking down alcohol effect and detoxifying harmful substances. If you drink, we recommend you take a lot of foods like sesame salad and sesame tofu.

Stress prevention – scientific studies indicate that stress contributes to range of diseases. Because of sesame seed’s chemical structure, it has a unique ability to reduce tension and stress when used regularly. It also helps nourish the nervous system, and relieves fatigue and insomnia. Overall, it helps provide optimum vitality and strength.

Cancer prevention – sesame seeds contain “phytate”, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants and one of the most potent natural anti-cancer substances. It helps inhibit the growth of various cancer cells.

Iron and calcium contents of sesame seeds are valuable in anemia and prevention of osteoporosis, too.

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 also 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.