Sesame (Sesamum indicum)
Traditional Uses of Sesame
According to the ancient Indian medical science of Ayurveda, sesame has multiple medicinal properties that benefit the human body. Ayurveda recommends massaging the body with sesame oil in combination with other oils like almond or wheat germ oil for maximum benefits.
While it is important to nurture the human body by cultivating healthy eating habits and drinking plenty of water to flush out toxins, it is equally important to nurture the external system, mainly the skin and joints. As per ayurvedic treatment, massaging the body with sesame oil in combination with other massage oils like almond oil or wheat germ oil prevents dry skin, effectively treats skin rashes and sores, improves blood circulation and keeps the body warm. Nourishing the skin is extremely important during winter because there is very little moisture in the skin making it dry, scaly, and itchy.
Massaging the body with sesame oil can be extremely beneficial, but for best results, the technique of massaging needs to be understood. This will ensure that all the key pressure points are well massaged and the associated muscle groups, nerve roots, and joints get relief from ailments.
Ayurveda describes the following technique of massaging with sesame oil for maximum benefits:
- Apply a few drops of sesame oil to the naval before going to bed at night for dry skin.
- Gently massage the area between the base of the skull and the spinal cord (medulla oblongata). This has a soothing effect on the entire nervous system, and improves memory and eyesight. It is important, however, to remember that one must be very careful while massaging this area since it is very sensitive and delicate. Be gentle when massaging this part of the body.
- Massage the joints of arms, legs, ankles and wrists with sesame oil in combination with jasmine or almond oil to relax and reenergize the human body.
Other Uses of Sesame
Sesame oil has some laxative properties and is also used for cooking because of its high protein and mineral content. Sesame seeds are often sprinkled over bread and other products to add to flavor and nutritients. It is used in the preparation of medicated soaps and hair oil to soften skin and prevent dryness of the scalp.
Because of sesame’s plethora of unique properties, it can be useful for healing, relaxation, cooking, and beauty. For these reasons, it makes sense to incorporate its use into daily life to take advantage of its many benefits.