Sesame oil is derived from the seeds of the sesame (sesamum indicum) plant. The seeds are prepared one of two ways before being pressed into oil. One is that they are left alone, the oil is extracted from the raw seeds. Two, the seeds are toasted and then pressed, producing an amber colored, fragrant oil. This post will focus on the first variety, sesame oil from the untoasted seeds. This oil is pale yellow and has a mild fragrance and nutty taste. Sesame oil is high in Vitamin K and is mostly composed of linoleic and oleic acids. Sesame oil is used throughout the world for cooking and in South Asia for medical remedies and massage therapies. Low grade sesame oil (which has been chemically treated and expeller pressed) is used heavily in the cosmetics industry.
For purposes of health and wellness, keep in mind to purchase unrefined oils. Avoid using sesame oil if you have an allergy to sesame seeds. Although studies indicate that refined oils of allergens are generally safe to use, sesame oil tends to contain the allergens (even if the oil has been refined).
Sesame oil is one of the most neutral oils known to man. It has slight sweet and warming qualities. Sesame oil is beneficial for using with bone tissue elements, treatment of ailments associated with female reproductive system, respiratory system, digestive system, and excretory system.
Sesame oil is slightly warming, but not as heating as most other oils, due to this subtlety in warmth, it is often regarded as a neutral oil. Because of its neutrality, sesame makes for a great base for medicated oils and pastes. On its own, sesame can repair dry skin and be used to improve gum health.
Using Sesame Oil:
Self-Abhyanga (daily, self applied, oil massages)
An Ayurveda practitioner will most likely use sesame oil for: