By Dr. Ajit
The most commonly used oil in Ayurvedic Massage is cold pressed sesame oil. Within the Ayurvedic tradition, sesame oil is viewed as "tri-doshic" meaning it is able to stablise all three Doshas, not only at the physical but also on a mental level.
It also has a number of other remarkable properties:
• It is a rich source of zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and calcium
• Research shows that it is a potent antioxidant, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• The vitamin E in sesame oil makes it a very good emollient and moisturizer, maintaining the permeability of the cellular membrane, keeping a balance between intra and inter-cellular fluid. When used regularly the skin feel soft, hydrated and nourished
• Sesame oil can also act as a natural sunscreen, preventing tanning and other damages caused by the harmful UV rays
• The soothing and healing properties of the oil also proves useful in the repair of damaged skin cells. Application of sesame oil to the skin improves blood circulation which helps repair damaged skin cells and gives the skin a healthy glow
• Used on baby skin, sesame seed oil will protect the tender skin against rashes caused by the acidity of body wastes
• For school children, who are exposed to colds and flu during winter, sesame oil swabbed in the nose can protect against air borne viruses and bacteria
• Topical application of sesame oil is also known to be beneficial in the treatment and cure of skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema
• It nourishes and feeds the scalp to control dry scalp dandruff and to kill dandruff causing bacteria
• Holding a small amount of sesame oil in the mouth has been shown to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth & help with gingivitis
• As nasal drops, sesame seed oil is useful in the treatment of sinusitis and migraine
So next the next time you or your ayurvedic therapist applies sesame oil to the skin, know that apart from it being a relaxing experience, it is doing you some good.