Oils Revered in Ayurveda : Sesame Oil (Tila)

Sesame oil


Of all the oils, tila oil is the best one for strength and unction—Charaka Samhita, Sūtrasthāna, Verse 12



Ayurveda is an age-old holistic system that focuses on maintaining the equilibrium of the three energies, namely, Vata, Pitta, and Kaph. Sesame oil is a warm oil used to balance Vata and Kaph Doshas. It is the most predominantly used oil in Ayurveda. The Charaka Samhita, India's most ancient and authoritative text on Ayurveda, describes sesame oil (tila) as the best oil.

Sesame oil is used as the base for many Ayurvedic skin treatments. Other Ayurvedic treatments call for the consumption of sesame oil. Various benefits of sesame oil for health have been proven by scientific studies too. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals.

Types of Sesame Oil

There are two types of sesame oil. Pure sesame oil has a light golden hue and a simple, pleasant flavour. Both refined and unrefined varieties are produced by pressing uncooked sesame seeds.

Dark sesame oil is substantially darker than the light golden kind, as the name suggests. It has a coffee-like colour because it is made from sesame seeds that have been toasted. This oil has a strong sesame flavour that would be overwhelming if used in cooking as a result of the toasted seeds.

Uses of Sesame Oil

For flavouring sautéing, stir-frying, and seasoning anything from rice to salads, South Indian, Mid Eastern, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese cuisines use both pure and toasted sesame oil. Sesame oil will enhance the flavour of deep-fried dishes when added to less stable cooking oils. 

Benefits of Sesame Oil for Skin

  • Fights Ageing: Antioxidants like sesamol, sesaminol, sesamin, and vitamin E in sesame oil combat free radicals and repair the damage caused by them. This is especially helpful for fighting signs of ageing and repairing cell barriers.
  • UV protection: The phytosterols present in sesame oil have the ability to resist up to 30% of UV rays. This reduces skin damage caused by UV exposure and prevents fine lines, tanning, and sun spots.
  • Treats wounds or burns: Due to its abundance of antioxidants and healing properties, topical application of sesame oil can help heal superficial skin wounds and burns.
  • Moisturises the skin: Sesame oil has the ability to make your skin smooth and soft. Sesame oil is one of the greatest natural moisturizers for dry skin because of its potent combination of properties like linoleic acid and fatty acids. 
  • Natural Cleanser: Sesame oil for skin can act as a natural cleanser to gently cleanse deposited sebum, dead skin cells, grime, pollutants, and other contaminants. As a result, the skin becomes more radiant, supple, and clean.

Benefits of Sesame Oil for Hair 

  • Moisturise the Hair: Being an emollient, sesame oil can aid in softening your hair's strands and making them appear smoother. Sesame oil's beneficial fatty acids are also what make it effective as a topical treatment for dry scalp and hair.
  • Help with Scalp Infection: Sesame oil for hair helps fight scalp infections. Antibacterial properties are present in sesame oil and sesame seeds, which help lessen common scalp skin infections. Dandruff, which is frequently brought on by a fungus or bacteria, can be lessened by applying sesame oil regularly to your scalp and hair.
  • Hair Growth: Sesame oil is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. The lack of these fatty acids leads to hair loss. Sesame oil massages stimulate blood circulation in the scalp, which speeds up hair growth.

Health Benefits of Sesame Oil

  • Hormonal balance: Consuming sesame oil or regularly practising oil pulling using sesame oil can help with hormonal imbalance and some of its associated symptoms. Oil pulling is the Ayurvedic practice of swishing sesame oil in the mouth for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  • Anti-inflammation: Consumption and topical application of sesame oil show a marked reduction in inflammation and the pain associated with it. Therefore, it is often used to relieve inflammatory pain in the joints.
  • Blood-sugar regulation: Studies show that regular consumption of sesame oil can control blood sugar levels, making it the optimal choice for people with diabetes.
  • Dental health: Oil pulling with sesame oil can help tackle oral health issues like bad breath, gingivitis, gum diseases, and plaque formation. Since it has antimicrobial properties, it kills pathogenic bacteria in the mouth and keeps the oral microflora in check.
  • Lowers cholesterol: Rich in omega-6 fatty acids, consuming sesame oil can prevent a plethora of cardiovascular diseases by lowering bad cholesterol.

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