In this article, we will discuss the benefits of sesame oil, using sesame oil for skin, whether sesame oil is healthy, sesame oil nutrition facts, and viable sesame oil substitutes.
Sesame is known as tila in Sanskrit and its botanical name is Sesame indium L. In general, there are two varieties of sesame oil that are made from white and black sesame seeds.
Sesame oil has been used in many countries due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties.1
Sesame Oil Benefits
In Ayurveda, sesame oil is categorized under the following qualities.
- Balya (strength promoting)
- Keshya (promotes hair growth)
- Tvachya (emollient)
- Vranaropana (wound healing)
- Dantya (strengthens teeth)2
The classical Ayurvedic medical text Ashtangahridhya mentions tila taila (sesame oil) as one of the best oils with a wide variety of uses.
However, one must note that sesame oil is not recommended for people suffering from eye and skin diseases.
Sesame Oil For Skin
- Sesame oil is rich in fat-soluble vitamins, easily absorbed, and is very nourishing for the skin.
- It has shown notable antifungal and antibacterial activities.
- Ayurveda recommends the regular external application of sesame oil on the skin to promote general health and wellbeing.2
- Sesame oil can help with burns. When applied on the skin, it can soothe minor burns (or sunburns) and aid in the skin healing process.
- It is used against common skin pathogens such as Staphylococcus and Streptococcus because of its antibacterial properties.4
Is Sesame Oil Healthy?
- Sesame seeds contain two chemical substances called sesamin and sesamolin. The presence of these chemicals can help in controlling cholesterol and high blood pressure.4
- Sesame contains ‘linoleates’ in triglyceride form, which can hinder malignant melanoma.
- It is said that sesame consumption benefits the whole body.
- Since sesame seeds have a high oil content, they lubricate the intestines and nourish all the internal viscera.
- Consumption of sesame helps in treating intestinal worms such as tapeworm in children.4
- Sesame seeds contain many bioactive compounds that are important for human health and nutrition.
- New research studies state that antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic activities of sesame protects the liver and heart function and help in tumor prevention.3
More Sesame Oil Benefits And Ayurvedic Uses
Sesame Oil Benefits For Dental Health
- If you want to have good dental hygiene, I recommend you practice oil pulling with sesame oil.
- Oil pulling can help lower levels of dental plaque and protect the teeth against harmful bacteria present in the mouth.
Sesame Oil For Pain Relief
- One study found that applying sesame oil externally could reduce the severity and frequency of pain in patients suffering from trauma in the upper or lower extremities.5
- Shirodhara done with sesame oil may help in improving sleep quality, especially for those suffering from insomnia.
Sesame Oil Cardiovascular Benefits
- Clinical studies on sesame oil’s effects have found that consuming sesame oil can help in decreasing high levels of cholesterol (bad cholesterol), lower the risks of atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque in arteries), and delay the onset of cardiovascular diseases.6
- Using sesame oil can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
- Some studies have reported that sesamin, a lignan from sesame oil, exerts an antihypertensive action.7
Sesame Oil For Healthy Hair
- In various ayurvedic texts, sesame oil is described as keshia. Which basically means that applying sesame oil on hair may help with hair growth and reduce split ends.
Sesame Oil Substitute
So, as discussed above, sesame has a plethora of benefits and uses in Ayurveda.
However, if you are allergic to sesame oil or you’re not able to have it for some reasons, you can substitute with olive oil or peanut oil as these oils have a similar chemical composition to sesame oil (although benefits and uses vary).
Sesame Oil Nutrition And Chemical Composition
- Sesame oil contains ‘ sesamin,’ a significant lignan which may exhibit properties like lowering cholesterol, anti-hypertensive, anti-cancer, and lipid-lowering properties.
- Sesamol in sesame oil improves cardiovascular health.
- It contains Vitamin E and Vitamin K. The antioxidants in sesame oil are also considered to be beneficial for the skin.
- Sesame oil is rich in amino acids, which can help in building up proteins and minerals essential for strengthening the bones and maintaining proper blood circulation.
Consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before trying sesame oil orally or topically. DO NOT use sesame oil if you are allergic to sesame.
- Sadeghi N, Oveisi MR, Hajimahmoodi M, Jannat B, Mazaheri M, Mansouri S. The contents of sesamol in Iranian sesame seeds. Iranian J Pharm Res. 2010:101–5.
- N, S. M., & C, U. (2016). Dietetic And Therapeutic Effect Of Sesame In Ayurveda: A Critical Review. Journal of Pharmaceutical & Scientific Innovation, 5(2), 47-50. doi:10.7897/2277-4572.05210
- Cheng FC, Jinn TR, Hou RC, Tzen JT. Neuroprotective effects of sesamin and sesamolin on gerbil brain in cerebral ischemia. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006;2:284–8. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
- Pathak, N., Rai, A. K., Kumari, R., & Bhat, K. V. (2014). Value addition in sesame: A perspective on bioactive components for enhancing utility and profitability. Pharmacognosy reviews, 8(16), 147–155. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.134249
- Bigdeli Shamloo, M. B., Nasiri, M., Dabirian, A., Bakhtiyari, A., Mojab, F., & Alavi Majd, H. (2015). The Effects of Topical Sesame (Sesamum indicum) Oil on Pain Severity and Amount of Received Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in Patients With Upper or Lower Extremities Trauma. Anesthesiology and pain medicine, 5(3), e25085. doi:10.5812/aapm.25085v2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26161326
- Hsu, E., & Parthasarathy, S. (2017). Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects of Sesame Oil on Atherosclerosis: A Descriptive Literature Review. Cureus, 9(7), e1438. doi:10.7759/cureus.1438
- Sankar, D., Rao, M. R., Sambandam, G., & Pugalendi, K. V. (2006). Effect of sesame oil on diuretics or Beta-blockers in the modulation of blood pressure, anthropometry, lipid profile, and redox status. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 79(1), 19–26.