Clove Bud Oil

Hit the nail on the head of your illness‘ is not a ruthless statement and the nail that is recommended to treat most of your illnesses is the ‘nail-shaped’ Clove and its essential oil extracted from the dried unopened flower buds of the Clove tree (Scientific name: Eugenia caryophyllata) by steam distillation.

Clove-oil-bud-bannerIt is a much celebrated emergency aid for treating toothache with its potent pain-relieving effect that causes numbness in the painful area and alleviates pain instantly.

Clove is a vital part of the Ayurvedic rebellion for more than 3,000 years and is known in Sanskrit as Devapuspa, meaning ‘Heavenly flower’ and the name is attributed to its exotic aroma and its stupendous healing benefits.

It is prevalently known in India as Laung or Lavnga. Clove and its essential oil in used in many Ayurvedic treatments for dealing with digestive problems, oral infections, diabetes, hypersensitivity, osteoporosis, impotence, sinusitis, improper blood circulation, prostate problems, arthritis and few other respiratory infections.

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Historical uses and importance of Clove and its essential oil:

Clove is native to the Moluccas Islands of Indonesia and was previously known as the Spice Islands. It is an evergreen tree which bears pink color flower buds and these buds are picked before they bloom and are dried to enrich mankind with the tiny brown buds known as ‘Cloves’. This tree grows naturally in India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, West Indies, Zanzibar, Madagascar and Tanzania.

Clove was traded to Europe initially in the 4th century A.D where the ancient herbalists of Germany used Cloves as vital ingredient of their anti-gout remedy. Later it was used in treating wounds, infertility, nausea, diarrhea, worms and toothache.

Cloves were also used in poultices in England during the Middle Ages for treating infections and lesions caused due to bubonic plague. It was also recommended by Hildegard of Bingen for alleviating gout, nasal congestion, hiccups and intestinal swelling.

The traditional Ayurvedic medicine used Cloves as an effective aphrodisiac for addressing male reproductive problems and for assisting respiratory problems like asthma, cough, cold, sore throat, laryngitis and congestion.

It is blended with other popular herbs like cinnamon, ginger, peppercorn and cardamom and used as an immunostimulant, blood purifier, anti-parasitic, breath freshener and for relieving digestive disorders.

The historical use of Cloves in China evolved during the Han Dynasty (207 B.C.) and the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) prescribes Cloves for easing fungal infections, hernia, digestive problems, ringworm, nausea, kidney infections and impotence.

Cloves were also a part of the Western Herbal Medicine for enhancing circulation, supporting digestion, treating erectile dysfunction, hiccups, vomiting, toothache and halitosis.

Chemical components and therapeutic properties of Clove essential oil:

The primary component of Clove is Eugenol that adds up to 70 to 90% of the Clove essential oil constituent. Other major components are beta caryophyllene, methyl salicylate, kaempferol, acetyl eugenol, triterpenoids, gallotannic acid, rhamnetin, vanillin and eugenin.

Eugenol contributes to the sensible aroma of Cloves and its therapeutic properties including antifungal, anesthetic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities. The other healing values of Clove essential oil are antioxidant, carminative, anti-carcinogenic, immunostimulant, stomachic, digestive, antibacterial, decongestant, expectorant and aphrodisiac.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Clove essential oil:

Woman/man in this modern world is judged by the gadgets she/he owns and the latest technology that has been swirling around. While most of us are aware about the techniques and tools in the mere man-made machines, how many of us know about our own body and its mechanisms? Not many of us know what is happening in our system? What causes pain? What causes hunger? What causes cellular damage? Or what causes death before the predestined day of death?

More than the knowledge of the world around you, the real wisdom lies in the awareness of the world within you, within the human mind and body, the greatest wonder in this Cosmos.

Ayurveda simply introduces you to a never before living where you will explore and discover about yourselves and the word ‘Ayur + Veda’ by itself means the ‘the knowledge + life’. This ancient philosophy trusts that everything on earth is part of nature and is built with the same five elements that ‘Mother Nature’ is made up of.

The tremendous five elements are earth, water, air, fire and space. Earth signifies bones and muscles, water stands for blood, air assists breathing, fire notifies the body temperature and aid for metabolic functions and space is the spirit that stays in.

Every human being is created with a unique individual constitution comprising of three vital biological energies namely vata, pitta and kapha. These doshic elements are a combination of the five vital elements.

Air and space makes Vata and is responsible for circulation, nervous functions and aging symptoms, fire and water joins together for Pitta and is incharge of body temperature and metabolism and water and earth signifies Kapha energy and is accountable for structure and continuity. Every individual has a predominance of any one of these doshas that determines his personality, behavior and attribute.

Ayurvedic wisdom states that human health solely depends upon his/her harmony with nature, means the five elements of nature that are a representation of the three biological energies. Balance between the three doshas based upon the individual’s unique constitution indicates health and imbalance causes sickness.

The natural remedies in Ayurveda including the herbs, essential oils, meditation, yoga, physical exercises, prayers, Ayurvedic routine and Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging) aim at treating these imbalances of doshas.

Clove and its essential oil have been in use in the Ayurvedic regimen for addressing an extensive range of illnesses ranging from oral problems to kidney disorders. The essential oil of Clove is said to augment pitta energy and soothe excess of kapha and vata dosha.

Let’s check out the Ayurvedic health benefits of Clove essential oil.

Clove-oil-bud-broucher1. Alleviates digestive problems:

Clove and its essential oil have been a part of many Ayurvedic preparations used in the treatment of various digestive disorders including bloating, intestinal gas, nausea, stomach upset, distention and dyspepsia.

According to Ayurveda, pitta dosha is responsible for the body temperature, warmth and the fire generated for stimulating the process of metabolism like digestion, absorption and excretion.

Pitta imbalance or insufficiency causes sluggishness in the digestive system and it is during these critical times , Clove essential oil is used in Ayurveda for triggering the metabolic functions and warming the digestive tract.

Massaging your abdomen with 2 drops of Clove oil mixed with 1 ml of coconut oil assists in encouraging the digestive system, increasing the secretion of hydrochloric acid, bile and other digestive juices for enhancing trouble-free digestion. You can also take bath in lukewarm water enriched with 3 to 5 drops of Clove oil for supporting bowel movements and recover peristalsis.

With its carminative, stomachic and anthelmintic properties Clove oil is a natural remedy for alleviating flatulence, intestinal worms, gastric irritability and various intestinal infections caused by bacteria, virus, protozoa and other pathogens leading to serious digestive problems like cholera.

2. Relieves respiratory disorders:

Ayurvedic system of healing prescribes Clove as an effective remedy for treating upper respiratory problems like cough, asthma, sinusitis, cold, sore throat, bronchitis, flu, whooping cough, fever and tuberculosis.

Excess of kapha dosha due to change in food habits or climatic conditions contribute mainly to respiratory problems, as excess water deposits accumulate in the nasal and bronchial passages in the form of mucous and phlegm deposits.

Clove essential oil added to steam inhalation, preferably 2 drops of this oil when inhaled in the form of steam helps in loosening the phlegm and mucous deposits by causing warmth in the nasal passages and the respiratory tract.

This also aids in killing the harmful germs and pathogens that worsen the illnesses. You can also add 2 drop of Clove oil to your decongesting ointment and massage it soothingly on your chest, back and throat for improved results.

3. Aids in pain, inflammation and skin problems:

Clove essential oil is an excellent aid in treating skin infections caused due to bacteria, virus, fungi and other harmful microbes mostly with its natural antiseptic properties.

Using 2 drops of Clove oil along with your mild skin care cream or lotion or with 1 ml of jojoba oil on your skin can aid in healing wounds, athlete’s foot, cuts, bruises, scabies, acne, prickly heat and insect stings.

It also helps in preventing the wounds from becoming septic. These skin-friendly properties of Clove oil is attributed to the presence of the eugenol compound which has rich antiseptic qualities.

Massaging the inflamed or painful parts of the body with 3 drops of Clove oil mixed with 2 ml of sesame oil helps in alleviating pain, reducing inflammation with its anti-inflammatory properties and discharges the excess water deposits, uric acid and toxic substances causing swelling, redness and irritation in rheumatism and arthritic conditions.

The presence of eugenol and its other derivative compounds like flavonoids, isoflavones and flavones are extremely advantageous in the perpetuation of bone density and aids in retaining the mineral content in the bones and support its tensile potency. By this way, Clove oil can be used as an effectual remedy for curing and preventing Osteoporosis.

4. Mitigates toothache and other oral problems:

Cloves are celebrated all around the globe for its natural dental assistance. Both the herb and its essential oil have been used in various traditional practices including Ayurveda, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Western herbalism as a promising anodyne for treating dental emergencies.

Adding 1 drop of Clove oil to a small cotton ball or bud and keeping it on the painful area in the mouth for 10 to 15 minutes can help in alleviating toothache by causing numbness in the aching part.

You can follow this treatment by gargling your mouth with a cup of warm water nourished with 2 drops of Clove oil for eliminating the microbes, germs and other harmful organisms causing pain and other oral infections.

Even today in many countries, Clove herb is directly applied to the gums for controlling pain during dental aid, treating toothache and for dry socket, which is a problem experienced during tooth extraction.

It has also been used in India as a natural breath freshener and as a guard against oral pathogens for treating gum problems like periodontitis and gingivitis. Clove oil is also an important ingredient in various Ayurvedic toothpastes and the most popular among them is the Dabur Red toothpaste.

5. Combats cancer and fights against free radicals:

Antioxidants are the soldier force that can combat the growth of cancerous tumors by fighting against free radicals causing cellular damage. The antioxidant capacity of a particular component is measured by its ORAC, meaning Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity. This measuring attribute was developed for the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) by the Scientists of Tufts University.

According to the study by the Essential Oils Desk reference amongst the numerous essential oils, Clove essential oil stands high with ORAC of 10,786,875 where the preceding oil was Thyme essential oil with 159,590 as its ORAC. This simply means that Clove oil is the best antioxidant in the world amongst all the other fruits, herbs and spices with 10 million ORAC. This is more than 400 times of the most powerful antioxidant fruit, the wolfberry.

Clove essential oil has antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties that help in treating all types of cancer including lung cancer and liver cancer, if traced in the early stages.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Clove essential oil blended with 5 ml of Evening Primrose oil can help in decreasing the free radical production, discouraging the increased lipid profile in the liver, detoxifying the system, postponing the aging process (helps reduce wrinkles and other aging symptoms) and augmenting the body’s natural immune power.

6. Safe insect-repellant and instant air freshener:

Clove is by far known as the safest and non-toxic insect repellant that repels harmful insects like mosquitoes, bugs, fleas and ticks and it has been proved by the researches of the Duke University School of Nursing. This oil has a strong aroma that is intoxicating for the olfactory senses of various insects.

Adding 2 drops of Clove oil in diffuser, air freshener or vaporizer can revive the air instantly and protect your family from insects. You can also add 2 to 3 drops of Clove oil in your skin care lotion and apply it on your skin for keeping away from insects.

7. Assists in reproductive health:

Many traditional medical systems including Ayurveda and Unani medicine suggest the use of Clove oil as an aphrodisiac for treating reproductive problems especially in men. The spicy and warming aroma of Clove oil kindles the feelings of togetherness and supports the health of male and female reproductive system.

The book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy’ by Bryan Miller and Light Miller says that Clove essential oil is effective “ to arouse, stimulation of hormones, ‘stimulate the juices’, dispel inertia and depression”, which are all the causes of Kapha imbalances. Clove oil is a popular mental stimulant that alleviates fatigue, depression and other negative feelings that ruin your sexual life.

Massaging your body with 10 drops of Clove oil mixed with 5 ml of virgin olive oil can help in treating premature ejaculation, impotence, loss of sexual interest, erectile dysfunctions and loss of libido. You can also add 2 drops of Clove oil to your bath before going to bed.

Other health benefits:

Clove oil is a renowned flavoring agent in various food items and beverages. It is also used in the manufacturing of soaps, toothpastes, cosmetics, clove cigarettes and perfumes. Epilepsy, poor blood circulation, dizziness, earache and certain other health conditions are also treated with Clove essential oil.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not directed to use as a substitute for prescribed medicines or professional medical advice. Never use essential oils internally as pure and organic essential oils are highly concentrated liquids.

Always use Clove essential oil in a diluted manner for external use only, as this oil is a skin and mucous membrane irritant, if used directly on the skin. Always speak with your Ayurvedic Practitioner before choosing the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution and medical condition.

Thought for the day:

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin

Suggested Reading:

  1. Clove Oil! Discover The Essential Oil Of Cloves Health Benefits For Toothaches, Acne, Hair & Much More: A Book On Clove Oil Secrets (Natural Health Books Series) by Tina Cody
  2. Scents Of Life: Use And Effect Of Essential Oils by H. M. Schemske
  3. The Modern Ayurveda: Milestones Beyond the Classical Age from CRC Press
  4. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  5. The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood and Emotion by Valerie Ann Worwood

Reference Links:

  1. Clove by Wikipedia
  2. Health Benefits of Clove Oil by Organic Facts
  3. Cloves and Clove oil by Healing Naturally by Bee
  4. The Health Benefits of Cloves by The Global Healing Center
  5. Traditional Uses of Clove by Natural Standard, The Authority on Integrative Medicine


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Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli-bannerPatchouli essential oil, the phenomenal oil with extraordinary health benefits is often neglected and fails to attract the aroma lovers unlike Lavender and Rose oils, as many believe that it has a strong misty fragrance.

If you ask me the best thing about Patchouli oil, I would rather say that it is an instant remedy for fighting and fixing anxiety and help you stay relaxed all day long when rubbed on your wrist as a stimulating perfume.

Mesmerized with its enlivening fragrance, I would ask you to wear the aroma of Patchouli essential oil on your wrists as it will help you better to fight the challenges of your busy day better than your wrist watch could do.

Patchouli is an Indian name, meaning ‘Green leaf’ (Patch-green and ilai-leaf). Many of us still remember Patchouli as the significant incense of the 60s and 70s but the truth is that Patchouli oil has its roots vested deeply in the field of Ayurveda for more than 5000 years for treating innumerable health conditions since the primordial times.

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Immemorial history of Patchouli Essential oil:

Scientifically known as Pogostemon cablin, this herb is a member of the mint family, Labiatae and is native to India, Malaysia and Indonesia. The essential oil is steam distilled from the young leaves of this plant. Patchouli and its oil are often associated to the sixties where it was used by people to cover up the smell of their smoking. It was traditionally used as an effectual aphrodisiac in perfumes and as a powerful moth repellant.

The ancient Indians used Patchouli in shawls and linens traded to Britain in 1800s to generate a unique aroma and for its germ-killing effects. It was also used as an important constituent for scenting Indian inks. This herb and its essential oil are of high religious importance as it is still trusted to keep away pessimism, negative feelings and evil powers.

Patchouli essential oil is the major ingredient of the tribal prescriptions for treating poisonous snake bites, bites and stings of various insects including mosquitoes and other animals. For mosquito bites and stings of other insects, mix 2 drops of Patchouli oil with 6 drops of carrier oil like coconut oil and apply on the affected part for complete healing.

For venomous snake bites like King Cobra’s bite, few drops of pure Patchouli oil is taken on a cloth or cotton and put on the bitten part instantaneously as first aid before the patient is taken to the doctor for intense treatment. After which 2 drops of Patchouli oil is mixed with 4 drops of carrier oils like coconut oil, sesame oil, wheat germ oil or grape seed oil and applied on the bitten surface twice daily to promote quicker healing of the wound.

Chemical constituents or Gas Chromatography Report of Patchouli oil:

According to the Gas chromatography report, Patchouli oil constitutes of 8 chemical components that contribute to its magnificent aroma, remedial properties, consistency and quality.

Just click on:

For knowing more about the detailed information of these key constituents of Patchouli essential oil.

The table below on the Gas Chromatography report talks about the chief chemical components and its role in granting the therapeutic and other attributes to Patchouli oil.

Patchouli-OilThe chemical constituents responsible for the healing values of this oil are a-patchoulene, b-patchoulene, a-bulnesene, a-guaiene, norpatchoulenol, pogostol, caryophyllene, seychellene and patchouli alcohol (comprises of cadinene, luglviol, patchoulol, aldehydes, cinnamic, benzoic, evenol and phenol).

Therapeutic properties and growing importance of Patchouli oil:

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in India stated about the importance of Patchouli and its essential oil in its report submitted on Medicinal and Aromatic plants. According to this report Patchouli has developed extensively as a prominent aromatic plant and every year, the world consumes about 1000 Metric Ton of Patchouli essential oil.

The predominant therapeutic properties of Patchouli essential oil are aphrodisiac, antidepressant, antiphlogistic, cytophylactic, astringent, diuretic, deodorant, antiseptic, decongestant, anti-inflammatory, fungicide, cicatrisant, relaxant, febrifuge, sedative, insecticide and tonic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Patchouli essential oil:

Ayurveda, the ancient medicinal system with its origin in India has the longest history in the field of medicine for more than 5000 years.

Ayurvedic texts define health as a perfect harmony between the emotional, physical and spiritual wellness of an individual to which his diet, lifestyle and other innumerable factors contribute to. This noble science aims at disease prevention rather than treating the disease at the disrupting stage.

Ayurveda trusts that every individual is made up of three energy elements known as doshas. The book’ Absolute Beauty’ by Pratima Raichur defines dosha as “metabolic principles governing mind and body; the intelligence of the body- mind”. These doshas are a combination of the five elements namely air, water, ether, earth and fire. Imbalance of any of these doshas ends up in illness or lack of health.

Patchouli essential oil is said to treat kapha deficit and aggravation of vata and pitta. This helps in treating emotional imbalances like depression, stress and anxiety along with numerous skin problems.

The major Ayurvedic health benefits of Patchouli essential oil are:1. Amazing natural oil for skin care:pATCHOULI-BROUCHERPatchouli is one among those best essential oils for skin care. The cicatrisant property of this oil makes it a perfect companion in quicker healing of cuts and wounds while helping in fading away the marks and scars left by injuries, acne, burns, chicken pox, measles, stretch marks etc.

Patchouli essential oil is also a good tissue re-generator that promotes the growth of new skin cells. The antiseptic and antifungal properties of this oil helps in healing wounds, burns, boils, sores, eczema, dry skin, rough skin, cracks, excessively dehydrated skin and fungal infections like athlete’s foot.

The astringent effects in Patchouli oil helps in tightening loose skin and muscles especially after weight loss and post-delivery. It stops the sagging of skin effectively and treats contractions of nerves, skin and muscles.

All you need to do to work out these wonders is to add 2 to 3 drops of Patchouli essential oil to gentle carrier oils like jojoba oil or sweet almond oil or to your mild skin creams or lotions and gently massage on the affected area.

2. Patchouli oil for Spiritual Influence:

The rich and energizing aroma of Patchouli essential oil grants mental clarity for many years. Among the seven chakras of the human body, Patchouli essential oil is used for connecting the heart chakra with the sacral and root chakras, where chakra is defined asThe centers of psychic energy located at points along the spinal cord. They are associated with the five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. Each chakra corresponds to a specific mantra (sound) and geometric pattern (yantra). Through meditation on these chakras we can gain mastery over our body and each corresponding element.

Inhaling the aroma of this oil through a diffuser, vaporizer or applying it on the chakra or vital flex points, will aid in discharging jealousy, feelings of insecurity, obsessions and enhance the quality of one’s life to a greater level.

2 drops of Patchouli oil added to potpourri, vaporizer, diffuser or burner during an intense meditation will kindle your confidence, creativity, endurance, will power, self-confidence, self-esteem, positive feelings and the fortitude to live in the present moment.

3. Exceptional essential oil for intimacy:

Ayurveda considers sex as a positive force that helps restore the vital energy of life and is misused; it can be the strongest binding attachment stopping one from attaining higher spiritual reality. Ayurvedic texts does not encourage loveless sex as it considers that sex can be complete and beautiful only when there is intimacy and absolute love between the two partners involved in it.

Robert Svoboda’s translation quotes that “For the perfect love tryst Ayurvedic  Scholar Sushruta recommends a full moon night in a bower of flowers, soft silk garments, sweet and intoxicating perfumes, light and nourishing food and sweet music.”

It also talks about the use of sweet perfumes, where the partners are said to bathe in or anoint their body in sensual essential oils like Patchouli essential oil before sex.  Adding few drops of this essential oil with natural aphrodisiac properties in your burner or vaporizer is also said to add to the erotic mood and deeper intimacy.

4. Alleviates stress and deprives depression:

Patchouli essential oil is grounding and calming to the mind and body. This extremely versatile oil uplifts the mind, helps overcome depressive feelings, tranquilize the mind and paves way for new hopes ahead. The sweet herbaceous and ethereal floral charm brings peace and harmony for the ruined mind.

Fear, fatigue, anxiety, nervous tension, work pressure and prolonged stress can be cleared by enchanting your limbic system with the classic aroma of Patchouli essential oil. 2 to 3 drops of Patchouli oil added to your diffuser, vaporizer, burner, wrist, pillow or to a tissue assists in strengthening your mental power and wash away depressive thoughts that drain you.

Adding 5 to 6 drops of Patchouli in warm bath before going to bed will invigorate your senses, refreshes your mind and strengthens your immune system. You can also choose to enjoy the benefits of a reviving Ayurvedic massage by blending 4 drops of Patchouli oil in cold pressed Sesame oil followed by a warm bath for lessening stress, depression and other related health conditions.

Other health benefits:

1 drop of Patchouli oil added to a cup of warm water for gargle can assist in treating halitosis or bad breath, strengthening the gums and refreshing your breath all through the day. Adding 3 drops of this oil in calming coconut oil for massage or in bath aids in treating fever, pain, inflammation and tones the entire system by stimulating the metabolic functions and boosts the immune power.

The febrifuge and antiphlogistic properties of this oil aids in reducing inflammation, fever and body pain associated with it. Adding few drops of Patchouli essential oil in your air freshener, burner or vaporizer can keep away from insects like bed bugs, mosquitoes, ants, moths and flies.

Disclaimer:

Pure essential oils are highly concentrated in nature and always use them externally after diluting in appropriate carrier oils. Avoid taking essential oils internally. Seek the advice of your Ayurvedic professional regarding the usage of specific essential oils for your unique constitution and state of health.

The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) of Patchouli essential oil is readily available for your enhanced safety and better usage.

Gas Chromatography Report of Patchouli essential oil.

Thought for the day:

Patchouli has always been a part of my fragrance, like a line through my life.                                                                                           -Julia Roberts

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood and Emotion by Valerie Ann Worwood
  2. Jeanne Rose: Herbal Body Book: The Herbal Way to Natural Beauty & Health for Men & Women by Jeanne Rose
  3. The Essentials of Aromatherapy Essential Oils by Dr Miriam Kinai
  4. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless

Reference Links:

  1. Medicinal & Aromatic Plants – Patchouli by National Bank For Agriculture and Rural Development
  2. Patchouli by Kamlesh Ayurveda
  3. Sex, Spirituality and Ayurveda by Caroline Robertson, Ayurveda Elements
  4. 10 Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil by Become A Healthier You

Sesame Oil

Sesame-bannerFrom nasal drops to enema, from babies to elderly people, Sesame oil forms an incredible part of the Ayurvedic regimen. Experts say that about 90% of the herbal oils in Ayurvedic treatment are prepared with a base of Sesame oil.

Celebrated for its rich presence of nutrients, this oil is used as a nourishing cooking oil in most parts of India, especially the southern parts of the nation where Ayurvedic system of healing has its roots deeply vested with.

Known as Tila in the Ayurvedic world, Sesame oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of the plant Sesamum indicum (syn. Sesamum Orientale). Sesame oil has been used for its innumerable benefits to mankind and the most touching thing is that the seed hulls left after pressing the oil can be fed to livestock as a wholesome food.

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Historical importance of Sesame Oil:

This invigorating oil has the longest history of more than 5,000 years just like the ancient Ayurvedic system. This was the main oil crop and was cultivated during the times of Indus valley civilization, the oldest civilization of the world. Sesame was the first crop used for extracting oil.

Before 600 BC, Sesame oil was used as a salve, medicine and in food by the rich Assyrians community. From times immemorial, this oil has been an important part of the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Various traditions like Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern used Sesame oil as a flavor enhancer and natural health stimulant.

Most of the Ayurvedic therapies have registered the use of Sesame oil for its ability to strengthen the system, detoxify the body and ensure the proper functioning of all the vital organs. Sesame seed oil is considered as a sacred oil in many parts of India and is used in votive lamps and other ceremonies of religious importance.

Among the seven chakras or the vital points of human energy, sesame oil is said to benefit the heart chakra responsible for unconditional love for others and self, compassion, emotions and all kinds of relationships with the world, root chakra responsible for dealing with the challenges of the world and the spleen chakra responsible for the right to think, self-confidence, self-control and intellect.

Therapeutic properties and nutrients of Sesame oil:

Sesame oil is rich in vitamin E (potent antioxidant), iron, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, dietary fiber and flavonoids phenolic antioxidants.

All these enriching nutrients make Sesame oil as a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immune-stimulant, restorative, anti-rheumatic, carminative, tonic, anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, cardiac, dermatologic, laxative, emollient, warming and anti-depressant properties.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame oil:

Ayurvedic encyclopedias like Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita have listed enormous health benefits of Sesame oil. Practicing Ayurveda is a sure shot remedy for self-improvement as it involves a systematic life-style along with essential oils, herbal medications, yoga, meditation and physical exercises that keep you fit and fine even in your late 60s.

Human body is made up of 3 energy elements known as doshas in Ayurveda. They are vata, pitta and kapha. The predominant energy element determines your personality, character and behavior. Sesame oil has the potent to balance excess vata along with kapha and pitta deficiency.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Sesame seed oil in terms of various ways of administration.Sesame-broucher1. Oil Pulling:

This is a simple Ayurvedic therapy that helps in eliminating the harmful toxins from the body and enhances immunity and is known as Gandusha in Sanskrit. It is nothing but swishing 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in the mouth for 20 minutes in empty stomach in the morning and spitting out the toxins-filled remains. This process helps in protecting the dental health known as Dantya Swasthya in Ayurveda.

Charaka Samhita (Charaka Samhita Ch V-78 to 80) quotes the act of oil pulling as “It is beneficial for strength of jaws, depth of voice, flabbiness of face, improving gustatory sensation and good taste for food. One used to this practice never gets dryness of throat, nor do his lips ever get cracked; his teeth will never be carious and will be deep rooted; he will not have any toothache nor will his teeth set on edge by sour intake; his teeth can chew even the hardest eatables” . The best oil recommended for oil pulling by Ayurvedic texts is organic cold pressed Sesame oil.

Sesame oil has sesamol, sesamolin and sesamin components along with the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E that make this oil as a rich natural antioxidant. This property helps in preventing decay and degeneration of cells in the body and blocks the absorption of negative cholesterol in the liver.

A popular study on “Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque and Gingivitis” by Dr. HV Amith proved that 45 days of methodical oil pulling showed a significant decrease in plaque and gingivitis.

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of this oil help in treating halitosis or bad breath, plaque, gingivitis and dental cavities.

One more study conducted in 2008 on “The Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria” proved the in-vitro antibacterial activity of Sesame oil against dental caries causing bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus acidophilus. This study also witnessed the considerable reduction of the total count of bacteria after oil-pulling.

Oil pulling with Sesame oil is also effective in treating cracked lips, eczema, sinusitis, heart disorders, psoriasis, obesity, dry skin, headache, kidney problems, rheumatic pain and inflammation, dry throat and tooth decay.

2. Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massage therapy:

Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage with Sesame oil is a significant part of the Ayurvedic treatment to relieve muscular pain and tension, make the skin healthy and glowing, regularize the breathing pattern, improve blood circulation, relax the nervous system, revive the mind and relieve stress and sleeping difficulties. These benefits are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts as Twachya , Balya and Keshya.

(i) Balya (benefits for children):

Known as the King of Oils, Sesame oil is completely safe for the use of children and is known to strengthen the bones, joints and muscles by penetrating deeply into the muscles and the bone marrow. It is because of this property, every Indian family massage their new born babies and toddlers with Sesame oil before bath and leave them under sunlight for few minutes allowing the body to absorb vitamin D and nourish the skin cells naturally.

(ii) Twachya (benefits for the skin):

The presence of vitamin E and zinc in this oil helps in augmenting the elasticity of the skin; repairs damaged skin cells and promote the production of collagen. Massaging your skin with this nourishing natural emollient aids in preventing the symptoms of aging, wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, wounds, burns and other skin infections. Sesame oil also protects your skin from dangerous ultra-violet rays.

(iii) Keshya (benefits for the hair):

Massaging your head with warm Sesame oil stimulates hair growth, controls dandruff, nourishes the scalp, kills the infestation of lice, and eases anxiety and fatigue.

It is a long time tradition of Indians to massage their head and body with Sesame oil once in a week and take bath with the herbal powder known Shikakai to reduce the body temperature and enliven the nerves and cells. This oil kills the dandruff causing bacteria and protects the skin and scalp from the harmful effects of chlorine in swimming pool water.

3. Nasya, nasal cleansing:

Nasya is one important methodology among the 5 methods of Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy. It is the method of administering herbal oils and medicines through the nostrils. According to Ayurveda, nose is the entrance to the brain. Applying a few drops of Sesame oil in the nostrils as nasal drops helps in treating illnesses above your shoulders.  This aids in removing the toxins from the body, alleviate stress, sinusitis, allergies, headache, cold and wrinkles.

4. Pathya, daily diet:

When used as cooking oil in daily diet, Sesame oil is highly beneficial for the entire system from head to toe. Ayurveda suggests the daily use of this oil and is said to grant Vranashodhana (healing and cleansing internal and external wounds), Agni janana (augmenting the power of digestion and metabolism) and Medha janana (enhancing intelligence).

Regular use of Sesame oil helps in fighting cancer with its antioxidant properties, guards the body from DNA damage due to radiation, treats rheumatism, improves digestive health, supports respiratory wellness, aids in preventing diabetes, lowers blood pressure and improve the health of the cardiovascular system.

Disclaimer:

Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using Sesame oil for your individual constitution. This article is only for informational purpose and is not meant to replace your prescribed medicines or the advice of your healthcare professional.

Thought for the day:

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. -Martin Luther

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Ayurvedic Massage by John Douillard
  2. Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, Johnny Brannigan
  3. The Oral Health Bible by Michael Bonner, Earl L. Mindell
  4. Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body through Oral Cleansing by Bruce Fife

Reference Links:

  1. Sesame Oil by Wikipedia
  2. Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria by Durai Anand T, Gopinath RM, Pothiraj C and Kayalvizhi B of the PG Department of Microbiology, VHNSN College, India
  3. Open Sesame! 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of This Super-Seed by GreenMEDInfo
  4.  Sesame Oil For Bone Building in Ayurveda by Livestrong.com