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Sesame Oil: Ayurvedic Benefits and Three Ways to Use it

ISSUED // February 21

Sesame Oil: Revered in Ayurveda for its Healing Properties

Sesame oil, called "til" oil in Sanskrit, has reportedly been known since Vedic times. The ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka, in his well-known treatise on Ayurveda, claims that it is the best of all oils.

Sesame oil pacifies Vata dosha, and is the traditional oil of choice for abhyanga, the daily Ayurvedic self-massage. Additionally, it’s rich in linoleic acid, and has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Sesame oil balances Vata

Sesame oil is especially useful for moisturizing dry, Vata skin types. It’s also useful as a treatment for a dry scalp. Massage sesame oil into the scalp once a week to restore the natural balance and luster of hair.

Three traditional ways to use sesame oil 

Sesame oil can be a very versatile ally in your efforts toward better health. Here are three ways to add it to your daily routine. 

  1. Try sniffing it (nasya) to lubricate and protect your nose and sinuses, which are the ventilation systems for your brain. The oil helps clear mucus out of the sinuses. Just dip your little finger in the sesame oil you use for your massage and rub the oil inside of each nostril. Then pinch and release your nostrils rapidly while inhaling sharply.
  2. Gargle with it for two minutes (oil pulling). It's not as bad as it sounds! Swish a mouthful of it, then spit it into the toilet and rinse your mouth out with warm water. It feels great, draws out mucus and has been shown to reduce gum disease and tartar build-up.
  3. Best of all, give yourself a sesame oil massage (abhyanga). Massage it all over your body to release skin impurities, then bathe or shower with warm water. If you have time, a warm bath increases circulation and is a means of further purification.


Sesame oil is a multi-purpose Ayurvedic wellness staple. Explore premium sesame oil products for your daily routine and rituals. 

    © 1999, 2023 Maharishi AyurVeda Products International, Inc. (MAPI). All Rights Reserved. MAPI does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. SEE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

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