Column: Arti Gaur


The purity of sesame oil and ghee

Ayurveda advises that everything is useful provided it is used in the right way and at the right time. Something that is wholesome for some people may be unwholesome for others. Yet there certains substances like ghee which are considered wholesome for all. In this issue we will discuss the properties of sesame oil. 

Gandoosh or gargling with oil is a great way to start your day. For this sesame oil is ideal. Sesame oil is exceptionally rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, and calcium and contains vitamin B1 and vitamin E. Among edible oils from plants, sesame oil has one of the highest antioxidant content. Oil soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, C, D and E prevent and protect the cell membranes from oxidation (aging)

Gargling with sesame seed oil promotes hair growth and shine and retards premature graying and hair fall. It also strengthens sense organs, prevents tooth decay and maintains healthy gums and teeth and prevents cough and other throat infections. With regular gargling the skin also gets nourished bringing about a glow and preventing wrinkles. For this, take a teaspoon of sesame oil and squish it around the mouth vigorously for 5-10 minutes and then spit it out. Then gently message the gums with finger. 

Gargling also stimulates the tastes buds, smearing dryness out of the tongue. The reason this works is because different areas of the tongue are indicators of different organs such as kidneys, lungs, spleen, liver, heart, pancreas, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine. (See diagram) Any discoloration and /or sensitivity of a particular area of the tongue point to a disorder in the organ corresponding to that area. Generally, a white coat on the tongue indicates kapha imbalance, brownish-pale tinge indicates imbalance in vatic dosha, and redness of the tongues implies pitta derangement. 

In earlier times sesame oil or ghee was applied in the ears, navel and nostrils and hair, after bath. Application of oil on the navel helps the stomach and internal organs deal with harmful effects of vata. Oil in ears and nostrils protects from dust and pollution. Conditions such as ringing in the ears, excess ear wax, poor hearing, lockjaw, etc, are all due to vata in the ears. Putting 5 drops of warm sesame oil in each ear can help these. One can also use olive oil for this. 

Putting ghee or sesame oil in nostrils after cleansing the nose cleans the sinuses, lubricates the nose and increases immunity, improves voice and vision, and brings about mental lucidity. For this warm pure cow’s ghee to a bearable temperature. Lie down flat on your back and let the head hang down, bending the neck backwards. Using a dropper or a spoon pour about 5 drops of ghee in each nostril turn by turn, in such a way so as it does not flow down towards the throat but flows backwards towards the head. Keep lying in the same position for 5 minutes afterwards. 


—The writer is an ayurved expert from Dhyan Foundation.
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March 2010

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