Sesame is a flowering plant, also called Benne. It grows naturally in Africa and in India, and cultivated for its edible seeds, with Sudan, Myanmar, and India being the largest producers. It’s also one of the oldest oilseed crops known, which was already domesticated more than 3,000 years ago.
Sesame oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from Sesame seeds. It’s widely used as a cooking oil and a flavor enhancer. The taste is sweet with a slightly astringent after taste.
In Ayurveda, Sesame oil is one of the most important base oils used for massage. In fact, it’s considered the classical “King of Oils” for an Abhyanga Oil Massage. When Sesame oil is mixed with herbs, it acquires their properties without losing its own qualities.
Sesame oil is believed to alleviate an excess of both Vata Dosha and Kapha Dosha, and it only slightly increases Pitta Dosha. The warming nature of Sesame promotes better digestion and excretion, while lubricating the intestines.
It also helps to contain body heat, clears energy channels, reinforces blood and blood circulation, calms down stress and anxiety, strengthens the immune system, alleviates muscle pains, promotes a healthier skin and better hair growth, and strengthens bones, muscles, and willpower, among a range of other health benefits.