Most people around the world are familiar with sesame seeds. With regard to their colour, sesame seeds are of three types – white, black, and light red. Most often, white and black sesame seeds are used for oral consumption and for oil extraction. According to Ayurveda, black sesame seeds are the best for health.
From the perspective of the taste, sesame seeds are a bit pungent, astringent, and a little sweet. Therefore, they are helpful in enhancing appetite and digestion; they can facilitate the absorption of nutrients and elimination of waste matter from the body. Since they have a sweet taste as well, they can help to maintain/sustain energy derived from the food we consume.
Sesame seeds are one of the best natural sources of calcium, which is absorbed easily by the body as it is present in a natural form that is easily recognized and processed/digested by our system. Therefore, sesame seeds are very useful for strengthening the bones, teeth, and muscles.
Few people know this but Ayurveda says that if the dew points/drops on the flowers of the sesame plant are collected in the autumn/fall season before sunrise and used as eye drops, they can help to correct many eye and eyesight related problems.
Sesame seeds and oil, both are useful in enhancing our mental health by promoting good quality sleep. Ayurveda says sleep is one of the main three sub pillars which sustain our body’s structure and maintain our health. Therefore, good quality sleep is very important for our mental and emotional well-being. If the quality of sleep is poor, then the nervous system can become weak and the brain cannot function properly the next day.
Here’s a simple method that can help to promote good quality, uninterrupted sleep at night – rub pure sesame oil on the soles of the feet at night before going to bed and then cover the feet with loose cotton socks.
One reason why our sleep gets disturbed is due to a fluctuation in our body temperature. When the temperature fluctuates, the oxygen supply to the brain and other parts of the body also becomes irregular. This makes our subconscious mind a bit restless, due to which our sleep can become disturbed during the night.
Rubbing sesame oil on the soles of the feet can ensure consistent blood circulation throughout our body and the brain. As a result, the warmth within the body can be maintained, which ensures a secure feeling at the mental and emotional level – thus one can enjoy uninterrupted and refreshing sleep by using sesame oil on the soles of one’s feet at night before going to bed.
Similarly, black sesame seeds can be very beneficial for those who have to get up a few times in the middle of the night for urination caused by incontinence, where the bladder cannot hold urine for long periods of time.
If the person takes ½ to 1 teaspoon of black sesame seed powder with jaggery (raw/unrefined cane sugar), or with maple syrup, molasses, or pure honey – depending on one’s “Prakruti” (constitution) and “Vikruti” (imbalances) and the season – his/her ability to hold the urine throughout the night can improve because this mixture can generate warmth in one’s body, enabling him/her to hold the urine without feeling the urge to empty the bladder. Thus, the individual can enjoy uninterrupted sleep through the night. From this perspective, sesame seeds and sesame oil are very beneficial.
In addition to its beneficial effect on sleep and mental health, sesame seeds, due to its medicinal and healing properties, are very effective for correcting and preventing problems relating to the eyes, lungs, digestive and excretory system, blood circulation, bad breath, tooth decay, piles/haemorrhoids, problems relating to reproductive system of men (inconsistency of semen, oligospermia, etc.) and women (PMS, etc.), skin problems, bones/joints related problems, etc.
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