Posted on Health Tips

Ayurveda describes a self-care procedure called abhyanga. This is a self-administered sesame oil massage applied daily, immediately before taking a hot bath or shower. According to Ayurveda, benefits of abhyanga include reduced pain, improved muscle tone, and enhanced luster of the skin. In the biomedical literature, massage has been previously shown to be potentially efficacious for managing low back pain. In addition, sesame oil has been shown to have significant anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties. Topical sesame oil administration has been shown in one clinical trial to reduce pain in hospitalized patients. Sesame oil is known to have a high concentration of linoleic acid, a potent anti-inflammatory agent.  Adding a sesame oil massage prior to your shower each day is a great way to boost your health. For guidelines on how to perform the massage, click on “health tips”, then “what can I do about chronic pain?”

In addition to serving as an excellent therapeutic massage oil, sesame oil can play a role in the maintenance of the health of the teeth, gums, and nasal passages. Ayurveda prescribes that a sesame oil mouthwash be performed daily for the purpose of maintaining the health of the teeth and gums. You can do this procedure first thing in the morning. Place 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil in your mouth. Swish the oil around your mouth for about 2 minutes, then gargle for 15 seconds, and spit out the sesame oil in a cup. (It’s best to not spit oil down the drain because this can eventually clog the drain. The oil can later be disposed of in the garbage.) Next place some sesame oil on your fingertip and massage the gum line for about a minute. Finally, rinse with warm water. Scientists have documented the beneficial effect of sesame oil mouthwash on reducing bacterial colony counts, and on other measures of oral hygiene, in several clinical trials. Do this on a regular basis, and you will see great improvements in your oral health.  You, and your dentist, will be amazed!

Finally, A procedure called “nasya” can help promote the health of the nasal passages and sinuses. Place a few drops of sesame oil in the palm of your hand. Dip your index finger into the oil, then apply to the inside of one nostril, and inhale. Repeat on the other side. You can do nasya daily.


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