The Magic Of Sesame (Til) Oil !


by Ayan.

Known as Tila in Sanskrit and Til in Hindi, Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. It is prized as an oilseed for at least 5,000 years. This was the main oil crop and was cultivated during the times of Indus valley civilization and is still widely grown in India and China.
It is a common ingredient in almost all cuisines around the world. With a rich nutty flavor, it has gained an important place on kitchen shelves.Til is an annual plant, this erect plant grows to a height of 40 to 90 cms. The leaves vary in size and shape. The flowers are bell shaped and vary in color (white, pale yellow, purple). The fruit of this plant is a capsule and contains small seeds. Upon ripening, the fruit naturally splits and releases the seeds. The seeds have highest oil content than any other oil seeds.
tilaplant

The texts of Ayurved have described three varieties of Til based on colour of seeds. They are “Rakta (red), Krishna (black) and Shweta (white)”. Usually Krishna tila or black sesame seeds are considered to have excellent medicinal properties and are recommended in ayurvedic treatments and ayurvedic preparations.
Til (sesame) was the first crop used for extracting oil. Before 600 BC, Til (sesame) oil was used as a salve, medicine and in food by the rich Assyrians community. From times immemorial, this oil has been an important part of the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Various traditions like Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern used Til oil as a flavor enhancer and natural health stimulant.
Til (sesame) seeds have a fabulous nutritional profile, granting their capabilities in fighting, preventing, and reversing illness and disease. The seeds are especially high in copper, manganese, calcium, and magnesium. But the value doesn’t end there.
Some notable constituents of Tila
Here are some notable vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you can expect to find in a 28gm serving of Til seeds.
Manganese – 0.7 mg.
Copper – 0.7 mg.
Calcium – 277 mg.
Iron – 4.1 mg.
Magnesium – 99.7 mg.
Tryptophan – 93 mg.
Zinc – 2 mg.
Fiber – 3.9 gm.
Thiamin – 0.2 mg.
Vitamin B6 – 0.2 mg.
Phosphorous – 179 mg.
Protein – 4.7 gm.
The fibres belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, that lower cholesterol and prevent high blood pressure. These fibres also protect the liver from oxidative damage.
Tila  Benefits
Til Seeds are extremely beneficial for:
Boosting bone health
Lowering blood pressure
Preventing cancer
Preventing/curing Iron deficiency anemia
Boosting healthy skin
Preventing headaches and migraines
Reducing stress
Preventing constipation
Preventing diabetes
Lowering cholesterol
Boosting heart health
Protecting against radiation-induced DNA damage
Boosting oral health: by preventing cavities, removing dental plaque
Detoxifying the body
Reducing PMS symptoms
Intestinal parasites
Overcoming/ preventing Lactation disordersVery good High-Protein Vegetarian Diet – Til seeds offer 4.7 grams of protein every 28g grams, giving them a perfect place in a high-protein vegetarian diet.Tila -OilTila in Ayurveda
Most of the Ayurvedic therapies use Til (sesame) oil for its ability to strengthen the system, detoxify the body and ensure the proper functioning of all the vital organs. Til seed oil is considered as a sacred oil in many parts of India and is used in votive lamps and other ceremonies of religious importance.Among the seven chakras or the vital points of human energy, Til oil is said to benefit the Hriday (heart) chakra, the Svadisthana ( Sacral) chakra and the Mooladhar (root) chakra. The Heart chakra is responsible for unconditional love for others and self, compassion, emotions and all kinds of relationships with the world.The Sacral chakra is responsible for the right to think, self-confidence, self-control and intellect. The Root chakra is responsible for dealing with the challenges of the world.Til oil is rich in vitamin E (potent antioxidant), iron, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, dietary fibre and flavonoids phenolic antioxidants. All these enriching nutrients make Til oil as a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immune-stimulant, restorative, anti-rheumatic, carminative, tonic, anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, cardiac, dermatologic, laxative, emollient, warming and anti-depressant properties.
Charak Sanghita and Sushrut Sanghita have listed enormous health benefits of Til oil. Til oil has the potent to balance excess vata along with kapha and pitta deficiency.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Til seed oil in terms of various ways of administration :

1. Oil Pulling: This is a simple Ayurvedic therapy that helps in eliminating the harmful toxins from the body and enhances immunity. This is known as Gandusha in Sanskrit.

2. Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massage therapy: Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage with Til oil is a significant part of the Ayurvedic treatment to relieve muscular pain and tension, make the skin healthy and glowing, regularize the breathing pattern, improve blood circulation, relax the nervous system, revive the mind and relieve stress and sleeping difficulties.

3. Nasya, nasal cleansing: Nasya is one important methodology among the 5 methods of Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy. It is the method of administering herbal oils and medicines through the nostrils. According to Ayurveda, nose is the entrance to the brain. Applying a few drops of Til oil in the nostrils as nasal drops helps in treating illnesses above your shoulders. This aids in removing the toxins from the body, alleviate stress, sinusitis, allergies, headache, cold and wrinkles.

4. Pathya, daily diet: When used as cooking oil in daily diet, Til oil is highly beneficial for the entire system from head to toe. The daily use of this oil heals and cleanses internal and external wounds, augments the power of digestion and metabolism and enhances intelligence.

So the next time you reach out to your pantry/kitchen shelf for your daily necessities , do remember to not let this oil and the seeds stay put stacked away in some corner. Think of all its health benefits, make Sesame (til) an essential part of your life…And do let us know of your experience !

 

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