It is said that when the pyramids were opened they found sesame oil, honey and ghee (clarified butter) along side the coffers of gold silver and copper.
Sesame is the most highly acclaimed of the three gems of ayurveda. It has a gentle heating quality, natural antiseptic, antibiotic and antiviral properties. Daily application of warm sesame oil is recommended to loosen impurities, enhance the luster of skin, create a natural defense against bacteria, fungus and viruses, provide protection from climactic changes, and help fend off the aging process.
Abhyanga- Full Body Oleation
Abhyanga has been traditionally used to help: promote the penetration of oils deep into the tissues so that impurities are loosened and separated from the cell structure; increase tissue strength; reduce muscle and joint pain; improve blood circulation; rejuvenate the whole body; improve circulatory, lymphatic, nerve, muscle, bone, joint and organ disorders; reduce cellulite, beautify the skin; delay aging; induce sound sleep; promote; vitality; pacify Vata imbalance; reduce stress and remove toxins.
In general, self abhyanga should be administered with warm oil, in the morning, prior to showering. Sesame oil is best for vata and kapha predominant doshas, safflower or sunflower is best for pitta predominant dosha in the hot seasons. Specific medicated oils may be recommended by an Ayurveda practitioner or Doctor.
1. Start at the feet, and if you know them, applying pressure to the acupressure points as needed. Flex and extend the ankles and toes. Press into the crease of the ankles with fingertips for a lymphatic flush.
2. Move to the legs, always massaging towards the torso. Massage with circles on the joints and long sweeping motions in between. Use a wringing technique on the long muscles to stimulate lymphatic drainage and break up cellulite. Pay particular attention to the hip areas, massaging with increasing larger circles.
Massage the hands, applying pressure to the acupressure points as needed
4. Move to the arms, again using circles on the joints, long sweeping motions in between. Apply wringing technique to long muscles. Flex and bend the wrists.
5. Move to the head. Apply upward strokes moving over the entire face, apply slight pressure to the marma points at the third eye, hair line, top the head and the top of the back of the head. Oil inside the nostrils with the baby finger or full nasya can be applied here. Pay particular attention to the ear and surrounding lymphatic drainage. Tug the ears – up, down, back, forward, oil inside with the tip of the baby finger, or place 10 drops of warmed oil in the ears (may require a loved one to help with this) and rest with head to the side to assist with full penetration into the outer ear canal. A few drops of garlic oil added to the ear oil can lessen and sometimes cure chronic ear infections.
6. Move to the neck. Pay particular attention to the lymph nodes along the sides and back, milking the area.
7. Move to the torso. Massage the upper chest area paying particular attention to the lymphatic areas in the armpit and upper chest regions. Moving clockwise, massage the belly beginning with small circles around the navel, moving in increasingly larger circles to encompass the entire abdominal cavity. Motions should be down the left side, across the bottom, up the right side, across the top, following the path of digestion.
8. Wait, ideally, 15 minutes prior to taking a warm shower. The body secretes natural oils and healthy bacteria, to deal with the elements. For this reason, it is recommended to only use soap on the private areas and to allow the heat of the water to further penetrate the oil. Use a towel to wipe off any excess, although after the shower there will be little left.
Oral and Dental Hygiene
Swishing or pulling of sesame oil through the spaces between the teeth can deter receding gums, support the seating of crowns and root canals and lighten halitosis (bad breath). it pulls the pre-embryonic bacteria that forms overnight and eliminates it safely.
The basic technique is simple. Upon waking, you take one tablespoon of sesame or sunflower oil in your mouth and swish it around. Then spit it out. The details, however, are a little more involved.
• You need to do it first thing in the morning, before you eat or drink anything.
• You need to swish for 20 minutes — give or take maybe three to five minutes. As it turns out, this is absolutely essential for the procedure to work. If you swish for much less than 20 minutes, it won’t work. If you swish for much longer than 20 minutes, you run the risk of reabsorbing the bacteria and toxins back into your body.
• Effectively, you want to swish until the oil turns from clear and thick to a thin, white, milky consistency.
• You want to swish the oil back and forth between all of your teeth and side to side across all of your gums. You want to hit the cheeks and soft palate. Like butter on an English muffin, you want to “press” the oil into all the nooks and crannies of your mouth — over and over again.
• Do not gargle with the oil. You do not want to risk swallowing it. Swallowing a little will not harm you, but repeatedly swallowing the oil after you’ve swished with it means you will be ingesting things that you’re trying to get rid of.
• Once done swishing, spit the oil out into the toilet or sink.
• Rinse, gargle, and spit out again
• Use a tongue scraper to remove the coating from your tongue.
• Finish by brushing your teeth and rinsing with a mouthwash if you like.
• Perform daily for approximately 40-50 days (three 8-ounce bottles of oil will do the trick), then as desired.
In the sinus cavities, sesame oil is administered as nasya (nasal lubrication). Nasya is the practice of inserting 5-6 drops of oil in each nostril, whole laying on the back, with the nostril entrances higher than the chin. The oil penetrates the sinus cavities and makes its way into the sagittal sinus that runs over the top of the head. The drying of the sagittal sinus is now being linked to alzheimer’s and dementia.
Use: It can be as easy as putting 5 drops of oil in each nostril.
To enhance the practice, preferably at bedtime, warm the nasya oil by placing the bottle in a cup of hot water. Drape a warm damp cloth over the sinus areas for approximately 5 minutes. While waiting, chant your favorite mantra to fill the mind with sweet thoughts.
Once the sinus cavities are warmed, apply 5-6 drops of equally warmed oil in each nostril. Rest in this position for 3 to 5 minutes to allow the oil to penetrate deeply into the sinus cavities and mucous membranes.
Pregnancy and Post Partum Care
When a baby is born into an ayurvedic household, the grandmothers oil the baby and the mom every day for 45 days. This assists the baby’s body and mind to adjust to a rather rough environment after floating in a water bath for 9 months. Sesame oil internal and external, assists the mom’s body and mind returning to a balanced and healthy post partum state. Mom often takes sesame oil enemas to support the bladder, bowel and colon after the weight bearing of the child in utero.