How sesame seeds can cure anything…

Ayurveda adores til for its many healing properties. Check them out

brunch Updated: Feb 11, 2017 20:58 IST
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Black sesame seeds are packed with calcium and antioxidants(Shutterstock)

India has been using til (sesame seed) in various ways for centuries. Ayurveda prescribes til oil for external applications such as wound healing; as part of medication for joint pains; the treatment of piles; as a massage oil; as part of hair oil; as baby massage oil; as oils for enemas and constipation; as part of stress management massages like shirodhara; and for the treatment of bad breath and mouth ulcers.

Seasame seeds come in three varieties: black, brown and white. But the black is best for health purposes, because of its high calcium and antioxidant content.

Here are the best ways to use it.

1. It is excellent for bones due to its calcium content. So in cooler weather, roast some til seeds and add to your breakfast cereal; roast and grind the seeds and add to your roti; make a sweet dish with organic gur (jaggery) and saunf (fennel).

2. If you have dry hair and hair fall, mix a little triphala powder in warm til oil, apply to the scalp and massage gently. Leave on for a few hours, then wash off.

3. A til oil massage works excellently if you have recurrent back pains and muscle pains. And it’s good for the skin too. After the massage, sit out in the winter sun.

4. If you have recurrent piles and constipation, switch to til oil in your cooking. Also, consume aloe vera regularly because it reduces the dryness in the intestines, while til oil provides lubrication and improves bowel movements.

5. A combination of sesame seeds and jaggery is excellent for people who have low vitality and are vata in nature. It is also good for lactating mothers and growing children. This is because it improves the quality of haemoglobin and digestion, prevents respiratory and lung problems (like asthma and allergies), builds immunity and strength, and is rich in minerals.

6. Mix til seeds with herbs and eat as a healthy chutney. Use the Middle-Eastern tahini paste and hummus (with chickpeas) as inspiration. Both are flavourful and nutritious, but you can make your own variations on these themes.

From HT Brunch, February 12, 2017

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First Published: Feb 11, 2017 20:58 IST