Health benefits of Gingelly oil – The Good oil!
If you are a Tamilian, most propably your grandmother would have told you to have a நல்லெண்ணெய் bath on atleast Diwali day. நல்லெண்ணெய் in tamil literally means ‘good oil’ and it refers to sesame oil also known as gingelly oil or til oil. And for many Tamilian households at least a generation back,bi-weekly ‘good oil’ bath is a must. Also, gingelly oil finds its way into cooking in traditional foods. When I was a child, I detested its taste but my mom tactfully used it in her cooking and the taste slowly grew upon me and later when I learnt more about the gingelly oil, I am happy my food intake includes it.
Sesame has its origin in India and so it’s not surprising that Ayurvedic manuals has a rich reference to a lot of health benefits in it as well as used it extensively in our traditional cooking especially in South India. It also happens to be one of the earliest extracted crop-based oil by mankind.
Ok now let me list down various health benefits of gingelly oil. A word caution though, if you are prone to peanut allergies, do take a test if you are allergic to sesame oil.
Bring down your blood pressure!
Most of us are used to refined vegetable oil these days for various reasons that even includes easy to cleanse the oil off the cooking utensils! But it would do your health a bit of good if you substitute or at least include sesame oil in some of your recipes because gingelly oil lowers blood pressure. And don’t we hear every third adult say he or she has high BP?! Studies on effect of sesame oil on Blood pressure has shown substitution of sesame oil brought down systolic and diastolic blood pressure to normal.
Good fat Vs bad fat
Gingelly oil being low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats makes it an ideal choice for cooking. And for those who are puzzled by these ‘fatty’ terms, in simple words just remember: “Good” fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—lower disease risk. “Bad” fats—saturated and, especially, trans fats—increase disease risk. So, sesame oil being on the ‘goody’ list makes sense for you.
Push down your cholesterol!
Apart from being a ‘good’ fatty oil and helping your heart, Sesame also contains sesamin and sesamolin, two kinds of beneficiary fibres that helps in lower the cholesterol. Sounds a good news, isn’t it?
Keep you skin healthy!
Gingelly oil has a property to cool the body temperature. So in hot and humid places like Tamil nadu, it was a traditional practice to take sesame oil bath. Even now traditional households make sure to pamper themselves with oil bath on Tuesdays and Fridays. Gingelly oil body massage helps to maintain the body temperature at ideal levels and also after applying oil on head and body and retaining it for half and hour before bath helps in rejuvenating one’s body and mind.
According to traditional Ayurvedic practices, “Abhyanga” which is the Ayurvedic oil massage helps in detoxifying body and provide relief from stress and flush out body toxins.
For those suffering from cracks and fissures in feet, regular feet massaging with gingelly oil helps.
Oil Pulling – Flush out your body toxins
You might wonder what and from where to pull out the oil eh? Well, its simple and effective method to flush out the body toxins and keep you healthy in general. In simple words, oil pulling is gargling with sesame oil.
So how does one do oil pulling?
In the morning, before breakfast on an empty stomach, pour one tablespoon (10ml) of Sesame Oil into your mouth. Swish and swirl the Sesame Oil gently, in a comfortable way, through the gums and teeth for about fifteen to twenty minutes. As the process continues, the oil gets thinner and whiter. If the oil is still yellow, the pulling process is to be continued. Spit it out, then rinse your mouth with warm water or mouthwash. Make sure you don’t swallow back even a drop of swished oil. Then, you can brush your teeth as you normally do.
Benefits of oil pulling.
- Helps in oral hygiene.
- Good for those suffering from bleeding gums.
- Strengthens the jaws.
- Flush out body toxins.
- Good for general health and curing sleeplessness etc.
- Normalizes nervous activity.
Go slim! Aids in weight loss.
Studies also shows usage of sesame oil helps in reducing body weight and maintaining good body mass index (BMI).
So what you waiting for? Are you not going to stock gingelly oil and substitute it for other cooking oil or at least include some in your cooking? Gingelly oil is indeed ‘good’ oil as we Tamilians call it நல்லெண்ணெய் – ‘Nalla ennai’.