Til (Sesame seeds)

Asst. Prof. Dr Abhijeet Shirkande M.D. (Ayu),DYA, M.A. (Sanskrita) and Asst. Prof. Dr Ankita Shirkande M.D. (Ayu), PhD (Scholar)

Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious day and is celebrated in almost all parts India. It marks the transition of the Sun into Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path, and the six-month Uttarayana period. In Maharashtra on the Sankranti day people exchange til (sesame seeds) and gud (jaggery) as tokens of goodwill and greet each other saying – ‘til-gul ghya, god god bola’ meaning ‘accept these tilguls and speak sweet words’. The under-lying thought in the exchange of tilguls is to forget the past ill-feelings and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain friends.

Sesamum indicum –

It is an annual herb growing upto 1 m bearing white or light pink coloured flowers. It is mainly cultivated in the temperate regions.

Mainly three types of varieties present white, red and black. The black variety is considered to be the best. Acharya Charaka maintained under Swedopaga (enhance proper quantity and quality of sweating) and Purishavirajaniya (to give proper colour to Stool) group. Seeds contains various vitamins, particularly Vitamin A, B and C.

Rasa- Madhura (sweet), Kashaya (astringent), Tikta (bitter)
Vipaka- Madhur (After digestion)
Veerya- Ushna (Hot in potency)
Guna- Guru (heavy to digest), Snigdha (unctuous)

Traditionally Sesame seeds are used for oleation, laxative, diuretics, aphrodisiac, stimulate menstruation and enhances lactation, increase strength of Hair.

Haemorrhoids- apply paste on piles and give internally with Navanita (Fresh butter). Mainly haemorrhoids occur because of constipation. If stool pass regularly then the pressure on rectum reduces and it give relief from haemorrhoidal pain. Sesame oil enema is also give good result as it provides direct strength and oleation to intestine.

Sesame seed give very good strength to teeth. A decoction of the seeds considered to be emmenagogue and also given in cough. Combined with linseed , the decoction of the seed as used as an aphrodisiac. Sesame seeds are used as a nourishing food and also as flavouring agent. The sesame oil is used also in the formulation of antacid, ointments, cosmetics, soaps and perfume etc.

Health benefits –
  • High protein vegetarian diet
  • Prevent diabetes (improve plasma glucose in hypersensitive diabetics)
  • Reduces blood pressure (full of magnesium- to help lower blood pressure)
  • Improve digestion (high fiber content)
  • For healthy skin (high zinc content helps produce collagen, giving skin more elasticity and helping repair damaged tissues)
  • Heart health (prevent atherosclerotic lesions with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound known as sesamol)
  • Lower cholesterol (sesamin and sesamolin, which belong to a group of fibres called lignans having cholesterol lowering effect)
  • Prevents Cancer (contain anti-cancer compounds - phytic acid, magnesium and phytosterols. Sesame seeds have the highest phytosterol content of all seeds and nuts)
  • Helps lessen anxiety (stress-relieving minerals magnesium and calcium, calming vitamins thiamine and tryptophan that help produce serotonin, which reduces pain, assists moods and helps you sleep deeply)
  • Anaemia (black sesame seeds rich in iron)
  • Protects from radiation damage to DNA (sesamol)
  • Arthritis (high copper content)
  • Protects your liver from alcohol
  • Prevents wrinkles (prevents from harmful ultraviolet rays)
  • Bone health (calcium & zinc - boost bone mineral density)
  • Baby’s health (oil massage)
  • Good for oral health (oil gargling)
  • Good for respiratory health (magnesium - prevent airway spasm)
  • Encourage hair growth (omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 which promote hair growth)
  • Good for healthy teeth
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