Modern Findings


Sesame Oil:


        anti-neoplastic (in vitro): melanoma and colon cancer


        bacteriostatic: reduces bacterial counts in saliva (as a mouthwash)

        anti-fungal: reduces athletes foot fungus

        anti-oxidant: acts as a free radical scavenger (may replace damaged lipid molecules in the cells)


The Massage: 


        stimulates production of growth hormone which acts to promote growth and to improve immune function


        done prior to chemotherapy reduces its side effects


Ancient Textual references


Sesame Oil: its qualities heavy, oily, smooth, dull, warm, penetrating:


        balance the qualities of vta doa


        balance pitta and kapha by controlling the master doa

        perform a lubricating and releasing function for wastes to promote and maintain self-referral (balance/homeostasis)

        promote improved tissue function--skin tone, flexibility, softness

        normalization of appetite

        improved functioning of senses

        retarded hair loss

        improved sense of well-being


The Massage:


        assists in the dissolution of ma mechanically 


        assists in the dissolution of ma from increased heat related to both friction and physical movement

        stimulates the improved elimination of ma

        soothes the senses

        soothes the mind

        relaxes the body

        triggers reflex (marma) points to improve physiology


Summary:  The daily oil massage (abhyanga) is a useful task for the prevention of imbalance and maintenance of normal physiology.  By helping to eliminate ma (stress) which degrades mind-body functioning it simultaneously promotes the conditions for the experience and growth of higher states of consciousness.  It also directly cultivates self-referral by bringing attention and awareness to the body (away from the distraction of the sense objects in the field of relative creation).


     Copyright 1994 All Rights Reserved Michael Dick  rev 8/99  www.ayurveda-florida.com