sesame or coconut which ayurvedic oil is better

Ayurvedic Oils: Coconut vs Sesame

Coconut oil and sesame oils are both awesome ayurvedic oils. They are beneficial to internally and externally.  Let’s take a look at two oils that are recommended from an ayurvedic perspective.

Coconut Oil VS Sesame Oil

All the great texts of Ayurveda say that Sesame Oil is the default oil to use. Sesame oil to use internally and externally. It is involved in most ayurvedic formulas that contain oil. So why is it that coconut oil is all the rage? Coconut oil has made the big time, so big, it’s become funny.

Coconut oil is being used for everything! Meanwhile Sesame oil has barely been discovered outside of Asian Cuisine.

Perhaps, most people associate sesame oil with a specific kind of odor makes it not so popular.  Here are the main benefits of using either oil.

However Look out for Ama

There’s always a however in Ayurveda.  There are certain conditions called ama, in which using oil many not be beneficial.

Ama is understood as undigested and unassimilated food-stuff that clogs arteries and coats the digestive tract.

You can usually spot ama in the digestive tract by looking at your tongue.  If you see a coating on the tongue, most likely there is ama in your digestive tract.  Best to remove this condition first. Once removed use oils therapeutically.  This is not to say that you have to cut out all oils from your diet.  This means that using a lot of oil will only exacerbate your condition.

Now that the disclaimer has been given, lets look at the qualities of coconut oil vs. sesame oil.


Coconut Oil is Cooling; Sesame Oil is Warming

Coconut is the main oil used in Kerala, India where the climate is hot and humid.  So if you are in that type of climate or that type of season, coconut oil is a great choice. Florida year round or NYC and Dallas TX in the summer are good examples of the types of climates I’m talking about.

Kapha predominant people should use Coconut Oil sparingly as it may be too cooling, being that their nature is cold already.

Coconut Oil also shares the same characteristics as Kapha. (white, cold, dense, stable at room temp.)

Pitta predominant people should take care when using sesame oil as this may be too warming for you.

Tip:  Get the benefits of sesame oil is by blending it with coconut oil.

Vata could use any type of oil any time unless ama conditions are displaying.

Tip: Vata use oil, oil and some more oil. (healthy type only please)

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Sesame Oil: Sweet, Bitter, Astringent

Coconut Oil: Sweet (maybe the reason americans love it so?)

This means that if you are ingesting the oil, the sweet taste of coconut oil, may leave you craving for more. Try adding another taste like ginger or lemon to add some depth.

Sesame Oil taste will take you from sweet through bitter to astringent. Astringent taste at the end of a sweet taste leaves you satisfied.


When not to use?

Sesame Oil: Pitta disorders, Blood born diseases

Coconut Oil: Indigestion and diarrhea

Coconut Oil Benefits: 

  • Natural coolant.
  • It takes relatively long time to undergo digestion
  • Improves hair quality and strength. Promotes hair growth.
  • It is a natural aphrodisiac
  • Nourishes the under-nourished body tissues
  • Skin: Quickens and helps in filling up of skin depression in wounds.

Sesame benefits: 

Rich in Vitamin E.  acts as a natural anti oxidant. It also contains Vitamin K. Sesame contains magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin B6.

Generally oils the skin giving it luster.

Agni jananaImproves digestive power.
Medha jananaImproves intelligence.
Vranashodhana – Cleanses wounds.


Let me know with your comments, which is your favorite oil.

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