Sesame has a significant role in Hindu rituals and religious functions. It is considered auspicious and it represents immortality. Apart from the religious and mythical significance, the sesame seeds and the plant are known for their medicinal qualities.
The medicinal quality of the plant has been identified since time immemorial and it is one important ingredient in various Ayurvedic drugs. Charaka, the ancient sage who contributed to the Ayurvedic discipline through his treatise, Charaka Samhita, said that from a health perspective, sesame oil is the best of all oils. According to Ayurveda, sesame oil is the most viscous of the plant oils and it is used in Ayurvedic therapies like abhyanga (thorough body massage) and shirodhara. The anti-viral and anti-inflammatory qualities of the oil are exploited in many treatments, especially in curing vata related disorders.
The oil is rich in Vitamin E; the seeds of the plant have high nutritional value and they are rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, and calcium. Both the oil and the sesame seeds are used in piles ayurvedic treatment
. Sesame seeds were also used to cure skin disorders, anemia, diarrhea, respiratory disorders and menstrual problems. Sesame seeds were traditionally employed to abort pregnancies during the earlier stages. Crushed leaves of the plant have proved to be very effective in the dandruff treatment.