Carrier Oils: Sesame Oil
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Sesame Cultivation in Thailand
Black sesame cultivation in Thailand has been an important agricultural activity for many years. Thailand is one of the leading producers of sesame seeds in Southeast Asia.
Black sesame seeds are known for their high oil content and nutty flavor, which makes them a popular ingredient in many traditional Thai dishes, as well as in health foods and cosmetics. In Thailand, black sesame seeds are typically grown in the northern and northeastern regions of the country, where the climate and soil conditions are suitable for their cultivation.
The cultivation of black sesame seeds in Thailand typically begins with the selection of high-quality seeds, which are then planted in well-prepared soil during the rainy season. The plants are generally grown in rows with a spacing of about 30-40 cm between them, and they require regular watering and weeding to ensure healthy growth.
Once the sesame plants reach maturity, they produce seed pods that contain the sesame seeds. There is one harvest per year, sesame plants are harvested when they turn yellow or brown. In villages, they are then left to dry in the sun standing upright for several days. The seeds are then removed from the pods by shaking the pods on dry cloth and further dried and cleaned before they are ready for sale.
Sesame oil is a cottage industry, small manufacturers buy seeds from the farmer and press them on demand.
The oil is used in the food industry, especially food supplements and in traditional medicine. It is particularly popular in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine but is very present in folk medicines throughout the Asia region.
Properties of Sesame Oil as a Carrier Oil
Sesame, like all vegetable oils, is composed of fatty acids, including linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and other fatty acids. Each having its own specific benefits to the human body.
It also contains vitamins A, E, and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Sesame oil also contains a unique compound, sesamol, an antioxidant that helps protect the body against oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.
Sesamol has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the body.
Texture and Absorption
Despite its rich texture, sesame oil has a non-greasy feel that leaves the skin feeling soft and moisturized without a heavy residue. Sesame oil is known for its penetrating absorption properties, allowing it to deeply nourish and hydrate the skin.
On the downside, sesame oil, like many other artisan oils, has a very strong flavor which makes it very difficult on its own in mainstream spas. It is also quite heavy and as such goes against the trend of light, dry leaves on oils.
My recommendation is to blend with refined oils for a lighter texture and customize with small amounts of virgin oils to allow for a wide range of scents.
Benefits of Using Sesame Oil in Spa Treatments
1. Skin Health Benefits
2. Massage Benefits
3. Hair Care Benefits
How to Choose and Store Sesame Oil
When it comes to selecting sesame oil, opt for cold-pressed and unrefined oil, as this type retains more of its natural nutrients and maximizes the benefits it can provide in spa treatments.
Sesame oil should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
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