Sesame Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Mustard Oil – Comparison

In traditional Ayurvedic text books, we find a lot of medicated oils. All such herbal oils (Taila) are prepared with the base of sesame oil. Whenever oil (taila) is referred, in a Sanskrit verse of a formula, by default, sesame oil is taken. This is because, it is mentioned that, “Tailam yat Tilodbhavam” which means, Taila is one which is obtained from Sesame (Tila).  However, Sarshapa  taila (mustard oil), Eranda taila (Castor oil) and Narikela Taila (Coconut oil) also have huge therapeutic importance in Ayurveda.  

Comparison chart

CriteriaSesame oilCastor oil Mustard oilCoconut oil
TasteSweet, bitter astringentSweet, bitterPungent mixed sweetSweet
QualityWarm, Severe (penetrative)Heavy, warm, motile, minute bad odoredLight, warm, severe (penetrative)Heavy, cold, mild, slow, thick and dense
Effect on TridoshaPacifies Kapha vataPaittic and vata pacifierImbalances Pitta, Balances Vata KaphaIncreases Kapha
Therapeutic actionHair tonic, Tonic (rejuvenator), Complexion enhancer, wound healer,  Fecal bulk enhancer, Brain tonicTonic , laxative, RejuvenatorWormifuge, Rubificient, Anti inflammatoryHair tonic,shin smoothener and body soothening agent
IndicationVatic disorders (Neuro muscular disease), Worm, Itching, Ulcers, Premature graying of hair.Worm infestation, Abdominal colic, Skin diseases, Hernia, Gaseous tumor, Abdominal disorders, intermittent fever, Rhumatoid arthritis ,constipationWorm infestation, Skin diseases, Itching, Stoutness, Headache,Hair fall,Burning of the eyes, premature greyness of the hair,eye disorders etc
Contra indicationPitta disorders, Blood borne diseasesDiarrhoea, Ameobic dysentery, fungal infectionsBlood borne disordersIndigestion and diarrhoea
Formulation contains the respective oilKsheerabala taila Gandha taila Maha narayana taila Masha taila etcVatari guggulu Simhanada guggulu etcAshta katwara taila Ayama kanjika etcNeelabhringadi keram Kayyunyadi keram Neelinyadi keram Chemparutyadi keram etc

Sesame oil home remedies

1.Sesame oil mouth gargling helps to relieve the recurrent complaint of mouth ulcers.
2. Sesame oil is taken with a pinch of table salt and warmed slightly. This is applied to the joints once in two days. This prevents from the joint pain which is commonly manifested in late 50s.

Castor oil home remedies

1. Daily application of castor oil to the sole, before going to bed improves the quality of sleep.
2. Calcified lime(dehydrated lime) is mixed with equal amount of castor oil and fine paste is made. Application of this over the abscess helps in early maturation of the abscesses.

oils - comparison

Mustard oil home remedies

1. Mustard oil is mixed with lemon juice and instilled to the lesions of kiolonychia (nail bed infections). 5-8 days application helps to relieve the pain effectively.
2. In case of severe headache, mustard oil is added with a pinch of salt and mixed well. 2 drops of this mixture is instilled to both the nostrils. This relieved the headache immediately.

Coconut oil home remedies

1. Coconut oil is mixed with equal amount of lime water(supernatant liquid obtained on mixing 2 gram of calcified lime powder mixed with 480 ml of water.) and rubbed well.This becomes a liquid viscous oily emulsion. This is applied over the area of burn wounds. It helps to subside the burning sensation immediately.

2. Hibiscus flowers (white) are taken and cooked with coconut oil, till complete evaporation of moisture. This is applied to the scalp. This simple oil helps to arrest the hair fall and  promotes thick and dense hair.

Oils – fats – blocking or opening the body channels –

Any oil or fat – associated with coolant property, can cause blocking, constipation.

Oil or fat – associated with hotness – like dishes freshly made and in hot condition, added with a little spices of consuming hot water after taking the oil or fat – does not cause constipation.

Article by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD (Ayu) and Dr Hebbar

Replacing Sesame oil with Coconut oil (Video)

97 thoughts on “Sesame Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Mustard Oil – Comparison”

  1. Interested in castor oil and its effectiveness at dispelling intestinal worms. Do you comment on this type of question?

  2. Good information for all those who believe in ayurvedic preparations and their healing properties.

  3. Your article on sesame, castor, mustard and coconut oil is highly educative. Salt is not getting dissolved in sesame oil. How to do this ?

  4. Very informative article.Thank you.Can you suggest some massage oil for women after delivery?also Wish to know “Kada “given after delivery ,to the woman.

  5. I have heard that for wrestlers it is preferable to take daily massage with mustard seed oil (brassica nigra) than sesame seed oil. What are your thoughts Dr?

    • Hi, I would recommend sesame oil massage instead of mustard oil. Mustard oil is hot and many not be ideal during summer and in people with Pitta increase. Usually, in wrestlers, there will be slight increase in Vata and Pitta Dosha. So, Sesame oil is ideal.

  6. Wow! Nice information… I have a question regarding combining of oils..
    Can we mix
    Mustard oil
    Coconut oil
    Olive oil
    Almond oil and
    Castor oil together and use it on scalp or hair???
    Will it be safe???

      • Dr Hebbar you said in your hair oil webinar not to mix more than two hair oils. Are you saying the above are ok to mix because they are non-herbal oils?

        • Hi, Ideally it is best to avoid mixing 3 or more single oils. But some ayurveda doctors are not averse to it.
          When it comes to poly-herbal oils – if we mix more than 2 herbal oils, it becomes very difficult to ascertain the Veerya, Vipaka, Dosha effect of that combination due to multiple herbs. Hence the advice

  7. Sir hair fall rokne or faster hair growth ke liye konsa tel best hoga?? Or 1 week me kitne din use krna chahiye??

    • Hair fall rokne ke liye Bhringaraj hair oil Ya Amla hair oil behetar hai. week me 2 – 3 baar istemaal keejiye.

    • Mustard oil is hot in nature, and aids in digestion. Hence, if people are accustomed to use it in cooking, no harm in continuing the same.

  8. Dr J V hebber good information by you sir can you tell me we can take Castor oil and sesame oil can be mixed together and take 1 spoon daily with milk or juice

    • Hello sir, Kesha vardhana – Hair growth promoters
      For the promotion of growth of hair,the medicaments rich in snigdha (unctuousness), guru(heaviness), manda(slowness), sheeta(cold) and sthira(stable) qualities are essential.

      Madhura(sweet), amla(sour) and slight kashaya(astringent) dominant substances contribute this benefit.If any drug with other taste and quality are to be included for added benefits,it is taken care that it is compensated well by the other herbal ingredients. Usually, the sesame oil or coconut oil which are used as the bases serve this purpose well.

      For more Information do check this link:

  9. Almond, bhringraj, coconut, amla, mustard or sesame oil..
    Which is best to prevent hair loss and thinning and to regrow hairs.

    • Hello sir,

      1. Coconut oil for Kesha sanjanana i.e origin of hair; Kesha vardhana – Hair growth promoters
      2. Amla – Kesha vardhana – Hair growth promoters and Kesha ranjana – restoring natural hair colour
      3. Bhringaraja – Kesha ranjana

    • There are many oils in which coconut oil and sesame oils are used in combination base. Hence, it is not against to Ayurveda principle. It can be done.

  10. Thank you sir….but what are the roles of olive and triphaladi tail on hair?? Can you please explain in details. In what proportionate should I mix these 3 oils? Should I make it little warm before putting it in hair? Oils of which brand should I use??? Please reply…

    • All three can be mixed in equal proportions and used for head massage, 30 minutes before bath, at least thrice weekly.

  11. Between mustard,olive,sesame,coconut,almond which would be good for dandruff prevention and receding hair line?please mention if any combination of these would be ideal.

  12. namaste Thanks for this informative article. I want to do oil pulling to cure my rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. I have heard that coconut oil is good for these illnesses. Is the commonly available Parachute coconut oil good for oil pulling? What method of oil pulling do you recommend? Dhanyavad Shanti

    • Namaste! Coconut oil or sesame oil can be used for oil pulling. Learn how to do it here –

  13. Sir,
    I have lots of grey hair. I have sinus too. Could you please suggest a good hair oil to reverse grey hair

  14. sir. nmste mere sir k hair 50% tut gy h bich mey se tho sir khnsa oil best rhega ya or koi tarika h.
    plz sugesst me.

  15. I have hairfall problem to much and have so much dandruff on my head. what should i do ?
    which oil is best , which medicine is best , which shampoo is best , ?
    or another reason plz tell me.
    50% hairfall from my head at middle of the head
    plz sugesst me dr. ????

  16. Sir pls share info about groundnut(peanut) oil. Some say its ushna some say its sheetal. Any mentions in our texts Doc? And if ushna will it be slightly pittakara along with it being vatakara and kaphakara?

  17. Dear Sir, the information given is very useful. I have a very hot body where pimples arise if it is more.. Which oil I can use for the head bath to cool the body.
    Thank you.

  18. Some one told me, for abhyangam, if skin type is dry we are not suppose to apply sesame oil, it will make skin more dry.
    Coconut oil is best for dry skin. Is it true?

  19. The development of dark, copious, long, fluffy hairs on chest, belly, thighs, calves, and face of the body, where once there were none, is quite shocking and dismaying for women in their post menopause years. Is there an oil which, on application would arrest this change? Thank you.

  20. Hello Dr Hebbar,

    I am trying to get more insight to the type of cooking oil that should be used for cooking.

    Have you published any article on oils prescribed for cooking food in Ayurveda and how should the oil be used?

    Thank you very much for all that you have published till now. Your site is wonderful.

  21. Sir which oil is best coconut oil or mustard oil or patanjali kesh kanti.oil for our hairs….Sir pls rply me

  22. Hi. I produce cold pressed Sesame oil, here in Kenya, and wonder which has more medicinal and superior?

  23. Sir which is the best oil for hair mustard oil or coconut oil because I have been using coconut oil for a long time I have hair loss as well as dandruff, what would be your suggestions

    Thank you !

  24. 1)Is olive oil heating or cooling for the body?

    2)It is said that saturated fat is bad for health.Then why coconut oil being so high in saturated fat is recommended for cooking?

    • Olive oil is slightly heating.
      Ayurveda recommends sesame oil as the first choice for internal and external application.

  25. Hi..
    I have split ends on the top of my head along with dry and frizzy a friend of mine suggested a hair mask to be applied twice a week before head bath. Please correct the quanity and add or eliminate the ingredients. Also, what is the ideal time to leave the hair mask on? 1 hour? Should I wash hair with just cold water or would you suggest using soapnut juice or something similar?

    1 egg
    2 tsp almond oil
    1 tsp olive oil
    1 tsp sesame oil or mustard oil
    1/2 tsp castor oil.

    Please reply.

    • combination looks just fine.
      Apply 1 hour before hair wash, preferably in the morning. Wash with lukewarm water.

      Soapnut juice is better than shampoo.

  26. Hi, I can’t find you talking about olive oil. I think it is like sesame oil, but with some pungency too. When cooked the bitterness and astringency are mellowed out or lost. It affects the liver and throat. Some olive oil is very bitter and astringent and pungent. I wonder if this could be used for all doshas. It is not reducing; I think it helps to build strength in the muscles, but maybe it’s hard on pitta liver disorders? Do you have an article on olive oil with your analysis??? Good article

  27. Hi my hair is damaged so some suggested me a hair oil solution please correct me if I am wrong and please tell me the quantity as well

    In Mustard oil heat all the mentioned things
    White Sesame
    Black sesame
    Black pepper
    Meetha neem

    But it has very bad smell please suggest me how to improve its smell and should I replace mustard oil with pure sesame oil

    • You can replace mustard with sesame oil.

      To remove bad smell, add a few drops of lavendar essential oil to it.

  28. Is there any solution to Hard Water….can we mix something in hair oil to reduce the effect of Hard Water on hair ?

    • Hi, regular use of herbal hair oils such as neelibhringadi taila will protect hairs from the effects of hard water.

  29. Is my recipe good enough and should I add or remove any ingredient….and should I use mustard oil only or should I mix mustard oil and sesame oil both as a base….ple ple tell me a very good recipe of herbal orhanio hair oil


  30. Dear sir/madam,

    In the above comments it is said that peanuts are slightly hot. What is it that makes them hot?


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