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My Travel Must-Have: Sesame Oil

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It seems to me that everyone has their own must-haves-of-travel list. You know, those little, or sometimes big, items that bring you comfort, or make it easier when you’re on the road and away from home. Maybe your list changes over time, maybe it depends on where you’re traveling to, and maybe you even use these items at home, as well as when you travel.

Harlan at Out and Out recently wrote about a new item he just discovered and added to his list: sesame oil. I’ve been using it for years, every night, whether I’m home or on a trip. And while I agree with what he wrote and the reasons sesame oil is wonderful, he left out a few very important points I want to share with you. It’s the very reason I use it every night, and I’ll share HOW I use it.

For me, using sesame oil started about 10 years ago. My background for many years as a Yoga practitioner and teacher led to an interest in Ayurvedic health practices. I was interested in balancing what Ayurveda calls the three doshas. So that’s when I started incorporating sesame oil into my daily routine! Even if you’re not interested in Ayurveda, travel, as amazing and wonderful as it is, does take its toll on our health. It disrupts our sleep patterns and can be stressful. Sesame oil:

  • Promotes healthy sleep patterns
  • Calms stress
  • Calms the tendency to think too much
  • Calms and soothes your nervous system

And in general, it grounds you and nourishes your whole body. For all these reasons, I find using sesame oil at home helpful, and I especially find it a MUST when I’m traveling. When I’m home, I’ll sometimes rub sesame oil into my scalp, but EVERY NIGHT, I massage my feet with it, no matter where I am.

a bottle of sesame oil

Spectrum Sesame Oil. Image source: http://amzn.to/2vd25Ax


  • Spend a few minutes giving a sesame oil massage to your feet using a vigorous back and forth motion, especially on the sides of the feet, where energy centers are located. This will help produce a settling effect on the nervous system.
  • Use your fingertips to apply oil to the toes.
  • Take care, you will be very slippery!

One question I’m often asked is, “What if I only do this once in a while. Will it help?” I always recommend when starting any new routine, such as rubbing oil on the soles of your feet, that you do it regularly for a month or so and see what you think. That should be enough time for you to tell. And if you do this only when you travel, and not every night as I do, you’ll also know whether it makes a difference or not.

I’m very picky about the sesame oil I use and have been using the same brand for a long time (backup item if first item is out of stock). I buy it by the bottle and then pour it into a small plastic tube, which sits by my bed and comes with me when I travel. So when you travel or when you’re home, if you have any trouble sleeping or find it difficult to quiet your mind before bedtime, give your feet a treat with sesame oil and see how it feels.

If you have any questions, let me know. Are you already a sesame oil fan? What do you bring with you when you travel that creates comfort?

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9 thoughts on “My Travel Must-Have: Sesame Oil

    1. Shelli Post author

      Great question! I don’t clean my feet after rubbing the oil in. It’s the last thing I do before I go to bed. Some people might wear socks to keep the oil from their sheets. Hope this helps and thanks so much for reading, jediwho.

      1. Hassan

        Hi Shelli,

        I never knew sesame oil was so cool until I google up your post, then give it a try and if was a really nice experience.
        Can I use it everynight?
        What about any side effect?
        How long have you been using this oil?

        1. Shelli Post author

          Hi Hassan. Thanks for your great questions. Yes, you can use the oil every night. I have never had any side effects (I’m assuming you mean negative ones). As for how long I’ve been using oil on my feet, I’d say at least ten years now. Hope these answers help. Have a great weekend!

  1. Harlan V.

    OMG Shelli I love this so much! Thanks for the additional expansion. You’ve inspired me – I totally want to tap into these energy centers. And thanks for recommending your favorite brands. I had a feeling there was something more to it!


  2. Shelli Post author

    Great to hear from you, Harlan. And even more pleased you feel it was a value added post. Like I wrote, been using it on my feet for years. I really like the ritual. Sometimes on my scalp if I’m going to be hanging around the house :) I’m a big fan of oil pulling too :) Hope to meet-up sometime soon! Thanks so much for reading.

  3. coconut man

    I am glad others have discovered some of the benefits of rubbing oils into their feet at night. Lavender Oil has an even more calming effect for a lot of people. It goes further, because you are probably not going to want to use as much. If you have very really dry feet you could put lavender oil on first and then a some sesame after, for some of both benefits. Oil of Rosemary is very cleansing but not too heavy for use on ones scalp, if used after a shower it will dissipate for the most part by the end of the day, and you’ll never notice it on your sheets or pillow cases, it help with dry scalp or oily and people will never notice that you’re using it. Macadamia nut oil is heaven on tanned dry skin.
    Keep up the good work.
    Best regards, – CM

    1. Shelli Post author

      Thanks so much, CM, for as Harlan said, “additional expansion.” I appreciate your adding ways to use lavender, rosemary, and macadamia oils, too. Have a great day, and best regards back to you as well.

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