Sesame oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds. Besides being used as a cooking oil in South India, it is often used as a flavor enhancer in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian cuisine. It has a distinctive nutty aroma and taste.
The oil from the nutrient-rich seed is popular in alternative medicine, from traditional massages and treatments to the modern day.
It has got lots of uses and health benefits. Sesame oil may not be the most popular oil in our times, but it was the most sought after oil in Ancient India. It was widely used back then for alleviating the body from various diseases and conditions. That is perhaps the oldest reference to this oil. Only now are we beginning to realize the strong health benefits of sesame seed oil. Sesame oil can help one achieve flawless skin, healthy hair and radiant health from the inside out.
Historically, sesame was cultivated more than 5000 years ago as a drought-tolerant crop and was able to grow where other crops failed. Sesame seeds were one of the first crops processed for oil as well as one of the earliest condiments. Sesame was cultivated during the Indus valley civilization and was the main oil crop. It was probably exported to Mesopotamia around 2500 BC. The Assyrians used sesame oil as a food, salve, and medication.
Sesame oil is thought to have originated in the Indus Valley of North India, but spread from there widely throughout Asia.
Has been used as a healing oil for thousands of years. Sesame oil is mentioned in the Vedas, (the Vedas is a large body of texts originating in ancient India) as excellent for humans. 1) It is naturally antibacterial for common skin pathogens, such as staphylococcus and streptococcus as well as common skin fungi, such as athlete’s foot fungus. 2) It is naturally antiviral. 3) It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Sesame Seed Oil has been used extensively in India as a healing oil, including in experiments which showed it was useful in unblocking arteries. In recent experiments in Holland by Ayurvedic physicians, sesame oil has been used in the treatment of several chronic disease processes, including hepatitis, diabetes and migraines.
Blood Pressure (Sesame Oil)
Sesame oil has a lowering effect on blood pressure and levels of sodium in the blood. A study done in India and reported in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine shows that when subjects with high blood pressure were asked to consume sesame oil for 45 days, their blood pressure returned to normal readings. It was also documented that the research subjects lost weight while undergoing the addition of sesame oil. The effects were temporary, however. When the participants stopped taking the sesame oil, their blood pressure readings went back up. This could be in part to the fact that the sesame oil lowered sodium content in the body, acting as a diuretic.
To enjoy the benefits of lower blood pressure, make a commitment to make sesame oil a daily part of your diet. If you’re on medication for blood pressure, be sure to speak with your physician first.
Sesame seed oil has been used for oral health for thousands of years in the traditional Indian medical tradition known as Ayurveda in a process known as “oil pulling.” It involves swishing sesame seed oil in the mouth for prolonged durations and has been said to prevent teeth decay, halitosis, bleeding gums, dry throat, and for strengthening the teeth, gums and jaw. Clinical research now confirms that it compares favorably to chemical mouthwash (chlorhexidine) in improving plaque-induced gingivitis, and that it is capable of reducing Streptococcus mutans growth associated with oral plaque formation.
Like most vegetable oils, sesame oil is so helpful and delicious in foods because of its fatty acid content. Sesame oil contains a wide range of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including sesamol and sesamin. This can keep the cardiovascular system balanced and keeps cholesterol levels low. It can also drop the cholesterol levels that the body already has, thereby reducing atherosclerosis. This means that you are better protected from heart attacks and strokes if you add sesame oil to your diet.
Protection Against Radiation
We are all exposed to radiation whether we realize it or not. UV rays hit us whenever we go outside and there exists a constant level of background radiation wherever you live. Sesame seeds help our bodies protect themselves from DNA damage due to radiation. Several studies on mice exposed to radiation showed that those ingesting sesame seeds (sesamol) had longer lives that those mice that didn’t consume sesamol.
The power of sesame seed oil has the document for centuries. In Ayurvedic medicine it has much significance and practitioners believe that sesame seed oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Holistic medicine practitioners use sesame seed oil to treat strep throat, staphylococcus bacteria and also athlete’s foot.
A handful of sesame seeds contains more calcium than a glass of milk.
The high content of both zinc and calcium in sesame seeds is a powerful tool to help combat osteoporosis. Deficiency of either of this can increase the risk of hip and spine fractures. Fortunately, taking sesame seeds can boost bone mineral density.
High copper and zinc content mean that the body is able to function at its optimal levels, mainly because copper is required for the production of red blood cells. With the significant percent of copper in sesame oil, your body is sure to get the right amount of blood flowing to the organs and tissues, ensuring a healthier and more high-energy lifestyle.
Thanks to the magnesium, sesame seeds are able to prevent asthma by and other respiratory disorders by preventing airway spasms.
Sesame oil contains an organic compound called phytate, which has been directly linked to a reduction in the development of cancer. Furthermore, the magnesium levels in sesame oil are unusually high. And that essential mineral is directly linked to lowered chances of colorectal cancer. The calcium content is also very beneficial for preventing colon cancer.