One of the first oil seeds known to humankind, sesame seeds have been widely employed in culinary as well as traditional medicines for their nutritive, preventive, and curative properties. Sesame are an important sources of phyto-nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids, flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber with potential anti-cancer as well as health promoting properties.

The compounds present in sesame seeds help reduce rheumatic pains, prevent high blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol, protect the liver from oxidative damage, etc.Sesame seeds have a nutty flavor. They come in a variety of colors ranging from cream-white to charcoal black. Oil extracted from this herb is known as sesame oil or gingelly oil.

Sesame plant is a tall annual herb in the Pedaliaceae family, which grows extensively in Asia, particularly in Burma, China, and India. It is also one of the chief commercial crops in Nigeria, Sudan and Ethiopia. Scientific name: Sesamum indicum.

Whole sesame seeds contain about 88 mg of calcium per tablespoon of seeds. Just a quarter cup of natural sesame seeds provides more calcium than a whole cup of milk. A quarter cup of raw natural sesame seeds has 351 mg of calcium while one cup of non-fat milk has 316.3 mg, and one cup of whole milk has only 291 mg of calcium. Plus, they are alkaline whereas milk is acidic.  

Sesame seeds are also rich in zinc, another mineral that has a positive effect on bone mineral density.Copper, better known for its anti-inflammatory ability shown to reduce some of the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis, is also a supporter of bone and blood vessel health.

Sesame seeds have a fabulous nutritional profile, granting their capabilities in fighting, preventing, and reversing illness and disease. The seeds are especially high in copper, manganese, calcium, and magnesium. But the value doesn’t end there. Here are some notable vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you can expect to find in a 1 ounce (28g) serving of sesame seeds.

    • Manganese – 0.7 mg. 35% RDA.
    • Copper – 0.7 mg. 35% RDA.
    • Calcium – 277 mg. 28% RDA.
    • Iron –  4.1 mg. 23% RDA.
    • Magnesium – 99.7 mg. 25% RDA.
    • Tryptophan – 93 mg.
    • Zinc – 2 mg. 13% RDA.
    • Fiber – 3.9 g. 16% RDA.
    • Thiamin – 0.2 mg. 15% RDA.
    • Vitamin B6 – 0.2 mg. 11% RDA.
    • Phosphorous – 179 mg. 18% RDA.
    • Protein – 4.7 g.

Sesames can be readily available in the spice stores all around the year. You may choose from whole, husked or air-dried, toasted seeds in these stores. There may be black, brown, yellow or white color seeds packed in air-seal packs as well as in bulk bins. Husked seeds appear white.

Sesame composes significant proportions of unsaturated fats, and hence, should be stored in airtight containers to avoid them turn rancid. At home, place them in cool dark place. If stored properly, dry seeds generally stay fresh for several months. Store hulled “white” seeds always inside the refrigerator.

Properties of Sesame seeds:

  • One of the most prominent benefits of sesame seeds and sesame oil revolves around removing dental plaque and boosting oral health. By engaging in an activity known as oil pulling, which involves swishing oil around in your mouth, you can boost oral health and even whiten your teeth.
  • sesame seeds containing magnesium are able to prevent asthma by and other respiratory disorders by preventing airway spasms.
  • A sesame oil massage improves growth and improves sleep. Rashes on a baby’s skin especially where the diaper  can be protected with sesame seed oil by rubbing it in. As a bonus, sesame also helps reverse dry skin.
  • Sesame seed oil prevents harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun from damaging your skin, thus preventing the appearance of wrinkles and pigmentation.
  • Sesame seeds are rich in fiber, which is known to pave way for a healthy digestive system and a healthy colon.
  • Black sesame seeds can be used in hair recipes to blacken gray hair. They also help in losing weight. Using a combination of sesame oil, and a pinch of pepper and salt in the nostrils can relieve migraine headache. Massaging the scalp with sesame oil promotes hair growth.
  • Menstrual problems especially cramps are reducing by having half a teaspoon of black sesame seeds along with lukewarm water is valuable
  • Furthermore, this herb is improves liver function. Another benefit of sesame seeds or Til is that they relieve constipation and remove intestinal worms.
  • Sesame benefits in treating dandruff and itchy scalp. For this, you need to massage sesame oil on scalp and then rinse it off after 20-30 minutes or leave it in your hair overnight.
  • Sesamol, a compound found in sesame seeds and sesame oil, has been shown in some studies to protect against DNA damaged caused by radiation. Further, sesamol has been shown to extend life in mice treated with radiation, partly by preventing damage to the intestines and the spleen.
  • Sesame helps lower cholesterol levels, because it contains phytosterols that block cholesterol production. Black sesame seeds are especially high in phytosterols.
  • Heat two to three teaspoons of powdered pepper in sesame oil until the pepper gets charred. Stain the mixture when it is comfortable warm and use it for massaging on the joins in order to relieve rheumatic pains. Plus, mix ground sesame seeds in your food while eating. However, do not take more than half an ounce of these seeds in a day.
  • Heat half a clove of garlic in a tablespoon of sesame oil. Cool and strain the solution. Put two to three drops of this therapeutic oil in the ears to get rid of earache. In case there are boils in ears, heat a teaspoon of Bishop’s weed (ajwain) along with garlic in the oil until they turn red.