Open Sesame! 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of This Super-Seed
Given the growing body of scientific support on its health benefits, sesame would be just as at home in a medicine cabinet as it would be a kitchen cupboard.
Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, prized as an oilseed for at least 5,000 years. While it is beginning to regain favor due to its exceptionally high calcium and magnesium content, few realize it is also one of the most potent medicinal foods still commonly consumed today.
In fact, its history as a medicine goes back 3600 years to Egyptian times where it was listed in the scrolls of the Ebers as a favored medicine. Also, women in ancient Babylon were believed to use a mixture of honey and sesame seeds (havla) to prolong youth and beauty, and Roman soldiers ate the mixture for strength and energy.
In the past twenty years, a glut of scientific information has poured in demonstrating that sesame seed, and its components, have over three dozen documented therapeutic properties which you can view at on the GreenMedInfo sesame research page. Given these new revelations, it would seem that sesame would be just as at home in a medicine cabinet as it would be a kitchen cupboard.
Here are just 10 evidence-based medicinal properties of this food-medicine:
- Diabetes: A study published in 2011 in the Clinical Journal of Nutrition showed that sesame oil improved the effectiveness of the oral antidiabetic drug glibenclamide in type 2 diabetic patients.  Another study published in 2006 in the Journal of Medicinal Foods showed that the substitution of sesame seed oil as the sole edible oil lowers blood pressure and glucose in hypertensive diabetics.
- High Blood Pressure: A study published in 2006 in the Yale Journal of Biological Medicine showed that sesame seed oil has a beneficial effect in hypertensive patients on either diuretics or beta-blockers. Substitution of all dietary oils with sesame oil brought down systolic and dystolic blood pressure to normal, in addition to decreasing lipid peroxidation (bodily rancidity) and antioxidant status. One of the compounds identified behind sesame seed's antihypertensive effects are peptides that act as angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibitors.
- Gingivitis/Dental Plaque: 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. 
- Infant Health/Massage Oil: A study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research in 2000 showed that massaging infants with sesame oil improved both their growth and post-massage sleep, in comparison to control oils such as mineral oil.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS): In the animal model of MS, also known as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, sesame seed oil protects mice from developing the disease by reducing IFN-gamma secretion, a key factor in initiating autoimmune inflammation and injury in the nervous system. It has also been research for its potential beneficial role in another neurodegenerative condition,Huntington's disease. 
- Antibiotic-Induced Kidney Damage: Sesame seed oil protects against gentamicin-induced kidney damage in rats by reducing oxidative damage caused by the antibiotic.
- Atherosclerosis: Sesame seed oil prevents the formation of atherosclerotic lesions in mice fed an atherogenic diet. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory lignan found within sesame seeds known as sesamol has been identified to be partially responsible for its anti-atherogenic properties. In fact, sesamol has been shown to possess over two dozen beneficial pharmacologically active properties, many of which may contribute to improving cardiovascular health.
- Depression: The sesame lignin sesamol was shown to exert an antidepressant-like effect in behavioral despair in chronically stressed mice, specifically by modulating oxidative-nitrosative stress and inflammation.
- Radiation-Induced DNA Damage: Sesamol has been shown to protect against gamma radiation-induced DNA damage, likely through its antioxidant properties. It is capable of reducing mortality in radiation treated mice, in part through preventing intestinal and spleen damage. When compared to another powerful antioxidant, melatonin, it was found 20 times more effective as a free radical scavenger.
- Cancer: Sesame contains a fat-soluble lignin with phytoestrogenic properties known as sesamin, and which has been studied for inhibiting the proliferation of a wide range of cancer cells, including:
- Multiple Myleoma
- Colon Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Lung Cancer
Sesamin's anticancer effects have been linked to the NF-kappaB signaling.
Sesame deserves to be recognized, along with garlic, honey, turmeric and a select few other substances, as an easily accessible and affordable food-medicine that, if consumed regularly, could quite possibly save lives.
Evidence-Based Medical Research is Discovering Sesame Seeds’ Health Benefits
by Paul Fassa April 15, 2018
Sesame seeds are generally regarded as nutritionally inconsequential ornamental additions to bread and bagels or incorporated in culinary presentations to add visual interest and subtle flavor nuances, especially with Chinese cuisine.
As is the case with most medicinal foods, consuming small quantities of sesame seeds often over time is recommended to help improve health and resist disease. Sesame seeds are high in calories, which scares some calorie counters away.
But it only takes a small amount, around a quarter-cup daily of these inexpensive nutritionally dense seeds, to receive sesame seeds’ health benefits and protection against many autoimmune diseases. The medicinal aspects of sesame seeds were used by ancient cultures thousands of years ago.
During the last twenty years or so, western medical research has been discovering valid clinical applications of sesame seeds and their compounds.
One way to get more sesame seed into one’s diet is to utilize the “nut butter” form, tahini, used in popular Asian and Middle-Eastern foods such as hummus.
Sesame Seed Abbreviated History and Availability
Sesame is among the oldest cultivated plant foods in general and specifically the oldest seed oil plant still available.
Originating 5,000 years ago in ancient India, sesame plants became a large part of Asian and African agriculture, which then became popular in the Mideast. They can flourish in any warm region regardless of rainfall amounts.
Sesame seed plants (Sesamum indicum) grow to around three to maybe five feet tall. They are hardy plants that can withstand high heat with little water, making them almost drought tolerant.
First flowers blossom then pod-shaped fruits appear on branches. As those fruit pods begin to dry, they expose their seeds, which are edible and capable of being pressed for edible oil.
They come in different colors and they have to be hulled from out of their small hard shells. Sesame seeds were valued for their oils 5,000 or more years ago, then became favored for medicine in ancient Egypt, according to 3600-year-old scrolls.
Today sesame seeds intact or hulled are available in most health food stores, sometimes in the refrigerated sections. It is the hulled variety that is mostly used.
Evidence-Based Medical Research is Discovering Sesame’s Health Benefits
The research on sesame seeds is sometimes done as an adjunct to pharmaceutical drugs intended for treating and relieving common modern world health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and inflammation.
But you don’t have to use pharmaceutical drugs in order to benefit from sesame seeds, nor do you have to consume sesame oil directly. The oil’s flavor is overwhelming and suitable mostly as a spicy addition to certain oriental dishes. But it is often used topically for various skin conditions. Sesame oil is more easily consumed in gel capsules.
Consuming the seeds directly is what this article is about. An Ayurveda doctor recommended one tablespoon of raw sesame seeds with the same amount of dry raisins twice daily to improve digestion and colon health for a close family member. Gradually, positive results were achieved.
After thousands of years of use in the earth’s northern hemisphere without ill effects, it’s easy to determine sesame seeds’ safety without testing for that. They contain very high volume to mass ratios of magnesium and calcium, both vitally synergistic for bone density, nervous system operation, and heart health.
Other minerals with high content in sesame are:
- copper, which helps prevent or soothe joint inflammation,
- zinc, an immune booster that also helps ensure prostate health,
- and phosphorous, which supports many health conditions in addition to bone health.
Sesame seeds are high in B vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids with sufficient fiber to aid digestion and bowel elimination. Highly antioxidant phytosterols are prevalent in sesame seeds.
Various studies have determined phytosterols are cancer preventative for most common cancers. One study even determined a potential 50 percent reduced risk for lung cancer.(Abstract)
Sesame seeds are also rich in lignan. Lignan for cancer prevention has been studied in vitro (petri dish cultures) and animal studies (in vivo) to determine:
Recent in vitro, animal, and epidemiological studies suggest that dietary lignans may be chemo-preventive, potentially through anti-estrogenic, anti-angiogenic, pro-apoptotic, and anti-oxidant mechanisms. (Source)
According to a mega-study review analysis:
The lignan content of foods is generally low and usually does not exceed 2 mg/100 g. The exceptions are flaxseed (335 mg/100g) and sesame seeds (373 mg/100g), which have a lignan content a hundred times higher than other dietary sources. (Source)
Additionally, there has been research associating improved liver function, fatty acid metabolism, and hormone balancing as explained in the published study,
“Sesame seed lignans: potent physiological modulators and possible ingredients in functional foods & nutraceuticals.”(Abstract)
121 Diseases Researched for Sesame Seeds
11 Essential Oils for Hemorrhoids (Piles) Plus Recipes & Application
7 Herbal Remedies for Hemorrhoids - Hemorrhoids Treatments
Is esame oil Immediate Relief for Bleeding Piles
Herbal Formula For Hemorrhoids
There are small, bluish swellings, comprising of enlarged blood vessels situated either just inside or just outside the anus commonly called internal piles and external piles, it is also known as ‘Haemorrhoids’. Piles are hemorrhoids that become inflamed. Hemorrhoids are masses, clumps, cushions of tissue in the anal canal – they are full of blood vessels, support tissue, muscle and elastic fibers.It can be of various sizes and may be internal (inside the anus) or external ones (outside the anus). Although hemorrhoids are thought of as unpleasant inflammations, we all have them. It is when the haemorrhoidal cushions become too big (inflamed) that problems occur – when this happens they are called piles or hemorrhoids. In case of bleeding, they are termed as bleeding piles.
Causes of Piles
Hemorrhoids are caused by the increased pressure in the veins of your anus or rectum.
One of the main causes is excessive straining during bowel movements.
- Persistent constipation due to poor dietary habits
- Sitting on hard seats for prolonged periods
- Lack of exercise
Symptoms of piles
The symptoms of hemorrhoids (piles) vary according to the type, location,severity of the condition and also the age of the patient. Some of the common symptoms are – Haemorrhoids, it’s also known as piles which are enlarged and swollen blood vessels in or around the lower rectum and anus.
An individual with piles may experience the following symptoms
- A hard lump may be felt around the anus. It consists of coagulated blood, called a thrombosed external hemorrhoid. This can be painful
- Bright red blood after a bowel movement
- Pain while defecating
- Itchiness around the anus
- Mucus discharge when emptying the bowels
- After going to the toilet, a feeling that the bowels are still full
- The area around the anus may be red and sore.
Til ka Tail or Seasame Oil Benefits for Piles
In India, Sesame is one of the most widely used ayurvedic medicines. Sesame oil is best for improving strength and imparting oiliness to the body.The wonder herb is used in multiple ways through different routes of administration. If sesame seeds were not there, I would say, 40 % of Ayurvedic formulas would have been non-existent. Sesame is used in multiple dosage forms – powder, paste, oil, in the form of sesame recipes.Externally, internally, orally, over the eyes, nasally, rectally etc. It is high time that we explore the sesame benefits.
- Triphala churna: This should be taken regularly to remove the constipation.
- Kankayan Vati is quite beneficial in piles.
- Sesame oil is processed with many herbs having wound healing property to prepare wound healing oils.
- If there are no secretions from hemorrhoids, sesame oil is applied over the mass.
- In Ayurveda, Kshara sutra ligation and Agni karma excision are the procedures which can be used to remove the piles masses (Internal as well as external) thus leading to a permanent cure of the problem.
- Provide Relief for Agitation like itching and sharp, stinging pain.
- Reduce Swelling. The sesame oils are anti-inflammatory and do a good job of shrinking veins back to normal sizes.
- Strengthen the Blood Vessels. This prevents a relapse of the condition. Stronger blood vessels mean better structural integrity and a decreased chance that they’ll rupture in the future.
- Rejuvenate Lesions and Ruptures. This is the first step when it comes to stopping the bleeding.
- Improve Blood Circulation. There is a lot of back up of blood and waste material associated with hemorrhoids. Getting the blood moving is of up most importance. The more swelling and constriction there is the less circulation. And less circulation means even more swelling. It’s a cycle.
- Pack a Broad Medicinal Punch. Essential oils are complex medicine. They provide antibiotic effects, beneficial hormones as well as vitamins and nutrients.
- They’re Safe. And they provide immediate and long term support.
Home-Made Hummus: An Easy Way to Consume Sesame Often
The most common caveat against eating too many sesame seeds or oils is because they contain phytates. Some claim much of the phytate issue is overblown.
Anyway, most sesame seed protocols call for small amounts, usually a quarter cup of seeds daily. So if there is no unusual allergy indication, there’s no reason to not include sesame seeds as part of your lifetime diet.
Are you familiar with hummus? It’s a tasty, healthy dip, spread, side dish or topping for cooked foods used in Mid-East cuisine. And it’s a convenient way to get your daily dose of sesame.
A major component of hummus is tahini, which is a sesame seed paste. Tahini is also available in health food stores or specialty markets from both raw and roasted sesame seed sources. If you make your own hummus, raw tahini is recommended.
The video below is a good guide for making your own tasty hummus. But you can be flexible and adjust the ingredients according to your taste and quality requirements.
I use a food processor instead of a blender, more olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of lemon juice from a container, and more garlic cloves and tahini. My garbanzo beans (chick peas) are home-cooked from organic dry chick peas soaked overnight.
Other Sources and References:
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects of Sesame Oil on Atherosclerosis: A Descriptive Literature Review
Monitoring Editor: Alexander Muacevic and John R Adler
Sesame oil (SO) is a supplement that has been known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which makes it effective for reducing atherosclerosis and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Due to the side effects of statins, the current recommended treatment for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, the idea of using dietary and nutritional supplementation has been explored. The benefits of a dietary health regime have piqued curiosity because many different cultures have reaped health benefits through the ingredients in their cooking with negligible side effects. The purpose of this literary review is to provide a broad overview of the potential benefits and risks of SO on the development of atherosclerosis and its direction toward human clinical use. Current in vivo and in vitro research has shed light on the effects of SO and its research has shown that SO can decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels while maintaining high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. Current limitations in recent studies include no standardized doses of SO given to subjects and unknown specific mechanisms of the different components of SO. Future studies should explore possible synergistic and adverse effects of SO when combined with current recommended pharmaceutical therapies and other adjunct treatments.