Sesame is one of the oldest oilseed crops, which was domesticated well over 5000 years ago. It is a survivor crop and very drought tolerant. Ancient Babylonian women used a mixture of honey and sesame seeds (halva) to prolong health and beauty. Roman soldiers used it for strength and energy. Egyptians considered it as medicine. Sadly some people are allergic to sesame as seriously as nuts.
Numerous scientific studies have been carried out on sesame over the last 6 years, some on rats and mice and a few studies date back 20 years. Studies were either on the seeds or ground powder, the oil, sesamin (a lignan which is an estrogen-like compound made from sesame oil that acts as an antioxidant) or sesamol, which is derived from the seed lignans.
Studies showed a broad range of possible therapeutic applications to support many aspects of health, both as prevention and included with other medical treatments. The list is impressive:
- Alzheimer’s, Antibiotic toxicity, Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Blood pressure, Blood viscosity (high viscosity is thought to be linked to heart disease)
- Cancers, including colon, breast, lung, malignant melanoma, multiple myeloma, pancreatic, prostate, leukaemia
- Cerebral ischemia (lack of blood to the brain, causing lack of oxygen and stroke), Cholesterol
- Diabetes, Depression, DNA damage
- Infections: Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Pneumonia, Candida, Epstein-Barr, Inflammation
- Kidney and Liver injury (chemically induced)
- Microbes, Multiple sclerosis, Myocardial Infarction (heart attack)
- Neurodegenerative (nerve) diseases
- Oxidative stress, i.e. it is an antioxidant
- Periodontal diseases, gingivitis, dental plaque
- Radiation induced illness
- UVB induced skin damage
- Wound healing
With so many health benefits to sesame, it would seem worth finding ways to add it to your diet. They are an excellent source of calcium and B vitamins.
- sprinkle sesame seeds on salad or steamed vegetables and then add a little sesame oil
- halva is a delicious sweet made with sesame and honey, it is available in shops
- tahini (sesame seed paste) is available in shops and can be used as a spread or crackers
- tahini cream can be made as a sweet or savoury sauce from the paste
- make delicious sesame milk to drink from the seeds – just Google the recipes!
“Oil pulling” with sesame oil has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to help many ailments. You can learn more about it in this article.
Aether Bios Clinic
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We are happy to advise you on your health matters.