Sesame seeds and their oil have been used for centuries in for both cooking and medicinal needs. But many people are not aware of their healing benefits. In his article on Health Tips, Jean-Paul Marat reveals many little known uses for sesame oil that may have doctors and patients alike running to their nearest grocer.
Many countries have already tapped into the healing powers of the sesame seed. Marat tells us that “the wild sesame plant, native to West Africa, was also domesticated in India, where sesame seeds are a symbol of immortality in the Hindu religion, and sesame oil plays a key role in the ancient Ayurvedic system of health and natural healing. Charaka—the Hippocrates of Ayurvedic medicine—called it the “best of all oils,” and Ayurveda recommends it for abhyanga, a daily, whole-body self-massage for purification and vitality.”
Perhaps one of the most astounding discoveries regarding sesame oil is its ability to protect against heart disease and to lower blood pressure significantly. Sesame seeds are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, phytosterols and lignans which all contribute to good heart health.
Scientists in India performed research on the effectiveness of sesame oil to reduce high blood pressure and what they found was astounding. The participants who used sesame oil as their only dietary oil for two months saw a dramatic decrease in blood pressure. According to this study, “systolic pressure (the upper reading) fell from an average of 166 to 134, while diastolic (the lower reading) fell from 101 to 85.” Other studies have found similar results.
Sesame oil has also been shown to reduce cholesterol in postmenopausal women and to boost the effect of Vitamin E. Animal studies have also indicated that sesame oil may be useful in preventing and even curing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and Huntington’s disease, and it also appears to speed up wound healing.
Sesame seeds, which can be found in varying colors of black, red, yellow and brown, are used in countries around the world, particularly in the Middle East, India, and Japan.
To include this amazing oil in your diet, you can swap your traditional cooking oil for sesame. You can also use the seeds themselves, toasted, on salads, on sautéed veggies, sprinkled on toast, on ice cream or in soups. It will bring fabulous flavor to your foods and perhaps prevent a variety of diseases at the same time.