Sesame is one of the oldest oil plants in the world and is used as a healthy kitchen seasoning and natural medicinal plant. The earliest evidence of the use of sesame comes from the third millennium BC (Indus culture). From India, the plant began its triumphal procession around the world. Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine also use sesame frequently.

Occurrence & cultivation of sesame

Since the sesame plant prefers a warm and moderately moist climate, it is today cultivated almost everywhere in the Orient, Asia and Africa. Sesame ( Sesamum indicum ) belongs to the sesame family ( Pedaliaceae ). The annual herbaceous plant is 1.20 m high. Its grooved stem has a quadrangular cross section and is covered with fine hairs. The lower leaves of the oil plant are arranged opposite, ovate, toothed, tapering in front and sit on about 11 cm long stems. The upper leaves are on only 3 cm long stems, are alternate, narrow lanceolate and entire.

Depending on the variety, white and pink flowers are formed. When the rounded hairy fruit stalks on both ends burst, tiny, smooth seeds fall out. They have a black, white or brown color. The black sesame seeds are considered the prototype of the medicinal plant. They are similar in flavor to the differently colored seeds, but have a much higher content of ingredients that are useful as a natural remedy and base for natural cosmetics.

Since the sesame plant prefers a warm and moderately moist climate, it is today cultivated almost everywhere in the Orient, Asia and Africa. It does not make high demands on the soil condition, requires no fertilizer and is therefore optimally suited for controlled biological cultivation.

Effect & application

Because of its high content of essential healthy fats, essential amino acids (L-tryptophan, L-methionine, L-lysine), vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, E complex: tocopherols, tocotrienols), minerals and trace elements (calcium, Magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium), sesame seeds are used as staple food in various Asian and Arabian countries.

To be able to use it as a natural remedy, however, it must be consumed daily. The ancient Indian plant is mainly used internally in the form of sesame seeds, sesame flour and sesame oil. For external use only sesame oil is suitable. To take full advantage of the oil's healing properties, users should only use native, cold-squeezed organically grown sesame oil and never heat it under any circumstances.

Natural sesame oil contains 35-50 percent oleic acid, 35-50 percent linoleic acid as well as palmitic acid, stearic acid, the plant estrogens (lignans) sesamin and sesaminol as well as vitamin E. Externally applied, pure sesame oil stabilizes the acid-protective agent damaged by environmental influences and incompatible care products. Coat of the skin and counteracts dry skin.

A homemade sesame paste, which contains sesame oil, also helps against brittle and cracked skin on the hands. Thanks to its antiviral properties, the essential amino acid L-lysine present in the oil contributes to the healing of herpes and shingles when the sesame oil is applied to the affected areas of the skin. It gently dissolves the skin scab from already healed wounds. As sesame oil penetrates quickly into the lower layers of the skin, it further intensifies the effect of the massage therapy as a basic massage oil.

Applied to the face and neck, it promotes the elasticity of the skin (anti-aging effect). It even has a low sun protection factor. Applied to the inside of the nose, it heals chronically dried out nasal mucous membranes (rhinitis sicca). Contraindications exist in the form of sesame allergy (only for the internal use of sesame!). Therefore, retailers are obliged to always list sesame products in the ingredients list. Interactions of sesame with other agents and any side effects are not known.

Importance for Health, Treatment & Prevention

Sesame seeds and sesame oil have a strong anti-oxidative effect due to their high content of phenols, lignans and vitamin E. Inflammatory processes in the body are stopped. Premature cell death is prevented. Thus, not only the arteriosclerosis is prevented, which is caused by inflammation in the vessel walls. Especially the phyto-estrogens sesamin and sesamolin prevent the degeneration of cells into tumor cells.

Selenium and the essential amino acid cysteine ​​promote the formation of the antioxidants glutathione and glutathione peroxidase. Sesam products even relieve joint inflammation, as a recent study with knee arthrosis patients has shown. They are a good supplement to the cortisone dose and also compensate because of their high calcium content additionally the dissolution of calcium from the bone tissue (a side effect of cortisone). Because calcium and magnesium are present in optimal proportions in sesame, the oil plant consumption promotes the building of skin, hair, nails, bones, cartilage, teeth and muscles.

L-lysine, cysteine, L-methionine and taurine form collagen and elastin, which promote the elasticity of the skin. The high fiber content in sesame seeds gently regulates digestion and facilitates intestinal transit. Since the fibers have a high binding capacity, sesame has a strong detoxifying and purifying effect. L-methionine cleanses the liver of medication degradation products. The sesame-based phyto-sterols and linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) lower the level of cholesterol.

The intake of 20 ml of sesame oil and rice germ oil daily is enough to keep hypertension permanently at a lower level. Lecithin, which is present in sesame seeds, is used during stress to improve brain and nerve performance. The L-tryptophan has a calming and calming effect on the nerves and ensures an undisturbed sleep-wake cycle. Vitamins A, B1 to B3, E and iron help to improve the energy transport to the body's cells, strengthening the overall performance of the human body.

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