Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. Known as the queen of oils, Sesame oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds.
Sesame seeds add nutty taste and crunchy flavor to many Asian dishes. The oil extracted from sesame seeds is used as cooking oil in many parts of India and as a flavouring agent in Chinese, Japanese and Korean dishes. Sesame seeds are the main ingredients of tahini and halva (Middle Eastern dessert). It has been used as a popular alternative treatment in Ayurvedic and Oriental medicine.
Sesame Oil Tip:
About Sesame Oil
Commonly known as gingelly oil or til oil, sesame oil is extracted from sesame seeds through a series of manufacturing process. These are of two types- toasted sesame oil and lighter one. The toasted oil is prepared from toasted seeds having golden or brown color and has a pronounced nutty flavor. It is more commonly used in small quantities as seasoning in Asian dishes. The lighter version is made from the untoasted seeds and has a mild flavor. It is used as cooking oil or as health food in many stores. The oil has a long shelf life and high heat tolerance.
Apart from its medicinal and culinary uses, it is also used in manufacture of soap, perfumes and paint.
Sesame oil is a rich source of nutrients including magnesium, vitamin E, copper, calcium, iron, zinc and Vitamin B6. All these minerals and vitamins are essential for the healthy functioning of the body.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, sesame oil is used in relieving the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Copper present in the oil plays an important role in the activity of lysyl oxidase, the enzyme involved in cross-linking of elastin and collagen. These two important proteins provide structure, strength and elasticity to the joint tissues, blood vessels and bones.
- Blood pressure: It helps in lowering blood pressure due to the high content of poly unsaturated fatty acids. This effect is due to sesamin, a lignan present in the oil and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Lignan increase the excretion of the sodium and decreasing blood volume, hence controlling blood pressure.
- Anti-oxidants: The oil is rich source of anti-oxidants, which help in slowing down aging process, reducing inflammation and preventing infection in the body. The zinc content in the oil helps in increasing mineral bone density and thereby reducing the risk of fractures in elderly people.
- Heart benefits: The oil contains lecithin, which prevents vascular diseases, prevents accumulation of cholesterol and improves elasticity of blood vessels.
- Female health: Daily intake of sesame oil has been found effective in preventing bone loss, migraine headache and reducing symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.
Sesame Oil as Home Remedy
Due to its soothing and tranquilizing properties, sesame oil can be used for massages by mixing it with other oils. It is used in the treatment of sensitive skin conditions in infants and kids by rubbing directly to the affected area. It is used for healthy nourishment of hair and skin. Gentle massage of the oil to the joints reduces the pain and swelling. For its healthy heart benefits, it can be used as flavoring agent or cooking medium to prepare different dishes.
It can cause allergic reactions in those who are allergic to sesame derived food products. The oil has laxative effects, hence should be avoid in people suffering from diarrhea.