Sesame oil is derived from sesame seeds or Sesamum indicum plant. It offers various health benefits and many uses. Sesame is one of the oldest nurtured plants and highly prized as an oilseed for more than 5,000 years. It became well known for its high level content of magnesium and calcium and it is considered to be one of the most medicinal foods.
This yellow colored oil has been extensively used for medicinal purposes for many years. According to history, sesame has been used during Ancient Egypt as a favored medicine. Women in ancient Babylon also used sesame seeds with honey to extend their youthful appearance and enhance their beauty. Roman soldiers also ate the same mixture for additional energy and strength.
Sesame oil has a nutty flavor and packed with essential nutrients like vitamin E, D, B complex and minerals like phosphorus, calcium and some proteins. This is a useful ingredient in a wide variety of dishes and has the ability to prevent cancer, reduce blood pressure, improve heart health and enhance skin and hair health, decrease inflammation and more. Sesame oil is also used as one of the main ingredients in many beauty products in the market today.
Health Benefits of Sesame Oil
Sesame oil has many uses and offers numerous health benefits. It is also highly regarded as the “King of Oils.”
Sesame oil contains phytate, an organic compound that is associated with the decrease of the development of cancer. It also has high level content of magnesium which is an essential mineral to lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Its calcium content is also excellent in the prevention of colon cancer. According to studies, for every 100 mg of magnesium, the risk of colorectal tumors is decreased by 13% and the risk of colorectal cancer is lowered by 12%.
This incredible oil is also effective to prevent other cancers such as:
- Lung cancer
- Renal cancer
- Melanoma cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Brain cancer
2. Bone Development
Sesame oil is known to be the “king of oils” as it is packed with essential minerals like calcium, copper and zinc. These 3 minerals are important for bone development as zinc has been shown to improve bone mineral density. According to studies, zinc deficiency is associated with osteoporosis in the spine and hip area.
Because sesame oil is rich with zinc, including it in your diet can strengthen your bones and increase the rate of bone development. It also helps in speeding up the healing process of the bones and prevents fracture. If you want to prevent osteoporosis and other bone problems in the future, consider taking a handful of sesame seeds or use sesame oil in your daily meals to make your bones stronger.
Like other vegetable oils, sesame oil is also good for the heart. It can boost the health of your heart by preventing atherosclerotic lesions. It also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids such as sesamin and sesamol that can maintain the function of your cardiovascular system while keeping the level of cholesterol low. According to studies, sesamol has the ability to possess over 2 dozen beneficial pharmacologically active properties which contribute in the improvement of the cardiovascular system.
Including sesame oil in your diet reduces the risk of acquiring different heart problems such as stroke and heart attack.
4. Anxiety and Depression
Sesame oil contains a high level of Tyrosine which is an amino acid associated with the secretion and activity of serotonin in the brain. This uplifts the mood and boosts optimism by the secretion of enzymes and hormones responsible for happiness. Sesame also contains calming vitamins to alleviate pain and allows you to sleep peacefully. The minerals calcium and magnesium are able to relieve stress and inflammation.
People who are suffering from depression or anxiety can benefit from sesame oil as this incredible ingredient can uplift your mood while boosting your happiness level. Its stress-relieving minerals can also keep the body in a healthy state. You can take sesame oil internally or use it for a massage for better depression management.
5. Oral Health
Many dental professionals recommend the use of sesame oil for oil pulling. The traditional Indian medication known as the Ayurveda used sesame seed oil for thousands of years in boosting oral health. Oil pulling is the process of putting enough amount of oil inside the mouth then swishes it around like mouthwash for long durations to cover the whole area and eliminate bacteria before spitting the oil out.
This treatment can improve oral health and also whiten the teeth. According to studies, oil pulling using sesame oil has incredible benefits as it is able to decrease the amount of streptococcus in mouth. In addition, oil pulling using sesame oil can prevent bleeding gums, tooth decay, halitosis and dry throat while strengthening the teeth, jaw and gums. It is also effective in the treatment for gingivitis.
6. Improves Circulation and Metabolism
Sesame oil is rich with zinc and copper which means that the body can function properly in optimum level. Since copper is needed by the body to produce more red blood cells, consuming significant amount of copper from sesame seed oil allows your body to produce enough level of blood to deliver in all body organs, cells and tissues. This makes sure that you can have more energy and be more productive every day.
7. Prevents Diabetes
Including sesame seed oil in your diet can lower your risk from having diabetes. Thanks to its magnesium content and other essential nutrients. According to a study published in 2011 in Clinical Journal of Nutrition, sesame oil has the ability to improve the effectiveness of oral antibiotic drug glibenclamide in type 2 diabetics. The combination therapy lowered blood sugar, cholesterol as well as hemoglobin A1c.
Patients who consumed only sesame oil also experienced cholesterol drop 20%, triglycerides dropped 14% and LDL cholesterol dropped 33.8%. The combination of glibenclamide and sesame oil has cholesterol dropped 22%, triglyceride of 15% and LDL drop of 38%.
Another study in Journal of Medicinal Foods published in 2006 also proven that using sesame oil can lower glucose.
8. Lowers Blood Pressure
Sesame oil also has the ability to lower blood pressure as well as the sodium level in the blood. It has high magnesium content which is a key nutrient for lowering the blood pressure.
According to studies, patients with high blood pressure were asked to take sesame oil for forty five days. Their blood pressure came back to normal and they also lost some weight during the consumption of this incredible oil. When the patients stopped consuming sesame oil, their blood pressure became high again.
To have normal readings of blood pressure all the time, it is best to include sesame oil in your daily meals. If you are taking medicines, make sure to ask your doctor before taking sesame oil.
9. Skin Care
Sesame oil contains the essential nutrients that the skin needs in order to keep its silky texture and youthful appearance. This oil contains fatty acids and linoleic acid that serve as an effective skin moisturizer. Sesame oil is also rich with vitamin E, D and B complex that can erase skin blemishes and other skin rashes.
They also contain high level of viscosity for better massage application. This oil is able to penetrate deep into the pores of the skin so all the layers of the skin can reap all the benefits while improving blood circulation. There are many proven benefits of sesame oil for the skin.
- Moisturizer – Even though there are many natural oils that can moisturize the skin, sesame oil is considered to be the best and most effective. Aside from being a moisturizer, it can also make the skin softer without any side effects.
- Sunscreen – Sesame oil is also an effective sunscreen. It has the ability to make a protective film to prevent the damages of the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. If you are tired of buying expensive sunscreens, sesame oil is the best alternative and it is also rich with vitamin E that acts as antioxidant.
- Slows down signs of aging – Another excellent benefit of this oil is that it can slow down the signs of aging. It has the ability to improve skin rejuvenation and prevents the early appearances of fine lines and wrinkles. Applying this at night in circular motion can also enhance the circulation of the blood.
In the process of keeping the skin young looking, sesame oil can also make the skin glow. It can be mixed with rice powder and apply it on the skin to achieve youthful glow.
- Prevents Infection – Sesame oil is also an effective natural treatment for wounds. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can get rid of bacterial infections. This oil can also be used for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. The oil penetrates the skin and make a detoxifying effect to keep the skin fresh and warm.
10. Protects DNA from Radiation Damage
Sesamol, a compound in sesame oil and sesame seeds, has the ability to protect DNA caused by radiation damage. Sesame oil can also safeguard the organs of the body against radiation damage. There is a study that shows the ability of sesame oil to reduce mortality in mice treated by radiation while preventing spleen and intestinal damage.
11. Digestive Health
Sesame oil can also help in boosting the health and function of the digestive system. It contains high level of fiber which makes digestive system and colon healthy. Fiber assists the intestines in the elimination of digested food.
According to Dr. Amol Ghosh from N.R.S. Hospital in Kokkata, the black sesame seed and its oil is also an excellent treatment for constipation due to its fiber content as well as its unsaturated fatty acid.
You can include sesame oil in salad or mash them up with tomato, lime juice and avocado or simply serve it with lettuce leaves to improve digestion. Regular consumption can also improve certain inflammatory problems suchas IBD, Ulcerative Colitis, IBS and Crohn’s disease.
Consuming sesame seed oil regularly can reduce the pain of arthritis as it contains the mineral that is significant for antioxidant and inflammatory which is copper. Copper has the ability to decrease the swelling and pain associated with arthritis. According to recent studies, this incredible oil is even more effective than Tylenol. A small amount or a little more than one and a half ounce can reduce the pain of knee arthritis.
In addition, copper also provides additional strength to the joints, blood vessels and bones. Regular consumption of sesame seed or including sesame oil in your diet can make your bones and joints stronger.
13. Hair Care
Sesame oil also offers numerous benefits for hair. It is also used to stimulate hair growth. Here are some benefits of sesame oil for hair:
- Nutrition to hair follicles – Sesame oil contains fatty acids that enhance the health of the hair follicles.
- Prevents hair loss – This oil is also used for preventing baldness or hair loss caused by scalp infection. Sesame oil is also used as anti-fungal.
- Scalp psoriasis – Sesame oil can be used as a treatment for scalp psoriasis as it gets rid of dryness and flakiness.
- Hot oil treatment – Another great thing about sesame oil is that it can condition the hair. It eliminates tangles while making the hair softer.
- Removes lice – Mixing sesame oil with rosemary oil is a good treatment for getting rid of annoying lice.
Sesame oil offers numerous health benefits for thousands of years. Consuming sesame seeds or including sesame oil in your diet can enhance your overall health, including the nervous, cardiovascular and digestive system.
This incredible oil also promotes healthy and beautiful skin so there is no need to spend for expensive beauty products and hair treatments. With its ability to enhance bone health and heal injuries, it is best to keep a bottle of sesame oil in your kitchen and include it in your family’s diet.