Sesame (Sesamum indicum), often known as Til, is a flowering plant in the Sesamum genus. It is farmed for its edible seeds, which are produced in pods, and has become widely naturalized in tropical locations around the world. In 2018, the top producers were Sudan, Myanmar, and India. The cultivated type, S. indicum, is from India.
It thrives in drought-stricken areas, where other crops have failed. Sesame seed, which dates back over 3000 years, is one of the earliest domesticated oilseed crops. The oil content of sesame is among the greatest of any seed. It is a common component in cuisines across the world because of its rich, nutty flavour.1
Nutritional Value of Sesame Seed:
Sesame oil is most widely utilized in bakeries. Protein, vitamin B1, dietary fiber, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, copper, and zinc are all abundant in sesame seeds.
The nutritional value of sesame seed is shown in the below table.3
|Nutritional Components||Sesame seeds/100 gm|
|Total Fat||50 g|
|Saturated fat||7 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||23 g|
|Dietary fibre||12 g|
Therapeutic Uses of Sesame Seeds:
It is widely utilized for medicinal applications due to the presence of some unique phytochemicals. It is a powerful energy source. Its seeds are utilized for its various health-promoting properties, while its seed coat, a byproduct of sesame and a valuable source of fibers, is typically used for animal feedstuff.2
Sesame seed is also recognised to provide a variety of health benefits.4 There are as follows:
- Blood sugar lowering activity
- Lipid-lowering activity
- Anti-cancer activity
- Blood pressure-lowering activity
- Liver protective activity
- Antifungal activity
- Antibacterial activity
- Antioxidant activity
Benefits of Sesame Seeds:
Sesame seeds provide a wide range of health benefits, which are detailed below.
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Hair Health:
Plant polyphenols found in sesame seeds can aid hair health. Because of the vitamins and minerals in sesame seed oil, it is frequently massaged into the scalp, which helps prevent premature greying and promotes hair growth. Thus the amino acids and antioxidants in sesame seed oil may also help dull hair regain its lustre.2
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Heart Functioning:
- Natural oil-soluble plant lignans found in sesame seeds may aid in the treatment of hypertension.
- Furthermore, magnesium has long been recognised as a vasodilator (a substance that lowers blood pressure).5
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Constipation:
- Sesame seeds have a higher content of fibre that is essential for good digestion.
- It helps with symptoms like constipation and diarrhoea while also protecting the colon and lowering the risk of gastrointestinal disorders.6
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Diabetes:
Sesame seeds are useful in managing diabetes. They reduce blood glucose levels and reduce or delay the absorption of glucose in the body.7
Also Read: Diet Tips for Gestational Diabetes
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Arthritis:
- Anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects of sesame seeds and sesame seed oil are owing to Sesamol, a bioactive substance found in sesame seeds.
- It is responsible for preventing pro-inflammatory chemical synthesis.
- It also lowers the number of reactive oxygen species produced.
- Sesame seeds or seed oil helps to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis because of their qualities.8, 9
- Pain and inflammation are reduced by massaging joints with sesame seed oil.4
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Oral Health:
The effects of sesame seeds on dental health are perhaps the most apparent.
- Sesame seed oil pulling has a powerful antibacterial and astringent effect on many aspects of dental health.
- It is also linked to lowering the presence of Streptococcus bacteria, a common bacterium that can cause problems in the mouth.
- Oil pulling with sesame oil can help reduce dental plaque as well as improve gum health.10
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Fertility in Men:
Men’s diets that include sesame seeds have been shown to improve sperm quality and increase male fertility. In one of the research, participants experienced a considerable increase in sperm count and sperm motility.11
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Alzheimer’s Disease:
- Sesame seeds aid in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
- They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Sesame seeds reduce the formation of pro-inflammatory molecules that may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Furthermore, they manage Alzheimer’s disease by inhibiting the damage induced by reactive oxygen species to brain cells.12, 13
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Anaemia:
Sesame seeds aid in the treatment of anaemia. Iron is abundant in sesame seeds. They help in the production of haemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cells in the body.14
Also Read: 7 Home Remedies for Anaemia
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Anxiety:
- Due to its anxiolytic impact, sesame seeds are beneficial in the treatment of anxiety.
- They also have antioxidant capabilities, which aid in the elimination of free radicals and the reduction of stress-related anxiety.15
Benefits of Sesame Seeds for Skincare:
Zinc is an important component of sesame seeds. Zinc is a necessary component in the synthesis of collagen, which strengthens muscle tissue, hair, and skin. Thus, consuming sesame seeds can help improve health of hair and skin.2
- Due to the presence of antioxidants, sesame seed oil is helpful to the skin, and applying it to the face overnight softens and tightens the skin.
- Because of its antibacterial and antifungal characteristics, it improves wound healing.4
- They prevent wound infection while also boosting wound healing. They fight common skin diseases with antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- They are also beneficial for wound healing because they promote collagen production and cell proliferation.16
Side Effects of Sesame Seeds:
The majority of studies have determined that sesame seeds are safe to eat and have no negative effects. Excessive sesame seeds can result in some of the adverse effects described below.17
- If sesame seeds are not consumed in the limit, they might cause blood glucose levels to drop below normal.
- Excessive consumption of sesame seeds can drop blood pressure to dangerously low levels.
- Fibre from sesame seeds can form a layer over the appendix, causing bloating and pain.
- Because sesame seed allergy is a prevalent type of allergy, it is recommended that you consult a doctor before including sesame-based items in your daily diet.
- Sesame seeds have a detrimental effect if ingested in large quantities, as more of them are stored in the stomach without being digested, perhaps leading to weight gain.
- Sesame seeds should be used with caution, and persons with gout should avoid them entirely, as sesame seeds contain oxalates, a natural substance that contributes to the aggravation of gout symptoms.
How to Use Sesame Seeds?
Sesame seeds are available in six different forms:17
- Sesame seeds
- Sesame milk
- Sesame seed oil
- Sesame seed capsule
- Sesame seed powder
- Sesame seed paste
Your doctor will prescribe you the appropriate form based on your individual needs.
Precautions to be Taken with Sesame Seeds:
Before consuming sesame seeds, seek medical counsel if you have one or more of these conditions.
- In some people, sesame seeds or oil might trigger allergic responses (contact dermatitis). If you have an allergic response after eating sesame seeds, you should see a doctor.18,19
Interactions with Other Drugs:
It is critical to remember that none of these medications should be used with sesame seeds.17
Sesame helps in lowering blood sugar levels. Blood sugar is also controlled using diabetes medicines. Taking sesame with diabetes drugs may cause blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low.
Sesame can help decrease blood pressure. When taking sesame with blood pressure medications, the effects of the medications may be amplified, lowering blood pressure too much.
Sesame seeds can diminish the effects of tamoxifen. Tamoxifen users should avoid consuming sesame seeds in quantities greater than those found in food.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) How to eat sesame seeds?
Raw sesame seeds are a delicious snack (hulled or unhulled). You can toast and bake them as well. 17
2) How many sesame seeds should I eat daily?
Consume one tablespoon of raw or roasted sesame seeds every day, or season salads with sesame seeds to taste.17
3) Does sesame seeds affect pregnancy?
Sesame seeds cause the fertilised ovum to be ejected by stimulating the uterine muscles. Sesame seeds should be avoided by all pregnant women throughout the first three to four months of pregnancy, according to experts.17
4) How to use sesame seeds?
Sesame seeds can be sprinkled in salads, stir-fries, and soups. Sesame seeds can be toasted to make them crunchier and to enhance their flavour. Sesame seeds can be toasted by spreading them out on a baking dish and roasting them at 350°F for 5-10 minutes.17
5) How to store sesame seeds?
Keep sesame seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry location.17
6) How to make sesame oil at home?
To make sesame oil at home, toast the seeds until golden brown, then combine them with your favourite cooking oil and blend until smooth. The sesame oil develops on top of the components at this point. Refrigerate sesame oil for up to two years so you can use it in a variety of dishes. 17
7) Sesame seeds, are they gluten-free?
Yes, Sesame seeds, both black and white, are gluten-free. 17
8) Is sesame seed oil good for hair?
Yes, sesame seeds and oil can help in hair growth. Sesamin, a bioactive substance found in sesame seeds and oil, helps to prevent hair loss and greying. It can also be used to hydrate a dry scalp and prevent hair from the harmful effects of the sun and pollutants. Furthermore, it aids in the strengthening of hair shafts and roots. Lice infestations in children’s hair can also be treated with sesame oil.20
9) Can sesame seeds cause acne?
No, Sesame oil, on the other hand, aids in the regulation of excess oils and has a healing impact on the skin.17
10) What are the health benefits of sesame seeds?
Sesame seeds have anthelmintic, antihypertensive, antibacterial, cytotoxic, and hepatoprotective activities.2
11) Can sesame seeds give you diarrhoea?
If you have a weak Agni, sesame oil might produce nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and even diarrhoea (digestive fire).17
12) How to extract oil from sesame seeds at home?
Warm the sesame seeds and cooking oil together on a medium heat setting after mixing them together. The presence of sesame seeds in the oil aids in the extraction of more oil from the seeds.17
13) Can you freeze sesame seeds?
Yes, sesame seeds can be frozen. Sesame seeds have a storage life of 6-8 months at room temperature and up to a year if refrigerated.17
14) Does sesame seeds good for health?
Healthy fats, protein, B vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and other useful plant elements can all be found in sesame seeds. Consuming large amounts of these seeds on a regular basis, rather than just a sprinkling on a burger bun, may aid in blood sugar control, arthritic pain treatment, and cholesterol-lowering.17
15) Why do burgers have sesame seeds?
The sesame seeds provide the bun flavour and texture, as well as add visual appeal to the burger.17
16) How do sesame seeds help in hair growth?
Yes, sesame seeds have been shown to aid hair growth. Zinc is found in sesame seeds and oil, and it is linked to healthy hair development. They aid in the maintenance of a healthy balance between hair growth and hair loss.21
- T. Ogasawara, K. Chiba, M. Tada in (Y. P. S. Bajaj ed) (1988). Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Volume 10. Springer, 1988. Available from:
- Anilakumar R, Pal A, Khanum F et al. Nutritional, medicinal and industrial uses of Sesame (S. indicum L.) seeds-an overview. Agric Conspec Sci.2010;75(4):159-168. Available from: https://hrcak.srce.hr/file/98744
- Nutrional value of sesame seeds, USDA. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. [Internet] Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/
- Pathak N, Rai AK, Kumari R, Bhat KV. Value addition in sesame: A perspective on bioactive components for enhancing utility and profitability. Pharmacog Rev. 2014 Jul;8(16):147. Available from:
- Peterson J, Dwyer J, Adlercreutz H, Scalbert A, Jacques P, McCullough ML. Dietary lignans: physiology and potential for cardiovascular disease risk reduction. Nutr Rev. 2010; 68(10): 571-603. Available from:
- Bamigboye AY, Okafor AC, Adepoju OT. Proximate and mineral composition of whole and dehulled Nigerian Sesame seed. Afr J Food Sci Technol. 2010;1(3):71-75. Available from:
- Ramesh B, Saravanan R, Pugalendi K V. Influence of Sesame oil on blood glucose, lipid peroxidation, and antioxidant status in streptozotocin diabetic rats. J Med Food.2005;8(3). Available from:
- Hemshekhar M, Mohan Thushara R, Jnaneshwari S et al. Attenuation of adjuvant-induced arthritis by dietary sesamol via modulation of inflammatory mediators, extracellular matrix degrading enzymes and antioxidant status. Eur J Nutr.2013; 52(7): 1787-1799. Available from:
- Yadav NV, Sadashivaiah, Ramaiyan B et al. Sesame oil and rice bran oil ameliorates adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats: distinguishing the role of minor components and fatty acids. Lipids.2016; 51(12): 1385-1395. Available from:
- Asokan S, Emmadi P, Chamundeswari R. Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Indian Journal of Dental Research. 2009; 20(1): 47. Available from:
- Khani B, Bidgoli SR, Moattar F, Hassani H. Effect of sesame on sperm quality of infertile men. Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. 2013; 18(3):184. Available from:
- Kanu PJ, Bahsoon JZ, Kanu JB et al. Nutraceutical importance of Sesame seed and oil: a review of the contribution of their lignans. Sierra Leone J Biomed Res.2010; 2(1): 4-16. Available from:
- Lee SY, Son DJ, Lee YK et al. Inhibitory effect of sesaminol glucosides on lipopolysaccharide-induced NF-κB activation and target gene expression in cultured rat astrocytes. Neurosci Res.2006; 56(2): 204-212. Available from:
- Soltan SSA. The protective effect of soybean, Sesame, lentils, pumpkin seeds and molasses on iron deficiency anemia in rats. World Appl Sci J. 2013; 23(6): 795-807. Available from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.388.2602&rep=rep1&type=pdf
- Kumar A, Kaur G, Kalonia H et al. Evaluation of sesamol and buspirone in stress induced anxiety in mice. Indian J Pharmacol.2013; 45(1):49-53. Available from:
- Kiran K, Asad M. Wound healing activity of S. indicum L seed and oil in rats. Indian J Exp Biol.2008;46(11):777-782.
- Namiki M. Nutraceutical functions of sesame: a review. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2007 Sep 27;47(7):651-73. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408390600919114
- Neering H, Vitányi BE, Malten KE. Allergens in Sesame oil contact dermatitis. Acta Dermato-venereologica.1975;55(1):31-34. Available from:
- Kubo Y, Nonaka S, Yoshida H. Contact sensitivity to unsaponifiable substances in Sesame oil. Contact Dermatitis.1986;15(4):215-217. Available from:
- Manosroi A, Chaikul P, Chankhampan C et al.5α-reductase inhibition and melanogenesis induction of the selected thai plant extracts. Chiang Mai J Sci.2018;42(3):669-680. Available from:
- Obiajunwa EI, Adebiyi FM, Omode PE. Determination of essential minerals and trace elements in Nigerian Sesame seeds, using TXRF technique. Pakistan J Nutr.2005;4(6):393-395. Available from:
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