Sesame Seed Oil
Botanical Name: Sesamum indicum
Family Name: Pedaliaceae
Common Name: Sesame, Teel oil, Benne oil
Part used: Seeds
Specific Gravity: 0.916 – 0.921 at 25 °C
Optical Rotation: +1 to +9 degrees
Refractive Index: 1.4650 – 1.4665
Blends well with: Olive, Jojoba, Marjoram
Uses: This oil is widely used in cooking since it is rich in vitamin E.
This oil is used to cure tooth problems and gum diseases.
Countries where it's found
This sesame plant is a native of tropical countries. It is widely available in the Indian subcontinent and in fact India is one of the biggest producers of sesame oil in the world along with China and Myanmar. Variants of the plant are also found in parts of Africa.
The best characteristic of the Sesame is that it is drought tolerant. It can survive and grow in the regions that lacks in rainfall and that is where it scores over most other plants and vegetables. It gained popularity in the arid North African as well as West Asian regions for the same reason. It prefers warm weather and at least three to four months of frost free period is required for a good harvest.
History of the Plant
Sesame oil has a long history and it is probably the oldest oil seed cultivated by human beings. The evidences suggest that it has been cultivated by the ancient civilizations for more than 5000 years. While the wild varieties of the plant are available in the sub-Saharan Africa, the cultivated and domesticated variety of the oil has originated in India. Apart from India, it was used by other major civilizations of the ancient world including the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Assyrians and Babylonians.
The oil is extracted from the seeds using various types of mechanical presses.
Commonly known Benefits
Sesame Oil is used as cooking oil in Southern India. The vitamins and minerals in the oil also make it useful in several medicinal purposes and are supposed to be good for internal organs such as liver and kidney and also good in cholesterol control. Apart from culinary usage, there are several health benefits of sesame oil,
- Sesame oil is very rich in Vitamin E. This vitamin is also an antioxidant that helps in controlling cholesterol levels.
- The oil also contains several minerals such as zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium etc. They help in aiding the vascular as well as respiratory system and also cleanse the intestines and colon.
- Sesame oil is rich in Omega 6 fatty acids which help in controlling blood pressure. As a result it also soothes the nerves and eases hypertension. Researchers have also agreed that the application or consumption of sesame oil eases anxiety.
- It is also believed to control bone disorders and poor blood circulation and enhance immunity of the system.
- Regular massaging with this oil helps overcome lethargy and fatigue and it is in general good for relaxing the muscles.
- Sesame oil is also recommended for massaging newborns and infants. In fact it has been traditionally used for that purpose in India for ages.
- Another good quality of this oil is in curing gum diseases and tooth problems.
- On the flip side, some people may be allergic to it. So, one should be careful in using it.