Sesame Seeds - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Botanical Name :: Sesamum indicum
Indian Name :: Til
Other English Name :: Gingelly Seeds
Description of Sesame Seeds
The sesame is a well known oilseed. It is probably the oldest of all cultivated seed crops. It has been regarded as a food of high value throughout Asia since ancient times.Sesame is a variable annual herb, one to two metre tall, covered with glandular hairs and with a somewhat foetid or pungent smell. The seeds are small, smooth, white, red or black
Origin and Distribution of Sesame Seeds
Sesame originated in Africa. It has been identified in the excavation al Harappa, Pakistan, dating to 2000 BC and was recorded in Egypt about 1300 BC at the time of the expulsion of the Israelites. Its seeds and oil have been widely mentioned in Indian literature from the Vedic period and was used for religious ceremonies such as shraddha and pitryana. It spread early through West Asia to India, China and Japan. It is now widely grown in parts of Latin America also.
Food Value of Sesame SeedsSesame seed kernels are a nourishing food. The hard husk of sesame seeds must be removed prior to consumption for il is abrasive on the intestines and rather bitter, due to its high concentration of oxalic acid. The husk is also very rich in calcium, iron and vitamin B1, but these are unfortunately nonextractable by human digestive means.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Sesame Seeds
There are three varieties of sesame seeds; black. white and red. The black variety yields the best quality of oil and is also best suited for medicinal purposes. The white seeds are extremely rich in calcium and are useful in all cases of calcium deficiency. The red variety is exceptionally rich in iron. The seeds are emollient that softens the skin, nourishing tonic, emmenagogue that stimulates menstruation, demulcent or soothing. laxative, diuretic and fattening.
The oil extracted from sesame seeds is of very high medicinal quality. Charak, the great medical authority of ancient India. has said that of all the oils, the gingelly or sesame oil is the best. It has the finest flavor and a high boiling point. This latter quality is important from the health point of view, for it indicates that less molecular restructuring takes place in sesame oil than any other seed oil.
Uses of Sesame Seeds
Sesame is grown for its edible seeds which are the source of gingelly oil. This oil is used as a substitute for olive oil as a salad dressing and in cooking. The fried seeds are eaten in soups and. mixed with sugar, are a popular sweetmeat in Africa and Asia .
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