Benefits of Sesame
The catchphrase that allowed Ali Baba to open the mountain cave to the reveal the magic inside recognizes the power of the sesame seed. The popularity of the sesame oil is backed by references in the Charak Samhita, Sushrut Samhita and Vagbhata that acknowledges this oilseed for its healing and nutritive properties.
From Egypt to Assyria, sesame oil has made its mark for its antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to being a flavour enhancer in everyday foods, this drought-tolerant crop has a high smoke point and is best for deep frying. East Asian cuisine uses sesame oil for seasoning and also touted to be great for women in postpartum confinement. From the East Asian tempura to our very own pickles and condiments, the uses of this oil are endless.
Ayurvedic practices use the 'Golden Serum' to reduce 'vatadosha' and inflammation due to its viscous nature. Regular use of sesame oil acts as a cell growth regulator, is helpful in protecting the liver from oxidative damage and maintains good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol levels. The high zinc level in the oil is also amazing for bone health.
Substitution of sesame seed oil as the sole edible oil used is associated with aiding in cardiovascular health, reducing blood pressure and glucose in hypertensive diabetics . From massaging infants to using it in therapeutic Ayurvedic massages, sesame seed oil cools the body instantly. This anti-inflammatory property is great for use on wounds and burns as well. This rancid-resistant oil fights, prevents and resists illnesses. Its popularity has also led to its extensive use in cosmetic products for its skin-friendliness.
Ideal for all uses — from lighting the auspicious lamp to maintaining general wellbeing of all members of a household and enjoying the flavour it lends to homemade food — the sesame seed oil has maintained its relevance 5,000 years since its discovery. It's hard to turn back once you discover the magic.
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