sPOTLIGHT iNGREDIENT: sESAME sEED
sPOTLIGHT INGREDIENT: SESAME SEED
Sesame seeds, popularly known as Tahini is the oldest condiment known to mankind. They are nutty and fragrant seed variants. They add a lovely crunch to many Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. Both these races are known for their longevity.
Sesame seeds are probably one of the first oil seeds known to mankind.
Sesame plant is a flowering plant belonging to the Pedaliaceae family. These seeds have the highest oil content among all seeds and a delicate, nutty flavor that becomes more pronounced when they are roasted under low temperature for a few minutes.
These seeds can be consumed in the raw or dried form, or even as roasted snacks. They are used as an ingredient in several cuisines.
Dry roasted sesame seeds are ground with olive into a thin, light brown colored paste, known as ‘Tahini’, which is a popular Middle Eastern dip. In Europe, they are commonly used in the manufacture of margarine.
There are several varieties of sesame seeds depending on the type of cultivar such as white, black and brown seeds.
White sesame seeds have higher iron content than the black ones and are mostly used as ingredients in food or in the form of oil.
Black sesame seeds are more flavorful and have a stronger aroma than white or brown sesame seeds and are preferably used in medicines. They contain 60% more calcium than the white ones.
White sesame seeds are hulled, whereas the black and brown ones retain their hulls.
Sesame is rich in powerful antioxidants and possesses antibacterial and antiviral properties. It offers several benefits to your skin by bringing blood and nourishment. The oil extracted from sesame seeds is rich in omega-6, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins B and E which have been used as products of beautification.
Sesame seed oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent and has excellent healing properties. Its antibacterial properties help to get rid of skin pathogens like staphylococcus and streptococcus as well as common skin fungi such as athlete’s foot fungus. Sesame seed oil mixed with warm water can control vaginal yeast infections.
When used after the exposure to the wind or the sun, sesame seed oil can treat suntans. It prevents the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun from damaging your skin, thus preventing the appearance of wrinkles and pigmentation. The regular usage of this oil significantly reduces the risk of skin cancer and prevents the skin from the effects of chlorine in swimming pool water.
The antioxidants contained in sesame seed oil help in detoxifying your skin. When applied on the skin, the molecules of this oil attract oil-soluble toxins that can be washed away with hot water and soap.
Baby skin, particularly the area covered with diapers, often gets rashes due to the acidity of body wastes. Sesame seed oil protects their tender skin against these rashes. Applying it to the nose and ears provides protection against common skin pathogens. It also combats dryness of skin.
Sesame seed oil can provide you with glowing skin. It maintains skin flexibility by keeping it soft and supple, and heals the areas of mild cuts, scrapes and abrasions.
It helps tighten the facial skin, particularly the area around the nose, and controls the enlargement of pores.
It also controls eruptions and neutralizes the poisons which develop on the surface and in the pores.
You can also try a facial for glowing skin.
If you have cracked heels or sore feet, you can apply sesame seed oil every night before going to bed and cover your feet with cotton socks. This should be done for a couple of days to get soft and supple feet.
Sesame seeds are packed with vitamins, nutrients and minerals that are vital for the maintenance of a healthy scalp and hair. Just like the skin, sesame seed oil has beneficial effects on your scalp, thus combating various scalp problems.
Sesame seeds contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 which promote hair growth. Sesame seed oil stimulates hair growth by nourishing, conditioning, and promoting a healthy scalp. The regular massage with warm sesame oil penetrates your scalp, thus increasing the blood circulation. It is comparable to a liquid vitamin that feeds your hair roots and shafts.
Sesame seeds are rich in replenishing vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are vital for a healthy scalp. Massaging your scalp with sesame seed oil combats dryness, flakiness and clogged pores that cause hair thinning and hair loss. Besides, its antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help in treating scalp infections and dandruff and soothing an irritated scalp.
Sesame seed oil acts as a natural sunscreen for your hair by protecting it from the damaging effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays and pollution.
Sesame seed oil acts as a deep conditioning treatment for dry, damaged hair, split ends or chemically treated hair. It restores the lost moisture and strengthens the hair shaft, enabling dull and brittle hair to regain its shine, bounce, elasticity and softness.
Sesame seed oil is known for its hair darkening qualities that make it effective for people suffering from premature graying of hair. It can be used with carrier oils like olive or almond oil to reap the maximum benefits.
- Danielle Lasit