Sesame Seed Health Benefits

| Modified: Aug 04, 2014
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Sesame seeds are among the first oil seeds known to humankind. While their utilization began in traditional cooking, their use today has expanded into the world of medicine. With nutritional, preventative, and therapeutic properties, sesame seeds are an excellent nutrient source and health remedy.

What are Sesame Seeds?

Sesame seeds are derived from the sesame plant. This plant is a tall annual herb from the Pedaliaceae family, which grows throughout Asia in Burma, China, and India as well as in Nigeria, Sudan and Ethiopia. Scientifically known as sesamum indicum, the plant requires a well-drained sandy soil and tropical environment to thrive.

The seeds are found within the pods on the trees pink-white flowers. Sesame seeds come in different variations and may be white, brown, or black in color. Sesame seeds generally deliver a rich, nutty flavor and have a high oil content.

Eaten alone or as an additive to different foods, sesame seeds are effective in a variety of forms. Often added to baked goods or stir fries, the warm, nutty seeds are generally thought of as a condiment. With such astute health benefits and pleasant flavor, sesame seeds are one of the most beneficial food additives available.

Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds offer extensive health benefits. The seeds are a rich source of an array of different nutrients. The miniscule seeds are a good source of calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorus, zinc, and dietary fiber. The seeds also contain two unique substances sesamin and sesamolin, which belong to a group of fibers called lignans. Lignans are known for their cholesterol-lowering effect in humans.

With all of these benefits and more, sesame seeds can be used to treat a wide variety of health conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis, liver damage, asthma, osteoporosis, migraines, and premenstrual syndrome can be effectively managed using sesame seeds. Likewise, the seeds may help prevent heart attack, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer.

When it comes to health, many people think that “bigger is better.” However, sesame seeds demonstrate that even small supplements can pack a potent health punch.


Posted by Feidon (Tel-Aviv, Israel) on 03/03/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Regarding Butt and thighs acne:

I had the worst case of red painful pimples on my butt. It was ugly and depressing. My dear friends, rub the infected area with pure refined sesame oil after each shower or bath. Rub it well after drying yourselves. Then let your skin absorb it for a minute and go on and put your underwear. It has no smell it feels great and in one or two days you will start to notice that no new pimples will develop. In a week time the scars of the old ones will vanish!

I was regulating body cleansing diet for two months and it did it as well, but when I stopped it, it came back. Sesame oil will cure it and still enable you to eat junk and enjoy a very smooth butt cheeks."


Posted by Vickie (Windfall, In) on 09/09/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I have used Sesame oil for many things. I swab my nostrils with the oil to ward off colds, etc. As soon as I feel that little tingle in my nose, I get out the Q tips & oil. As Sesame oil is bacteriostatic, it doesn't allow bacteria to grow. The oil collects the bad stuff on the swab & you toss it away. It is soothing to the tissue & by next morning, all symptoms are gone for me. I continue for a couple of days, 3-4 times a day, to ensure all germies are gone. I drink it for a sore throat. I swab my ears for ear ache. As soon as I feel anything coming on, I take action right away to ward it off. I use it as a moisturizer. I am now reading about oil pulling & will be doing that. I just came across this site yesterday & I see it as a God send. I am experiencing some new issues, too, and I have already sent the link to this site to friends & family. Everyone seems to be so caring & sharing here. Blessings to all of you & thank you!


Posted by Jacob (Bartlett, IL) on 03/04/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Hi One remedy I have used consistently since childhood is one I learnt from my mother. Its a simple South-Indian remedy.

Heat 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds in a pan till it starts popping. Once it starts popping nicely and starts giving out smoke, add half glass of water and let it boil for a few minutes. Cool and filter the liquid. Drinking this pale yellow liquid has been the most effective cure for diarhhea that I have seen. You can repeat it once more.

General Feedback

Posted by Francisca (Zug, Switzerland) on 02/14/2012

I went to an acupuncturist a few days ago and he advised me to eat 2 tbspoons of sesame seeds a day. I bought them and quite enjoy the taste but doing some research I found out that they contain phytic acid which chelates important vitamins and minerals. Is it a good idea to eat them anyway? I will ask him as well the next time I see him.

From Wikipedia:

"Phytic acid has a strong binding affinity to important minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. When a mineral binds to phytic acid, it becomes insoluble, precipitates and will be nonabsorbable in the intestines. This process can therefore contribute to mineral deficiencies in people whose diets rely on these foods for their mineral intake, such as those in developing countries. Contrary to that, one study correlated decreased osteoporosis risk with phytic acid consumption. It also acts as an acid, chelating the vitamin niacin, the deficiency of which is known as pellagra. In this regard, it is an antinutrient, despite its possible therapeutic effects (see below). For people with a particularly low intake of essential minerals, especially those in developing countries, this effect can be undesirable".

Replied by Maria
Gippsland, Australia

You can lower the phytic acid content by soaking overnight in water.

Replied by Timh
Louisville, Ky, Usa
2109 posts

Francisca, as a general rule, not just w/ the phytates, but I try to avoid taking my minerals before or during any high fibre meal as it can be very counterproductive. Only exception being the minor or trace minerals like Chromium and Selenium which measure in micrograms. Also Iodine shouldn't be taken before or during eating Cabbage, Broccoli, or Cauliflower (as if you didn't already know this, which I suppose you do but just being studious here).

Replied by Francisca
Zug, Switzerland

Thanks Maria and Timh.... And no, Timh, I didn't know about the cauliflour, cabbage and broccoli thing. Is that because of the phytates as well? I'm afraid eating has become a science.... I almost feel like taking an university course on it! Or else.... just eat and hope for the best! What else can you do......

Replied by Citygirl
Nanaimo, Bc

I've heard that phytic acid is neutralized or eliminated or at least decreased if the seeds are soaked in water for at least 7 hours.

Replied by Timh
Louisville, Ky
2109 posts

Francisca, the culprits in blocking Iodine uptake are called "goitrogens". Additions to the previous list are Turnips, Mustard, Cassava Root, Soybeans, Pine Nuts, Millet. Good news is the "goitrogens" are supposedly inactivated by cooking. If you are having issues w/ Thyroid, this would certainly need investigating.

Replied by Francisca
Zug, Switzerland

Thanks Timh, I knew about goitrogens but I didn't know which ones they were! Meaning, as long as they are all cooked it is ok. Anyway, I don't take Lugol's with dinner, I try to take it during the day. I am still worried about the phytic acid. I don't have Barry Groves book Trick and Treat here with me but I think that this might be the reason why he said that actually eating whole grain bread, pasta, rice, etc. Is actually marginally worse than eating the refined types because they blocked the absorption of vitamins and minerals. I don't remember exactly whether he mentiones phytic acid but it must have been. All so confusing.....

No, I don't think that I have thyroid problems but I blieve that like most people I am low on iodine: tired, cherry angiomas, thin, falling hair, cold extremeties, insomnia, bags under my eyes, etc.

Replied by Francisca
Zug, Switzerland

Thanks Citygirl, I had read that once as well but should one then also drink the water they soaked in? Too bad, I quite enjoy the crunchy sesame seeds!

Replied by Maria
Gippsland, Australia

Hi Francisca, No you don't use the soak water. Sourdough bread has a much lower level of phytic acid due to the fermentation process. I should say genuine sourdough not the one that is made with bakers yeast and with only a token small bit of sourdough culture. If you grind your own grain and make sourdough bread - yummy! Some people use a rye starter as rye is supposed to have a higher amount of phytase than other grains. In the process of soaking or fermenting Phytase goes to work and digests most of the phytic acid, depending on time of ferment. Baking is supposed to remove some also.

Replied by Francisca
Zug, Switzerland

Thanks Maria, I have also heard that cooking with sesame seeds, for example, gets rid of the phytic acid. I am living in temporary accommodation right now and baking is not an option! I was only trying to eat the sesame seeds because my acupuncturist advised them!

Replied by D
Ottumwa, Ia, Usa
5 out of 5 stars

Phytic acid is a useful thing for breaking up the biofilm to kill Mycoplasmas in the gut. This would be a very good thing to try for short term. Sesame also has a beneficial "fungus" for lack of a better term, and is great to uses to supplant other more harmful mycoplasmas and fungi. It is a very good oil to try for skin use.


Posted by Robert (Belvidere, illinois) on 01/29/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I've Learned a way that may help in regrowing Hair. Rub Sesame Oil on your head each night before bed then cover with a cap or wrap your head with a towel when you wake in the morning shower using a Herbal shampoo follow up with a final rinse using 1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar.


Posted by Scott (Pen Argyl, Pa, USA) on 03/25/2010
4 out of 5 stars

Sesame Seed Oil & Hypertension

About 1-1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with a severe case of hypertension. I was put on diuretics and B blockers which for a while brought my blood pressure down to the normal range. In the past few months the drugs haven't been as effective and my pressure started trending up. Accidentally, I ran across info that sesame seed oil could bring a person's BP back into the normal range. I've been using it for the past month and my BP has been trending lower. I'm not back at normal yet but about half way there. I'm hoping in another month to 6 weeks I'll be back there and maybe be able to reduce or eventually give up the drugs altogether. Time will tell.

EC: Hi Scott,

Can you please tell us how much sesame seed oil you are taking each day and how you take it (cook with it, etc.). Thanks!

Replied by Catherine
Wellington, New Zealand

I recently came across information that suggested potassium rich foods such as bananas are good for reducing blood pressure, also olive oil and dark red fruits. Worth checking up on, the natural way is always best if you can manage it.

Oil Pulling

Posted by Sabrina (Talking Rock, Georgia) on 05/14/2010
3 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

I started oil pulling with sesame seed oil last week. I saw changes in my gums and whiter teeth. I also had great results with my joints. On Wednesday the 1 week anniversary, I got the worst headache of my life. I haven't oil pulled since. So only 2 days. Could it be detox?

Posted by Donna (Alamogordo, NM) on 01/10/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I have a bad tooth and it was swollen and painful. I did a search and came across the oil pulling site. I began at once with sesame oil. My tooth resolved immediately. But I continued. I got so sick I thought I was going to die. Thank God I was off of work for 2 1/2 weeks but my kids came to visit. I had an incredibly high fever, and turned very pale and so sick I should have not been out of bed. I could not even dress. My head had never hurt so horribly bad. I continued with the oil pulling for 3 times per day. Then as I was getting well, after about 7 days, it was really odd that I began expelling from my mouth in the form of mucous, but not ordinary mucous. It was light, airy, and foamy as I had never experienced before. I expelled this nasty stuff by the kleenex fulls. I continued and got better, my color came back to my face and I felt extremely better. My friend commented that my back by my lungs looked a lot smaller as though I had lost a lot of weight. I now can breathe and seem to be very healthy. I continue to use the oil pulling but only sesame about 3 to 4 times per week but only one time per day. I have wonderful skin and no more nasty dry cracked heels. Thank you for supplying this secret that has helped me regain my health. God Bless You!!!

Posted by Lourdes (Madrid, Spain) on 01/06/2009

Hello everyone! It is January 6th. I started oil pulling daily about 2-3 days after this post was published on Dec. 3rd, so it's definitely been a full month. I really wish I could report some amazing reaction but I can't. I cannot tell whether it is working, but am motivated enough to give it another month or two. I am using raw organic sesame oil that is precisely for ayurvedic practices. I swish for 20 minutes until the oil is completely white and liquid, then spit it out, and brush my teeth with tooth soap. I do this first thing in the morning, before even drinking water (I read that this was the way to do it). Changes? Well, maybe less plaque. Hard to tell. Also, in September or so I started experiencing hair loss for the first time (I am a 45 year old woman) and even got a large bald spot (eventually larger than a quarter), which completely freaked me out (fortunately it's still hidden by hair). The bald spot started in September and got bigger. Now, the hair has started growing back in around the edges, but this could have begun before the oil pulling. Sorry so inconclusive. Best of luck to everyone.

Posted by Bronzechiqz (France, Argentuil) on 12/24/2008
1 out of 5 stars

Ive been oil pulling for a week using sesame oil every morning on empty stomach. 15-20 minutes later, I would spit out, the oil will become slightly white still oily consistency, gargle and rinse with a glass of warm water, baking soda and salt. And then brush my teeth. Seeing teds method, I brushed first and did the procedure. I coudnt really see difference on anything except for lil whiter teeth. My skin just stayed the same and my appetite seem to be increasing??? Im thinking of switching to sunflower oil or coconut to see any changes. Any suggestion?

Posted by Shabana (Bradford, UK) on 12/14/2008

hi, i have brought toasted sesame oil, but i am not sure whether it is the right one. i cannot find plain sesame oil! will someone let me know whether i can do oil pulling with toasted seasame oil?

Posted by Gina (Small town, Ohio) on 12/06/2008
1 out of 5 stars

Am I the world's most unsuccessful oil puller? I have been oil pulling for a month. I use 1 tablespoon organic unrefined sesame oil and occasionally coconut oil. I oil pull an average of 6 days per week for 20 minutes. I have not experienced any of the supposed benefits I've seen listed here. My teeth are not whiter. My sinuses have not totally cleared. My gums still slightly bleed when I floss. Energy levels remain the same. The only thing I have noticed is a slight reduction in sensitivity to cold on my teeth. I am really disappointed. My main reason for trying oil puling was to improve the look of my teeth and gums. If anyone has any suggestions or thoughts on why this is not working for me I would greatly appreciate it. I will finish the bottle of sesame oil but probably not continue. At this point my impression of oil pulling is it doesn't work. Thank you.

Posted by Linda (Queens, NY) on 10/22/2008

Hello All! First I would like to say I love this site! So I picked up Flora's organic sesame oil cold pressed. I wanted to know if this brand is okay and that its cold pressed. Also, should I refrigerate it? Thanks a bunch!

Posted by Melinda (Macungie, PA) on 10/21/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I learned about Oil Pulling from your website and I feel so thankful for this wonderful treatment. I had an abscess under a tooth in my mouth that would not go away. I had tried antibiotics twice and it just went away for a while and came back. The last time I had an abscess I needed to have the tooth pulled and an implant put in - lots of pain and money.

I started oil pulling - for the first 2 weeks twice a day and then once a day. The abscess looked better and better but did not go away. Daily i would clean out any accumulated pus, and eventually i only had to do that every 3 days or so. Then - one morning after 2 months of this - when I went to clean it out to my great surprise a small bubble came out - the outside was clear and inside was a bright grass green color. After that day, the abscess completely healed. It has been three months and everything is just fine. Thank you so much for the information that you post here. I used 1 tablespoon of Cold Pressed Sesame Oil and I added a few drops of Oregano Oil to it for oil pulling. I am still oil pulling, switching types of oil every few months.

Posted by Page (Los Angeles, CA) on 10/04/2008
0 out of 5 stars

I stumbled upon this site several months ago. I was so happy to find the information on " Oil Pulling ". Soon after I started oil pulling with the sesame oil that was recommended. I thought that my results would be very interesting and I want to share them with you.

Within one month I was in soaring pain with my first Root Canal. Thank God I found a good dentist in Los Angeles because what was soon to come would have been unbearable! In the last four months I have had 3 more root canals! With very little money as a single mother for over 16 years my teeth had been neglected. If your teeth are not in perfect shape: Do Not Oil Pull. You'll be sorry. Instead, find yourself a reasonable dentist and try to get caught up on your dental health.

A friend of mine with perfect teeth and in excellent health tried it for three weeks and saw no results at all.

Good Luck to everyone.