Planetary Origin and Use
- In Asia, black sesame seed is considered one of the most nutritious seed. In Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (or The Classic of Herbal Medicine), it describes Black sesame seed as nourishing blood, embellishing intestines, tonifying and is suitable for weak people, constipated, dizziness, tinnitus etc. Long-term use of black sesame seed can strengthen the body and combat aging. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, black affiliates with kidney and black sesame seed have been associated with kidney nourishing properties, like reducing grey hair, kidney tonifying (which supports the bone), and the list goes on.
- In the Middle East, there is tahini made from black sesame seeds (ground up paste from black sesame seeds) which have been eaten as an energy food.
- In India, sesame is used in religious ceremonies and shared with friends after cooking with sugar is believed to bring luck.
- In the West, it is primarily used in confectionary (such as hummus). In the US, it is also interestingly used to attract and feed game birds.
Health Benefits of Black Sesame
Black sesame seed is in the lignan category. It has a rich nutritional profile of copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium and dietary fiber. It also contains unique antioxidant substances (sesamin and sesamolin) that will help with reducing oxidative stress in the body. Combining with the Traditional Chinese Medicine view, black sesame seeds offer the following potential benefits:
- Anti-oxidant which has been the key factor in aging
- Healthy for the Heart – it has been studied for its anti-hypertensive in pre-hypertensive humans
- Protect against cancer
- Promote digestive health
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce pain from Rheumatoid arthritis
- Respiratory and Vascular health
- Premenstrual Syndrome Relief
- Healthy Skin and Bone
- Healthy Hair (grey hair in particular)
- Protects Liver
- Aid in lactation
- Postpartum and daily nourishment, as it is tremendous in expelling cold and dampness
- Sesame Markets http://www.sesamegrowers.org/usesofsesame.htm
- The Whole Foods Encyclopedia http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=84
- Identification of a characteristic antioxidant, anthrasesamone F, in black sesame seeds and its accumulation at different seed developmental stages. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26428273
- Antihypertensive and antioxidant effects of dietary black sesame meal in pre-hypertensive humans http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21827664