Sesame is a seed from a plant that is usually found in Africa and India. The seeds are odorless and are used in many different forms during cooking and baking. Sesame seeds are usually turned into oil. This oil can be used to treat dry skin diseases. It can also be used to reduce or prevent swelling and other symptoms of arthritis.
The medicinal part of the plant is the seed.
Flower and Fruit
The flowers are short-pedicled, single or in groups of 2 or 3 in the leaf axils. The flowers are zygomorphic; the calyx 5-tipped, 2 to 5 mm long, pubescent and does not drop. The corolla is campanulate, 5-lobed, and distinctly bilabiate. It is 1.5 to 3.5 cm long, white or reddish. The lower lobes are the longest. There are 4 stamens. The ovary is usually double-chambered (but can have up to 10 chambers) with a false septum, 1 to 1.5 mm long, and pubescent. The fruit is a square, brownish, 2 to 3 cm long, and up to 1 cm wide, multiseeded capsule. The seeds are yellowish-white, brownish, reddish or black, 1.5 to 4 mm long, 1 to 2 mm wide, 0.5 to 1 mm thick, and smooth or finely ribbed.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
The herb grows upright to a height of 1.2 m. The lower leaves are opposite and the petiole is 3 to 11 cm long. The lamina 4 to 20 cm long and 2 to 10 cm wide. It is elongate-ovate, entire or 3-lobed, then dentate. The upper leaves are opposite or alternate. The petiole is up to 3 cm long. The lamina is 0.5 to 2.5 cm wide, lanceolate, and usually entire. Young leaves are pubescent and sticky. The stem is square to hexagonal, either completely pubescent or only on the upper section. The taproot grows down to a depth of almost 1 m. The stem is branched or unbranched.
The plant's oily seeds are odorless with a sweet taste.
Sesame orientale is cultivated worldwide in tropical and subtropical temperate zones, but the main sesame oil-producing countries are India, Sudan, Myanmar, and China.
Sesame oil is the oil of Sesamum orientale, which is pressed or extracted from the ripe seeds and refined.
Beniseed, Gingelly, Oriental Sesame
Actions & Pharmacology
Fatty oil (97 to 98%): chief fatty acids are oleic acid (35 to 50%), linoleic acid (35 to 50%), palmitic acid (7 to 12%), stearic acid (3 to 6%)
Lignans (0.8 to 1.7%): including sesamine sesamolin
Steroids: sterols, including beta-sitosterol (0.4%), campe- sterol
The lignan sesamine contained in the drug is immunosuppressive in vitro. In view of its oily nature, use as a clysma for softening the stool and topically on dry skin diseases is plausible. Its effect as a purgative seems logical but has not been clinically proved. Sesame oil treated with lipase is cytotoxic in vitro. Because of its high levels of linoleic acid, sesame oil is a valuable dietetic.
Indications & Usage
Folk medicine internal uses include treating constipation, especially dyschezia; external uses include removal of scabs and crust formations, for swellings, rheumatism and as a massage oil. Its use as a laxative is considered obsolete.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages. The drug possesses a limited potential for sensitization.
Mode of Administration
Preparations are available for internal and external use.
Sesame oil for parenteral application is produced from Sesamum orientale by heating in a drying chamber to 140ºC or by means of germ filtration with the addition of 5% benzyl alcohol followed by heating at 120º C for 1 hour in the drying chamber.
Daily Dosage 30 to 60 g of drug for constipation.
Store in tightly sealed containers and protect from light.
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