What is Sesame Oil?
Sesame Oil is an oil produced from sesame seeds. The botanical name of sesame seed is Sesamum indicum and is grown in east & west India mainly Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana & Maharashtra. While the oil & seeds have been used in India from the middle ages, The African subcontinent grows the highest amount of the seeds. For us, at The Oil Collective, sesame is very exciting because it's the oldest oil crop known to us.
Cultivation of Sesame in India
India is the highest producer of sesame and has nine different varieties of seeds grown. Each seed has a slightly different oil content and use, but the oils available in the market are a mixture of the various types. Sesame likes hot weather without frost, rail or drought as will be evident from the states that it grows in. The best temperature is between 25 & 30 degrees Celsius in slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5 - 8.0).
The sesame plant is a flowering plant. The pods look similar to okra (ladies finger) & have seeds inside. The flower is a pink/white flower that looks like a bell. The seeds germinate between 15 & 16 degrees and cannot survive below 5 degrees Celsius, and below 15 degrees they go dormant. Sesame likes fertile, porous soil with the groundwater being deep underground. The leaves of the plan are long growing right off the stem, and both the leaves and the stem have small bristles on them. Sesame is in the Pedaliaceae plant family.
The best condition for sesame to grow is
- Soil with good drainage
- Fertile land that is loose and sandy
- You can rotate sesame with cotton, millet, corn or other cereals
Benefits Of Sesame
1. Hair Care
India has used sesame oil on hair to maintain and improve the hair quality for centuries. The antibacterial properties of sesame oil have helped keep hair free of bacterial infection, and studies show that black sesame oil helps reduce hair loss and maintain the natural colour of hair.
2. Skin Care
Sesame oil is rich in zinc that is a crucial mineral for the skin (and general immunity). Using sesame oil on the skin can help keep your skin smooth and wrinkle-free due to the anti-oxidants in the oil.
3. Improve Bone Health
Sesame oil is a good source of calcium and copper that are important for bone growth. Adding sesame oil to the diet is an excellent way to ensure speedy recovery and healing of bones. It is also an excellent addition to help avoid osteoporosis and other age-related bone ailments. Check out the cucumber salad recipe on our blog for ideas on how to incorporate it in your diet.
4. Infant Growth
Research done shows that using Sesame oil for infant massage can help with their growth. Anyone living in Asia is already aware of the benefits that infant massage has. It calms them down, helps with bone development and induces sleep in infants.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Copper in sesame oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help relieve discomfort from various conditions. It helps to reduce swelling and manage inflammation helping with the associated pain. 
Warning: Sesame oil has blood thinning properties. So be sure to check with your doctor before using it in combination with blood thinners.