Cold-pressed sesame oil plays a vital role not only in the preparation of traditional cuisines but in medicine as well. It is often called by various names in different regions around the world. Gingelly, for instance, is a common name for sesame seeds, and the oil is said to help treat numerous conditions which are related to the hair, skin, and body.
In regions of the Indian sub-continent, cold-pressed sesame oil is popularly known as ‘Til ka Tel’ and has been used to serve a lot of purposes for several centuries and it still continues to exist. Sesame seeds have a medical name known as ‘Sesamum Indicum which are usually tiny yellow-colored brown seeds in their appearance. Cold-pressed sesame is an essential ingredient and is mostly used in cooking a variety of Asian delicacies, including Chinese, Japanese, and several other Southeast Asian dishes.
How is Cold Pressed Sesame Oil Made?
Sesame oil is extracted from the sesame plant seeds by a method known as cold-pressing. In this method, the seeds of the sesame plant, which are hand-picked, are crushed then pressed under a controlled temperature till the oils are extracted completely.
The properties that a Cold Pressed Sesame Oil contains when it is obtained through the cold-pressed method, include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-aging properties, as well. In addition to this, sesame is also rich in various nutrients and minerals, like vitamin E, vitamin B-6, calcium, protein, magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus, zinc, amino acids, fatty acids, monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids, polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids, and coenzyme Q10.
Thus, the final product i.e., the oil that is obtained from this age-old processing method is 100% pure and organic. It is unrefined and does not contain chemicals or preservatives in any form that could be harmful to consumers.
Benefits of Cold Pressed Sesame Oil
Coming to the health benefits of cold-pressed sesame oil offers many beneficial uses in hair and skin care, while also offering benefits to the body and overall health. A few of its uses can be seen in:
Cold-pressed sesame oil can be very effective in improving oral health. It helps remove plaque and can also fight attacks from bacteria. It also makes the teeth white, strong and healthy.
Improves Bone Growth
Due to the presence of copper, zinc and calcium in sesame, it provides elasticity and strength to the bones and joints. The cold-pressed oil helps in maintaining the proper growth and development of the bones and reduces the risk of Osteoporosis, which is an abnormal loss of bone tissues often caused due to the lack of calcium in the body.
Boosts Blood Circulation
Cold-pressed sesame oil is rich in the copper compound which helps improve the circulation of blood to the organs and tissues in the body. It also helps in the formation of red blood cells (RBC).
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
The sesamol and sesamin content in cold-pressed sesame help in keeping cholesterol levels low. Its consumption is a daily diet that helps maintain good heart health and normalises the blood pressure level. Also, its regular consumption can lead to a significant reduction in the total and bad LDL cholesterol along with a decrease in triglyceride levels, body weight and belly fat, all of which are considered risk factors for heart disease.
Sesame is made up mostly of unsaturated fats, which are a type of heart-healthy fatty acid that can improve heart health.
Treats Arthritis and Gout
Cold-pressed sesame oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which is considered to be very useful in treating conditions, like Arthritis and Gout (painful inflammation of the big toe and foot). It helps relieve pain and swelling in the affected areas.
Sesame contains a tyrosine (amino acid) compound which aids in uplifting the mood by secreting happy hormones, thus, combating depression and giving you the boost of a positive mind.
Also known as a degenerative joint disease that can cause pain and swell in the joints. Sesame is quite effective in relieving pain from such conditions.
Heat Sesame Oil and massage the affected joint with lukewarm oil for 10-15 minutes. Massage improves blood circulation and thus, cures Osteoarthritis gradually. It reduces the stiffness and pain associated with Osteoarthritis and is also helpful in eliminating the toxin deposition in the joints.
Cold-pressed sesame oil is known to treat problems related to asthma and alike, where it becomes difficult for the affected persons to breathe properly. Therefore, the topical use of heated sesame in the form of massage can prove beneficial against such respiratory problems.
Heat one tablespoon of sesame oil and add a pinch of salt to it. Rub gently on the chest, then cover the chest for some time, or leave it overnight when going to bed. Repeat this once daily before bed to get relief from Asthma and similar respiratory conditions. Sesame oil aids in loosening the phlegm that obstructs the airways, causing difficulty in breathing.
Sesame oil can also be used to treat cracked heels which may often, be caused due to dryness of the skin.
Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes. Pat dry your feet. Take 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil, mix a half-teaspoon of any carrier oil and apply the mixture on the areas of cracked heels. Massage gently for 5-10 minutes. Repeat this 2 to 3 times a week. The oil fights off harmful bacteria, repairs damaged skin cells and adds moisture to the heels.
Sesame oil is rich in zinc, which helps to reduce premature ageing symptoms. Fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots can be controlled. It can also be used as a sunscreen oil to help keep skin healthy and smooth. The cold-pressed oil also treats fungal infection occurring on the skin and is useful in the treatment of cracked heels and sore feet, too.
The anti-bacterial property present in cold-pressed sesame oil helps keep the scalp and hair healthy. It nourishes the hair and improves hair growth. It also strengthens the roots of the hair, thus, minimising hair loss, and preventing premature greying of hair, as well.
Apply lukewarm sesame oil on the scalp and hair. Massage the scalp for 10 minutes. Leave it overnight, then wash with shampoo. Do this twice a week. Its moisturising property helps de-tangle frizzy hair, keeping it healthy and smooth.
Cold-pressed sesame oil is known to keep the longest among cooking oils with high smoke points. This is due to the preservative actions of sesamin and sesamol compounds that are naturally present in this oil. These preservatives make it possible to keep sesame oil from going rancid even while it is stored in the open.
Unlike the darker sesame oil obtained from roasted sesame seeds, cold-pressed sesame oil has a higher smoke point. It can be used for deep-frying. Even then it should be heated carefully to preserve its mild, nutty flavor. This maintains the concentration of vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids.