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Get Healthy with Sesame Oil

This popular cooking oil does a lot more than make tasty dishes. Learn about the healthful benefits of sesame oil.

Have you been looking for an oil substitute that is good for your health and tastes great? If so, you may want to consider trying sesame oil. Not only does sesame oil nourish the inside of your body, it can also have amazing benefits on the outside, too.

About Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is a type of vegetable oil extracted from sesame seeds. You may see it referred to as gingelly oil or til oil. People in China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia use sesame oil to enhance the flavor of their food by cooking with it.

Nutritional Benefits
Sesame oil is rich in vitamins and nutrients. It contains:

Health Benefits

  • Relieves Constipation:
    On the March 19 episode of his show, "Dr. Oz," Dr. Mehmet Oz recommended sesame oil for constipation. Dr. Oz advised drinking a small amount of sesame oil until there is a relief in symptoms.
  • Slows Signs of Aging:
    Generally, sesame oil relieves symptoms associated with stress. For example, sesame oil contains antioxidants, which slow down the signs of aging. Studies find the oil promotes better skin hydration. Using the oil on the skin locks in moisture, and ingesting the oil will keep the skin hydrated from the inside out.
  • Decreases Blood Pressure:
    The antioxidants and poly-unsaturated fats in the oil can lower blood pressure. Some people were even able to lower their dosage of blood pressure medication due to their use of sesame oil.
  • Lowers Cholesterol Levels:
    Individuals with high cholesterol can benefit from the vitamin E found in sesame oil, which studies have found can lower "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and increase "good" (HDL) cholesterol.
  • Decreases Risk of Osteoporosis:
    The calcium and zinc in sesame oil can reduce your risk for osteoporosis and promote bone health.
  • Improves Mental Health:
    Many people have found that sesame oil can reduce anxiety and improve mood. It also decreases fatigue by promoting restful sleep and increasing blood circulation.
  • Reduces Joint Pain:
    The reported relaxing properties in sesame oil can ease muscle and joint pain.
  • Relieves Toothache and Gum Disease:
    Due to its antibacterial properties, people who have rinsed with sesame oil saw a reduction in gum disease and reduced pain from toothaches. In a study conducted at Maharishi International College, participants used sesame oil as a mouth wash. This resulted in an 85 percent reduction in bacteria found in the mouth.
  • Fights and Cures Colds:
    If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, you can use sesame oil as a nasal drop to relieve symptoms. Placing the oil in the nostrils can also prevent colds, due to its antibacterial properties. When viruses attempt to enter the body through the nostrils, the oil serves as a barrier to keep them from entering the body.
  • Reduces Acne:
    Teenagers can benefit from sesame oil by applying it topically to the skin. The oil can help repair the skin after an outbreak and prevent future ones by adding moisture and vitamin E.

Precautions of Sesame Oil

  • Avoid sesame oil if you are allergic to nuts -- you may develop an allergic reaction.
  • While there are many health benefits to sesame oil, the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 10 percent of this polyunsaturated fat.
  • If you are suffering from diarrhea, do not use sesame oil as it could increase symptoms and lead to dehydration.
  • Never lower your blood pressure or cholesterol medication without consulting with your doctor. While it can help improve these chronic conditions, monitoring of them remains necessary.
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