Introduction of Sesame:Black Sesame or Beniseed.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Sesame, its English name, Latin name, comon names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Sesamum orientale L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Sesame, history and story of sesame, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Sesame(Black Sesame).

Black sesame seeds English Name: Sesame, Black Sesame, White Sesame.
 Latin Name: Sesamum orientale L, or Sesamum indicum L.
 Common Name: Beniseed, Gingelly, Oriental Sesame, Black Sesame, White Sesame.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, tastes sweet.

 Brief introduction: Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. The precise natural origin of the species is unknown, although numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in South Asia. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Sesame as the seed of the species (1). Sesamum orientale L. It is a plant species of the Sesamum genus, the Pedaliaceae family (sesamum family). The seeds are used medicinally, the black seed is black sesame, and the white seed is white sesame. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Sesamum orientale L.

 flowering plants of Sesamum orientale with small white flowers grow in field Botanical description: Sesamum orientale, an annual herb, grows up to 80~180 cm tall. Stems are upright, quadrangular, with prominent edges and corners, slightly lignified at the base, unbranched and pubescent. Leaves are opposite, or upper leaves are alternate; the petiole is 1~7 cm long; The leaves are ovate, oblong or lanceolate, 5~15 cm long and 1~8 cm wide, the apex is acute or acuminate, the base is cuneate (wedge-shaped), the entire, serrated or the lower leaves are 3-lobed, the leaf surface is green, the back is light green, both surfaces are glabrous or slightly white and pilose. Flowers are solitary, or 2-3 flowers in axils of leaves, 1~1.5 cm in diameter; Calyx is slightly connate, green, 5~lobed, lobes are lanceolate, 5~10 cm long, pilose; Corolla is fistuliform (tubulose), labiate (labiated), 1.5~2.5 cm long, white, with a purple or yellow halo, lobes are round and pilose at outside; 4 Stamens, inserted at the base of corolla tube, anthers are yellow, sagittal; 1 pistil, 2 carpels, conical ovary, 4 false cells at the beginning, 2 cells at maturity, linear style, 2-lobed stigma. The capsule is oval, 2~2.5 cm long, with 4 or 6 or 8 edges, longitudinally split, green at the initial stage, dark brown, and pubescent after maturity. Seeds are numerous, ovate, flat on both sides, black, white, or yellowish. Its flowering period is from May to September and the fruiting period is from July to September.

 fruiting plants of Sesamum orientale grow in sunny field Ecological environment: Sesame orientale is cultivated worldwide in tropical and subtropical temperate zones, but the main sesame oil-producing countries are China, South Asia, Myanmar, and Sudan. In the global village, the main producing areas are Asia, Africa, Central and South America.

 The suitable rainfall in the whole growth period of Sesamum orientale is 210~250 mm. Sesame needs plenty of sunshine in the full growth period. Sufficient sunshine can strengthen photosynthesis, help to accumulate nutrients, meet the needs of flowering and fruiting, and make the fruits full, which is conducive to the formation of oil. The accumulated temperature of sesame should be 2500~3000 °C (Celsius) in the growth period; The optimum temperature for sesame growth is 20~24 °C (degrees Celsius, or 68~75.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

 plants of Sesamum orientale grow in field Sesame grows in most of the tropical, subtropical, and southern temperate areas of the world. Although a major world oil seed crop, sesame is planted by small farmers in developing countries in the southern latitudes. The plants grow best in tropical climates, from spring to fall. Depending on conditions, varieties grow from about 0.5 to 2.5 m tall. The annual, upright plants, some have branches, others do not. The ovate leaves are opposite, grow alternately up the stem, and are deeply veined. The flowers are white and shaped like a trumpet, on short peduncles in axils of leaves. One to three flowers appear in the leaf axils.

 Black Sesame Plant in Field Total world production of sesame in 1986 was 2.4 million metric tons, 65% of which was produced in Asia. USA (the United States of America) is the largest importer of sesame, importing about 40,000 metric tons per year, mostly from Mexico. Almost all sesame consumed in USA is as a spice for food products such as hamburger buns and other bakery goods. Minor uses of sesame oil include pharmaceutical and skincare products and as a synergist for insecticides.

 flowering plants of Sesamum orientale with white pendulous flowers grow in field Growth characteristics: Sesamum orientale is often cultivated in sandy loam or loam areas with high summer temperatures, dry climate, and good drainage. Because the seeds are small, and the root system is shallow, it is most suitable for planting in loose soil with a slight acidity to neutrality (pH 6.5-7.5, pH scale:acidity-basicity). Loose soil can coordinate the supply contradiction between water, fertilizer, and air, which is conducive to the extension of the root system.

 Sesame:white sesame grains Sesame grows best in sandy, well-drained soil and a hot climate with moderate rainfall. It is propagated by seed sown in Spring, and it takes about four months for the seeds to ripen fully. The crop get harvested, tied in bundles, and threshed. After threshing, the seeds get dried and usually hulled.

 Characters of herbs: From August to September, when the fruit is yellow and black, harvest it, cut the whole plant, bundle it into small bundles, dry it with the top side upward, lay the seeds, remove impurities and then dry it.

 Sesame:black sesame grains The sesame seed is oblate and oval, 2.5~4 mm long and 1.5~2 mm wide. One end is blunt, and the other end is pointed, and it is about 1 mm thick. The surface is black, with reticular wrinkles or inconspicuous. Under the enlarged microscope, tiny verrucous protrusions can be seen, the edges are smooth or there are 2 circles of raised ridges, and the tip has a polka-dot brown seed navel, and the seed skin is membranous. The endosperm is white, pulpose, and wrapped in a thin layer outside the embryo. The embryo is straight, with 2 large white cotyledons, oily. Sesame has a weak aroma, and light taste, there is a sesame oil aroma after crushing. White sesame and black sesame have the same appearance, but different colors.

 fruiting plant of Sesamum orientale with green fruit spikes and leaves History of Sesame: The name goes back to Greek seesamon, which in turn probably borrowed from an Afro-Asiatic language (Arabic saasim). There are two kinds of sesame, black and white. The whole seeds get used extensively in the cuisines of the Middle East and Asia. In Europe and North America, the seeds get used to flavor and garnish various foods, particularly bread and other baked goods. The aroma and taste of sesame seed are mild and nutlike.

 Sesame is one of the oldest seeds known to man. Thought to have originated in South Asia or Africa, the first written record of sesame dates back to 3,000 B.C.. According to Assyrian mythology, sesame's origins go back even farther-there is a charming myth about the Gods imbibing sesame seed wine the night before they created the earth. References can be found to Babylonians using sesame oil, and to Egyptians growing sesame to make flour. Of course, Persia, the birthplace of the collection of stories titled One Thousand and One Nights, has long been savvy to sesame's benefits. Ancient Persians relied on it both as food and for its medicinal qualities.

 Farther east, it's unclear when sesame first found its way to China, sesame seeds got introduced into China about 2,000 years ago. It's probably true that the ancients first relied on the sesame plant to provide oil, and only later discovered its value as a food source.

 Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man, dating back to as early as 1600 B.C.. It is highly valued for its oil, which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity. "Open sesame," the famous phrase from the collection of stories titled One Thousand and One Nights, reflects the distinguishing feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity.

 brownish fruiting pods of Sesamum orientale with sesame seeds inside The sesame plant is a lovely annual shrub with white campanulate (bell-shaped) flowers tinged with a hint of blue, red, or yellow. It is grown worldwide, particularly in South Asia, South America, China, and Africa. Its present popularity is nothing new, for it is cultivated for over 4,000 years in Mesopotamia and was found in Tutankhamen's tomb (Tutankhaten, king of ancient Egypt, reigned 1333–23 B.C., known chiefly for his intact tomb). The seeds got milled for flour, and today they are still used to make tahini, a delicious paste that has a long reputation for increasing longevity. The women of ancient Babylon would eat halva, a mixture of honey and sesame seeds, to prolong their youth and beauty, while Roman soldiers ate sesame seeds and honey to give them strength and energy.

 While sesame gets cultivated in tropical regions throughout the world since prehistoric times, traditional myths hold that their origins go back even further. According to Assyrian legend, when the gods met to create the world, they drank wine made from sesame seeds.

 Harvested sesamum crops in bundles are piled together in field Sesame seeds were one of the first crops processed for oil, as well as one of the earliest condiments. The addition of sesame seeds to baked goods can be traced back to ancient Egyptian times from an ancient tomb painting that depicts a baker adding the seeds to bread dough.

 "The butter of the Middle East," tahini, a smooth, creamy paste made of toasted, ground hulled sesame seeds, is a centuries-old traditional ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. Hummos, a Middle Eastern appetizer that has become a universal favorite, is made of ground chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and tahini. Baba ghanoush, another favorite appetizer known throughout the Middle East, has a base of roasted eggplant seasoned with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. These sesame-based dishes handed down from generation to generation for centuries.

 In the ancient West Asia, preparations for a caravan trip meant preparing provisions that would not only sustain them through the hot, dry desert but would offer nourishment that pleasured them as well. Open sesame! They began with a pound of dry breadcrumbs, kneaded them into three-quarters of a pound each of pitted dates, almonds, and pistachios, and added a few spoonfuls of sesame oil to moisten the mixture. Then they formed the mixture into balls and rolled them in a coating of sesame seeds. This handy old recipe makes ideal present-day backpacking food as well.

 According to the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves: Ali baba was a woodcutter from a poor family. When he cut wood one day, he found the treasure nest of forty robbers and eavesdropped on the secret language of the robbers. The secret code was "sesame, sesame, open the door", and "sesame, sesame, close the door". Ali Baba then brought home a lot of gold and silver and became rich. At the end of the story, forty thieves got eliminated by Ali Baba and wise Magina, Ali Baba is grateful to the maid Magina, to reward her intelligence and wisdom, he asked his nephew to marry her. Ali Baba already owns all the treasures in the cave. He gives them to the poor so that everyone can live a good life.

 Sesame seeds got taken to USA from Africa during the late 17th century. Currently, the largest commercial producers of sesame seeds include Mexico, South Asia, and China.

 Benniseeds or benne seeds, as the sesame seed got its name in the Bantu dialect, arrived in USA with the West African slaves who brought only a few precious possessions with them. During the 17th and 18th centuries, slave traders were running slave ships to the Southern States and the Caribbean. In Charleston, South Carolina, and New Orleans, Louisiana, benniseed had meanings of good luck and incorporated into many dishes that are still used in Southern cooking.

 During the 1930s, the major vegetable oil used by Americans was sesame oil. At that epoch, USA was importing 58,000,000 pounds of sesame seeds a year, mostly for producing oil. Two events combined to shift the importing of these big quantities of sesame seeds to a diminished 12 million pounds by the early 1950s: World War II (the Second World War) and the development of inexpensive soybean and cottonseed oils.

 A 1956 Pillsbury Bake-off contest winner changed the course of the downward spiraling sesame seed. The Washington, D.C. homemaker created an Open Sesame Pie and started a frenzy with commercial bakers sprinkling the tasty little seeds on all sorts of bread and crackers. It was the hamburger bun, however, that put sesame seeds back into the spotlight. Today, it's difficult to find hamburger buns without sesame seeds.

 Sesame oil got used as a salad or cooking oil, in shortening and margarine, and in the manufacture of soaps, pharmaceuticals, and lubricants. It is used as a component in cosmetics. The press cake remaining after the oil is milled is highly nutritious. In addition to its popular use as oil for salads or cooking, sesame oil gets used in producing margarine, soap making, pharmaceuticals, paints, and lubricants. In the cosmetic field, sesame oil gets used as a base for developing perfumes.

 After the sesame oil gets extracted out of the seed, the resulting residue, or the seed cake that is very high in protein. A portion of this nutritious seed cake gets used as animal feed, while the remainder is processed into sesame flour and added to healthy foods.

 Southern Asia cuisine depends on sesame oil for cooking, while in China, it was the only cooking oil until quite recently. Today sesame oil is combined with bland, less expensive oils.

 Used liberally in Chinese cooking, sesame oil is added to many dishes as a seasoning just before serving to benefit fully from its unique fragrance. Chinese confectioners have long favored the use of sesame seeds as a coating on their deep-fried sweets, still available in Oriental bakeries today. Korean cuisine combines sesame, garlic, and pimiento as a triad in many of their traditional dishes.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.Hypoglycemic effect; ②.Adrenocorticotropic effect; ③.Anti-inflammatory effect; ④.Laxative effect; ⑤.Cardiovascular effect, etc.

 Related studies found that black sesame has a hypoglycemic effect, in animal experiments black sesame seed can reduce blood sugar and increase glycogen content in the liver and muscle, but a high dose can reduce glycogen content. It also has an adrenocorticotropic effect, it can increase the content of ascorbic acid and cholesterol in the adrenal gland. It has an anti-inflammatory effect, sterilized sesame oil can be coated on skin mucosa, which can relieve irritation and promote the recovery of inflammation. Sesame seed has a laxative effect and cardiovascular effect, linoleic acid in black sesame can reduce the cholesterol content in blood, and help to prevent and treat coronary atherosclerosis.

 Medicinal efficacy: In TCM works, according to record, the herb black sesame functions to replenish the liver and kidney, nourish blood and benefit essence, moistening the intestine, and relieving constipation. It is indicated for syndromes due to liver and kidney deficiency, dizziness and tinnitus, softness impotence of waist and feet, premature graying hair, dry skin, dryness of the intestine and constipation, hypogalactia, ulcerative carbuncle and eczema, ulcer and scabies, favus of the scalp, infant scrofula, injury from soup and fire, hemorrhoids, etc.

 In Europe, the herb was used in folk medicine internally for treating constipation, especially dyschezia, externally for removal of scabs and crust formations, for swellings, rheumatism, and as a massage oil.

 Administration of Sesame (Black Sesame): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Sesame (Black Sesame)
Herbal classic books and TCM Books:  In TCM works, the herb black sesame is recommended internally as water decoction, 9~15 grams, or prepare into pills, or powder, externally proper amount, wash with water decoction, or mashed and apply a coating. In Europe, sesame seed is recommended 30 to 60 grams for constipation. Sesame oil for parenteral application is produced from Sesamum orientale by heating in a drying chamber to 140 degrees C (Celsius, or 284 degrees Fahrenheit) or utilizing germ filtration with the addition of 5% benzyl alcohol followed by heating at 120 degrees C (Celsius, or 248 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1 hour in the drying chamber. Sesame seed should be stored in tightly-sealed containers and protected from light.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: There are no health hazards are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages.




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  • 1.Introduction of Sesame:Black Sesame or Beniseed.

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