(NaturalNews) What health benefits can the small black seed of the sesame plant offer? Some people might have read about how black sesame seeds are rich in antioxidants and various nutrients. But that is about all. They have no idea that there are actually many more valuable health and beauty benefits of consuming black sesame seeds.
Yet in a particular part of the world where the Chinese reside, knowledge on the use of this black seed for good health and beauty has been passed down from generation to generation. It is time others learned from the Chinese about the amazing "secrets" of the black sesame.
The seed of longevity
There are many Chinese stories of how consuming black sesame seeds can bring about longevity and beauty even at an old age. This association of the sesame seed with longevity is similarly found in many early Hindu traditions, where the seed is considered a symbol of immortality.
What is the link between the black seed and longevity and beauty?
Based on theories in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is believed that aging, the toils of life and worrying could bring about deficiencies in bodily functions. In particular, the "Liver" and "Kidney" come to be deficient in "Jing" and "Blood". This deficiency in turn brings about aging-related symptoms like blurry vision, graying of hair, ringing in the ears, as well as weakness in the bones and joints.
What the black sesame seed does is then provide the nutrients needed to correct such a "Liver-Kidney" deficiency, as such helping the body to delay the onset of aging-related symptoms, at times even reversing the symptoms after they arise. The hope of retaining their good eyesight, having more black hair and keeping ringing eyes at bay are some important reasons why many Chinese consume black sesame seeds on a regular basis.
The science behind the anti-aging seed
While there may not be many scientific studies done on the anti-aging benefits of black sesame as yet, studies on the nutritional value of the black sesame seed provide some support to the Chinese use of the seeds for their anti-aging effects.
For example, the seed is rich in B vitamins and iron, and deficiencies in these nutrients have been linked to premature graying of hair, memory impairments and hearing loss. It is also rich in calcium and zinc, important minerals for maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis. The high magnesium content in the seed has been found to lower blood pressure and prevent the spasm of airways that leads to asthma.
The seed also contains substances known as sesamin and sesamolin, which are found to increase vitamin E supplies (important for skin health) and lower cholesterol levels. Sesamin is also found to protect the (anatomical) liver from free radicals, as such keeping the liver in good health.
The fiber, lignans (antioxidants) and various nutrients (e.g. phytosterol, calcium) found in the seed also confers protective benefits against the development of various cancers, such as colon cancer.
With the nutritious black seeds paving the way for a strong heart, clear blood vessels, sturdy bones, a properly-functioning liver (important for detoxification), active mental functions, clear vision and hearing abilities, well-nourished hair and skin even during the later stages of life, as well as reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, it is no wonder that the Chinese who consumes large quantities of black sesame seeds is observed to enjoy longevity.
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About the author: Cindy L. has a keen interest in natural healing. She was previously trained in Psychology and is currently receiving training in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has written on depression (at HolisticDepressionHelp.com) as well as other ailments (at Insights On Health.com).
Her belief in holistic living extends beyond health - her passion for green living can be seen in her website at All Recycling Facts.com.