Sesame facts

Sesame plant is an erect and annual which grows upto 2 meters high. It has ovate leaves that appear on stem that could be unbranched or branched which depends on the variety. After six weeks of plantation, the plant yields tubular and furry flowers similar to cornucopia in shape. Flowers could be yellow, white, pink and violet. The flowers are self-pollinated. The plant is inherent to subtropical and tropical regions and requires much moisture and warmth for its growth. The ripened seeds are white, black or light that also depends on a variety.

Name Sesame
Scientific Name Sesamum indicum
Native Native to Africa and India.
Common/English Name Beniseed, Benniseed, Benneseed, Sesame, Til, Gingelly, Goma, Gergelim, Ajonjolí, Gimgelim, Simsim, Wangila, Ufuta, Sesam, Zhi ma, Hu ma, Chamkkae, Benne, Beni, Benne seed, Sesame seed, Sim sim, Abongra, Zhi ma, Hu ma, Sesamzaad, Goma, Sesamo, Shiro goma, Semilla de ajonjolí, Cham kkae, Sésamo, Sesam, Sésame blanc, Sezam indyjski, Graines de sesame
Name in Other Languages India:  Acchellu
Spain: Ajonjoli
Malaysia: Bijan
Korea: Chaam-kkae
Bulgaria: Cycam
Thailand: Dee la
Brazil: Gergelim
United Kingdom: Gingelly
Japan: Goma
Estonia: Harilik seesam
China: Hei chih ma
Korea: Kkae
Japan: Koba
Iran: Konjed
Russia: Kunzhut
Estonia: Kunzuut
Philippines: Linga
Laos: Man nga
Thailand: Ngaa
Arabic countries: Sasim
Finland: Seesami
United Kingdom: Semsem
Denmark: Sesam
Germany: Sesam
Spain: Sesam
Sweden: Sesam
France: Sesame
United Kingdom: Sesame
United States: Sesame
Iceland: Sesamfre
Greece: Sesami
Netherlands: Sesamkruid
Italy: Sesamo
Portugal: Sesamo
Spain: Sesamo
Netherlands: Sesamzaad
Slovakia: Sezam indicky
Croatia: Sezam
Czech Republic: Sezam
Poland: Sezam
Russia: Sezam
Ukraine: Sezam
Latvia: Sezama seklas
Slovenia: Sezama
Lithuania: Sezamas
Armenia: Shooshma
Israel: Shumshum
Netherlands: Sim-sim
Finland: Suom
Albania: Susam
Turkey: Susam
Romenia: Susan
Sweden: Sven
Hungary: Szezam
Israel: Szezammag
France: Teel
Pakistan: Til
Mozambique: Ufuta
Tanzania: Ufuta
Germany: Vanglo
Vietnam: Vung
Indonesia: Wijen
Plant Growth Habit Erect, annual
Growing Climate Tropical
Soil Sandy, well drained
Plant Size 0.5-1.5 m
Lifespan Annual but occasionally perennial
Branched Highly branched or unbranched
Leaf 7.5-12.5 cm, simple, alternate, ovate, oblong or lanceolate, toothed
Flowering Season Mid-Summer or Late Summer/Early Fall
Flower White, pink, mauve pink,  bell shaped, hermaphrodite (develop in the leaf axils)
Fruit shape & size Capsule, oblong to quadrangular, compressed; Length: 1.5-5 cm
Flavor/aroma Rich, nutty
Taste Pleasant
Seed Black, white,brown; Length: 2.5-3 mm; Wide: 1.5 mm; 50 to 100 seeds or more; Thickness: 1 mm; egg shaped
Seed weight 20 and 40 mg
Major Nutritions Copper, Cu 5.878 mg (653.11%)
Iron, Fe 20.95 mg (261.88%)
Total Fat (lipid) 71.52 g (204.34%)
Manganese, Mn 3.542 mg (154.00%)
Calcium, Ca 1404 mg (140.40%)
Phosphorus, P 906 mg (129.43%)
Tryptophan 0.559 g (127.05%)
Magnesium, Mg 505 mg (120.24%)
Zinc, Zn 11.16 mg (101.45%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 1.139 mg (94.92%)
Health Benefits
  • Health problems
  • Promotes cholesterol
  • Prevents E.coli
  • Maintains blood pressure
  • Prevents cancer
  • Manage diabetes
  • Healthy bones
  • Assist digestion
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Protects radiation
  • Hair and skin health
  • Metabolic functions
Calories in 1cup (144 gm) 825 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • It helps to treat hair greying, hair loss, chronic dry constipation, osteoporosis, dry cough etc.
  • It is useful for ulcers and haemorrhoids.
  • The oil with lime water treats boils, burns and ulcers.
  • The root decoction treats coughs and asthma.
  • The fresh leaves and seeds are used as a poultice.
  • The seeds help to cure piles, respiratory disorders and also used as body massages.
  • Sesame oil also treats gum and teeth ache.
  • It provokes allergic reactions.
  • Sesame oil and seeds are allergen to infants.
  • Some of the symptoms are hives, nasal itching, sneezing, congestion, wheezing, rhinorrhea, tightness of throat, weakness, fainting, cough, difficulty in breathing, rapid heartbeat, hoarse voice, cramps, mouth itchiness, unconsciousness and abdominal pain.
  • Sesame affects the level of blood sugar.
  • Sesame also lowers the blood pressure.
How to Eat
  • Seed are cooked, roasted or stewed.
  • Seeds are used as flour and added to vegetables, breads and sweetmeats.
  • The grounded powder is mixed with sweetener for making halva.
  • The sprouted seeds are used in salads.
  • Young leaves are added to stews.
  • Seeds are used to make cakes as well.
  • Sesame oil adds the flavor of pickles, spicy foods and condiments.
  • Sesame seeds are added to bread, cookies and muffins.
  • Spread sesame paste on a toasted bread or honey could be drizzled.
  • Sesame seeds could be combined with soy sauce, rice vinegar and crushed garlic and used as a dressing for salads, noodles and vegetables.
Other Facts
  • The largest importer of Sesame in the world is Japan.
  • Canada, United States, Turkey, Netherlands and France are the other major importers.
  • Seeds are regarded as emollient, tonic, nourishing, lactagogue and diuretic.


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