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Sesame Plant and Sesame Seeds

As a flowering plant, sesame widely grows in tropical regions around the world. However, no one knows its exact origin even though there appear wild relatives in Africa and a smaller number in India. Its seeds can be eaten. The annual plant grows to 50 to 100 cm tall, with 4 to 14 cms leaves and an entire margin. The leaves are broad lanceolate, from 5 cm broad at the base of the plant to just 1 cm broad on the flowering stem. The white to purple tubular flowers are 3 to 5 cm long with a four-lobed mouth.

Sesame is known as its oil-rich seeds, whose colors are from cream-white to charcoal-black. The people in West and Middle East world more like the paler varieties of sesame but the black varieties are more welcomed in the Far East. The sesame seed has rich nutty flavour, and also produces sesame oil. Therefore, it is always used in cooking.

Sesame seeds can be added to breads, such as bagels and the tops of hamburger buns. It can also be baked into crackers whose form is sticks. It can also be put onto some Japanese sushi food, salads and baked snacks. The roasted Tan and black sesame seed varieties are made the flavoring gomashio. Seeds can be used in the soup in Togo but they are used to make cakes in Greece. In Sicily, they are eaten on the top of breads. McDonald's purchase almost one-third of the sesame crop imported by the United States from Mexico to make the sesame seed buns.

There are rich manganese, copper, and calcium in sesame seeds, and also vitamin B1 and vitamin E. Besides, they have lignans, including the phytoestrogens with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties: the unique content of sesamin. Sesame oil had the highest antioxidant content, campared with other edible oils from six plants. Sesame seeds also have phytosterols which can reduce levels of blood cholesterol but do not have caffeine. It is easier to absorb the nutrients of esame seeds if they are ground or pulverized before consumption.

In the ancient Indian ayurvedic system, there are types of massage called abhyanga and shirodhara. Sesame oil is used for massage and treatments of the body to keep healthy. Sesame oil is regarded as the most viscous of the plant oils in Ayurveda. Besides, it is held that the health problems can be pacified associated with Vata aggravation.

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