A recent human clinical study demonstrated sesame seeds were as good or better than normal treatments using NSAID only (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen in treating osteoarthritis. The humans involved in the study all suffered from osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. This type of arthritis is the result of degenerated tissue in the joints that prevent bone against bone in any joint. Then where the joints join there is friction, damage, inflammation, limited movement, and pain. This degenerative disease is more common among seniors. The usual treatments with NSAIDs, whether over the counter (OTC) or prescription, create side effects that can worsen overall health. So, it’s only natural that we should focus on natural herbal or food cures.
Sesame seeds are generally regarded as nutritionally inconsequential ornamental additions to bread and bagels or incorporated in culinary presentations to add visual interest and subtle flavor nuances, especially with Chinese cuisine. As is the case with most medicinal foods, consuming small quantities of sesame seeds often over time is recommended to help improve health and resist disease. Sesame seeds are high in calories, which scares some calorie counters away. But it only takes a small amount, around a quarter-cup daily of these inexpensive nutritionally dense seeds, to receive sesame seeds’ health benefits and protection against many autoimmune diseases. The medicinal aspects of sesame seeds were used by ancient cultures thousands of years ago. During the last twenty years or so, western medical research has been discovering valid clinical applications of sesame seeds and their compounds. One way to get more sesame seed into one's diet is to utilize the "nut butter" form, tahini, used in popular Asian and Middle-Eastern foods such as hummus.
Sadly, in the Western world, when the average Joe thinks of protecting himself from heart disease, aspirin and statin drugs are often as high on the list – if not higher – than exercise and eating better. Through decades of intense marketing and miseducation millions have been made to think of the #1 killer as an inevitable force; one against which we fling pills and various pharmaceutical potions to 'minimize risk,' never to strike to the core of the problem and resolve it permanently. We may not think of sesame seed paste as a 'life saver,' but new research shows it is capable of reducing blood markers of cardiovascular disease risk by 39% within only six weeks.
Sesame is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, prized as an oilseed for at least 5,000 years. While it is beginning to regain favor due to its exceptionally high calcium and magnesium content, few realize it is also one of the most potent medicinal foods still commonly consumed today. In the past twenty years, a glut of scientific information has poured in demonstrating that sesame seed, and its components, have over three dozen documented therapeutic properties. Given these new revelations, it would seem that sesame would be just as at home in a medicine cabinet as it would be a kitchen cupboard.