Medical Herbs Catalogue



Botanical Name: Sesamum Indicum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Pedaliaceae

Synonyms: Gingilly, Teel.
Parts Used: Leaves, seeds.
Habitat: America, Southern States, and India. Cultivated in Africa and Asia.

Description: An annual plant with branching stem 4 or 5 feet high, leaves opposite, petiolate, shape varies; flower reddish white, single, on short peduncles in axils of leaves; fruit an oblong capsule with small oval yellowish seeds. The genus Sesamum comprises ten or twelve species. In India two species occur wild, it is cultivated in the U.S.A. and in the West Indies; it grows as far north as Philadelphia.

Constituents: The seeds by expression yield a fixed oil consisting essentially of the glycerides of oleic and linoleic acids with small preparations of stearin, palmitin and myristin. Sesamin, another constituent of the oil, may be obtained in long crystalline needles melting at 118 degrees F., insoluble in water, light petroleum, ether alkaloids and mineral acids, easily soluble in chloroform, benzine, and glacial acetic acid. Liquid fatty acids are present to about 70 per cent., solid fatty acids 12 to 14 per cent.

Medicinal Action and Uses: Sesame oil is used in the preparation of Iodinol and Brominol, which are employed for external internal or subcutaneous use. The best qualities of the oil are largely used in the manufacture of margarine. Sesame oil may be used as a substitute for Olive oil in making the official liniments, ointments and plasters in India and the African, Eastern, and North America Colonies. The negroes use the seed as food, boiling them for broth and making them into puddings and other dishes. The leaves which abound in gummy matter when mixed with water form a rich bland mucilage used in infantile cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, catarrh and bladder troubles, acute cystitis and strangury. The oil is said to be laxative and to promote menstruation.

Dosage: 1 or 2 full-sized leaves stirred in 1/2 pint of cold water, or in hot water if the dried leaves are used.