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Sesame Oil: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more


We have many options for edible oils like sunflower, groundnut, and olive oil. One more oil, Sesame oil is one such example used for cooking. Sesame oil is obtained from the seeds of the sesame plant. The sesame plant seeds (Sesamum indicum) are packed with oil and nutritional components like vitamins, minerals, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Sesame seeds contain 45 to 50% edible oil and are used for culinary purposes. Because of this reason, sesame is also known as the “Queen of oilseeds”. Other names are gingelly, til and benne seed.1 Even though, it is used for cooking, what if we told you there are other benefits of sesame oil? Yes, sesame oil might have more uses other than cooking! Continue reading to find out.  

sesame oil benefits

Did you know?

  • Sesame oil is a good source of vitamin E, which promotes healthy skin and hair. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Sesame oil is a good source of omega-6 fatty acids, providing 41.7g per 100g. source: USDA FoodData Central
  • Sesame oil is often used in traditional medicine for its potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties. source: PubChem
  • Sesame oil is rich in antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Sesame oil contains high levels of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Sesame oil is commonly used in traditional medicine for its potential health benefits, such as improving digestion and reducing joint pain. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov

Nutritional Value of Sesame Oil: 

Sesame oil is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and natural bioactive compounds like sesamin, sesamolin, and tocopherol.1  Other essential nutrients in sesame oil are vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, and lecithin.2 The nutritional value per 100g of sesame oil is given below.  

Nutrient  Value  
Energy  884kcal  
Total lipids  100g 
Vitamin E 1.4mg  
Vitamin K  13.6 µg 
Fatty acids  14.2g 
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) 39.7g  
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) 41.7g  

Table 1: The Nutritional value of sesame oil per 100g of serving3 

Properties of Sesame Oil: 

Sesame oil has many effective properties, and a few properties of sesame oil are given below: 

  • It may act as antioxidant 
  • It may heal the skin wounds 
  • It may show anti-inflammatory property 
  • It may break down blood clots 
  • It may act as antibacterial 
  • It may reduce blood pressure1 

Also Read: Groundnut Oil: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

Sesame oil is widely used in ointments that are used to relieve varicose veins. Due to its antioxidant properties, it might help in cell production. Additionally, it also exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which might help in reducing inflammation.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Potential Uses of Sesame Oil for Overall Health: 

Due to its many properties, sesame oil might show potential uses for numerous health conditions. Some of the potential uses of sesame oil are given below.  

1. Potential uses of sesame oil for oxidative stress 

Antioxidant activity is good for the human body as it may reduce oxidative stress. The oxidative stress in the body might be responsible for chronic diseases like cancer, heart diseases, and degenerative diseases. Sesame oil contains natural antioxidants like vitamin E, sesamin, and sesamolin. Because of these phytochemicals, Sesame oil may reduce oxidative stress due to its antioxidant property.1 However, you need to talk to your healthcare provider before taking sesame oil for its health benefits. Do not self-medicate.  

2. Potential uses of sesame oil for heart diseases 

Sesame oil may contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and this PUFA might show anti-arrhythmic activity. It might reduce blood cholesterol and dilate the blood vessels. It might also prevent atherosclerosis (deposition of fats in the blood vessels) by lowering blood cholesterol. The anti-inflammatory property of sesame oil might also avoid heart problems. These properties of sesame oil might keep the heart healthy.1 However, more data are required to support the use of sesame oil on heart diseases in humans. If you are suffering from heart disease, follow your doctor’s advice strictly. Do not self-medicate.   

3. Potential uses of sesame oil for skin problems 

Sesame oil has been traditionally used for various ailments and studies have shown that sesame oil may help in healing skin burns. In addition, sesame oil has excellent emollient properties and may be used as a massage oil. The application of sesame oil to the skin might also help the healing of some skin diseases. In addition, the natural antibacterial property of sesame oil may fight against bacteria which cause skin infections.1  However, if you are suffering from skin problems, consult a healthcare provider or skin specialist before using any natural remedies on your own.  

4. Potential Uses of Sesame Oil for diabetes:  

In lab studies, sesame oil might show hypoglycemic properties in humans. The hypoglycemic property might manage blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.2 However, more research is needed to support the use of sesame oil against diabetes in humans. Diabetes is a severe medical illness that requires strict adherence to a doctor’s advice. Before using sesame oil for its properties against diabetes, talk to your healthcare provider.  

5. Potential Uses of Sesame Oil for stomach problems: 

Consumption of sesame oil may avoid constipation by facilitating bowel movement and lubricating the intestine. It might also aid digestion by nourishing the good bacteria of the intestine. Sesame oil has also shown activities against intestinal worms like the Ascaris and tapeworms.1  Still, in case of any stomach problem, you must meet with a qualified doctor and get a proper diagnosis and treatment.  

Though some studies show the benefits of sesame oil in various conditions, these are insufficient. Therefore, there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of sesame oil on human health.  

Also Read: Sunflower Oil: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

During winter, the use of sesame oil can give relief from nasal dryness and irritation caused by dryness. Many studies imply the use of sesame oil as a solvent for various drugs that are applied during bronchoscopy due to its stable, non-irritant, and neutral nature.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to Use Sesame Oil: 

Sesame oil is an edible oil that can be used in many ways. Some of the common ways to use sesame oil are given below.  

  • You can use sesame oil for cooking. 
  • You can use sesame oil as a seasoning in stir-fries, salad dressing and in, sauces and marinades,  
  • You can also consume sesame oil directly. However, you need to contact a healthcare provider about the correct dosage of sesame oil.4  

You need to consult a qualified doctor before taking sesame oil or herbal ingredients. Do not replace or discontinue an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Side Effects of Sesame Oil: 

There is a lack of research on the side effects of sesame oil in humans. Therefore, if you experience any mild or significant side effects after consuming sesame oil, reach out to your healthcare provider immediately.  

Also, before using sesame oil for its health benefits, you need to contact a qualified doctor or healthcare provider about the possible side effects associated with its use. It will help you make well-informed choices.  

Also Read: Cod Liver Oil: Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

Precautions to Take with Sesame Oil: 

While using sesame oil, you need to take these general precautions.  

  • Precaution for pregnant and breastfeeding women 

There is a lack of enough data on the safety of sesame oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, you are advised to avoid sesame oil during pregnancy without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. Also, use sesame oil after consulting with your doctor during breastfeeding.  

  • Precaution for the elderly: 

The elderly should avoid consuming excessive sesame oil and stick to moderate amounts.   

  • Precaution for children 

Children should consume sesame oil under the supervision of their elders and stick to moderate food amounts.  

Before using sesame oil for any health benefits, you need to contact your healthcare provider about the precautions associated with its use. It will help you avoid unwanted effects.   

Also Read: Peepal Tree: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

During lab studies, sesame oil has shown interaction with a drug-metabolizing enzyme in our body, known as P450. However, more animal and human trials are needed to confirm this interaction.4  

If you are taking medicines for any health condition, talk to your doctor about the possible interactions of the treatment with other herbs and drugs.  

Also Read: Evening Primrose Oil Benefits: A Research-Based Guide to Health Improvements

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are the health benefits of sesame oil? 

Sesame oil is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which might be good for the heart. Sesame oil may potentially fight against diseases like diabetes, stomach diseases, heart disease, and skin problems.1,2 However, more research is required to support the use of sesame oil against any health conditions. Therefore, you are advised to talk to your healthcare provider before using sesame oil for any of these benefits.  

Can I use sesame oil for skin? 

Sesame oil is known for its soothing and healing properties on the skin. Sesame oil has excellent emollient properties. It might heal burn wounds on the skin. Sesame might also be effective against certain skin diseases.1 However, you should talk to a skin doctor or specialist in case of any skin problems and diseases.   

What are the nutritional components present in sesame oil? 

Sesame oil is packed with nutritional components. It contains natural antioxidants like vitamin E, vitamin K, sesamin, sesamolin, omega-3 fatty acids and lecithin.1,2  

What are sesame oil benefits for hair?  

Applying sesame oil to hair might strengthen it and some scientific studies suggest that sesame oil might make the hair healthier and stronger.1 It might also help maintain the colour of hair as well.2  

Is sesame oil good for diabetes?  

Though there is some evidence suggesting the positive effects of sesame oil for diabetic people, more research is required to support the claims.2 Therefore, make sure you follow all the dietary restrictions prescribed by your doctor.  

Also Read: Unravelling the Truth: Is Olive Oil Good for You?


1. Pathak N, Rai AK, Kumari R, Bhat K v. Value addition in sesame: A perspective on bioactive components for enhancing utility and profitability. Pharmacogn Rev [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2022 Sep 7];8(16):147. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4127822/ 

2. Shivhare N, Satsangee N. Wonders of Sesame: Nutraceutical Uses and Health Benefits. Chemistry of Phytopotentials: Health, Energy and Environmental Perspectives [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2022 Sep 7];63–8. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/278698451_Wonders_of_Sesame_Nutraceutical_Uses_and_Health_Benefits 

3. FoodData Central [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 16]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103865/nutrients 

4. Gokbulut C. Sesame Oil: Potential Interaction with P450 Isozymes. Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology. 2010 Nov 1;5(8):469–72. Available from: https://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=jpt.2010.469.472 

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