What is sesame (Sesamum indicum)
Common nouns: Sesame
– German: Sesam
– Danish: Sesam
– Dutch: Sesam
– Spanish: Sésamo, ajonjolí, ajonjulí, aljonjolí, jonjolí, jijirí, aljonjolé,,jonjolé, haholí,
– Catalan: Sèsam
– Galician: Sésamo
– Euskara: Sésamo
– Portuguese: Sésamo, gergelim
– French: Sésame, jugéoline
– Italian: Sesamo
Scientific name : Sesamum indicum DC. = Sesamum orientale L
Description of sesame
Annual plant of the Pedaliaceae family up to 1.5 meters. Stems erect, pubescent. Lower leaves opposite with three well-defined lobed nerves, up to 14 cm in length and about 5 cm wide. Upper leaves alternate, entire, ovate-lanceolate till 1 cm wide.
Flowers hermaphrodite, solitary at the end of short stalks that arise from the axils of the leaves, with tubular 4-lobed mouth., white or purple, up to 5 cm in length. It flowers during July.
The fruit is a capsule within which there are from 15 to 20 seeds. Seeds flattened, oval, black and white, or yellow. Very oily and sticky.
Sesame seeds as food
– Sesame seeds and leaves: Used as food, sesame has been grown primarily for its seeds. They can be grilled or steamed. In this way, they are directly served in salads or added to dishes to provide aroma and flavor. They can also be included as a dressing to flavor bread or pasta.
From them, we can obtain flour that can be mixed with other flours to make bread or pasta. These new varieties produce butter or other products widely used in oriental cooking.
The tender leaves of the sesame plant are also edible and can be used as a vegetable.
– Sesame oil: Sesame oil is obtained from the seeds of the sesame plant. This oil is known for its cosmetic properties, medicinal and industrial uses. You can also use this oil for cooking being a very stable and highly nutritious one. A kind of butter, called tahini, and other fatty products are made from it (more about the sesame oil.
Sesame in the industry
– Sesame in the pharmaceutical industry: Sesame is used for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products
– The sesame industry of insecticides: Sesame oil is used by the pyrethrum industry in the manufacture of insecticides. The use of this oil enhances the power of pyrethrin and makes it more effective to combat against insects.
– Sesame oil and oil lamps: In some places, people still use this oil to light the candles and lighting.
Sesame as a medicinal plant
More information on sesame seeds and other characteristics.