Although mankind is trying with all its might to destroy its own planet with its vital functions, often caused by profit and greed, still managed to preserve plants on it that were cultivated by ancient civilizations for their needs. One of them is sesame, a plant that is well known today to all lovers of cooking. Once it was grown for the sake of obtaining the same name oil, the therapeutic properties of which are undeniable.
Sesame history tour
Sesame, as it grows today in the countries of tropical Africa, India, China, Korea and some others, it also grew in them at the dawn of human development. The first mention of it can be found in the Assyrian version of the creation of the world. It was the sesame wine their gods drank before starting their grandiose work. Apparently, it motivated them to create an Assyrian state, which for more than 2000 years was the strongest empire in the world.
Since the Assyrian civilization began its existence in the 24th century BC. er then it can be assumed that sesame seeds already in those times were used as a seasoning and as a prophylactic agent for many diseases.
The written evidence that this plant was used for medicinal purposes in antiquity is the famous Ebers scroll containing 10 papyrus. This guide dates from the 16th century BC. er and contains practical recommendations for the manufacture of drugs for the treatment of various diseases. Its compilers, apparently, were the priests and physicians of ancient Egypt.
At the same time, in China they knew about its medicinal properties as far back as 5000 years BC. er Thus, we can conclude that the sesame (plant) began to cultivate in ancient times, passing on from generation to generation information about how to use it. Among these data were not only its useful qualities, but also recipes for pies, sesame wine, brandy and many other products.
In different cultures, it is called differently: sesame (Hindus), Simsim (among Arabs) or takhin. Sesame is a plant belonging to the genus Sesamum, in which there are more than 30 species. The most common is the Indian variety, which is a grass with a straight, branched stem up to 2 m high.
Its flowers, white, lilac or pink, bloom directly from the sinuses of leaves and "live" all day. During this period, they have time to self-dust, which leads to the formation over time of the boxes with tiny seeds. Depending on the variety, they are black, white, red or yellow.
There is still no exact data on which region is his homeland, but it is known where sesame is growing today. The largest amount of it is cultivated in India, America and North Africa; it has not grown in wild form for a long time. Available information about him suggests that:
- this plant is thermophilic;
- the most useful types of sesame were cultivated in antiquity, and the agricultural machinery for its cultivation has changed little;
- it is massively grown for the production of oil and the sale of seeds.
It is interesting to know: in one box of the plant there are up to 80 pips, and a thousand seeds will weigh from 2 to 4-5 kg, depending on the variety.
As practice shows, although the places where sesame is growing are tropics, it can be grown in the south, and with proper care in the central regions of Russia and Ukraine. The main condition for its growth is warm soil. Sowing can be done when the soil warms up to +18, and the air is from +25 to +30 degrees.
It is important to remember: if the temperature drops to +2. +3 degrees, as the plant will die, therefore, with the first hints of its lowering, it is necessary to cover the beds with a film.
Before sowing the prepared area must be fertilized. It is possible that in countries where it is cultivated, sesame grows from year to year on fertile or loamy soils, and it gives high yields, but not every summer resident is lucky with high-quality black soil.
Therefore, to obtain excellent results, you should give this plant what it likes:
- potassium chloride (25 g);
- ammonium nitrate (25 g);
- superphosphate (100 g).
The number of components is based on 1 m 2. Sesame seeds should be planted in well-moistened soil to a depth of 3 cm, leaving a distance of 50 to 70 cm between rows. On average, 1 m 2 requires up to 1 g of seeds.
After sprouting, they must be thinned, leaving the strongest sprouts, at a distance of 6-7 cm from each other. While the plant stalk is gaining strength, regular watering is required with loosening the soil and weeding, but when it becomes stronger, it will no longer need frequent care. In ordinary gardens, sesame behaves in the same way as it grows in warm countries on large plantations.
It is important to know: since this plant successfully withstands hot winds and lack of moisture, it can be planted to protect less drought-resistant crops.
The fact that the time has come to harvest, "say" the leaves. When they turn yellow and begin to fall off, you can gently tear the seed boxes. On large plantations, the crop is harvested until they turn brown, and still hang green. The property of this plant is this: it costs him to ripen, as the fruits unfold from the slightest touch.
In a small area, sesame grows and matures as it is collected in its time when the boxes become brownish in color. With 1 m 2 harvest will be more than 200 g of seeds. Gardeners often plant this plant for decorative purposes, as it looks spectacular in flowerbeds.
Types of Sesame
Distinguish sesame white and black, brown and reddish, and even golden. In terms of the composition of nutrients, they differ little, but their use may be different. For example, black seeds have a brighter flavor, therefore they have long been used in marinates in the East, while whites are ideal for baking.
For the production of oil using black sesame, as from it it is more fragrant and high quality.
No wonder in eastern and African countries, sesame cultivated for thousands of years. Its nutritional properties and rich vitamin composition are beneficial for the human body. So, it includes:
- up to 46-48% fat;
- more than 12% carbohydrates;
- protein - the amount exceeds 19%;
- vitamins B1. AT2. PP, E, A, C (it all depends on the type of sesame, for example, A and B dominate in black seeds, and E and C dominate in white seeds);
- magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, sodium, manganese and zinc, and by the amount of calcium it is equal to cow's milk.
It is important to know: if you are allergic to dairy products, the daily calcium rate can be obtained from 100 g of sesame seeds.
The benefits of sesame
The seeds of this plant, due to its rich composition, are able to cleanse the body of toxins and slags, normalize the metabolism and clean the vessels of cholesterol. If you eat daily up to 3 tsp. sesame, it will prevent diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, and strengthen the skeletal system. Long-term use of seeds rejuvenates the body, restores strength and shine to hair, makes the nail plate smooth and strong.
Prohibited sesame with thrombosis and poor blood clotting, sometimes it is contraindicated in urolithiasis.
It is important to know that in order to get the maximum benefit from this product, only raw seeds should be eaten, it is better if they are germinated.
For the sake of oil, mainly, and farmers grow this plant. It is crushed from both roasted and raw seeds. In the first case, it turns out darker and more fragrant, in the second - lighter and healthier. It contains polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic, oleic and stearic. It is also rich in vitamins A, F, B, C and E, lecithin, amino acids and minerals. Thanks to special substances in its composition, it can be stored for up to 7 years.
Sesame oil has antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic properties. This is an excellent immunostimulant and antidepressant. In small quantities, it is recommended to be used for the prevention of diseases and aging.
It is important to know: for people with excess weight sesame oil intake should be limited, since 100 g of the product contains almost 900 kcal.