Although mankind struggles to destroy its native life by its vital activity, often caused by profit and greed, still it has managed to preserve plants that for their own needs were cultivated even by ancient civilizations. One of them is sesame, a plant well known to all culinary lovers today. Once it was grown for the sake of obtaining the same oil, the medicinal properties of which are undeniable.
Excursion to the history of sesame
Sesame, as it grows today in 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 him can be found in the Assyrian version of the creation of the world. It was the sesame wine that their gods drank before they began 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. e. then we can assume that sesame seeds already at that time were used both as a seasoning and as a preventative against many diseases.
Written evidence that this plant was used for medical purposes in antiquity is the famous Ebers scroll containing 10 papyri. This manual dates from the 16th century BC. e. and contains practical recommendations on the manufacture of drugs for the treatment of various diseases. Its compilers, apparently, were the priests and doctors of Ancient Egypt.
At the same time, China knew about its medicinal properties even 5000 years before BC. e. Thus, it can be concluded that the cultivation of sesame (plant) began in ancient times, passing from generation to generation information on how to apply it. Among this information were not only its useful qualities, but also recipes for pies, sesame wine, brandy and many other products.
Description of the plant
In different cultures it is called in different ways: til (indians), simsim (from Arabs) or tahin. 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, branchy stem up to 2 m high.
His flowers, white, lilac or pink, bloom directly from the sinuses of the leaves and "live" all day. During this period they manage to self-pollinate, which leads to the formation after a time of boxes with tiny seeds. Depending on the variety, they can be black, white, red or yellow.
Until now, there is no exact data on which region is his homeland, but it is known where sesame grows today. The largest amount of it is cultivated in India, America and North Africa, it has not grown in the wild for a long time. The information about him indicates that:
- this plant is thermophilic;
- the most useful kinds of sesame were cultivated in antiquity, and the agrotechnics for its cultivation changed little;
- it is mass 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 grains, and one thousand pieces of seeds will weigh from 2 to 4-5 kg, depending on the variety.
Technology of cultivation
As practice shows, although the places where sesame grows are tropics, it can be grown in the south, and with due 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 from +25 to +30 degrees.
It is important to remember: it's worth the temperature to fall to +2. +3 degrees, as the plant will die, so at the first hints at its lowering you need to cover the beds with a film.
Before planting the prepared area should be fertilized. Perhaps in the countries where it is cultivated, sesame grows from year to year on fertile or loamy soils, and yields high yields, but not to every countryman lucky with quality chernozem.
Therefore, to obtain an excellent result, you should give this plant what it likes:
- potassium chloride (25 g);
- ammonium nitrate (25 g);
- superphosphate (100 g).
The number of components is given at the rate of 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 the rows. On average, 1 m 2 requires up to 1 g of seeds.
After the shoots ascend, they need to be weeded out, leaving the strongest sprouts, at a distance of 6-7 cm from each other. While the stalk of the plant is gaining strength, regular watering with loosening of the soil and weeding is required, but when it becomes stronger, it will no longer need frequent care. In the usual kitchen gardens, sesame also behaves, as it grows in warm countries on large plantations.
It is important to know: since this plant successfully resists hot winds and lack of moisture, it can be planted to protect crops that are less drought-resistant.
About the fact that it's time to harvest, "leaves" will say. When they turn yellow and begin to fall, you can gently tear down the boxes with seeds. On large plantations the harvest is collected, until they become browned, and hang still green. The property of this plant is: it is worth it to overripe, as the fruit opens from the lightest touch.
In a small area, sesame grows and matures, and it is assembled in its time, when the boxes will acquire a brownish color. From 1 m 2 the harvest will be more than 200 g of seeds. Gardeners often plant this plant for decorative purposes, as it effectively looks on the flower beds.
Types of Sesame
Distinguish between sesame white and black, brown and reddish, and even golden. On the composition of nutrients, they are not much different, but their use can be different. For example, black seeds have a brighter aroma, so they have been used for marinades in the East, whereas whites are ideal for baking.
For the production of oil use black sesame, as from it it is more aromatic and quality.
Composition of seeds
Not without reason in the eastern and African countries sesame has been cultivated for thousands of years. Its nutritional properties and rich vitamin composition are useful for the human body. So, it includes:
- up to 46-48% of fats;
- more than 12% carbohydrates;
- protein - the amount exceeds 19%;
- vitamins B1. AT2. PP, E, A, C (all depends on the sesame variety, for example, A and B predominate in black seeds, and E and C in white seeds);
- magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, sodium, manganese and zinc, and by the amount of calcium it is equated to cow's milk.
It is important to know: for allergies to dairy products, the daily rate of calcium can be obtained from 100 g of sesame seeds.
Seeds of this plant, thanks to its rich composition, are able to purify the body of toxins and toxins, normalize the metabolism and clear the vessels of cholesterol. If daily eat up to 3 tsp. sesame, this will prevent diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, and strengthen the bone system. Long-term application of seeds rejuvenates the body, restores the hair's strength and shine, makes the nail plate smooth and sturdy.
Sesame is forbidden for thrombosis and poor blood clotting, sometimes it is contraindicated in urolithiasis.
It is important to know: in order to get the maximum benefit from this product, you should eat only raw seeds, preferably if they are germinated.
For the sake of oil, this plant is mainly grown by farmers. It is pressed both from fried and raw seeds. In the first case, it turns out to be darker and more fragrant, in the second case it is lighter and more useful. In its composition, 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. It 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, consumption of sesame oil should be limited, since 100 g of the product contains almost 900 kcal.