Sesamum indicum Linn

Sesamum indicum Linn.


Botanical Name:         Sesamum indicum Linn.sesam

Synonym                     S.orientale L.

Kingdom:                    Plantae

Order:                          Lamiales

Family:                        Pedaliaceae

Genus:                         Sesamum

Sindhi Name:              Tir

Local Name:                Safed Til

English Name:             Sesame, Gingelly

Part Used:                   Seeds, leaves and root oil



Sesamum indicum Linn. is an erect, highly branched, glandular, pubescent annual herb with 30-60 cm height. Leaves are ovate and 7.5-12.5 cm long, lower ones long. Flowers are 1-3 together in leaf axils, often forming terminal and leafy recemes. Bracteoles are inserted at the base of pedicels. Seeds are white, brown or black, 2.0-3.0 x 1.02-2.0 cm and smooth.2


Sesamum indicum Linn. is widely cultivated throughout the plains in India. It is largely cultivated in  different parts of the world such as; India, China, Burma, Mexico and South America.2, 4

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases:

Til (Sesamum indicum L.) oil is applied for 5-6 days for the treatment of ringworm in District Ghotki. Til (Sesamum indicum L.) oil is mixed with butter and applied on wounds in District Sukkur.


Sesamum indicum L. oil is composed of saccharose, pentosan, lecithin; choline; phytine; globuline, sesamin, olein, linolein, palmitin, and stearin; fatty acids consist of oleic, linoleic, linolenic, palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, eicosenoic acids. Chemical constituents of the flowers are apigenin, ladanetin, ladanetin-6-O-beta-D-glucoside, apigenin-7-O-glucuronic acid, pedalitin, and pedalitin-6-O-glucoside (flavones). Seeds yield lignan, lignan glycosides, and sterols; phenylethanoid glycosides have been reported from the whole plant, and phenolic acids from the leaves and seeds. Petroleum ether fraction of an alcoholic extract yielded sesamin, sesamolin, stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol, and stigmasterol-3-O-ß-D-glucoside. Ferulic acid, rhamnetin, verbascoside, kaempferol-3-O-ß-D-glucorunide, and mequelianin (quercetin-3-O–D-glucuronide) have been found in butanolic fraction.9 Sesame seeds contain the lignans pinoresinol and lariciresinol.10

Chemical Structures: 

Sesamum indicum


Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/ Scientific studies:

Sesame seeds are used to treat alopecia, burn, dermatosis, inflammation, scabies, snake bite, scorpion bite and warts.1 A plaster of its seed is applied to burns and scalds.2 Extremely fresh leaves are applied in skin problems.2 Seeds are laxative, emolient, tonic, diuretic and lactagogue.3 Paste of seeds is applied to burns, scalds and piles.4 It possesses antioxidant and syneregistic properties.5, 6 Oil of seeds once applied to cutaneous lesions of leprosy.6 Sesame seeds are taken orally for the prevention of premature hair loss and graying, it strengthens bones and teeth.7 Gentle massaging of the sesame oil is effective against eczema and psoriasis. It also soothes sun burn, minor burns and helps in healing process.8 Eating 3-4 tsp of sesame seeds every morning provides nourishment to hairs.8 Application of paste of turmeric prepared in sesame oil on infected areas cure scabies.8

Sesamum indicum L. seeds and leaf extracts possess anticonvulsant, antioxidant and analgesic activities.11, 12, 13 Ethanol extract of sesame seeds showed significant antioxidant and analgesic activity13, 14. Sesame seeds also promotes fertility.15 Sesame oil also possesses anti-hyperlipidemic activity besides hepato protective action.16.18



  • Duke, J. A. (2002), Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, p. 664-665, II, CRC Press, New York, Washington, DC, U. S. A.
  • Dhiman, A. K. (2006), Ayurvedic Drug Plants, p. 382, Daya Publishers, Delhi-110 035, India.
  • Joshi, S. G. (2000). Medicinal plants, p. 306, Mohan Primlani Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt.Ltd.66 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India.
  • Khare, C. P. (2007), Indian Medicinal plants, p. 599, Springer Publishers, New Delhi-110058, India.
  • Bhattacharjee, S. K. (2004), Handbook of Medicinal Plants, p. 320, Pointer Publisher Jaipure 303003 (Raj), India.
  • Nadkarins, K. M., (1954), Indian Materia Medica, , p. 1128, Manglore Publishers Press, India.