It’s not like Americans don’t know about sesame seeds. After all, they show up frequently in Chinese restaurants and are an important part of salad bars all across the country. And what would hamburger buns and bagels be without a few sesame seeds sprinkled on them?
What most American do not realize is that these small seeds bring with them some pretty big benefits. One of these benefits appears to be the ability to treat osteoarthritis of the knee, a common and sometimes frustrating degenerative disease that can make walking and other aspects of at-home living difficult. Below are some of the ways sesame seeds can make it easier.
Sesame Seeds: a Natural Choice
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a painful and common joint condition. It can interfere with regular activities like walking or climbing stairs and it can put those who suffer from it at an increased risk for falls. And because of the pain associated with this problem, it is common for many who suffer from it to reach for various over-the-counter analgesics. One of the most popular drugs for this is acetaminophen. However, even though it is classified as a “mild” analgesic, it can have some serious side effects, including liver damage and even death.
Sesame seeds provide a mild, gentle alternative to this. They have been used for their medicinal properties for at least 5,000 years, dating back to the time of the Egyptians, and they can help modern sufferers as well.
What Research Shows
Recent research coming out of the University of Tabriz in Tehran, Iran, uncovered some remarkable things about the use of sesame seeds in treatment of arthritis.
In this study, 50 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were given a combination of Tylenol and glucosamine (another natural treatment) daily. However, on top of this, half of this group also received 40 grams of sesame seeds daily.
At the end of this two month study, it was found that the participants who received the sesame seed treatment reported significantly less pain than those in the control group, although mobility between the two groups did not vary significantly. The researchers, whose results were later published in The International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, recommended the use of sesame seeds as an adjunctive therapy for use along with other treatments. They also would like to see further research done in the future which studies the effect of sesame seeds on their own and not in combination with other treatments.
In short, it appears that sesame seeds, with their long medical history, also have something to offer modern sufferers trying to cope with the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis in their knees. And the good news is that sesame seeds can be added easily to any number of vegetable dishes or stir-fries in order to naturally improve joint health.
More From Meghan: