Sesame oil to relieve body aches and pains


eMediNexus    02 July 2018

Sesame oil is obtained from the Sesamum indicum L. plant. It belongs to the Pedaliaceae family. Sesame oil is used in traditional medicine for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects. Sesame oil has traditionally been used to relieve pain associated with joints, teeth, premenstrual syndrome, scrapes and cuts.1 Sesame oil contains sesamin, sesamolin and sesaminol lignan fractions that play significant roles in its oxidative stability and antioxidative activity.2

Sesame oil has been shown to have anti-mutagenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-pyretic protective effects as well as anti-nociceptive property.1 A study evaluated the effects of topical sesame oil on pain severity and frequency of NSAIDs received among patients with upper or lower extremities trauma. Topical application of sesame oil reduced pain severity and frequency of received NSAIDs in these patients.1 Sesame oil is known to relieve muscular aches, pains and stiffness.3 In an experimental model, sesame oil has been found to diminish early joint pain by inhibiting Nrf2-associated muscular oxidative stress.4 In an experimental model with OA- induced joint pain, daily sesame oil treatment for 7 days significantly decreased OA-associated joint pain. The oil decreased muscular IL-6 and increased citrate synthase activity and myosin heavy chain IIa mRNA expression. It also decreased muscular lipid peroxidation, nuclear Nrf2 protein expression, and reactive oxygen species generations and increased glutathione production and glutathione peroxidase activity in OA models. The oil thus reduced joint pain by inhibiting quadriceps muscular oxidative stress.5 Lignans, such as sesamin, have activity against pain and inflammation.6

This oil can therefore be used for pain relief as it has a low cost, is easy to use and lacks adverse effects.


  1. Shamloo MBB, Nasiri M, Dabirian A, et al. The Effects of Topical Sesame (Sesamum indicum) Oil on Pain Severity and Amount of Received Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in Patients With Upper or Lower Extremities Trauma. Anesth Pain Med. 2015 Jun; 5(3): e25085.
  2. Kanu PJ, Bahsoon JZ, Kanu JB, Kandeh JBA. Nutraceutical Importance of Sesame Seed and Oil: A Review of the Contribution of their Lignans. Sierra Leone Journal of Biomedical Research 2010;2(1):4-16.
  3. Gould F. Indian Head Massage. Nelson Thornes Ltd. 2002; United Kingdom.
  4. Hsu D-Z, Chu P-Y, Jou I-M. Daily sesame oil supplement attenuates joint pain by inhibiting muscular oxidative stress in osteoarthritis rat model. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2016;29:36-40.
  5. Hsu D-Z, Chu P-Y, Jou I-M. Enteral sesame oil therapeutically relieves disease severity in rat experimental osteoarthritis. Food and Nutrition Research 2016;60(1).
  6. Monteiro EMH, Chibli LA, Yamamoto CH, et al. Antinociceptive and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of the Sesame Oil and Sesamin. Nutrients. 2014 May; 6(5): 1931–1944.

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