Black Sesame Seeds (hei zhi ma)

Black Sesame Seeds (hei zhi ma)

What is black sesame seeds? What is it used for?

Sesame seeds are believed to be one of the worlds’ first spices. The earliest recorded use of sesame seeds as a spice can be traced to an Assyrian legend, which claimed that the gods drank sesame-based wine before creating the earth. Sesame seeds are still a main spice and food source throughout Asia and parts of Europe and Africa.

In traditional Chinese medicine, black sesame seeds have sweet and neutral properties, and are associated with the Kidney and Liver meridians. They function to tonify yin jing and blood, moisten the intestines, and help build the spirit, or shen.

Black sesame seeds are an extremely good source of calcium; studies have shown that one gram of seeds contains approximately 85 milligrams of calcium. Black sesame seeds also have high amounts of protein, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. In some patients, black sesame seeds are used to help patients recover from serious illnesses and fevers, treat constipation and promote regular bowel movements. Some practitioners recommend using black sesame seeds with polygonum to keep a person’s hair looking rich and dark.

How much black sesame seed should I take?

The typical dosage of black sesame seeds is 9-30 grams per day, ground into a powder and taken alone or in combination with other herbs.

What forms of black sesame seed are available?

Whole, dried black sesame seeds are available at herbal shops, Asian markets, and some exotic food stores. Black sesame seeds are also available in powder, pill, capsule and decoction form. Sesame seed oil is also available in many places.


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