Black Sesame Seeds (Hei Zhi Ma) may only be small but they are very powerful and are used for their many health-promoting and anti-ageing benefits.
Sesame seeds are cultivated throughout China, used extensively for food, oil and medicine. Traditionally, the black sesame seed (Hei Zhi Ma) is used for medicine, though in practice, the black seeds are rarely used in Chinese herb decoctions and are more commonly recommended as a food herb.
The plant is not known in a truly wild situation, but it is said to have been cultivated as early as 3,000 B.C. It is not clear where the seed originated, but it is speculated that it was native to tropical Africa. It has since traveled all over the world and is now extensively grown in many tropical and warm temperate regions, China being the largest producer of the crop. Black Sesame Seeds are grown mainly for their oil, but the seed is high in protein, contains antioxidants, and is quite high in calcium, magnesium, copper and iron.
Benefits may include:
- May help with anti-aging properties
- Can assist to stabilise blood pressure
- May help with fibre and cell reinforcements
They can be used in a number of culinary dishes – you can use the seeds in cereals, rice, noodles and many other dishes. Black Sesame Seeds (Hei Zhi Ma) can even be mixed with your yoghurt or smoothie for a rich nutty flavour.
The seeds are widely used in Asian cooking. They are used in sushi, savoury dishes and even ice-cream. They can be eaten raw, dried or roasted.
Black Sesame Seeds (Hei Zhi Ma) come in white, black and brown colouring. Black sesame seeds are the most flavourful and have a stronger aroma.
They are preferably used in medicines.
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