A chronic, inflammatory and degenerative condition, osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease that causes the breakdown of bone cartilage and the underlying bone. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention statistics say that one in two people will develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis by the age of 85 years.
Joint pain and stiffness, the distressing symptoms of OA can often impact the mobility of the sufferer. Conventional medical treatments include the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and pain-relievers to combat pain and swelling.
However, since total relief from the symptoms is difficult, many people opt for a complete knee replacement, wherein the transplants can provide relief for 15 years. While this is an option recommended by many rheumatologists, they don’t come cheap. Besides how many of you are really willing to trust the efficacy of a fake knee made of metal and plastic?
Experts On A Lookout For Natural Remedies
Owing to the various side-effects caused by OTC painkillers and NSAIDs, experts have been on the lookout for natural alternatives for years. From a healthy bone and joint-enriching diet to yoga and acupuncture, several options have been explored.
A new development in this search points towards the effectiveness of sesame seeds in treating joint pain in OA patients. Researchers from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran recruited 50 participants with OA of the knee dividing them into two equal groups.
Group one received standard drug therapy, that consisted of 500mg Tylenol (NSAIDs) and 500mg glucosamine supplement. Group two received 40 grams (or about four tablespoons) of ground sesame seeds daily along with the standard drug therapy.
After two months of treatment, the researchers noted that the group which received sesame powder along with the standard drug therapy had an improvement in pain and mobility than the one that didn’t. Not only did the sesame seeds group outdo the medical drugs in pain management, they also produced no visible side effects. [1,2]
How Sesame Seeds Help Improve Pain In Osteoarthritis
The researchers studied the effectiveness of sesamin—a lignin in sesame seeds that has powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. The seeds are also rich in copper, manganese, calcium, and iron, which are vital for bone building. Apart from their bone healthy benefits, sesame seeds also:
- Lower Cholesterol
- Prevent free radical damage
- Control diabetes
- Lower elevated levels of blood pressure
- Suppress the growth of cancer
- Improve heart health
How To Use Them
- The easiest way to include sesame seeds in your diet is to enjoy them with your meals. Blend in a handful with your breakfast smoothie or add a little crunch by sprinkling them generously over your salads. You can also add them to your cookie flour to add that extra dose of health.
- Alternatively, add 1tbsp powdered sesame seeds to ½tsp water and ½tsp of any carrier oil to form a paste. Apply this on your affected knee once a day.
- You can also massage your aching joints with sesame oil twice a day.
1. Eftekhar Sadat B, Khadem Haghighian M, Alipoor B, Malek Mahdavi A, Asghari Jafarabadi M, Moghaddam A. Effects of sesame seed supplementation on clinical signs and symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Int J Rheum Dis. 2013 Oct;16(5):578-82. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.12133. Epub 2013 Jun 20. PubMed PMID:24164846.
2. Khadem Haghighian M, Alipoor B, Malek Mahdavi A, Eftekhar Sadat B, Asghari Jafarabadi M, Moghaddam A. Effects of sesame seed supplementation on inflammatory factors and oxidative stress biomarkers in patients with knee osteoarthritis.Acta Med Iran. 2015;53(4):207-13. PubMed PMID: 25871017.