Many of us are looking for a magic pill to darken grey hair. And may be it does exists.
I was recently reading ‘The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ by Dr Vasant Lad and in that he stresses about eating sesame seeds for healthy hair. Ayurveda believes that the health of the bones, hair, and nails is connected. The vitamins and minerals that help to keep your bones healthy are also essential for the health of your hair and nails. So if your hair is unhealthy, it may suggest that the health of your bones may be affected.
But of course people who lose hair may or may not have weak bones. Hair loss is not always due to vitamin or mineral deficiency. It can be caused by stress, long-standing illness, pollution, harsh hair products, and no head massage – Yes I give a lot of importance to head massage, which is a means of delivering nutrients to grow your hair.
Coming back to the magic pill. My husband, Aslam, always had grey hair. He says they appeared in his early 20s – according to him it was due to bad eating habits and unnecessary worrying (phew!! only if we learn to eliminate latter). Now in his mid 30s, and with continual hair-talks going in the house, he wants to darken his greys. He is not regular with finger nail rubbing, which can help reverse grey hair. And he absolutely abhors applying hair packs or henna on his hair. It’s too much of a hassle for him.
Inspired by the aforementioned ayurvedic book, I started researching on sesame seeds and came across black variety, which is supposedly a magic cure for black hair
In traditional Chinese Medicine black sesame seeds are considered as one of the best anti-aging foods. Along with nourishing the scalp and stimulating hair growth, black sesame seeds can promote melanocyte activity to produce melanin – the pigment responsible for hair and skin colour.
With a rich nutty flavor, sesame has one of the highest oil content of any seed. They come in different varieties and may be black, brown, red, and tan in colour. The nutritional composition of all sesame seeds is almost similar. Except that black variety has exceptionally high amount of antioxidants and anti-aging benefits.
Research suggests that antioxidants present in the black sesame seeds can counteract or neutralize the effect of free radicals that damage cells and cause aging (including grey hair, hair loss and wrinkles).
Sesame seeds are a good source of hair nourishing vitamins and minerals such as copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B1, amino acids, selenium, melanin, and dietary fiber. Plus, these tiny seeds also contain natural antioxidants – sesamin, sesamolin, and sesamol.
Chinese Medicine considers the hair and skin to be an external mirror of the body’s internal state of health. The hair is said to be nourished by the Blood and the skin receives moisture from the body’s Yin. When the Yin is affected it can cause dry or itchy skin. And when blood is deficient it may cause hair loss and grey hair.
Black Sesame Seed can nourish the body organs, the Blood and the Yin, bringing nutrition to the hair and skin. While you apply creams, oils and hair masks, regularly eating a tablespoon of black sesame seeds will help solve the root of the problem.
1. Encourages Bone Health and Prevents Osteoporosis: Sesame seeds are a good source of bone-forming minerals (calcium, phosphorous, magnesium). One tablespoon of unhulled seeds contain about 88mg of calcium, more than a glass of milk. Plus the high zinc content increases bone mineral density.
2. Helps you sleep Better: Sesame contain the stress-relieving minerals magnesium and calcium. It also contains amino acid tryptophan that help produce serotonin, which assists moods and helps you sleep better by restoring the normal sleep pattern.
3. Skin beautifying: The oleic acid in sesame seed offers skin softening as well as cell regenerating benefits. And the linoleic acid helps restore skin barrier and prevents moisture loss from your skin. While the high phytosterols are great for reducing redness and itching and combating weather damaged skin.
3. Relieves arthritis: The high copper content in sesame seeds helps in reducing pain and swelling associated with arthritis. In addition, this mineral keeps your bones and joints flexible and healthy.
4. Prevents Cancer: Sesame seeds contain anti-cancer compounds including phytic acid, magnesium and phytosterols. And the phytosterol content of sesame (especially the black sesame seeds) is the highest of any commonly consumed seeds and nuts.
6. Protects Liver: The antioxidants in the black sesame seeds protect the liver from oxidative damage, helping you maintain healthy liver function.
6. Alleviates Anemia: Black sesame seeds have higher iron content than other varieties, so they’re highly recommended for people suffering from anemia.
7. Good for cardiovascular health: The lignans (sesamin and sesamolin) present in the sesame seeds are believed to reduce blood cholesterol levels and prevent high blood pressure. Also, magnesium and calcium are important essential minerals that help regulate blood pressure.
9. Prevents Asthma: The magnesium in the sesame seeds help to prevent airway spasm in asthma patients.
10. Improves eye health: As per traditional Chinese medicine, eyes are closely related to liver healthy. When liver is affected the eyes become tired and dry and vision may become blurred. Black sesame seeds are a natural tonic for liver, which in turn is believed to nourish and support eyes’ function.
Since I found out that black sesame seeds help with greying and has zillion other benefits, I added them to our diet. Amla – fresh or powder – is also now a regular part of our diet.
It’s not just hair obsession. When you include healthy foods like black sesame seeds, amla, and ginger your whole body as well as mind benefits.
Last year Aslam regularly took amla powder and his vision got better. He is short-sighted and his number dropped 0.5 points in both the eyes. But, then compliance is not easy. He stopped.
Recently he had this healthy awakening. Although his eating habits are pretty healthy, it’s the extra bits that undo the harm we have caused over years. So now he has started doing regular pranayam and yoga. He is also taking amla powder with warm water in the morning. Plus, 1-2 teaspoon sesame seeds in the salad.
Grey Hair Challenge: Aslam has about 30 to 35% grey hair. It’s been 2 weeks of incorporating these additions and I will keep you posted of any changes that happen. I have read that you will see any noticeable changes after 3 months and complete reversal of greying in about 2 years.
The beauty of natural home remedies is that even though you don’t see instant results, using them regularly will bring lasting, permanent changes. After all, patience is a virtue.
Note: The seed hull contains phytic acid, an anti-nutritive factor, which can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients. Soaking and roasting them can greatly reduce the phytic acid content and also improve the flavour and digestibility.
How much to eat: Recommended daily dose of black sesame seeds is from 10 to 15 grams or one level tablespoon.
Storing Instruction: Always store sesame seeds in airtight containers, in cool dark place to avoid them turn rancid.
Sesame seed allergy: Sesame can trigger allergic reactions in some people. If you have diarrhoea or fever avoid eating black sesame seeds.
Thanks for update requests….I have been wanting to update for quite some time now.
Unlike my husband, I don’t have many grey hair. They only appeared 4 years ago, when I was going through a very stressful time. I am 36 now.
A very astonishing thing has happened in last three-four months. I am seeing my greys growing dark from the roots. I first noticed it when I was collecting all the fallen hair after the head massage, and I saw that one hair is grey (henna-dyed) towards the end and dark at the root. I have collected few such hair. And it gives me hope that grey hair can be reversed.
I haven’t seen any such thing on my husband’s hair, yet. He has faith in natural remedies, especially amla, after seeing an improvement in his vision, but he needs to be more consistent in his practice. He always says he will start from tomorrow, which never comes.
This is what I do: I have been eating black sesame seeds since last 1 year and I also drink fresh amla juice about once or twice a week. I use amla in my homemade shampoo as well.
I am more regular with my yoga and meditation practice. I do believe that a calm and stable mind is very important for good hair, skin and overall health.
I don’t know what really helped to reverse my grey hair — is it eating sesame seeds, or amla, or doing meditation and yoga, or bit of everything.
I am still experimenting things on myself, hopeful by the year end I will write a detailed post on what worked for me (and hopefully my husband).
Do you take black sesame seeds? What has been your experience? Share below!
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