Sesame oil (also known as gingelly oil or nalla ennai in Tamil) is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds. Besides being used as a cooking oil in South India, it is often used as a flavor enhancer in Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Korean, and Southeast Asian cuisine.
The oil from the nutrient rich seed is popular in alternative medicine – from traditional massages and treatments to the modern day. The traditional Indian medical practice of Ayurveda uses sesame oil to pacify stress related symptoms.
Ongoing research also indicates that the rich presence of antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats in sesame oil controls blood pressure.