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WHO concurs potency of Bengal’s sesame seeds in fighting Covid-19

6 July, 2021 15:16:48
WHO concurs potency of Bengal’s sesame seeds in fighting Covid-19

Sesame seeds have been cultivated for thousands of years in Eastern India and has been part of Bengali cuisine since long. Our grandmothers knew that these oldest oil rich seeds have amazing healing properties. The Charaka Saṃhitā or Compendium of Charaka and Suśruta-saṃhitā mention the immense health and nutritional benefits of both sesame and flax seeds. They have been strongly validated not only by Ayurveda but by alternative forms of medicine including Siddha and Unani for their therapeutic applications and curative uses.

The seeds strengthen the immune system, reduce cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune and neurological disorders. The healing properties of the seeds have been proved and endorsed by the international scientific community. Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed the magical powers of flax and sesame in its journal and insisted they not only boost human immune system but are capable of driving away corona virus infection!

Scientists have zeroed in on the importance of sesamin, a vital component present in sesame seeds that stalls the proteolytic processing of SARS-CoV. The functional unit of the main protease is a dimer in which each sub-unit has a Cys145–His41 catalytic dyad, with His41 acting as a general base. The maturation and production of the infectious progeny of SARS-CoV involves proteolytic processing of the virus polyproteins by a main protease (Mpro). Sesamin attaches itself with Cys-145 and stops the proteolytic processing and the virus cannot spread and infect the organs in the body. Two Bengali scientists have also discovered recently how the unsaturated fatty acid present in sesame seeds destroys the two-pronged cover of corona virus and aborts the virus’ move to infect human beings.  

A review of a research paper jointly published by Pritha Ghosh of National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Professor S. Rohan Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Zoology, Hiralal Mazumdar Memorial College, Dakshineshwar, was recently published in the ‘Global Literature on Corona Virus Disease’ section of the international magazine published by WHO. In the article, the efficacy of both sesame and flax seeds to fight against Corona virus infection, have been claimed. 

Quoting information from the research paper, botanist Writtik Acharya also confirms the different formats of sesame seeds have the power to stop Corona virus from entering human body. In the 229E model of corona virus, it has been observed that the linoleic acid and arachidonic acid present in the seeds prevents the virus from entering the body. Again, the protectin found in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid in flex seed stops the replication process initiated by the mRNA (messenger RNAs) from the nucleus of the cell to the cytoplasm. 

When a SARS-CoV-2. virus infects a cell, it uses the cell’s protein-making machinery to make its own proteins instead of the cell’s proteins. It then uses these viral proteins to make more of itself, replicate and infect even more cells. At this juncture, protectin comes to stall the progress of the virus effectively. It also controls the secretion of IL-6 (Interleukin 6) very effectively. IL-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine produced in response to tissue damage and infections in the body. Acharya says, this protectin (protectin-DI) is the principal ingredient in the composition of anti-viral drugs.  During COVID-19 infection, cytokine storm within the body produces immunopathogenic damage that not only leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in many cases but can also further progress to extensive tissue damage, organ failure, and death. The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid in flax seeds controls and reduces the cytokine storm. It also stops the formation of Reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body.

Practitioners of alternative medicines are elated by the news that the anti-viral properties of flax and sesame seeds have finally been recognized globally and appreciated by the WHO. Ayurvedic practitioners assert efficacy of Til taila (sesame oil) in treating viral diseases is mentioned in ancient texts and it is widely used by traditional medicine practitioners. Both flax and sesame seeds activate T cells, also known as T lymphocyte. It is a type of leukocyte (white blood cell) that is an essential part of the immune system. T cells are one of two primary types of lymphocytes—B cells being the second type—that determine the specificity of immune response to antigens (foreign substances) in the body. 

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