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Oleum Sesami. U. S., Br. Sesame Oil.

Ol. Sesam. [Teel Oil, Benne Oil]

Related entry: Sesame

"A fixed oil obtained from the seeds of one or more cultivated varieties of Sesamum indicum Linné (Fam. Pedaliaceae). Preserve it in well-closed containers." U. S. "Sesame Oil is the oil expressed from the seeds of Sesamum indicum, Linn." Br.

Sesame oil, which was official in the U. S. P. 1890, was restored to an official position by the U. S. P. IX. It is reputed by many pharmacists to resist rancidity better than other fixed oils of its class. It is especially recommended by Prof. Otto Raubenheimer, of Brooklyn. It is officially described in the U. S. Pharmacopoeia as "a pale yellow, oily liquid, almost odorless, and having a bland taste. It is slightly soluble in alcohol, miscible with ether, chloroform, petroleum benzin, or carbon disulphide. Specific gravity: 0.916 to 0.921 at 25° C. (77° F.). .

In India, and in the Eastern, African, and North American Divisions of the Empire, Sesame Oil may be employed in making the official Liniments, Ointments, Plasters, and Soaps for which Olive Oil is directed to be used." Br.

Benne Oil, or Teel Oil, is inodorous, of a bland, sweetish taste and a neutral reaction, and will keep long without becoming rancid. Fluckiger found that 76 per cent. of the oil consists of olein, and that the solid portions yield on saponification palmitic, stearic, and myristic acids. Linoleic acid was afterward discovered in the oil. The oil also contains a small quantity of what is probably a resinoid substance, which may be removed by glacial acetic acid or alcohol. It bears some resemblance to olive oil in its properties, and may be used for similar purposes. It is not a drying oil. Villavecehia and Fabris (Zeit. fur Ang. Chem., 1893, 505) have investigated sesame oil, and find, in addition to the main constituents before mentioned, a higher alcohol of the formula C25H44O, fusing at 137° C. (278.6° F.), a finely crystallizing substance of the formula C11H12O3, fusing at 123° C. (253.4° F.), which substance they name sesamin, and a thick uncrystallizable oil, non-nitrogenous, which is the cause of the cherry-red coloration which sesame oil shows with hydrochloric acid and sugar. Tocher (P. J., 1893, 700), after analyzing sesamin and determining its molecular weight by Raoult's method in benzene and glacial acetic acid, maintains that its formula should be C18H18O5. Tocher, as quoted by Lewkowitsch (Chem. Anal. of Oils, Fats, and Waxes, 2d ed., 389), also believes that the higher alcohol mentioned is cholesterol. When cooled to -3° C. (26.6° F.) it becomes thick, and at -5° C. (23° F.) it congeals to a yellowish-white mass. Concentrated sulphuric acid converts it into a brownish-red jelly. If 5 mils of the Oil be shaken with an equal volume of concentrated hydrochloric acid, the latter will usually assume a bright emerald-green color, especially if the Oil has been exposed for some time to the action of air and light." Soltzien recommends stannous chloride solution for testing benne oil. (Proc. A. Ph. A., 1897, 195.) According to Schaedler, if one mil of pure benne oil is shaken with one mil of pure hydrochloric acid, sp. gr. 1.125, and one gramme of cane sugar, a rose-red color is developed in fifteen minutes, changing to violet in twenty-five minutes, and increasing in intensity until, after five hours, the acid has assumed a violet color corresponding in intensity to that of a solution of iodine in carbon disulphide or in chloroform. In the case of all other fixed oils, this color reaction does not begin until after three-quarters of an hour. Olive and almond oils containing as little as one-fourth per cent. of benne oil exhibit the reaction in from twenty to twenty-five minutes. The failure of some experimenters to find the reactions available rests upon the fact that they searched for the color in the oil, and not, as they should have done, in the acid. (A. Pharm., 1887, p. 185.) Benne oil was known to the ancient Persians and Egyptians, and is esteemed by the modern Arabs and other people of the East both as food and as an external application to promote softness of the skin. It is laxative in large doses.

The name sesame oil is also sometimes applied to the oil from the cruciferous seed of Camelina sativa.


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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