Sesame seed and its oil have been utilized as important foodstuffs for about 6000 years. A cultivated sesame species, Sesamum indicum L., is believed to have originated in the Savanna of central Africa spreading to Egypt, India, the Middle East, China, and elsewhere. Sesame seed and oil have been evaluated as representative health foods and widely used for their good fl avor and taste (Namiki and Kobayashi, 1989). Historically, an old text, the Thebes Medicinal Papyrus (1552 bc), found in Egypt, describes the medicinal effect of sesame seed as a source of energy. Hippocrates in Greece noted its high nutritive value. A Chinese book (300 bc), which explains medicinal effects of various plants, describes sesame as a good food having various physiological effects, especially useful for providing energy, a tranquil frame of mind, and retarding the process of aging when eaten over a long period. Further, in traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, sesame oil has been used as the basal oil for human body massage since 700-1100 bc (Weiss, 1983; Joshi, 1961). The magic words, “Open, sesame!" from the Arabian Night stories are very familiar throughout the world and may have originated from the abrupt opening of the sesame capsule to scatter seeds and also to show sesame’s magic power. In Japan people have traditionally believed that sesame is very good for health (Namiki, 1990, 1995). Despite such high values placed on sesame seed and oil, there have been few scientifi c studies to elucidate their functions. Initiated from the studies on the protective effects of food components against the lethal effects of radiation (Sumiki et al., 1958), many antioxidants and antimutagens in various foods have extensively studied by author’s group (Kada, 1978; Namiki, 1990; Osawa, 1997). Among them, studies on the traditionally believed health functions of sesame have been especially noted, and various interesting functions such as the antioxidation and antiaging effects with tocopherols, serum lipid-lowering effect, blood pressure-lowering effect, and other functions have been elucidated (Namiki, 1998, 2007).