Pure sesame oil vs isotonic sodium chloride solution as treatment for dry nasal mucosa

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001 Nov;127(11):1353-6. doi: 10.1001/archotol.127.11.1353.


Objective: To evaluate whether there was any difference in efficacy when nasal mucosa dryness was treated with pure sesame oil (Nozoil) compared with isotonic sodium chloride solution (ISCS).

Design: In a randomized, crossover study, 79 subjects with nasal mucosa dryness were enrolled. Half the subjects received pure sesame oil for 14 days followed by ISCS for 14 days, and the other half received ISCS for 14 days followed by pure sesame oil for 14 days. During the test period from March 13 to May 30, 2000, the outdoor absolute humidity was low. Nasal mucosa dryness, stuffiness, and crusts were scored every evening with a visual analog scale.

Setting: The County Hospital, Skellefteå, Sweden.

Results: Nasal mucosa dryness improved significantly when pure sesame oil was used compared with ISCS (P<.001). The improvement in nasal stuffiness was also better with pure sesame oil (P<.001) as was improvement in nasal crusts (P<.001). Eight of 10 subjects reported that their nasal symptoms had improved with pure sesame oil compared with 3 of 10 for ISCS (P<.001). Adverse events were few and temporary.

Conclusion: When nasal mucosa dryness due to a dry winter climate was treated, pure sesame oil was shown statistically to be significantly more effective than ISCS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Inflammation
  • Isotonic Solutions / administration & dosage*
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Nasal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Sesame Oil / administration & dosage*
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Isotonic Solutions
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Sesame Oil