Nigella Sativa is an annual flowering plant, originating from the Mediterranean and West Asia. The stalk of this plant is high up to 15 inches. It is simple or branched, the leaves are divided pinnately, several times, with a lancet to linear lobes and the flowers are delicate with five leaves in pale blue or white color.
The fruit comes in the form of an oblong capsule with 3 to 7 chambers in which we can find numerous healing black seeds. Different cultures have different names for this plant and its seeds. For example, it is known as black sesame, Roman coriander, black cumin, onion seeds, and black caraway.
Today most people know it as black seed, probably because this is the more appropriate description of the way this seed looks.
Ancient Egyptians were the first people who successfully cultivated this plant. It was obvious that its cultivation came as a result of the belief that black seed has strong healing properties. Oil made of black seed was found even in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun (1.300 BC). It is interesting that Arabic cultures call the black seed – Habbatul barakah – the seed of blessing.
Today all over the world, alternative medicine is used to extract oil from the black seed for healing and prevention of many diseases. Since 1964, more than 400 scientific studies have confirmed the benefits of using black cumin. According to these studies, black cumin can bring positive effects on more than 40 health conditions.
Black Seed Health Benefits
- Pain Killing;
- Liver protecting;
- Insulin sensitizing;
- Leukotriene antagonist;
- Tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitor.
As we have mentioned before, black seed has been tested on patients who are suffering from various diseases such as hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance syndrome (diabetes and dyslipidemic patients), hypertension, etc. It is also known because of its hematological properties. It has more potent activity than aspirin – the most known thrombosis remedy and strong antimicrobial activity.
Other studies also talk about the great potential of black seed. It is
Positive Results of Black Seed in the Following Cases
- Helicobacter Pylori Infection – Patients were able to eliminate this infection much faster by using black cumin compared to traditional triple eradication therapy.
- Type 2 Diabetes – Black seed is useful for diabetes sufferers too. Consuming only 2 grams of black cumin every day decreases insulin resistance and reduces glycosylated hemoglobin.
- High Blood Pressure – In these cases, it is recommended to use black seed extract (around 100-200 mg). This extract should be taken two times a day for a period of 2 months.
- Epilepsy – The anticonvulsant properties of black seed have been known since ancient times. These healing and protective properties were finally confirmed in 2007 when a scientific study confirmed that a water extract reduced seizure activity in patients suffering from this dangerous disease.
- Chemical Weapons Injuries – These seeds were tested even in patients suffering from injuries caused by chemical weapons. Sufferers experienced a reduction in respiratory symptoms and a reduced need for drug treatment.
- Asthma – Black cumin (Nigella sativa) has many constituents and thymoquinone is one of them. This substance has proven to be very successful in treating asthma in animals. That’s why scientists have decided to try it in human patients and the results were the same – black seed water extracts have excellent anti-asthmatic properties in the airways of asthmatic patients.
- Colon Cancer – These seeds act on a cellular level too especially in the suppression of cell proliferation in the colonic mucosa. So far, the effects have been noted only in animal subjects, but they will soon be tested in human subjects too.
- Opiate Addiction – Black seed in the long-term treatment of opioid dependence.
- Acute tonsillopharyngitis – This study proved the benefits of Nigella sativa and Phyllanthus niruri extract in the treatment of acute tonsillopharyngitis. Since black seed has strong antiviral properties and this illness is viral in its core, it is no surprise that these seeds bring ease of throat pain in people suffering from this pharyngitis (sore throat).
- MRSA – The results from this study indicated the antibacterial activity that black seed has on MRSA.
As mentioned before, black seeds have a complex chemical composition. They contain crystalline nigellone and phytochemical thymoquinone and many other carbohydrates, amino acids, antioxidants, and oils. They contain iron, calcium, sodium, and potassium too. Therefore, if we look at its composition we can stop wondering why the black seed is so powerful.