Black Seeds – The Cure for Everything but Death
is an annual plant in the family Ranunculaceae, native to south and southwest Asia, which have been used by humans for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Black seed oil, called the “gold of the Pharaohs,” was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Other names : Black Caraway, Black Cumin, Nigella, Kalo Jeere, Kalonji, Nigella Seeds, Black Sesame, Onion Seed, Small Fennel, Mangreal, Kala Jaji.
To avoid confusion I will use the terms Black seeds and Nigella sativa.
Ayurvedic properties of Nigella sativa (Kalonji in Hindi)
Guna (quality): dry, light
Rasa (taste): pungent, bitter
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): pungent
Virya (the effect on digestive fire): heating
As we can see from the above table, Nigella Sativa pasifies Kapha and Vata doshas, and can increase Pitta if taken in large amounts or if Pitta is already imbalanced.
Range of applications.
1. With diseases of the upper respiratory tract (asthma, bronchitis).
2. With coughing — can reduce fever.
3. With allergies.
4. Inflammatory conditions.
5. Headaches, toothaches.
6. Gastritis (has antispasmodic effect).
7. In oncological maintenance therapy (especially pancreatic cancer).
8. With problems with the regulation of sugar.
9. With kidney and liver diseases.
10. With parasites.
11. With diseases of the circulatory system, in the case of high cholesterol, triglycerides.
12. With acne, atopic dermatitis, oily skin, recurrent dandruff.
13. With indigestion and poor appetite.
14. With high blood pressure.
15. With rheumatoid arthritis symptoms (chronic inflammation of the joints).
Nigella sativa seeds contain fatty oil (up to 44%), essential oil (0.8–1.5%), glycoside melanthin, alkaloid damascene (0.1—0.3%), steroids, sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, lipase enzyme.
Nigella sativa essential oil has the appearance of a yellow liquid with a spicy smell. The active substance in its composition is melantol. The oil contains saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, including Omega-9 and Omega-6, 15 amino acids, in particular, arginine, phospholipids, B vitamins, vitamin C, D, phytosterols (campesterol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol), tannins substances, flavonoids, carotenoids, mono- and polysaccharides, enzymes, alkaloids, triterpene saponins, many micro- and macronutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, etc., and carotene.
The most beneficial components:
• essential unsaturated fatty acids that have an antioxidant effect;
• linoleic acid – supports immunity and is very beneficial for the skin;
• Thymoquinone, has a very strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.
• Nigellon – has a strong anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effect.
Powder: 1-3 g 1-2 times a day with food
Oil: 3-5 ml 1-2 times a day with food
Nigella sativa has a unique, sharp taste. The seeds and oil have a strong, spicy smell, reminiscent of bitter coffee. I find it pleasant and use the seeds and oil in salads. You can add seeds to homemade bread, pies, pancakes and other baked goods, cereals, or cottage cheese. It works well as seasoning on salads, soups, and pasta.
When ground, seeds can be an alternative to pepper, because they do not irritate the sensitive mucous membranes like pepper does. Black seeds go well with coriander.
Side effects and contradictions
Not recommended for pregnant women, because theoretically it can lead to a contraction of the uterus.
Black seeds stimulate the immune system, which is why they are not recommended to persons who have undergone organ transplantation.
Consuming black seeds too often in large quantities might cause flatulence, diarrhea, and allergic reactions (see dosage).
Nigella sativa oil and seeds may enhance the effects of certain drugs, and especially those associated with the cytochrome P450 enzyme group. So if you regularly take certain drugs, be sure to talk to your doctor before you start using oil for cooking or other purposes.
The plant can not be used with individual intolerance. In some cases, the external use of black cumin oil can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
How to use Nigella sativa as beauty oil
Dermatologists say that Nigella sativa oil has a tangible advantage for problem skin. According to the Journal of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, the use of black seed oil lotion (10%) significantly reduces the visibility of acne after two months of use. At the end of the study, 67% of participants stated that they were satisfied with the results.
Nigella sativa oil works great on the hair, giving it softness and shine if applied to the curls (and especially on the tips) after washing.
There is also evidence that local application of the oil reduces the frequency of plaque psoriasis, and added to the day cream, it almost doubles its moisturizing properties.
Like many cosmetic oils, Nigella sativa oil is suitable for treating wounds, reducing inflammation, and preventing the growth of bacteria in the affected area.
To avoid an allergic reaction, be sure to perform a test on the crook of your elbow before using it on your face or other area of skin.
Scientific research on Nigella sativa oil and seeds :
Scientists from the International Immuno-Biological Research Laboratory of South Carolina (USA) in 1997 officially confirmed that black seeds and oil directly stimulate the production of bone marrow cells. This process is an important link in the complex treatment and prevention of oncological formations.
It has been experimentally demonstrated that Nigella sativa is recognized as an effective means for treating a large range of diseases, while not provoking addiction.
In the course of a scientific experiment conducted at the Medical University in Dhaka (Bangladesh), the antibacterial properties of black seed oil were revealed, which can compete with the five strongest modern antibiotics (ampicillin, tetracycline, gentamicin, etc.). In 1898, an article about the unique properties of black seed oil was published in a medical journal.
Cosmetologists carried out studies of the properties of black seeds, it was found that the seed oil of the plant accelerates hair growth, and also actively fights premature graying.
Scientists from Eastern countries believe that is a promising drug for strengthening immunity due to the presence of powerful antioxidants.
TODAY’S TIP: Excess amounts of black seed oil (although, in fairness, any oil) can damage your kidneys and liver. From here – if you have problems with any of these organs, talk to a specialist to determine a safe dose.