Nigella sativa, commonly known as Black Cumin, Black Seed, or Black Cumin Seed is native to south Asia It has been used in Middle Eastern folk medicine as a natural remedy for various diseases for over 2000 years. Due to its amazing power of healing, Black Cumin has got the place among the top ranked evidence based herbal medicines. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of using black cumin seeds:

1. Protects the Gut

Black Cumin seed appears to have anti-ulcer properties against Heliobacter pylori. Black Cumin seed and Thymoquinone might partly defend stomach mucosa in rats (from acute alcohol induced mucosal injury). Black Cumin oil has considerably reduced the severity of intestinal damage in rats (with necrotizing colitis).

2. Treatment for MRSA

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a type of often-fatal infection which is hard to treat. Researchers at the University of Health Sciences in Lahore in Pakistan discovered that patients suffering from MRSA responded well to black cumin seed treatment. The seeds consist of powerful anti-microbial and anti-bacterial agents which kill bacteria on contact. All without unwanted side effects.

Health experts consider that black cumin seeds have the capability to treat other strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics including microbes that cause HIV, staphylococcal, malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, candida, and Gonorrhea.

3. Protects the Kidneys and Prevents Kidney Stones

Black Cumin seeds are used traditionally for the treatment and prevention of kidney stones. Evidence in rats suggests quite powerful anti-kidney stone properties. Black Cumin oil was effective against gentamycin kidney toxicity. Seed extract had defensive action against kidney injury (ischemia).

4. Suitable for WomenAs we all know that black cumin is an excellent source of iron and calcium thus extremely beneficial for lactating mothers, pregnant women and menstruating women due to their high need for iron and calcium. Additionally cumin also boosts breast milk secretion in newborn women because of its high constituent of thymol that increases mammary glands secretions. It is preferably taken together with honey.

5. Anti-Diabetic

Black Cumin seed is highly recommended among physicians of traditional medicine for treating diabetes. Seed extract help to increase insulin release in diabetic rodents. Apart from that Black Cumin oil has a significant activity in diabetic and high cholesterol patients.

6. Reduces Seizures

According to a report published in the Medical Science Monitor journal, regular consumption of black cumin seeds help to minimize seizure attacks in epileptic children. The research involved monitoring epileptic children who no longer respond to conventional treatment. Researchers conclude that the seeds contain anticonvulsive agents that impressively reduce epileptic seizures.

7. Protect Against Heart Disease

Black Cumin seed given to rats was able to improve the recovery of heart tissue following injury (ischemia/reperfusion). Seeds are beneficial in the treatment of high cholesterol. Seed powder when given to people with high cholesterol was found to reduce the total cholesterol and triglycerides. Daily use of seed extract for about 2 months may help to lower blood pressure in patients with mild Hypertension (HT). Additionally black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) reduced hardening of the arteries from high cholesterol.

8. Antiviral

Black Cumin seed have the ability to reduce viral load in persons with Hepatitis C. Black Cumin seed has revealed antiviral properties against infectious laryngotracheitis virus. It’s effective against cytomegalovirus virus (CMV) in mice.

9. Weight loss

Black cumin is actually a wonderful appetite suppressant, which, means that it makes you feel full faster, so you eat less. Thus, you lose weight. It also helps to reduces blood sugar spikes, which helps curb food cravings. So including black cumin on a regular basis is one of the best methods to lose weight.

10. Digestion

Nigella Sativa seeds are carminative, meaning they support in digestion. Black Cumin seeds offer some digestive benefits because of their calcium and copper content. Copper found in cumin seeds also maintains the health of digestive system. A 2-tablespoon serving of cumin seeds contains 112 milligrams of calcium and 104 micrograms of copper — 11 percent of your daily calcium and 12 percent of your daily copper needs. So include black cumin in your regular diet to solve all the digestion related problems.

11. Boosts the Immune System

Oral ingestion of Black Cumin seeds improves the ability of macrophages to destroy invaders. Black Seed extract increased Natural Killer cell cytotoxicity to tumor cells. Black Cumin seed was able to increase secretion of IL-3 from lymphocytes.

12. Anti-fungal activity

Black Cumin seed possessed significant anti yeast activity. Methanolic extracts of Black Cumin seed have the strongest anti-fungal effect against Candida albicans. The defensins (Ns-D1 and Ns-D2) displayed strong anti-fungal activity towards a number of phytopathogenic fungi.

How to Eat

  • Nigella sativa seeds are used as a spice to flavor buns, breads and pastries, sauces and beverages.
  • It is used mostly in candies, curries and liquors.
  • Nigella is used in Armenian string cheese called Majdouleh or Majdouli in Middle East.
  • Egyptians spread the seeds on bread or put them on cakes like com fits.
  • Nigella is commonly used to flavor pastries in Bosnia.
  • Peshawari naan bread is topped with nigella seeds.
  • Kalonji is one the five ingredients in the spice blend called panch phoron, widely used in eastern India and Bangladesh particularly in Mithilia, Bengali, Assamese and Oriya cuisine.
  • Seeds of Nigella sativa are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
  • Dry-roasted nigella seeds are used to flavor curries, vegetables and pulses.

Other Facts

  • Black cumin, is used as herbal folk medicine all over the world for the treatment and prevention of a number of diseases like asthma, dyslipidaemia, bronchitis, diarrhea, diabetes, hyperglycaemia, and related abnormalities headache, cancer, dysentery, infections, obesity, hemorrhoids, hypertension, back pain, hypertension, gastrointestinal problems, sexual diseases eczema, boils, rheumatism, fungal infections, cardiac diseases, and as an abortifacient.
  • People in the Middle East and Southeast Asia have used N. sativa seeds for its homeopathic effects for centuries.
  • Seeds are considered as stimulant, diaphoretic, emenagogue, and are used by nursing mothers to increase milk secretion and as anthlemintic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Black cumin is also used as a corrigent or adjuvant of purgative and tonic medicines; and as a carminative in indigestion and bowel complaints.
  • sativa oil has also been used to treat skin conditions like eczema, abscesses, and boils and to treat cold symptoms and to fight parasitic infections.
  • Mixture of black cumin, honey and garlic makes a powerful tonic for soothing coughs and boosting immunity, particularly during cold and flu season or if you feel like you’re coming down with an infection.
  • Black Cumin “encourages the body’s energy” and helps recover from fatigue and “disspiritedness”
  • Kalonji seeds are also used in India for putting among linen to keep away insects and also served as insecticides.

Sources and References: