Black seed benefits health by providing relief from issues like headache, boils, skin infections, digestive ailments, rheumatism, allergies, bronchial asthma, and even animal bites. Black seed oil is also used in the treatment of diseases like Alopecia or baldness.
It is the second most important spice in the world, first being black pepper. The spice has a pungent, bitter, peppery flavor and oregano-like aroma. Hence, it used as a condiment in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Besides, the spice has been mentioned in the Bible and in the words of Mohammed. Original black cumin seeds are actually quite rare and hence Nigella Sativa seeds are mostly used.
Scientific Name: Nigella sativa L.
Other Names: Black cumin, blackseed, black caraway, Roman coriander, nutmeg flower, fennel flower, Charnushka, Kalajira, Kalijeera, Krishna Jiraka, SchwarzkÃ¼mmel (German), Niguilla (Spanish), Nigelle (French), Ketsha (Hebrew)
Black Seed is native to western Asia. It is cultivated in India, Egypt, Africa, Middle East, and other Mediterranean countries. This herb belongs to the Ranunculaceae plant family.
Black seed or Kalonji has stimulant, analgesic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-helminthic, antihistamine, spasmolytic, immunomodulatory, diuretic, and carminative properties.
The spice strengthens the immune system and possesses anti-cancer qualities. Scientists are studying its ability to inhibit tumor growth as well.
In addition, it is useful in getting rid of toothache, earache, diabetes, piles, gallstones, digestive disorders, intestinal gas, and skin diseases such as vitiligo, leucoderma, psoriasis, ringworm, eczema, acne, etc.
The oil of black seed (kalonji) has expectorant qualities that aid in the treatment of chronic cold. The oil is used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions like rheumatism. Plus, it is beneficial in curing hair loss. Furthermore, it is believed that the oil also promotes lactation.
In terms of nutritional value, black seed (Kalonji) is rich in protein, iron, carotene, calcium, zinc, and essential fatty acids. It is a good source of sterols that support anticarcinogenic activity.
Uses of Black Seed (Kalonji)
- Taking half a teaspoon of black seed oil boiled in water is useful in dealing with Asthma and other respiratory troubles. Simply inhaling the vapors of boiling water mixed with a few drops of black seed oil relieves stress and fatigue.
- Having a combination of powdered black seeds, honey and garlic is therapeutic natural cure for cough.
- Application of olive oil and black seed oil serves as an effective black cumin home remedy for loss of hair. Rub this oil on bald patches, in particular.
- Consuming a cup of warm milk mixed with one teaspoon of honey and a few drops of black seed oil is considered as an easy home treatment for heartburn.
- When mixed with a moisturizing cream the essential oil of black seed (Kalonji) benefits the skin, too.
- Having black seed tea mixed with fennel powder and peppermint helps control flatulence. Black seed tea lowers blood pressure, too.
- Taking a cup of yogurt mixed with one tablespoon of black seed for three days is one of the best natural home remedies for diarrhea.
- Inhaling the vapors of half teaspoon of black seed oil and lemon juice in boiling water relieves common cold and inflammation.Here’s a video with more natural cures for cough and cold.
- Mix equal amounts of black seeds, fenugreek seeds, Bishop’s weed and asparagus seeds. Grind them and take half a teaspoon of the resultant powder every morning to control rheumatism, gout and lumbago. Massaging with warm black seed oil is also helpful.
- Prepare a mixture of two tablespoons of ground black seeds, half a teaspoon of black seed oil and two tablespoons of honey. Consuming this mixture daily serves as a natural remedy to improve lactation.
- Applying a combination of black seed powder and olive oil on the affected area provides relief from toothache.
- Those suffering from diabetes can prepare an efficient black seed natural home remedy by adding a cup of watercress seeds and half a cup of pomegranate peels (dried) in one cup of black seeds. Grind the mixture and take one teaspoon of this powder with one teaspoon of black cumin oil. Follow this therapy daily in the morning for at least a month.
- Prepare a mixture of a teaspoon of black seeds and some honey. Next, pour warm water over it and add a teaspoon of black seed oil. Take this mixture early in the morning, daily, to remove gallstones naturally.
- When dealing with insomnia, you can add a teaspoon of black seed oil in a cup of warm water and drink it about an hour before going to bed.
- Add one tablespoon of black seeds in an equal amount of dry roasted black seeds and grind the mixture. Consume about half a teaspoon of this mixture along with a glass of water to cure hemorrhoids.
- For getting rid of headache, you apply a paste of powdered black seeds mixed with some hot water. You can also use this remedy for healing boils.
- To cure skin infections, you can apply a combination of black seed powder and one teaspoon of sesame oil.
Besides, black seed or kalaunji is used as a condiment in breads, cakes, stews, sauces and curries. It is included in a special spice mixture called panch phoron.
Ground black seeds mixed with water helps heal wasp and bee stings. This herb is also used in homoeopathic remedies.
The herb contains Glucoside which is toxic in nature. Hence, it should not be taken in excess (more than three teaspoons in a day). Moreover, unless mentioned, the seeds should be taken after roasting them.
Though it is not common, still, the oil may trigger contact allergic dermatitis in certain individuals. Nevertheless, black seed benefits far exceed the side effects of this herb.