The seed of the Nigella Sativa plant, commonly referred to as “black seed,” is a powerhouse for health and wellness—however, very few people in the western world have even heard of it. In the East, this little seed has been in use since time immemorial. Black seed oil was even discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamen (King Tut), which dates it back some 3,300 years.
According to WebMD, black seed has historically been used for everything from headaches to pink eye to parasites. Today, it’s use is even more varied:
Today, black seed is used for treating digestive tract conditions including gas, colic, diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, and hemorrhoids. It is also used for respiratory conditions including asthma, allergies, cough, bronchitis, emphysema, flu, swine flu, and congestion.
Other uses include lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, treating cancer, and boosting the immune system.
That still doesn’t offer a complete list of what this little wonder seed has been used for; some use it as birth control, to help with rheumatism and to ease side-effects of a chemotherapy drug called cisplatin.
With so much to it’s name, it’s not wonder that Muhammad (the Prophet of Islam) declared black seed to be a remedy for everything short of death.
From a more scientific perspective, Amazingherbs.com tells us that its chemical composition is:
very rich and diverse. Aside from its primary ingredient, crystalline nigellone, Black Seed contains 15 amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, both fixed oils (84% fatty acids, including linolenic, and oleic), and volatile oils, alkaloids, saponin, and crude fiber, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium and potassium. There are still many components in Black Seed that haven’t been identified. But research is going on around the world.
From a cultural standpoint, I’m well versed in the many uses/benefits said to be derived from black seed. From an objective, scientific standpoint, I’m excited to see the scientific community taking note and eager to see what experimentation and study has and will yield from it. As Sayer Ji of GreenMedInfo is quick to note,
Many of black cumin’s traditionally ascribed health benefits have been thoroughly confirmed in the biomedical literature.
Let me close with a quick warning from the folks at WebMD:
Black seed seems to be safe in food amounts during pregnancy. But taking larger medicinal amounts is UNSAFE. Black seed can slow down or stop the uterus from contracting.
Not much is known about the safety of using black seed during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.