Magical Properties of Black Seeds (Black Cumin, Nigella Sativa)

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black seed flowers black seed micro greenblack seed

The seeds of Nigella sativa Linn. (Ranunculaceae), commonly known as black seed or black cumin, are used in folk (herbal) medicine all over the world for the treatment and prevention of a number of diseases and conditions that include asthma, diarrhoea and dyslipidaemia. Much of the biological activity of the seeds has been shown to be due to thymoquinone, the major component of the essential oil. The pharmacological actions of the crude extracts of the seeds (and some of its active constituents, e.g. volatile oil and thymoquinone) that have been reported include protection against nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity induced by either disease or chemicals. The seeds/oil have antiinflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, antimicrobial and anti-neoplastic activity. The seed/oil decreases blood pressure and increases respiration[1].

Nigella sativa has been used as traditional medicine for centuries. The crude oil and thymoquinone (TQ) extracted from its seeds and oil are effective against many diseases like cancer, cardiovascular complications, diabetes, asthma, kidney disease etc. It is effective against cancer in blood system, lung, kidney, liver, prostate, breast, cervix, skin with much safety. The molecular mechanisms behind its anticancer role is still not clearly understood, however, some studies showed that TQ has antioxidant role and improves body’s defense system.[2]. Nigella sativa seeds, oil or its active ingredients are effective against different cancers (blood cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Hepatic Cancer, Lung Cancer, Skin Cancer, Fibrosarcoma, Renal Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Cervical Cancer) [2]. Cancers are the abnormal cell growth caused by genetic alteration. So, any agent which has anti-cancer activity, either protect genetic material from alteration or kill the genetically altered cancer cells. The active ingredients (mainly TQ) from N. sativa act on cancer cell to help to kill them by several molecular pathways.

There are two questions that people ask me : 1) How do I eat them ?. 2) Is oil better than seeds ?

Black seeds can be taken in many ways without destroying their beneficial oils. Here are few

1) Put them in soil and grow  them. You can get micro greens that can be eaten in salad or soups.

2) Put the seeds in the hot water, keep them for 10 minutes for simmering, filter and drink the water. You can do what  Egyptians do every day.

3) Roast the seed and chew them.

4) Sprinkle them in salad along with salad dressing

5) Use them as a spice  blend in curry

6) Sprinkle the seeds in dough of your bread.

We will post some recipes here shortly so that you can use black seeds as part of your regular diet.

In my personal opinion, seeds can be eaten in many ways without destroying their benefits. However, oil has limited usage. I don’t know how much benefits you will use by doing a cold press ?.

 

 

Technical References:

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12722128?dopt=Abstract

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252704/

We have provided information on this page for informational purpose ONLY. Information has been gathered from books and natural health practitioners. Please consult a natural health practitioner for your condition. Black Seed has not been approved as medicine by USFDA.

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