Anti-inflammatory Antimicrobial
Asthma/Allergies Benefits
Cancer Cardiovascular
Diabetes Immune System
Impotence Liver/Kidney
Modern Science Parasites
Pancreatic Cancer Seizures
Ulcers and Gastroprotective
 
Blessed Sunnah Black Seed

What is Black Seed?

Nigella sativa seed

Background

Black cumin also known by its Latin name Nigella Sativa, has been around for thousands of years. The best seeds come out of Egypt.

Upon reading the long list of ailments for which black seed is supposed to provide relief, many people react with disbelief. Nevertheless, the protective and healing powers of black seed are real, and they do not seem so impossible once we learn that they all stem mainly from black seed’s ability to stabilize and strengthen the body’s immune system. For thousands of years black seed has been used as a virtual cure-all. Its traditional applications range from skin care to digestion and fertility. Increasing scientific evidence in the last few decades has confirmed many of black seed’s healing powers.

An Ancient Tradition

Nigella sativa (left) and Nigella damascena (right)

The use of black seed as a healing herb has been traced back more than 3000 years to the Assyrians and ancient Egypt. The oil pressed from black seed was known as the "Pharaohs’ Oil" for it was the chosen treatment for numerous ailments and infections. The use of black seed eventually spread to other parts of Africa and the Middle East and was well known by the sixth century when the Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said "Hold on to the use of black seed for it has a remedy for every illness except death". Evidence of the therapeutic use of black seed has been found all over the world including Ancient Greece and Rome as well as Persia, India and China.

The works of Hippocrates, Dioscurides and Avicenna all show appreciation for the preventive and curative powers of black seed. Black seed has been an essential ingredient in Eastern Ayurveda medicine as well. In more recent times, black seed has been recommended as an herbal medicine by the World Health Organization, and ongoing scientific research in the West is continuously confirming the truth behind the tradition of black seed.

A Modern Rediscovery

In the last fifty years, black seed has been the subject of many university studies and research papers. The oil extracted from black seed has a rich composition of more than 100 compounds including essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Thymoquinone is the bioactive constituent of the volatile oil of black seed (54%) and was first extracted over forty years ago. Thymoquinone has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-neoplastic effects both in vitro and in vivo. However, the special powers of black seed are thought to result from a complex, synergistic interaction of all these components. Although scientists have yet to identify all the ingredients in this amazing herb, they have been able to verify its potential benefits for a number of common health concerns.


Atta-ur Rahman, Malik, S, Cunheng, H, Clardy J. Isolation and structure determination of nigellicine a novel alkaloid from the seeds of Nigella sativa. Tetrahedron Lett. 1985; 26, 2759-2762.

Chopra, R.N., Nayar, S.L., Chopra, I.C., 1956. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants. CSIR, New Delhi, India 175p.

El-Dakhakhany M. Studies on the chemical constitution of Egyptian N. sativa L. seeds. Planta Medica. 1963;11:465–470.

Nadakarni, K.M., 1976. Corcus sativus Nigella sativa. In: Nadkarni, K.M. (Ed.), Indian Materia Medica. Popular Prakashan. Bombay, India, pp. 386-411.

Phillips, J.D. Medicinal plants. Biologist 39: 187-191, 1992.

 

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