Nigella Sativa is the botanical name for Black Cumin. It is a flowering plant grown extensively in the native parts of Asia and the Middle East. Kalonji, Kalojeere, Black Caraway, and Fennel Flower are some of the common names of this plant.
We’ll explore the benefits, uses, and side effects of Black Cumin (Nigella Sativa) in this article.
What Does it Contain?
These flower seeds have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Kalonji seeds (Black Cumin seeds) are a powerhouse of fiber, iron, sodium, saponin, calcium, potassium, and amino acid. It also contains fatty acids like volatile oils, linoleic and oleic. These black seeds contain two components, Nigella and Melatonin, and are high in nutritional value.
Nigella Sativa contains various vitamins and minerals like zinc, phosphorus, and iron. The seed is rich in nutrients such as the following:-
Protein – 26.7%
Fat – 28.5%
Carbohydrates – 24.9%
Crude fiber – 8.4%
Total Ash – 4.8%
The fatty acid present in black seeds helps to boost metabolism, keeps cholesterol level under check, balances insulin, and facilitate blood circulation.
Kalonji seeds have essential vitamins A, C, E, and K that help to improve the immune system, sustain a healthy liver, and maintain heart health.
And as per Ayurveda, consuming 20 gm of these seeds in your diet can help maintain a healthy heart, enhance lubrication between joints, and help with breathing problems.
Traditionally it is used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
How Does Black Cumin Work?
Black cumin is used extensively due to its medicinal and therapeutic properties. It contains an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic compound that helps treat many health issues like diabetes, asthma, arthritis, skin disorder, and gastrointestinal problems.
Black Cumin Seeds Benefits
Kalonji has more than 100 medicinal properties. Here are some uses cases and benefits of Kalonji or Black Cumin:-
1. Prevents Diabetes
Kalonji may help in preventing diabetes. It stops sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels. Additionally, it also helps prevent other symptoms related to diabetes like fatigue, excessive thirst, and a confused mind. Plus, regular consumption of Kalonji can improve your fasting sugar .
You can add 1/4th tsp in black tea or lemon juice and drink it empty stomach. Drinking this can bring your sugar levels down rather quickly.
2. Helps with Stomach Ulcers
Ulcers in the stomach can be pretty painful. The wounds (sores) eat the lining of the stomach.
Research studies show that consuming black cumin seeds daily can help with a stomach ulcer. It also protects stomach mucus lining and helps with digestion .
3. Protects Liver
The kalonji seeds help the liver by regulating metabolism. Plus, it protects the liver from toxicity by processing minerals and nutrients essential for the body .
4. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation can interfere with the body’s regular function and lead to many health disorders.
A compound called thymoquinone found in Black Cumin seed can help reduce inflammation in body parts like the pancreas . As per Ayurveda, taking Kalonji in a small amount daily can reduce inflammation.
5. Aids Kidney Function
Ayurveda and several research studies suggest kalonji seeds can help with kidney health .
Mix 1/4th tsp of kalonji seed powder with 1 tbs honey into warm water. Drink regularly to possibly prevent kidney stones and any other kidney issues.
6. Lubricates Joints
Black cumin seed powder is beneficial for remedying joint pain. It lubricates the joints, leading to smooth movements of bone joints.
Mix ½ tsp of powder with 1 tbs of honey in a cup. Add vinegar to this. Apply this mixture twice a day to your joints if you are suffering from stiffness in your joints.
7. Helps with Hemorrhoids
Piles can cause severe pain in the rectal region. The Black Cumin seeds can give instant relief in treating it. The seeds have laxative properties that add bulk to the stool and immediately help with constipation.
Mix kalonji seeds in black tea and drink on an empty stomach to ease your bowel movement.
8. Helps with Cracked Heels
Cracked heels can be caused by many factors like lack of moisture and wearing ill-fitting footwear. Rubbing black seed powder on your cracked heals daily may help you attain soft and beautiful soles.
9. Strong Teeth
Studies show that chewing a few seeds daily can help teeth and gums stay healthy and stronger . These seeds can be beneficial if you suffer from bleeding gums, swollen gums, or premature teeth falling.
Mix ½ tsp powder in curd. Apply this on your gums to get relief from aches.
10. Helps Women having Menstrual Issues
Women face many issues during the menstrual cycle, like intense abdominal pain, irregular periods, and premenstrual syndrome.
Consuming Black Cumin regularly can ease abdominal pain associated with the menstrual cycle due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also facilitates even blood flow.
11. Improves Sexual Health in Men
Research studies show that black seeds can help to enhance fertility in men. Regular consumption can increase sperm count and quality, balance hormone levels, and improve sperm modality .
12. Good for Skin
If you have issues like acne, pimples, and blackheads, black cumin may work wonderfully on your skin. The antioxidant properties in the black seed can help resolve many health conditions and give you soft and beautiful skin.
13. Anti-Cancerous Properties
Black Cumin is a powerhouse of antioxidants. The seeds help in neutralizing free radicals that can cause cancer. Its antioxidant properties could deactivate cancer cells and help protect or combat breast, lung, and cervical cancers .
14. Boosts Memory
As you age, memory loss and cognitive inability are common issues. Adding a few seeds to your diet can help to boost memory. Black Cumin may also prevent neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and memory loss .
Boil 6-8 leaves of mint with water, and add ½ tsp of seed powder to it. Consume the mixture on an empty stomach for best results.
15. Lowers Cholesterol
Research studies show that bad LDL is one primary reason for cardiac issues. Black cumin seed can significantly bring bad LDL down while improving good HDL.
16. Boost Sleep Quality
Consuming black seeds can significantly improve sleep quality in people with sleep problems.
17. Helps in Weight Loss
Kalonji is rich in fiber; therefore, it can prevent your hunger pangs by keeping you full for a long time. It stimulates heat in your body to help burn excess fat from the body, resulting in weight loss.
Black Cumin Side Effects
Black Cumin seeds used in small amounts in food or medicine are considered safe.
However, some side effects of Black Cumin include the following:-
- Allergic rashes
- Upset stomach
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleepiness and drowsiness
Nonetheless, consuming Black Cumin seeds in the dosage recommended by the brand or your physician is unlikely to lead to severe side effects.
What Is Black Cumin Seed Oil Good For?
Black seed oil has been prevalent in countries like India and the Middle East for thousands of years. Its antioxidant properties detoxify harmful chemicals from the body. It helps reduce inflammation, boosts the immune system, and helps fight infections.
Benefits of Black Cumin Seed Oil
Black caraway seeds are also consumed in the form of oil. Traditionally, this oil has been used in cooking, baking, beauty treatments, healing joint pains, and body massages for years.
The oil is rich in Vitamin B, improves metabolism, and helps with constipation.
Some of the benefits of this oil include:
1. Helps in Losing Weight
Research studies show that black seeds can help lower people’s BMI and waist circumference. Another study suggested reducing the risk factor in obese females and significantly reducing body weight.
2. Skin Benefits
Black seed oil can help with conditions like acne or eczema. It softens the skin and can act as moisture to your skin, giving you more youthful skin and a better complexion.
3. Good for Hair
The oil hydrates your hair. The thymoquinone component in the black seed contains nutrients like proteins and alkaloids that help hair growth and volume. The oil helps to reduce hair fall and prevents thinning of hair.
Many companies add black seeds to their shampoos and other hair care products.
4. Nasal Inflammation
Black seed oil can reduce nasal issues like nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose, etc.
Research shows that the oil can help people with issues like sinusitis.
5. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Black seed oil can ease the pain in the joint. Studies show that applying oil to the joints can reduce inflammatory markers in the blood and thus, heals swollen joints.
6. Treating Allergies
Applying black seed oil can bring instant relief if you face frequent colds and chest congestion. Applying oil to the chest and nose will ease the congestion and prevent runny nose and sneezing.
Black Cumin Supplement
Black Cumin is available both in oil and capsule form. It is used in alternative medicine to treat many health conditions. The oil supplement treats issues like arthritis and weight loss and lowers sugar and cholesterol levels.
Nonetheless, you should consult your healthcare provider to ensure this supplement is safe for you.
Bottomline: Black Cumin Seed, Oil, and Supplements Benefits
Black Cumin seed is extracted from the Nigella Sativa fruit plant. It is extensively used in Ayurveda medicine and various cuisines due to its medicinal benefits and flavors. It is typically recommended for treating many health issues related to skin, hair, stomach, heart, and other neurological conditions.
The Black Cumin seed is rich in nutrients and minerals and is highly effective in treating arthritis, diabetes, weight loss, menstrual issues, and allergies.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.