There’s a saying that goes “tiny yet mighty.” Nigella sativa, otherwise known as black seeds, fits this saying to the dot! Dating back to ancient history, these black seeds were even found in King Tutankhamen’s tomb. The Assyrians called black seeds “tin-tir,” which roughly means ‘tree of life’ or ‘sacred plant.’ The most ancient name for Babylon was “tin-tir-ki,” meaning ‘the place of the tree of life.’ The Arabs referred to the black seeds as ‘seeds of abundance and blessing.’ In Islamic culture, people believe that these black seeds can ‘cure everything except death.’
All these facts emphasizes their importance in history for healing and protection.
What Is Nigella Sativa
Nigella sativa is more commonly known as black seeds. It also goes by other names like black caraway, onion seeds, Roman coriander, black sesame, and kalonji. Black seeds are usually used as a cooking ingredient to add flavor to breads, curries, and pickles. Occasionally confused with chia, cumin, or cilantro seeds, nigella sativa has a bitter, peppery flavor, and smells similar to oregano. Black seeds are a common part of Middle Eastern and
Health Benefits Of Black Seeds
Since ancient times, people have used black seeds and its oil to treat a multitude of ailments. Most of these health benefits can be attributed to 3 natural chemicals in nigella sativa – thymoquinone (TQ), thymohydroquinone (THQ) and thymol. Black seeds also contain calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, protein, healthy fat, and carbohydrates. With virtually no known side-effects, black seeds are your go-to option to treat a number of health conditions.
1. Enhances Brain Health
Black seeds possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuron-protecting properties, making it an ideal choice to boost your brain health and improve your memory. According to a 2013 study, people who took 500 mg capsules containing pure ground black seed powder
2. Promotes Liver Health
A properly functioning liver can help you remove harmful toxins from your body successfully. Black seeds enhance the hepato-renal protection mechanism, reduce disease complications, and eventually delay its progression. The best way that you can adopt to improve your liver function and to prevent liver damage or diseases is to include black seeds in your daily diet.
3. Controls Type-2 Diabetes
Black seeds have been found to have a positive effect on glycemic control. If you’re diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, black seeds can be of great help when you need to manage your blood sugar levels. A regular intake of nigella sativa can help you reduce insulin resistance and increase beta-cell function in your pancreas, thereby proving effective in controlling and preventing diabetes.2
4. Treats Asthma
Black seeds are known to have a considerably potent anti-asthmatic effect on asthmatic airways. It reduces
5. Reduces The Risk Of Having Cancer
Black seeds are highly effective in reducing the risk of you having most types of cancers like cervical, breast, colon, oral, and brain cancer. Thymohydroquinone and thymoquinone, two phytochemicals in nigella sativa, have the amazing potential to reduce tumor cells, cure a number of inflammatory disorders and several types of cancers. These phytochemicals act as free radicals and scavenge superoxide radicals.4
6. Fights MRSA
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA, is a deadly disease that is resistant to the action of antibiotics. MRSA is considered to be a global public health risk as it weakens your immune system significantly. Where no generic antibiotics have had any positive effect, black seeds have shown potential
7. Lowers High Blood Pressure
Black seeds possess anti hypertensive properties making it a much sought-after solution if you need to deal with hypertension. With the daily use of black seed extracts for a couple of months, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your blood pressure levels. Additionally, black seeds help decrease low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol levels, thereby boosting your overall heart health.6
8. Aids Weight Loss
Though it doesn’t really treat obesity, black seeds are anti-inflammatory agents that can help you lose weight effectively. Besides helping you manage your blood sugar levels and reducing bad cholesterol in your body, black seeds act on other weight-gain triggers like your appetite, liver gluconeogenesis, and cholesterol levels to help you lose weight.
Apart from these important health benefits, black seeds have been found to be an effective analgesic making it useful to reduce pain in your body. It also possesses excellent anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties and can therefore inhibit the growth of a wide variety of pathogens and help you detoxify.
|↑1||Alenazi, Shehab Ahmed. “Neuropsychiatric Effects of Nigella sativa (Black Seed) A Review.” Alternative & Integrative Medicine (2016).|
|↑2, ↑3||Ahmad, Aftab, Asif Husain, Mohd Mujeeb, Shah Alam Khan, Abul Kalam Najmi, Nasir Ali Siddique, Zoheir A. Damanhouri, and Firoz Anwar. “A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb.” Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine 3, no. 5 (2013): 337-352.|
|↑4||Khan, Asaduzzaman, H. C. Chen, Mousumi Tania, and D. Z. Zhang. “Anticancer activities of Nigella sativa (black cumin).” African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 8, no. 5S (2011).|
|↑5||Hannan, Abdul, Sidrah Saleem, Saadia Chaudhary, Muhammad Barkaat, and Muhammad Usman Arshad. “Anti bacterial activity of Nigella sativa against clinical isolates of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.” J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 20, no. 3 (2008): 72-74.|
|↑6||Fallah Huseini, H., M. Amini, R. Mohtashami, M. E. Ghamarchehre, Z. Sadeqhi, S. Kianbakht, and A. Fallah Huseini. “Blood Pressure Lowering Effect of Nigella sativa L. Seed Oil in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized, Double‐Blind, Placebo‐controlled Clinical Trial.” Phytotherapy Research 27, no.