Black Seeds

Black Seeds is also known as Nigella sativa (Scientific Binomial Name), Onion seed / Black cumin / Kalonji (Common English), Kaalaajaaji / Kalikaa / Prthvikaa / Sthulajiraka / Sushavi / Upkunchikaa (Ayurvedic), Kalonji / Kamaazaruus (Unani), Kalaunji (Hindi / Urdu), Karunjiragam (Tamil), Kale Jire (Marathi), Krishnajira (Sanskrit), Kalo jira (Bengali), Nallajilakarra (Telugu), kari jirige (Kannada), karinjirakam (Malayalam). It is native to the Mediterranean region through West Asia to northern India and has long been domesticated. It can be frequently found growing wild as a weed in cultivated crops. Black cumin is often confused with black caraway and caraway (Carum carvi). But all 3 varieties of cumin are different. All the 3 varieties of cumin seeds are digestive, stomachic, carminative, astringent, uterine disinfectant; useful in diarrhea, dyspepsia, fevers, inflammations, cough and catarrh.

Black Cumin Health Benefits

Black cumin seeds are valuable in piles. About 30 gm. each of the roasted and unroasted seeds, should be ground together. 3 gm of this mixture should be taken with water in treating piles. The seeds were prescribed with jaggery for irregular fevers. In intermittent fever Nigella seeds slightly roasted are recommended to be given in two doses with the addition of an equal quantity of treacle. In loss of appetite and distaste for food, a confection made of Nigella seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, raisins, tamarind pulp, pomegranate juice and sonchal salt with treacle and honey is said to be very useful. Crushed seeds in vinegar are applied to skin disorders such as ringworm, eczema and baldness. In intrinsic haemorrhage 2.5g seeds, mixed with double the quantity of sugar, can be given. Black cumin seeds are beneficial in the treatment of renal colic. To treat renal colic, these seeds should be mixed with caraway seeds and black salt. This mixture should contain about 20 gm of cumin seeds, 12 gm of caraway seeds and 6 gm of black salt, should be ground together and mixed with little vinegar. This mixture should be taken in 3 gm dose every hour till relief is obtained.

Black Seed – Nigella Sativa Oil

The Nigella seed yields a volatile oil containing melanthin, nigelline, damascene and tannin. The aroma of Nigella oil is warm, spicy and fatty and its flavor is strawberry-like with a burning sensation. The volatile oil of Nigella is yellowish-brown with an unpleasant flavor. In puerperal diseases such as fever, loss of appetite and disordered secretions after delivery, the following preparation called pancha jiraka paka is used. It consists of seeds of Nigella, cumin, anise, ajowain, carum, Anethum sowa, fenugreek, coriander, ginger, long pepper, long pepper root, plumbago root, habusha (an aromatic substance), dried pulp of Ziziphus jujuba, root of Aplotaxis auriculate and Kamala powder. To each 10 g, add treacle 1000 g, milk one seer (about 1 litre), butter 40 g. Boil them together and prepare a confection. Dose is about a drachm every morning. For boils, black cumin seeds should be ground in water and applied as a paste over affected parts.

Kalonji Seeds Nutritional Values

In doses of 10–20 grains, Nigella seeds have a well-marked emmenagogue effect, useful in dysmenorrhoea and in large doses may induce abortion. In the after-pains of puerperal women, the administration of Nigella seeds with the addition of long-pepper, sonchal salt and wine have proved useful. In Egypt, a tea made from powdered Nigella seeds fenugreek, garden cress, Commiphora spp. and dried leaves of Cleome spp., Abrosia maritina L. and Centaurium pulchellum Druce is used to treat diabetes. Seeds can be used to treat headaches, nasal catarrh, toothache and intestinal worms, as a diuretic and to increase breast milk. The name Nigella derives from the Latin nigellus or niger, meaning black. It is commonly called as black cumin and is popular by different names in different countries. It is called as black cumin or small fennel in English; cheveux de venus, nigelle, cumin noir or poivrette in French; nigella in Italian; schwarzkummel in Germany; neguilla or pasinara in Spanish; kolongi in Turkish; jinten hitan in Indonesia and Malaya; kala zira, kalongi, krishanjirka, mangrail and many other vernacular names in India.

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