Black Caraway, Black Cumin, Black Seed, Damascena, Devil in-the-bush, Fennel flower, Melanthion, Nutmeg Flower, Roman Coriander, Wild Onion Seed
French: cheveux de Venus, nigell, poivrette
German: Scharzkummel (black caraway)
Indian: kala zeera (lit, â€˜black cuminâ€™), kalonji, krishnajiraka
Nigella seeds are small, matte-black grains with a rough surface and an oily white interior. They are roughly triangulate, 1 1/2 – 3 mm (1/16 to 1/8 in ) long. They are similar to onion seeds.
Bouquet: The seeds have little bouquet, though when they are rubbed they give off an aroma reminiscent of oregano.
Flavour: Slightly bitter and peppery with a crunchy texture.
Hotness Scale: 3
Parts Used : Seeds
Plant Description and Cultivation
An herbaceous annual of the buttercup family, about 60 cm (2 ft) high. The gray–green leaves are wispy and threadlike. Flowers are have five petals bout 2.5 cm wide (1 in), white with blue veins and appearing between June and September. They yield a seed capsule with five compartments each topped by a spike. The compartments open when dried to disperse the seeds. Nigella is native to western Asia where it grows both wild and cultivated. India, Egypt and the Middle East also cultivate it.
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Nigella has been used since antiquity by Asian herbalists and pharmacists and was used for culinary purposes by the Romans. The seeds are known to repel certain insects and can be used like moth balls. The name nigella derives from the Latin nigellus, or niger, meaning black.
A spice that is made from seeds of the black cumin plant. A member of the parsley family of plants, black cumin is native to parts of Asia, India and Pakistan where the seeds are harvested. Narrow, tiny and curved in shape, Kala Jeera has a strong earthy aroma that becomes nutty flavored when cooked. Although it is not the same as cumin, it can be similarly used in small amounts to enhance the flavor of meats, soups, stews, rice, and sauces.
The seeds of N. sativa, known as kalonji, black cumin (though this can also refer to Bunium persicum) or just nigella, are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The dry roasted nigella seeds flavor curries, vegetables and pulses. The black seeds taste mostly like oregano crossed with pepper. Most people use it as a “pepper” in recipes with pod fruit, vegetables, salads and poultry.
Nigella is used in India and the Middle East as a spice and condiment and occasionally in Europe as both a pepper substitute and a spice. It is widely used in Indian cuisines, particularly in mildly braised lamb dishes such as korma. It is also added to vegetable and dhal dishes as well as in chutneys. The seeds are sprinkled on to naan bread before baking. Nigella is an ingredient of some garam masalas and is one of the five spices in panch phoran. In the Middle East nigella is added to bread dough.
Several species are grown as ornamental plants in gardens, popular for their seed capsules, which are used in dried flower arrangements. Love in the mist are used exclusively for dried arrangements. These flowers are the best to add texture to any dried flower arrangement. The delicate, purple striped pods are used in several arrangements for an airy effect.
In India the seeds are used as a carminative and stimulant to ease bowel and indigestion problems and are given to treat intestinal worms and nerve defects to reduce flatulence, and induce sweating. Dried pods are sniffed to restore a lost sense of smell. It is also used to repel some insects, much like mothballs.
Constituents: leic-acid ,palmitic-acid,phenylalanine ,phytosterols, potassium,stearic-acid, stigmasterol,tannin,thymoquinone,tryptophan ,tyrosine
Attributed Medicinal Properties
Nigella is used in Indian medicine as a carminative and stimulant and is used against indigestion and bowel complaints. In India it is used to induce post-natal uterine contraction and promote lactation. The seed yields a volatile oil containing melanthin, nigilline, damascene and tannin. Melanthin is toxic in large dosages and Niugelline is paralytic, so this spice must be used in moderation.
Black cumin seed oil is used as a healthy dietary supplement. Black seed oil contains fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in a unique cell structure. Native to Western Asia, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt, black seed oil has been valued for it’s health benefits for centuries, and is now becoming more well known in the West. As a general tonic 1 teaspoon of black seed oil, taken in food or drink, is said to benefit many conditions, in much the same manner as other oils rich in fatty acids, such as flax and walnut oils. According to Dr. Duke, the constituents in black cumin oil have been shown to have health benefits for: Stomach aches, asthma, bronchitis, coughs, digestive system, and fevers. The is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and acts as an emmenagogue (brings on menses) and a lactagogue (increase breast milk.)
Benefits and Side Effects
Black cumin seed is derived from a plant with the botanical name Nigella sativa. The plant is indigenous to Mediterranean areas, though it is grown in other parts of the world as well. The seeds of the Nigella sativa plant are black in color and look something like sesame seeds. Both the seeds and oil from the seeds are used as a nutritional supplement. Black cumin seed is considered to have a number of beneficial properties when used as part of an overall holistic health program. Many studies show that, while black cumin seed is effective by itself, it is particularly potent when combined with other herbs in regimens used to treat specific ailments.
Black cumin seed (also referred to simply as â€œblack seedâ€) has been used as a nutritional supplement for centuries. It was even found in King Tutâ€™s tomb, suggesting that even centuries ago, great respect existed for black cumin seedâ€™s beneficial health effects. Ancient traditions document the use of black cumin seed as an energy source, perhaps because of its rich nutritional value. The seeds are still believed to increase heat in the body, making metabolism more efficient.
As a nutritional supplement in modern times, black cumin seed is used to treat respiratory conditions like bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. In addition, it is used to support stomach and intestinal health as well as kidney and liver function. Black cumin seed is thought to have antihistamine-like properties that make it useful in treating congestion, and it is widely used as a general tonic to boost immune function and to help prevent cancer. Several skin conditions can be treated with black cumin seed, and it is also used to enhance circulation. Over the past six decades, black cumin seed has been studied at various universities throughout the world, and more than 200 studies support its use as an effective herbal supplement
The primary active ingredient in black cumin seed is crystalline nigellone. The substance was first identified and isolated for use in supplements in 1959. Other components with health benefits include amino acids, essential fatty acids, crude fiber, and minerals such as potassium, sodium, iron and calcium.
The usual recommended dosage is between 50 and 75 mg of a supplement made from standardized extracts. Black cumin seed oil is also available as a nutritional supplement. The seeds are cold pressed to extract the oil, which is especially effective when used topically on the skin to treat eczema, psoriasis, and dryness.black cumin seed is used to boost immune system function, as an anticancer agent, and to treat skin conditions, including eczema, abscesses, and boil.Very effective for acne, pimples.
Black cumin seed oil can also be taken internally to treat arthritis and asthma and to boost the immune system. The recommended dosage of the oil is one teaspoon daily with meals. It can be mixed with juice or other beverages and should be refrigerated after opening.
As with many supplements, black cumin seed works best when used on a regular basis so that it can support the bodyâ€™s natural healing ability. Though there is no known toxicity, pregnant and lactating women should not use black cumin seed, which has a history of use in large doses to induce abortion.
Side Effects:Undiluted oil can cause skin irritation. Not to be used while pregnant For food and dietary use only.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.