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BLACK CUMIN OIL Nigella Sativa

NOTE: Those who decide to use black cumin seed oil should check labels and product
information carefully. Black cumin is commonly referred to as black seed oil, black onion seed,
black caraway, and black sesame seed, and other names, but only Nigella sativa is true black
Ancient Egyptians
It is thought that oils made from black cumin seed were first used by the Assyrians and ancient
Egyptians. We know through records that the plant nigella sativa from which black cumin seed is
obtained was grown in desert oases. The physicians who served ancient pharaohs prescribed oils
and other edible compounds made from the seeds to aid in digestion, particularly after large
feasts. One famous queen renowned for her beauty, Queen Nefretiti, anointed her skin with oils
made from black cumin seed. Queen Nefertiti, renowned for her stunning beauty, used black
seed oil, likely due to its abilities to strengthen and bring luster to hair and nails. A bottle of
black cumin oil was found in the tomb of one of her husband's sons, King Tutankhamen.
Black cumin seeds have a particularly long and strong history use in Egypt. When archaeologists
found and examined the tomb of Egyptian boy-king Tutankhamen (King Tut), they found a bottle
of black cumin oil, which suggested that it was believed to be needed in the afterlife.
Physicians to the Egyptian pharaohs frequently used the seeds after extravagant feasts to calm
upset stomachs. They also used the seeds to treat headaches, toothaches, colds, and infections.
The Trade Routes
As trade expanded through ancient Greece and eventually Rome, the benefits of black cumin
seed, and the oils derived from it, became known in those centers of trade as well. The Roman
scholar Pliny the Elder is recorded as having made a poultice from the seeds to treat snake bites
and scorpion stings. The seeds were known to repel bugs and were put in early insecticides.
Meanwhile, as Islam rose to prominence in the Middle East, the Islamic physicians prescribed
medicines made from black cumin seeds for everything from indigestion to upper respiratory
The Greek physician Dioskorides used Blackseed to treat headaches, nasal congestion, toothache
and intestinal parasites. Hippocrates, the grandfather of todays scientific medicine regarded
Nigella Sativa as a valuable remedy in hepatic and digestive disorders.
Ibn Sina, the author of the Canon of Medicine, one of the most famous books in the history of
medicine recommends Blackseed stimulates the metabolism and to recover from dispiritedness
and lethargy.
The use of black cumin seeds and the oils derived from it were eventually carried into India,
where both its medicinal properties and its use in cooking were immediately adopted for roasting
lamb, vegetables and chutney. The oils were known to carry a variety of medicinal purposes, in
addition to promoting digestion, soothing earaches, calming postnatal cramps and increasing
lactation in nursing women.
Ayurvedic medicine appreciates its many qualities and bitter, warming, stimulant nature. Here it
is used or a wide variety of diseases like hemorrhoids, hepatitis, fever, diarrhea, cough,
tapeworm, to mention only a few of them.

Motivated by the many health claims and home remedies that involve black cumin seeds and oils
over many different cultures, scientists have begun studying the seeds in the past 50 years.
While the oils were initially dismissed because of the cure-all claims attached to them, studies
have shown that the claims may not be as inflated as initially believed. The seeds were
discovered to have over 100 different chemical constituents, including essential oils, fatty acids,
proteins and alkaloids. The seeds were found to decrease blood pressure and increase
respiration. They also contained analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and
antineoplastic properties.
Over the past fifty years there has been a great deal of research done on the properties,
effects and potential uses of Nigella sativa. There is ample indication that black cumin seed has
the ability to boost the human immune system. There now is scientific confirmation that not only
does Nigella sativa offer relief from the condition being treated but it also prevents further
disease. It helps the affected area of the body without upsetting the bodys overall natural
In 1959 a team of scientists isolated the compounds nigellone and its derivative thymoquinone
from Nigella sativa. Thymoquinone has been shown to have protective properties for the heart,
liver and kidneys in animal studies. In the 1960s nigellone was given to adults and children
suffering from bronchial asthma and was shown to reduce the symptoms in a majority of cases.
It was later proven that nigellone inhibited histamine release which causes the allergic reaction.
When the volatile oil of Nigella sativa was comparison tested with ampicillin, tetracycline,
cotrimoxazole, gentamicin, and nalidixic acid it was shown to be more effective against
antibiotic-resistant types of bacteria. This may help explain why it has traditionally been useful
in treating gastrointestinal tract complaints normally caused by bacteria; further clinical studies
have supported and confirmed its beneficial properties.
Anti-tumor, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory research has also been carried out with very
promising results. Cancer studies using mice have shown that with some types of cancer cells
black cumin prevented development of tumors in 100% of cases and caused a 50% reduction of
tumor development in other types of cancer cells. The anti-tumor potential of Nigella sativa
extracts is extraordinarily high.
Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have
found that thymoquinone, an extract of Nigella sativa seed oil, blocked pancreatic cancer cell
growth and killed the cells by enhancing the process of programmed cell death, (apoptosis).
While the studies are in the early stages, the findings suggest that thymoquinone could
eventually have some use as a preventative strategy in patients who have gone through surgery
and chemotherapy or in individuals who are at a high risk of developing cancer
Scientific studies describe numerous benefits of black seed oil. It protects against kidney and
liver toxicity. It is also reported to have anti-inflammatory, fever reducing, pain relieving, germ
fighting and tumor fighting properties. In addition, daily supplements of black seed oil have been
found to reduce cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose levels in rats.
One of black cumins most popular and effective uses is the treatment of diseases related to the

respiratory system, including asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and cold symptoms. The seeds help
increase body tone, stimulate menstrual period, and increasing the flow of breast milk in nursing
Black cumin seed oil helps calm the nervous system, quells colic pain, stimulates urine production,
helps treat pertussis, improves digestion and helps prevent and lower high blood pressure.
The seeds are very effective in curing abscesses and tumors of the eye, abdomen and liver,
probably due in great part to the anti-tumor compound beta-sitosterol found in the seeds.
Black cumin also:
*stimulates bodys energy and helps in recovery from fatigue and low spirits.
*is an effective cure for skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, acne, psoriasis and boils.
*is anti-parasitic.
*treats flatulence, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, constipation and dysentery.
Medicinal and pharmacological activities
Analgesic adivity: The essential oil produced significant analgesic activity using chemical and
thermal noxious stimuli methods such as acetic acid-induced writhing, hot plate and tail flick
Antimicrobial activity: Nigella sativa exhibited strong antimicrobial activity against Salmonella
typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and others. The essential oil has been shown to have activity
against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. However, sensitivity against Gram-positive
bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Vibrio cholerae was found to be stronger. Bacteria
like Staphylococcus aureus, S. pyogenes and S. viridans are more susceptible to Nigella sativa. In
an in-vitro study, volatile oil showed activity comparable to ampicillin. The activity of the volatile
oil also extended to drug-resistant strains of Shigella spp, Vibrio cholerae and Escherichia coli
and was found to have a synergistic action with streptomycin and gentamycin
Antidiabetic activity: Significant hypoglycaemic activity has been reported and is thought to be
due to the essential oil present. Clinical studies have confirmed these results and suggest that
the antidiabetic action of the plant extract.
Antiinflammatory activity: Asthma and arthritis are chronic inflammatory disorders involving a
variety of inflammatory mediators and different pathways. The fixed oil and thymoquinone from
the seeds were found to inhibit eicosanoid generation in leucocytes and membrane lipid
peroxidation and a significant reduction in rat paw oedema and a reduction in granuloma pouch
weight were also observed. Nigellone in low concentration is effective in inhibiting the histamine
release from the mast cells, which supports an antiasthmatic role for the plant.
Antifertility activity: The antifertility activity of Nigella sativa in male rats has been
established, shown by an inhibition of spermatogenesis and a significant reduction in sialic acid
content of the testis, epididymis, seminal vesicles and prostate.
Antioxytocic adivity: Preliminary reports suggest antioxytocic properties, in that a reversible
inhibition of spontaneous smooth muscle contraction and inhibition of uterine smooth muscle
contraction induced by oxytocin stimulation have been observed.
Anthelmintic adivity: Nigella sativa was found to have an anthelmintic activity against tapeworm
comparable to that of piperazine.
Cytotoxic adivity: Cytotoxic and immunopotentiating effects of Nigella sativa have been

established. The long chain fatty acids are thought to contribute to the antitumour activity. The
extract shows a modulatory effect in cisplatin-induced toxicity in mice and a protective effect
against cisplatin-induced falls in haemoglobin levels and leucocyte counts.
Hepatoprotective activity: Thymoquinone, one of the active constituents of Nigella sativa, is
reported to have hepatoprotective activity." An in-vitro study showed the protective effect
against tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP)-induced oxidative damage to hepatocytes. The activity
was demonstrated by a decreased leakage of alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartic transaminase
(AST) and decreased trypan blue uptake.
Other activites: Other reports include hypocholesterolaemic, antihypertensive and
galactagogue effects.
One teaspoon of the oil in the morning mixed with honey, one hour before breakfast. If you
choose to have the ground seeds, then 1 teaspoon of the seeds, twice a day. If you have a
debilitating disease, such as cancer, then the dosage is double.
Possible Uses
Known as a panacea, black seed oil is an immunomodulator. Black seed oil helps to balance the
immune system so that it works at maximum efficiency. Since black seed oil has many beneficial
properties, it is useful for many different purposes. Among these are treatments for cough and
asthma, diabetes, diarrhea, flu and nasal congestion. It is protective against free radicals and is
considered a plant to be studied for its possible effectiveness in treating breast cancer tumors.
For a general tonic and a daily health booster a traditional way to use Nigella sativa is to crush a
dozen seeds and take with some honey. The herb can also be mixed into your tea, coffee or
juice. The benefits of using black cumin are subtle and cumulative. There are no known side
effects. Both history and research confirm that Nigella sativa is quite safe.
Acidity and stomachaches Drink a cup of milk with a tablespoon of black cumin (habba soda) oil
3 times a day for 5 days and all the stomach troubles will vanish.
Acne Half a teaspoon of nigella sativa oil in a bowl of hot water, vapour bath with a towel over
Increase intake of Zinc.
Allergies When a symptom of allergy appears begin taking tsp. of oil twice a day. It can help
alleviate sneezing and watery eyes.
Asthma and Cough Rub the back and chest with nigella sativa oil. Drink one tsp after meals
three times a day.
Inhale vapour of boiling water with 1 tsp of oil with a towel over head.
Backache, arthritis, bruises & rheumatism Heat nigella sativa oil slightly and massage
intensely. Drink 1 tsp oil with 1tsp olive oil 3 times a day.
Cancers and Tumors Take 1 teaspoon of the oil mixed with one teaspoon of raw honey twice a
day. This mixture should be taken one hour before breakfast and before sleeping at night. Also
take 4-5 cloves of garlic daily or 1 teaspoon of dried garlic powder mixed with honey.
Rub the affected area with black seed oil. 3 times a day drink a mixture of a teaspoon of the oil
with a glass of carrot juice. Do this for three months.
Colds and Flu 1 tsp of nigella sativa oil three times a day. Drink hot lemon with honey.

Cystic Fibrosis Massage the chest with the black seed oil. Drink one teaspoon of the oil mixed
with honey, three times a day.
Colic (babies) Warm nigella sativa oil in hand, massage the whole abdomen with it, stroking
Coughs Black seed oil's anti bacterial property helps to control cough by relaxing respiratory
muscles. Mix 1 tsp. black seed oil into a cup of ginger tea and drink twice a day.
You can also rub the oil directly on chest to help alleviate cough. Rub the chest and back with
black seed diluted in olive oil (1:5). Inhale the vapour of the oil.
One may also take a teaspoon of black seed oil 3 times daily.
Diabetes Use the black seed oil mixed with raw honey twice a day. A change in diet is a must
with little carbohydrates and no sugar.
Mix a cup of whole Black Seeds, a cup of watercress or mustard seeds, half a cup of
pomegranate peel, and half a cup of fumitory. Grind the mixture to powder. Take half a teaspoon
of the mixture together with a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil daily before breakfast for one
For seven days take 6 teaspoons of the oil. Take the oil three different times of the day. Then
take 2 teaspoons in the morning and 2 in the evening for 4 days. Follow by taking 2 teaspoons of
the oil for two days. Take plenty of water in the morning and rub the oil all over the body for 10
days. You must mix the oil with fruit juice. Repeat this treatment if you do not see any
Another remedy for the treatment of diabetes is to take one half cup of the seeds that have
been heated and a half cup of water cress seeds (mustard seeds can be substituted) and a 1/4
cup of ground pomegranate peel. Place these all in a blender and pulse well to a fine powder. Add
in 1/8 cup of fumitory. Each day take one teaspoon of the ground powder and one teaspoon of
the oil, one hour before you eat. Do this for at least one month.
Diarrhea 1 tsp nigella sativa oil with a cup of yoghurt. Take 2 times daily. Also eat boiled rice
with yoghurt.
Dry Cough 1/2 teaspoon of the oil mixed with coffee twice a day. Rub the oil on your back and
Earache Mix tsp nigella sativa oil with tsp olive oil, warm and then drip drops into the ear
and cover the ear with a woolen shawl or hat.
Take one teaspoon of the black seeds that have been heated and smash. Add a few drops of
olive oil to the black seeds and mix well. Place 7 drops into a syringe and place in the ear morning
and evening until well.
Eye Disease and Impaired Vision Rub the eyelids and the sides of the eye orbits half an hour
before going to bed with black seed oil. A half tablespoon of the black seed oil should also be
drunk with a cup of carrot juice.
Facial Paralysis Place one teaspoon of the oil in a liter of boiling water and inhale the fumes.
Fever Drink plenty of fluids and take 1 tsp. black seed oil daily as a fever reducer. The oil
promotes sweating, which helps to cool our bodies off.
Hair Loss Stroke the scalp thoroughly with lemon, leave for 15 minutes then wash and dry. Then
apply 1 tsp nigella sativa oil.

Headache Rub the forehead and sides of the head and part of the face near the ears with
thenigella sativa oil. Drink tsp of oil after a meal 3 times a day.
As soon as the person gets the first sign of an attack, they must take their first dose of Nigella
Sativa. Nigella Sativa comes two ways, in the original small tiny black seeds(that need to be
heated) and the oils. The oil is what is needed for the migraine, as the oil is very concentrated.
For migraines, you need to take the oil and rub it on the back of your neck and over the eyes and
at the hairline. Also, if you have pain at the top of your head, dab some there. Then take a few
drops and put in each nostril, not deep inside but at the bottom of the nostril, and then breathe
in deeply. This needs to be done 3 times a day or as long as the headache remains. You also need
to take 1 teaspoon of the oil with one teaspoon of honey when you wake up in the morning. Wait
one hour before eating anything for breakfast.
This remedy must be done on the onset of the migraine. It will help a full blown attack, but it is
easier to get rid of in the beginning stages.
To make the mixture with honey, fill the jar halfway up with honey and then begin adding small
amount of the black seed mixture at a time. Keep stirring the honey and black seeds and add till
the top is almost full. You want the mixture to be a very thick consistency. By the next day, the
honey and black seed mixture will be thick, almost like candy - extremely delicious. You will have
no problem eating your minimum of 2 teaspoons per day.
Healthy Complexion Rub tsp oil all over face. Wash with cold water.
Heart disease and blood vessel stenosis Drink black cumin (habba soda) oil continuously with
any hot drink. This dissolves fats and dilates veins and arteries.
Intestinal parasites Take 1 tsp nigella sativa oil with wormwood capsules. Eat plenty of onions
and garlic.
Insomnia Blend 1 tsp. of black seed oil into a hot drink about 30 minutes before bed time. The
oil has a calming effect promoting restful sleep.
Lethargy 1 tsp of nigella sativa oil with orange juice for 10 days.
Memory A teaspoon of Black Seed Oil mixed in 100mg of boiled mint for at least 15 days.
Muscle cramps Massage oil into affected area twice a day to ease muscle spasms. You can also
add 1 tsp. to chamomile tea and drink at night for the same affect.
Nasal Congestion Placing three to four drops of Black Seed Oil in each nostril can relieve nasal
congestion and head cold distress.
Nausea and vomiting A teaspoon of ground carnation plus a tablespoon of black cumin (habba
soda) oil in boiled mint 3 times daily.
Nervous Tension tsp nigella sativa oil with herbal tea like lemon balm, clary sage, passion
flower, St. Johns Wort.
Prevention from all deseases A tablespoon of black cumin (habba soda) oil with a tablespoon of
honey every morning. Keep to this regime daily and you will feel healthy and wholesome and will
never visit a doctor in your life, God willing.
Rheumatic and Back Pain Heat some of the black seed oil and rub on the area of pain. Eat some
black seeds and honey daily.
Sleeping Disorder A tablespoon of Black Seed Oil mixed with honey in any hot drink in the

Stomach complaint Drink mint tea with lemon and take 1 tsp nigella sativa oil 3 times a day or
until relieved.
Sinusitis Inhale through nose with vapor bath, take 1 tsp daily in chronic cases, 3 times daily in
acute cases.
Skin fungus Wipe affected area with cider vinegar, then apply nigella sativa oil, repeat if
Tired legs, muscles etc. Massage on affected area.
Upset stomach To soothe an upset stomach, mix 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger juice and black seed oil.
Consume this mixture twice a day. It also helps to induce gas, which reduces bloat.
Vitiligo and leprosy Rub the area with apple vinegar and then with black cumin (habba soda) oil
for 15days.
Warts Rub the wart thoroughly with purslane and than with black cumin (habba soda) oil. Repeat
this process for 15 days together with a teaspoon of the oil to be drunk 3 times daily.
Side Effects
There are no known serious side effects from black seed oil, which is low in toxicity. When used
as a topical salve, reports of mild dermatitis by some who are sensitive to topical treatments
have been noted. Black seed oil is useful in stimulating uterine contractions and when used in
large doses can induce abortions, so pregnant women should not use it.
Although black seed oil contains many beneficial properties, it also contains substances that can
be harmful if taken in large amounts. Some of the substances include melanthin and niugelline.
When taken in large doses, melanthin is toxic and niugelline can cause paralysis.
Chemical compounds
Alkaloids The major alkaloids are nigellidine, nigellicine and nigellimine.
Flavonoid glycosides A number of quercetin and kaempferol glycosides have been isolated!
Saponins The seeds have been reported to contain a he de ragen in saponin, melanthin and
Sterols Cholesterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, -Sitosterol and a-spinastero.
Volatile oil Thymoquinone, thymol, carvone dithymoquinone, monoterpenes including d-limonene,
p-cymene and (+) citronellol have been isolated.
Fixed oil Linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid are present.
The seeds of the black cumin plant contain over 100 chemical compounds, including some yet to
be identified. Black cumin seeds contain: thymoquinone, beta sitosterol. myristic acid, palmitic
acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidonic acid,
protein, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folic acid, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and


Botanical Name: Cuminum cyminum

Indian Name: jeera
The seeds of Nigella sativa are a flat black color measuring about 1 - 3 mm (1/16 - 1/8 inch)
long and have a roughly triangulate shape resembling onion seeds. The seeds are fried or roasted
and are usually used whole. On their own they have very little aroma although when crushed their
fragrance is reminiscent of oregano.
What Are Some Nutritional Components?
Black seed contains over 100 valuable nutrients. It contains about 21% protein, 38%
carbohydrates and 35% plant fats and oils. The contents are similar to evening primrose oil, but
because of its complex composition, it is much stronger. The active ingredients of black seed are
Thymoquinone, Nigellone, and Fixed oils. Other ingredients include Monosaccharides (single
molecule sugars) in the form of glucose, rhamnose, xylose, and arabinose are found in the black
The black seed contains a non-starch Polysaccharide component which is a useful source of
dietary fiber.
It is rich in fatty acids, particularly the unsaturated and essential fatty acids. Essential fatty
acids cannot be manufactured by the body alone, and therefore we acquire these from food.
Fifteen amino acids make up the protein content of the black seed, including eight of the nine
essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized within our body in sufficient
quantities and are thus required from our diet.
Black seed contains Arginine which is essential for infant growth.
Chemical analysis has further revealed that the black seed contains carotene, which is converted
by the liver into vitamin A, the vitamin known for its anti-cancer activity.
Chemical Composition of Black Cumin Seed
1. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) Black Cumin Seeds are rich source of Essential fatty acids
(Linoleic acid and Linolenic acid). EFAs are omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids which
cannot be synthesized in the body. They are important constituents for the generation of
immune cells and for the growth and maintenance of the nervous system.
2. Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) Amino Acids are building blocks of proteins. Black Cumin Seeds
contain 15 amino acids, 8 of which are Essential Amino Acids that cannot be synthesized in the
3. Nigellone This is a potent anti-histamine, which is responsible for the anti-allergic and antiasthmatic properties of Black Cumin (Nigella).
4. Sterols The seed is rich in sterols especially beta-sitosterol, which has anti-inflammatory and
anti-cancer properties.
5. Thymoquinone and other Volatile Oils Thymoquinone is the potent anti-cancer agent found in
black seed, which was demonstrated to significantly inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer
cells, one of the most invasive cancers of man. It does this by augmenting the process of
apoptosis or programmed cell death. Other volatile oils include p-cymene, limonene and carvone.
All these have potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Immunomodulators These are substances that rectify imbalances in the immune system

thereby preventing the occurrence of auto-immune diseases.

7. Vitamins Contains many of the water soluble and fat soluble vitamins, especially carotene, the
precursor of vitamin A, which is a potent anti-oxidant.
8. Minerals Black Cumin is a rich source of minerals like Sodium, Potassium, Iron and Calcium,
which play a number of roles in maintaining the health and vitality. Plus Zinc, Magnesium,
9. Monosaccharides Good source of monosaccharides like glucose, rhamnose, xylose and
10. Polysaccharides Contains non-starch polysaccharides, which are good source of dietary fiber
a component with proven role in the prevention of colonic cancer.
Scientifically Proven Effects of Black Cumin
1. Disease Resistance Black Cumin boosts the immune system by stimulating the bone marrow
and the production of white blood cells. It also enhances antibody production. Thus the
resistance of the body against bacterial, viral and fungal infections is significantly increased.
This property also helps in the cure of such infections.
2. Respiratory Illnesses The antihistaminic and bronchodilatory properties of black cumin helps
in the prevention and treatment of respiratory ailments like allergic rhinitis and bronchial
3. Digestive System Black cumin helps to promote digestion and has got potent anti-helminthic
properties, which helps in curing intestinal worms. It also enhances liver function.
4. Cancers Black cumins anti-cancer properties are well documented. It helps prevent a number
of cancers by facilitating early detection and destruction of cancer cells. It is unbelievably
effective in suppressing the progress of many cancers including leukemia and highly invasive
pancreatic cancer.
5. Autoimmune Diseases Black Cumin seeds are highly effective in the prevention and
treatment of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and SLE. This is due to it antiinflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.
6. Diabetes Found to be effective in the regulation of blood sugar.
7. Skin Diseases Very effective in the treatment of skin diseases like acne, eczema and
psoriasis and also in the quick healing of burns.
8. Migraine Effective in the prevention and treatment of headaches and migraine.
9. Kidneys It enhances kidney function and is an effective diuretic.
10. Milk Production It increases milk production in lactating mothers.
11. Libido Increases sexual energy and libido in both men and women.
12. Sperm count Known to enhance fertility among men by increasing the sperm count.
13. Opioid Dependence Effective in treating opioid dependence.
14. Beauty Oral as well as external uses of black cumin oil preparations helps in enhancing
beauty and radiance. These results are achieved by strengthening hair and nails, increasing skin
texture and by boosting the overall blood flow and vitality of the body. Cosmetic preparations of
black cumin are good moisturizers and helps decrease wrinkles.
15. Hair Loss Very effective in the prevention and treatment of hair loss.
16. Menstrual Problems Black cumin acts as a stimulant of menstruation in conditions like


Origin, Distribution and Composition of Cumin Seeds

Cumin is an annual herb, with a smooth surface and long, slender root It grows up to a height of
35 to 45 cm. It produces a stem with many branches which bear long, finely divided, deep green
leaves and small flowers, white or rose in colour. The plant has aromatic seed-like fruit,
commonly known as cumin seed. It is oval-shaped, approximately 6 mm long and light yellowishbrown in color. It has a peculiar, strong and heavy odour. The dried seeds form an essential
ingredient of curry powder.
Cumin is a native of Egypt , Syria , Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean region. It was one of
the commonest spices during the Middle Ages. It is now grown in south-eastern Europe , north
Africa, India and China .
An analysis of cumin seeds shows them to consist of moisture 6.2 per cent, protein 17.7 per cent,
fat 23.8 per cent, crude fibre 9.1 per cent, carbohydrates 35.5 per cent and mineral matter 7.7
per cent per 100 grams. Their mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium,
potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins C and A. Their calorific value is 460.
The dried fruit is crushed and subjected to fractional or steam distillation to yield a valuable
volatile oil pale-yellow in colour, which turns dark on keeping. The cumin aldehyde present in the
volatile oil is readily converted artificially into thymol.
Medicinal uses of cumin
Stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic. This herb has similar effects to Fennel and Caraway but
its use has declined due to its disagreeable taste. It had a considerable reputation in helping
correct flatulence due to languid digestion and as a remedy for colic and dyspepsia headache.
Applied externally as a plaster, it eased stitches and pains in the side and has been combined
with other herbs to form a stimulating liniment.
Healing Power and Curative Properties of Black Cumin Seeds
The fruit is a rich source of thymol. Thymol is used as an anthelmintic against hookworm
infections and also as an antiseptic in many preparations. It is a stimulant, which increases the
secretion and discharge of urine and relieves flatulence. It strengthens the functions of
stomach and arrests any bleeding.
Amnesia Cumin seeds are valuable in amnesia or dullness of memory. Three grams of black cumin
seeds are mixed with 12 grams of pure honey and licked to get rid of in this condition.
Boils Black cumin ground in water is applied as a paste over the boils with beneficial results.
Common Cold Dilute cumin water is an antiseptic beverage and very useful in common cold and
fevers. To prepare cumin water, a teaspoon of cumin is added to boiling water, which is allowed
to simmer for a few seconds and set aside to cool. If the cold is associated with sore throat, a
few small pieces of dry ginger should be added to the water. It soothes throat irritation.
Digestive Disorders Cumin seeds are very useful in digestive disorders like biliousness, morning
sickness, indigestion, atonic dyspepsia, diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome, and flatulent colic.
One teaspoon of cumin seeds is boiled in a glass of water and the decoction mixed with one
teaspoon of fresh coriander leaf juice and a pinch of salt. This decoction can be taken twice
daily after meals as a medicine for diarrhea.
Flatulence Remedy 1 Internally - Make a tea. Mix equal parts Ground black seed, ground


fennel and peppermint. Add 3- 7 drops of Black seed oil. Sweeten with honey.
Remedy 2 Externally - Make a compression. Apply a compression soaked with apple vinegar and
black seed to the stomach.
Flu and Colds Take one teaspoon of black seed oil with honey in the morning before eating. Also,
place a few drops in each nostril for nasal congestion.
Gallstones and Liver Stones Place a large spoon of black seeds mixed with honey in a glass, add
in some hot water. Finally add in one teaspoon of oil. Drink this mixture daily, first thing in the
General Health and Well Being Take one spoon of honey and one spoon of black seeds mixed
every day or 1/2 spoon of the oil mixed with honey before your breakfast.
Gynecology and obstetrics (to preserve the child)
Drink black cumin (habba soda) seed boiled in aniseed and sweetened with 5 times a day for 40
days or a teaspoon of black cumin (habba soda) oil, boiled with aniseed and sweetened with honey
5 times a day for 40 days.
Headache Mix l tbsp. ground black seed, l tbsp. ground anise seed, l tbsp. powdered cloves.
Take one teaspoon of this mixture before meals. Keep mixture in mouth until it can be swallowed.
Do not take with water.
High blood pressure Strain 1 teaspoon of finely crushed black seeds into a hot drink and take
with 2 lobes of garlic every morning before breakfast.
Kidney and bladder stones Grind 0.25 kg, of black cumin seeds thoroughly and mix with 0.25 kg
of pure honey. Take two tablespoons of this mixture and mix thoroughly with half a cup of hot
water. This mixture is to be taking daily before breakfast together with a teaspoon of black
cumin oil.
Insomnia Cumin is valuable in relieving sleeplessness. A teaspoon of the fried powder of cumin
seeds mixed with the pulp of a ripe banana can be taken at night to induce sleep.
Memory Take 1/2 teaspoon of black seed and 1/2 teaspoon of honey three times a day.
Mouth Infection Virus Place some black seeds in your mouth and leave for 10-15 minutes.
Muscular Dystrophy Take one spoon of black seeds mixed with honey, three times a day. Eat as
many raisins as possible. Eat a soup of morrow (soup bones) every day.
Piles Black cumin is beneficial in the treatment of piles. About 60 grams of the seeds, of which
half should be roasted, should be ground together. Three grams of this flour should be taken
with water.
Problem of Breast Milk Secretion A decotion of cumin seeds mixed with milk and honey, taken
once daily during the entire period of pregnancy, helps the healthy development of the foetus,
eases child-birth and increases the secretion of breast milk.
Renal Colic Black cumin seeds mixed with caraway seeds and black salt is useful in renal colic.
About 20 grams of cumin seeds, 12 grams of caraway seeds and 6 grams of black salt are ground
together and mixed with a little vinegar. This mixture can be taken in doses of 3 grams every
hour till relief is obtained.
Scorpion Sting Paste of the cumin seeds prepared with onion juice, applied over scorpion sting
will retard the frequency of upbeats.
Sexual Impotency Mix 200g of ground Black Seeds with Olive Oil and 100g of ground Olibanum


and 50g of Black Seed Oil and 50g of olive oil and 200g of pure honey. Mix thoroughly and take a
tablespoon after every meal.
Stomach Pain Take one big spoon of black seeds mixed with honey. Drink some peppermint tea,
then drink the water of boiled rice if hungry.
Toothache and Gum infections Place some black seeds in a cup of vinegar and bring to boil.
When the vinegar has cooled to a warm touch, rinse the mouth with this mixture.
Worms Heat 2 teaspoons of black seeds with 1/2 cup of vinegar. Heat this mixture and then
with a brush, brush the mixture on the stomach and liver area. Do this before you are about to
sleep. Do not wipe this mixture off.
Before sleeping eat 7 dates to get rid of ascaris worms.
Other Uses and benefits of Cumin Seeds
The cumin seed is extensively used in mixed spices and for flavouring curries, soups, sausages,
bread and cakes. It is an ingredient of curry powder, pickles and chutneys. It is also used to
some extent in Indian medicine as a carminative.
How to use black cumin seeds as a home remedy
Black Cumin Seeds and Royal Jelly
* 1 Crush black cumin seeds.
* 2 Mix one teaspoon of black cumin seeds with one tablespoon of royal jelly.
* 3 Spread on toast and eat to relieve symptoms of fatigue.
Tea Brewed with Black Cumin Seeds
* 1 Place one tablespoon of seeds in a tea strainer.
* 2 Pour boiling water over the seeds.
* 3 Let steep for about ten minutes.
Make Your Own Skin Cream
* 1 Warm black cumin seeds with an equal amount of shea butter or jojoba oil in a double boiler.
* 2 Add beeswax to the mixture after the liquid darkens and stir until it melts.
* 3 Apply the cooled mixture to burns, skin infections, wrinkles, dry skin, or areas or joint pain.
Make Your Own Black Seed Vinegar and Oil Mixture
* 1 Mix one cup of black cumin seeds in a bottle of organic apple cider vinegar.
* 2 Let sit for two days to two weeks. The longer it sits, the more potent the mixture will be.
* 3 Strain the mixture with cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
* 4 Combine equal parts of black cumin vinegar and black cumin oil.
* 5 Heat the mixture and then refrigerate. The tonic can be applied to the skin or ingested in
small quantities (one tablespoon at a time).
* 1 Take cumin seeds to calm a number of digestive disorders including morning sickness,
indigestion, heartburn, ulcers, diarrhea and flatulence. Boil 1 cup of water and remove from heat
before adding 1 tsp. of cumin seeds, 1 tsp. of fresh coriander and a pinch of salt. Allow the tea
to steep for 20 minutes before drinking. Take this natural medicine after meals.
* 2 Relieve insomnia with cumin seeds and banana. Simply mix 1 tsp. of cumin seed powder and
the pulp of a ripe banana and eat before bed.
* 3 Treat a sore throat and cough with tea made from cumin seeds. Cumin is a natural
antiseptic and will help to soothe a scratchy throat, making it the perfect natural medicine for


colds and flu. Boil 1 cup of water and remove from heat before adding 1 tsp. of cumin and a large
slice of ginger. Allow the tea to steep for 20 minutes, drinking 2 or 3 times a day until symptoms
* 4 Soothe skin irritations with a paste made from cumin seeds. Add a bit of onion juice to
cumin powder to make a paste and apply to boils, bites, bee stings and even scorpion stings to
help reduce inflammation and pain.
* 5 Mix 1 tsp. of powdered cumin seeds in a cup of warm milk and add 1 tbsp. of raw honey.
Drinking this natural medicine daily throughout the duration of pregnancy will help in healthy
development of the baby, will help ease the strain of childbirth and will ensure sufficient milk
secretion after birth.
Black cumin essential oil
Oil properties. It has a spicy and very penetrating smell.
Extraction. Cumin oil is extracted by steam distillation from the ripe seed.
Chemical composition. The main chemical components of cumin oil are cuminic, cymene,
dipentene, limonene, phellandrene and pinene.
Precautions. Cumin has an overpowering smell and should be used very sparingly, yet it is
considered non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. It does have photo-toxic qualities, so
should not be used when the skin will be exposed to sunlight.
Therapeutic properties. The therapeutic properties of cumin oil are antiseptic, anti-spasmodic,
antitoxic, bactericidal, carminative, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, nervine, stimulant and
tonic. People with a sensitive skin should avoid it and it should be avoided during pregnancy.
Uses. Cumin is useful as a warming oil and helps relieve muscular pains and osteoarthritis.
In the digestive system, it is a stimulant that helps with colic, dyspepsia, flatulence, bloating and
For the nervous system, it is a tonic and has a beneficial effect on headaches, migraine and
nervous exhaustion.
Summary. Cumin oil aids the digestive system, is helpful for the nervous system as a tonic, and
relieves muscular aches and pains.
Cumin oil blends well with Angelica, Caraway and Chamomile.
Benefits of Black Seed Oil or Black Cumin
Black seed oil or black cumin seed oil is the cold pressed and steam distilled extract from the
whole black seeds of the nigella sativa flowering plant. According to narrations by Sahih Bukhari,
the prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) proclaimed that the black seed is a remedy for
every disease except death. And according to distinguished botanist Dr. Daniel Zohary and Dr.
Maria Hopf who wrote Domestication of Plants of the Old World, black cumin seeds were found
in several sites from ancient Egypt including Tutankhamun's tomb.
The black seed is also known as kalonji in Tamil. It is called habba sawdah or habbatul barakah in
Arabic which means the blessed seed. It is also recognized by other names such as fennel flower
herb, black sesame seed, the magical Egyptian herb, the medicine of the prophet, the miracle
herb of the century and several other names and identifications.
Centuries ago, black cumin seeds were used to treat digestive problems, fatigue, headaches,
intestinal worms and parasites, infections, nasal congestion, skin problems, toothaches, the


common cold and many more ailments. Since 1959, there have been hundreds of studies
conducted all over the world and are still ongoing to determine the effects of nigella sativa on
various conditions and diseases.
Many reports have been published based on these studies and trials. Here are some of the
findings and the potential healing power of black cumin oil or black seed oil.
Black cumin seed
Black seed contains more than a hundred natural plant chemicals including powerful antioxidants,
carotenes, carbohydrates, vitamins, 15 amino acids of which 8 are essential amino acids, and
minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
Black cumin seeds have shown to have many powerful properties and among them are
antibacterial, antimycotic or anti-fungal, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor.
Black seed oil which tastes peppery and citrusy contains fatty acids > namely oleic acid, linoleic
acid, palmitic and stearic. Oleic acid is a mono-unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, linoleic acid is an
unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, palmitic and stearic acids are saturated fatty acids. These
fatty acids assist the body in regulating metabolism, promoting healthy liver, improving
blood circulation and balancing insulin levels.
Oleic acid raises the good cholesterol HDL and lowers the bad cholesterol LDL levels .
Besides oleic acid, black cumin contains beta-sterol and together they bring about a balance in
the total cholesterol levels.
Nigellone is one of the volatile oils present in the black seed herb. This chemical produces antiinflammatory, anti-histamine, anti-spasmodic and bronchi dilating effects . It is able to
reduce inflammation and improve as well as prevent the symptoms of asthma, sinus infection,
eczema and other inflammations and swellings. As anti-histamine, it helps fight allergies and hay
fever. Its bronchi dilating effect is helpful in treating respiratory problems.
Another one of the phytochemicals present in black seed is thymoquinone which is a powerful
antioxidant. Many animal studies were done and it was established that this phytochemical has
analgesic, anti-cancer, anticonvulsant and angiogenesis effects. Thymoquinone has shown to
be able to prevent the heart, liver and kidney from damages and diseases.
A controlled study conducted on a group to see the effect of black cumin extract on colon
cancer showed significant decrease in the number of cancer cells. Another study that was done
at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia to determine the effects of black seeds on
pancreatic cancer cells showed that the seed extract was able to inhibit the activation and
synthesis of NF-kappaB. NF-kappaB is a protein that is associated with pancreatic cancer and
other inflammation associated cancer. These two results suggest that black seeds have the
potential to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Studies have indicated that black seed oil has the potential to substitute the use of insulin in
the treatment of diabetes. This is because the substances in black cumin have shown to lower
blood sugar levels. The acids present in the seeds help the body produce hormones that speed up
the metabolism of blood sugar.
Like fennel seeds and milk thistle, black seeds help breast feeding mothers with low milk
production. It contains a substance called galactogogue which stimulates milk production.
Black seed oil also contains saponin and melathin. Both these substances combined act as


internal cleansing and eliminating agents . They act as natural laxative, stimulating the
intestines, loosening and relaxing the bowels and eliminating waste.
Saponin and melathin also demonstrate anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiparasitic,
expectorative, hemolytic and immune stimulating properties. As an expectorant, black cumin
has the ability to secrete mucus and it is used as a remedy to treat bronchial problems and is
effective for lung and respiratory support.
Its antibacterial activities are useful in preventing and destroying destructive bacteria in the
colon, intestines, stomach and urinary tract. And because of these benefits, black sesame seeds
are used as a remedy to treat cholera and diarrhea. They are also used as a remedy to fight
bacterial infection such as ear infection and boils.
Taking the supplement daily helps strengthen the immune system and may help prevent viral
infections such as the common cold and the flu.
Black seed oil also act as a carminative agent. It stimulates digestion and has the ability to
prevent and treat intestinal gas or flatulence.
Black cumin produces a diuretic effect and is helpful in overcoming fluid retention by stimulating
and increasing the flow of urine.
Ways to Use Black Seed Oil and Black Cumin Seeds
You can add the black cumin oil or the seeds in your foods, cold and hot beverages and yogurt.
Apply, rub or massage the oil topically of affected areas to treat arthritis, backaches, eczema,
headaches, muscle sprains and psoriasis.
Sprinkle a few drops to your shampoo and moisturizer.
Add a few drops into a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam or vapor to clear nasal
congestions. It may also help if you experience stress and fatigue.
Use it as a compress or skin wash to treat wounds, cuts and scrapes. To make compress, add a
few drops of the oil or the seeds in water, soak a clean cloth wring it and then place the cloth on
the skin. As a wash, just soak your skin in the solution.
To make spice or chai tea, brew the seeds for about 10 minutes and add milk to it. Or you can
add honey instead of milk. Drink it after meals to aid digestion or if you suffer from diarrhea. It
also helps reduce fever and treat dry cough. You can use the oil instead of the seed to make
black cumin tea.
Besides the black seed oil extract, black cumin seeds are available whole and dried, ground, as a
health supplement in the form of capsules, in skin care products and shampoos and black cumin