Nigella sativa ( N. Sativa), commonly known as black seed, is a popular plant used in various cultures for its medicinal properties. It is also an annual flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae. Over the millennia, seeds and oils have gained widespread acclaim in various traditions, and black seed is no exception.
In Islam literature, black seed is one of the most prominent forms of healing remedies. It possesses anti-hypertensive, diuretics, anti-diarrheal properties, and antibacterial properties. Here is another quick fact;
Did you know that scientists conducted various studies on black seed to determine its effectiveness on ailments such as cancer? Yes! Black seed is that effective of a medicine! Obviously, there has to be some wonder compound in this seed. Well, it is believed that the phytochemical compound thymoquinone is the reason for some of black seeds’ medicinal properties.
Black seed has a lot of other properties and benefits that most people aren’t usually aware of. This article aims to bring them out to light.
Historical Use Of Blackseed
Ancient Egyptians used black seed
It’s a little-known fact that black seed has been used for over 2000 years. Yes! According to recent findings, King Tut’s tomb contained evidence of black seed use. Queen Cleopatra was also thought to have rubbed black seed oil to combat acne. Summarily, black seed was and still is an essential part of Egyptian medicine.
But what about other cultures?
In Indian and Arabian folklore, N.sativa has is a superfood and miracle medicine ( Often called Habbatul Barakah in Arabic, which means ” the seed of blessing”). Blackseed has treated various diseases in these cultures, such as inflammatory diseases, bronchitis, asthma, diarrhea, and hair loss- for hair loss, the oil is appliedexternally.
Attributes Of The Black Seed Plant
As stated earlier, Nigella Sativa (Black seed) is an annual flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae. It is known to grow 20-90cm tall and possessfinely divided leaves. The flowers can be pink, yellow, pale blue, white, and pale blue in color. The plant also has up to 10 petals.
Moving on to some compound attributes, asides from thymoquinone, N. Sativa contains other compounds such as p-cymene (30%-48%), thymohydroquinone, dithymoquinone, carvacrol (6%-12%), sesquiterpene longifolene, t-anethol, 4-terpinol, and saponin, which is an anti-cancer agent.
Core Benefits Of Blackseed oil
Black seed offers various amounts of health benefits; below, we discuss these health benefits in detail;
N. Sativa is effective against bacteria
A recent study on black seed shows that it offers resistance against Listeria monocytogenes, a major foodborne pathogen in the United States.
Listeria monocytogenes cause listeriosis- a bacterial infection that can cause severe illness, including meningitis, severe sepsis, or encephalitis, and even death.
This study was carried out to determine the effect of black seed oil on about twenty strains of Listeria monocytogenes. During the test, Blackseed oil showed significant resistance to these strains and the results showed that black seed oil can hinder the spread of L. monocytogenes.
Aside from the benefits it has against bacteria, N. Sativa possesses some Cancer-fighting properties. The chemical thymoquinone found in black seed improves our body’s immune system. This wonder chemical also has antioxidant-like attributes and can control the Akt pathway. Antioxidants are elements that can prevent or delay damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Hence N.sativa is effective in fighting different types of cancers like cancers of the blood, kidney, lung, cervix, skin, and liver. What makes N.sativa so unique is that it is natural and doesn’t induce more damage to the cells than conventional cancer treatments.
Hypertension is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. Hypertension is mainly caused by our lifestyle and what we ingest- hence we can prevent it most of the time.
In a recent study performed by researchers, Farshad Dekordi and Amir Kamkah, they found that ingesting N.sativa extracts in quantities of around 200 – 400 mg/day for a period of two months decreased both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension, compared with the baseline. This is good news for individuals suffering from hypertension as a simple addition of blackseed to your diet can significantly reduce your blood pressure.
Obesity is influenced by our lifestyle
Obesity is a major problem in the United States. According to the National Center For Health Statistics, the prevalence of obesity was 42.4% in 2017~2018. Today, around 39% of adults in the U.S suffer from obesity.
Obesity, just like hypertension, has a lot to do with our diet. Recently, randomized controlled trials conducted with Blackseed oil (around 3g/day) showed that when combined with a low-calorie diet, it significantly increases weight loss. Knowing this, people who are overweight can supplement their diet with black seed oil to fully enjoy its weight loss capabilities.
Nigella sativa ( black seed plant) is a medicinal plant that civilizations have used for over a thousand years. As discussed above you can use it in conjunction with various modern medical practices to help alleviate or cure the symptoms caused by various ailments.
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