Nutrition Market

Black Seed - A Potent Medicinal Ingredient

Black seed, also known as Nigella sativa, is a flowering plant native to southern Europe, northern Africa and southwest Asia. The tiny black seeds have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries thanks to their incredible healing properties.

What Is Black Seed?

Black seed comes from the Nigella sativa plant which grows up to 20-30 cm tall with finely divided foliage and pale blue or white flowers. The fruit of the plant contains the small, black, crescent-shaped seeds with a rough texture and pungent aroma. Black seed goes by many other names such as black caraway, black cumin, fennel flower and onion seed.

Historical and Ancient Uses

Dating as far back as the times of King Tutankhamun, Cleopatra and ancient Greek physicians like Hippocrates, black seed has been revered for its medicinal and healing abilities. The Islamic prophet Mohammed famously described black seed as a ‘remedy for all diseases except death’.

Black seed oil was also found in the tomb of the Egyptian Pharoah Tutankhamun which points to its great cultural significance. The oil has even been used topically by ancient Egyptian royalty because of its association with restoration of beauty and health.

Nutritional Profile

This super seed certainly packs a nutritional punch. It contains over 100 valuable components such as essential fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes.

It is a rich source of fatty acids including linoleic acid and oleic acid, as well as antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, calcium, folate and iron.

Health Benefits

With strong scientific evidence to support its health properties, no wonder black seed has earned the name ‘a seed for blessing’. Here are some of the top evidence-based health benefits:

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Black seed contains thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone and thymol which are powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. The seed and its extracted oil have been found effective in treating inflammation involved diseases like arthritis, asthma and even cancer.

Immune-Boosting Properties

Black seed works as an ‘immune-system booster’ by stimulating immune cell production from the bone marrow. It helps support healthy immune function against viruses like influenza and auto-immune issues like rheumatoid arthritis.

Antioxidant Protection

The antioxidants found abundantly in black seeds scavenge free radicals and protect against oxidative stress and DNA damage. Some studies show it to have antioxidant capabilities comparable to vitamin C and even anti-cancer drugs.

Gut & Digestion Aid

Black seed prevents gas, bloating, colic and relieves stomach cramps by activating thymol and other healing components on digestion. Its antibacterial properties also support a healthy gut microbiome balance against candida and other bad gut bacteria.

Liver Protection & Detoxification

Black seed has been shown to prevent liver toxicity and damage from alcohol, medications and environmental pollution thanks to its powerful antioxidant thymoquinone. It even stimulates the detox process of removing unhealthy fat stored in liver.

Skin, Hair & Beauty Benefits

With aging, hair thinning and skin issues like acne, eczema and psoriasis being common, black seed can help in improving hair growth and quality. It also helps reduce inflammation and redness for acne-prone, eczema and psoriasis affected skin.

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