Nigella Sativa

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Nigella sativa L. Family: Ranunculaceae

COMMON NAME(S):Black seed, black cumin, charnushka, "black caraway" (not true caraway), baraka (the blessed seed), fitch (Biblical), "love in the mist"


Nigella sativa is said to have been used for 2000 years, with some recordings of traditional uses of the seed dating back 1400 years. Its use began in the Middle East and spread throughout Europe and Africa. NS was found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen. Ancient Egyptians believed that medicinal plants such as these played a role in the afterlife. In the 1st century AD, Greek physician Dioscorides documented that the seeds were taken for a variety of problems including headache, toothache, nasal congestion, and intestinal worms.

Botany :- Nigella sativa (NS) is an annual herb with terminal, grayish-blue flowers reaching between 30 to 60 cm in height.The toothed seed pod contains the distinctive tiny (1 to 2 mm long), black, 3-sided seeds, that are the plant parts used for medicinal purposes.

Uses of Nigella Sativa

Nigella sativa has been used for gastrointestinal disorders and respiratory problems. Studies have been performed researching its immune/protective or anticancer effects, anti-inflammatory actions, and anti-microbial and anthelmintic properties. More human studies are needed.

In Islam, it regarded as one the greatest forms of healing medicine available. Muhammad once elaborated that the black seed can heal every disease except death.

Side Effects of Nigella Sativa

Contact allergic dermatitis can occur with topical use of the oil. Do not use Nigella sativa during pregnancy.


One report discusses allergic contact dermatitis from topical use of the Oil.

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