THE BLACK SEED
History of the Black Seed
For over two thousand years the black seed, a plant from the Ranunculaceae
(buttercup) family, has been traditionally used by various cultures
throughout the world as a natural remedy for several diseases and
ailments and to improve health in general.
The ancient Egyptians knew and used the black seed and described it
as a panacea (cure for problems and diseases). Tutankamun even had
a bottle of the oil in his tomb!
The Romans also knew this seed and called it Greek Coriander and used
it as a dietary supplement.
In the first century, the Greek physician Dioscoredes recorded that
the black seed were taken to treat headaches, nasal congestion, toothache
and intestinal worms.
The black seed is also mentioned in the Bible in Isiah 28:25-27 as
the ‘fitches’. Ibn Senna, known in the West as Avicenna,
who wrote the great medical treatise 'The Canon of Medicine', referred
to the black seed as the seed ‘that stimulates the body's energy
and helps recovery from fatigue’.
What is Nigella Sativa (the black seed)?
Nigella Sativa originates from Western Asia and is a herb that grows
about 16-24 inches in height and has white flowers when in bloom.
The plant is now cultivated from the Near East to India. The deep
black, sharp-cornered rectangular seeds (no longer than 3 mm) are
the part of the plant that is used for the preparation of products.
The black seed is cultivated in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Arabia, Oman,
Ethiopia, Middle East, Far East, India, Bangladesh, France, Germany
and the Mediterranean Basin. It also grows wild in Egypt, Syria, Asiatic
Turkey and the Balkan States.
Nigella Sativa is known commonly in Arabic as Habbat-ul-Baraka (blessed
seed) and in English as Love in the Mist.
Since 1959, over 200 studies have been carried out at international
universities and articles published in various journals have shown
remarkable results supporting its traditional uses.
The Nigella Sativa seed itself contains numerous esters of structurally
unusual unsaturated fatty acids and the chemical composition is very
rich and diverse. Apart from its active ingredient, crystalline nigellone,
it contains 15 amino acids (including eight of the nine essential
ones), carbohydrates, fatty acids including linolenic and oleic, volatile
oils, alkaloids and dietary fibre, as well as minerals such as calcium,
iron, sodium and potassium.
Recent research on the black seed as an anti-biotic, anti-tumour,
anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, anti-bacterial, anti-bronchial
and immune boosting agent has shown great promise.
Traditional uses of the Black Seed from around the world
For centuries, the black seed and its oil has been used by people
in Asia, Africa, the Middle and Far East to promote health and fight
disease. It has been traditionally used to treat a variety of ailments
and conditions related to respiratory health, stomach and intestinal
complaints, kidney and liver function, circulatory and immune system
support and to improve health in general.
Please find below some traditional Black Seed remedies that are used
around the world:
Asthma & Bronchial Problems (Far East, Middle
East & Malay Peninsula)
Mix a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil in coffee. Taken twice daily. Also
rub chest with Black Seed Oil every night and inhale the vapour
of Black Seed Oil in hot water.
Backache & other kinds of rheumatism
(Middle East & Malay Peninsula)
Mildly heat a small amount of Black Seed Oil and then stroke the
rheumatic area intensely. A teaspoon of the oil should also be
drunk three times
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.
the mixture to powder. Take half a teaspoon of the mixture together
with a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil daily before breakfast for one
Diarrhoea (India & Middle
Mix a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil with a cup of yoghurt. Drinking
the mixture twice a day until symptoms disappear.
Dry Cough (Middle East & North Africa)
A teaspoon of Black Seed Oil should be mixed in coffee and taken
twice a day. Rub the chest and back with Black Seed Oil.
Flu & Nasal Congestion (General)
Placing three to four drops of Black Seed Oil in each nostril
can relieve nasal congestion and head cold distress.
Hair Greying (General)
Massaging the hair with Black Seed Oil regularly may prevent
premature hair greying.
Hair Loss (India & Middle East)
Stroke the scalp thoroughly with lemon and leave for about
15 minutes, shampoo, wash and dry hair thoroughly. Then
massage Black Seed Oil
into the scalp. Drink a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil mixed
Hay Fever (Middle East)
One tablespoon of Black Seed Oil mixed with a glass of
lemon should be taken twice daily until symptoms disappear.
Rub the forehead and the sides of the face near the ears
with Black Seed Oil and bandage the head. Also a teaspoon
should be taken before breakfast.
Healthy Being (General)
To maintain good health take a teaspoon of Black Seed
Oil mixed with one teaspoon of pure honey, twice daily.
Healthy Complexion (General)
Mix a tablespoon of Black Seed Oil with a tablespoon of
olive oil. Rub the face with this mixture and leave it
for at least
Wash with soap and water.
Mix any drink with a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil and also
take two lobes of garlic every morning with breakfast.
the body with
Black Seed Oil and expose your body to sun rays for half
an hour once every three days. Repeat for one month.
Laziness and Fatigue (Turkey)
One tablespoon of Black Seed Oil with a glass of pure orange juice
every morning for at least 10 days.
Memory Improvement (Middle East)
A teaspoon of Black Seed Oil mixed in 100mg of boiled mint for at
least 15 days.
Muscular pains (General)
Massage the area with Black Seed Oil.
Nervous Tension Stress (India)
A teaspoon of Black Seed Oil with a cup of tea/coffee to be taken
three times daily.
Sexual Impotency (Europe & Middle East)
Mix 200g of ground Black Seeds with Olive Oil & l00g of ground
olibanum & 50g of Black Seed Oil & 50g of olive oil & 200g
of pure honey. Mix thoroughly and take a tablespoon after every meal.
Sleeping Disorder (General)
A tablespoon of Black Seed Oil mixed with honey in any hot drink in
Toothache & Gums (General)
First cook Black Seeds with vinegar. Add Black Seed Oil. Rinse the
mouth with this formulation to help the gums and relieve toothache.
Ulcers (Indonesia & India)
Roast powdered Black Seeds over the fire. Mix them with oil of orrisroot,
or the oil of henna plant, or the oil of camphire plant making an
ointment that is then spread over the festering rural ulcers. After
lavation treat with vinegar.