Some things stay a well kept secret for years. Then suddenly it is out and readily available. One such thing is Black Seed Oil. Some Nigella seeds were found in King Tut’s tomb! Many cultures, like Indians, and Middle-Eastern people groups have enjoyed its many benefits for ages and ages and we are only now catching up.There is an Arab proverb that says: “Nigella is a remedy for all diseases except death.” In the Bible, in the Old Testament, it is called Ketzah.
Black Seed Oil has many names like Black Cumin, Kalonji or Nigella Sativa, among others. It is a flowering plant in the buttercup family. It has beautiful blue, purple or white flowers. It grows 30cm tall and the flowers are star shaped. It is an easy grower, but here on the Highveld it needs to be brought inside in winter as it is not frost-tolerant. Bunches of flowers are hung upside down for the seeds to dry and fall out. The seeds are tiny and shiny black when dry. The seeds and seed oil is the part of the plant used medicinally. It is valuable. ( People sometimes sell you basil seed instead, it looks similar and is much cheaper.) Then the flavour is distinctly basil, and that is not the flavour of Nigella Sativa.
It is an extremely powerful antioxidant, it prevents cell oxidation and neutralise free radicals in the body. It is often used as protection against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
It was tested against a placebo for 12 weeks in patients struggling with high blood pressure. Those who were given Nigella Sativa had a lower reading at the end of the 12 weeks.
It contains cancer fighting properties, and with cancer, it is used internally as well as topically.
It is very high in anti-bacterial properties. When compared to a standard topical anti-biotic cream, it is proven to work just as well.
8 Week tests were done in auto-immune disease patients. The were given Nigella Sativa and their inflammation markers improved significantly.
Many people use Black Seed oil for improved liver function. The liver removes toxins from the body, and process nutrients. It produces important chemicals for health. It is also where all kinds of medicines and chemicals are metabolised, and Black Seed oil helps with all of those functions.
It also works as a blood sugar regulator.
It acts as an anti-histamine and helps for bee- sting when applied topically. (We often have a few of these.)
In some countries it is the preferred support in rehab for people suffering from opioid addictions. It eases the withdrawel symptoms and strengthens the system by reducing drug cravings. It actually improves the rehab success rate.
We drink 1 teaspoon of oil from now, through winter to boost the immune system. Historically it has also been used for toothache, headache, nasal congestion, asthma and parasites.
Black Seed can be used in many different ways. The raw seeds can be added to yogurt and honey. The seeds can be lightly toasted and added to cooked dishes or salads. The oil can be taken daily internally or applied topically. 1 Teaspoon a day for precaution and up to 3 Tablespoons a day for people with cancer or on chemotherapy.
Kalonji can be bought at Indian Spice shops, (like Bilal’s) or in health shops and certain pharmacies. The seed is a natural preservative, so it is often used in pickling fruit or vegetables. Seeds can be sprinkled over eggs. It is amazing in vegetable curries or dhal. A classic Bangladeshi spice blend, is called Panch Phoran.
Mix together 2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 tsps brown mustard seeds, 2 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp nigella seeds, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds. To use: fry a teaspoon full in oil , ghee or butter at the start of cooking, or add a spoonful to the dish at the end of cooking.
Aromatic, healthy, simple and yumm!