What are Black Seeds?
Black seeds, also known as Nigella sativa, black cumin, kalonji seeds and haba al-barakah (Arabic phrase) have been used by people for thousands of years. Some associate black caraway with black seeds and they come from two different plants. Kalonji seeds are found in India and haba al-barakah is an Arabic word and used in the Middle East mainly. Black seeds are commonly used in the kitchen also in many recipes.
Nigella sativa (black seeds), an annual flowering plant that grows to 20-30cm tall, is native to Asia and the Middle East. The flowers of this plant are very delicate and pale colored and white. The seeds are used in Middle Eastern cooking, such as in their local breads. The seeds are also used by thousands for their natural healing abilities.
Black Seed is considered to be the greatest healing herb of our time and it has been much neglected. It is being used to strengthen the immune system, fight and irradiate Prostate Cancer and other tumors, purify the blood and increase longevity. Black seed was found in King Tut's tomb, proving the value of this herb to the Kings.
Nigella sativa or black seeds is from the prophetic remedies. It was used by both Muslims and non-Muslims for thousands of years. The seeds were used by the ancient Romans in cooking and the Asian herbalist for many remedies, including migraines.
The name Nigella sativa comes from the Latin word, nigellus, meaning black. Nigella sativa is small black seeds, with a slightly rough texture and it has an oily interior.
Narrated Abu Hurairah: I heard Allah's Apostle saying "Use this Black seed; it has a cure for every disease except death." (Hadith of the Prophet from Sahih Bukhari)
Prophecy of the Black Seeds
Prophet Mohammad was quoted as saying, "There is healing in Black Seed for all diseases except death." It is also believed that honey was part of the blessed seed treatment. It was part of the tradition to put some honey and ground whole black seeds in the palm of your right hand and lick it up with your tongue. In the days of Prophet Mohammad there was no black seed oil.
Black Seed Oil Treasured by King Tut
Black seed oil was found in the tomb of King Tut proving that the important kings found value in this seed. It was a sign also that of all the gold and diamonds he possessed, black seed oil was part of what he chose to take to the next life. The black seeds were found in his tomb also.
History of Nigella Sativa
To understand the history of Nigella sativa you need to know more of what has happened in the past. Black seeds can be traced back to over 3000 years.
Black seed has been used extensively as an herbal remedy and as a food condiment for thousands of years. It has an abundance of names and is most commonly referred to as black seed or black cumin seed in Western countries.
Mentioned in the Bible
Nigella sativa was referenced in the book of Isaiah of the Old Testament. It was called "ketzah." Ketzah was used for cooking and for a spice. Ketzah is a Hebrew word for black cumin or Nigella sativa. Isaiah compares the reaping of black cumin with wheat. “For the black cumin is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over the cumin, but the black cumin is beaten out with a stick, and the cumin with a rod.”(Isaiah 28:25, 27 NKJV).
Recommended by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him)
Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) stated, "Hold on to the use of the black seed for indeed it has a remedy for every disease except death." "Hold on," indicates that one should take the remedy daily and take it often and regularly.
Assyrian Herbal Book
An Assyrian herbal book explains black cumin seed as a remedy internally for stomach problems and externally for ears, eyes, mouth and many skin problems, such as itching, rashes and sores. Nigella sativa was also used for herpes.
King Tut's Tomb
The black cumin oil and seeds were found in King Tut's tomb proving how valuable it was. The honey and seeds were also found in the tomb indicating that this was a prescribed way he took this miraculous medicine. Cleopatra was also known to use the oil for her beauty and her health. Queen Nefertiti who was admired for her beauty, also used the black seed oil. Doctors and the Pharaohs used the black seed oil and the seeds to treat people with such ailments as: colds, headaches, digestive problems and allergies.
Used by all Naturopathic Masters
The blessed seed Nigella sativa was also used by Hippocrates in the 5th century B.C. He claimed that Nigella sativa was a valuable remedy in hepatic and digestive disorders. Pliny, the elder, used the seeds in the first century extensively and wrote in his "Naturalis Historia" (Natural History) about Nigella sativa and referred to it as “Git”.
Pliny used its remedy for scorpion stings and snake bites, callosities, tumors, abscesses and skin rashes (eczema). Due to its anti-inflammatory qualities, the seeds were used for head injuries.
Greek physician Dioscorides used the blessed seeds for a variety of ailments to include: intestinal worms, headaches, toothaches and nasal congestion. The seeds were also used as a diuretic, to increase milk production and to promote menstruation in women.
Appreciated in Ayurveda
Black cumin or Nigella sativa was appreciated for its many qualities and bitter, warming stimulant nature. In tradition and typology of the 3 doshas, black cumin reduces veta and kapha and increases pitta.
Black cumin was used for a wide variety of complaints, such as anorexia, certain disorders of the nervous system, discharge and venereal disease.
Nigella Sativa Used in Orient
Nigella sativa was used in the orient for stomach problems, diarrhea, flatulence, constipations, jaundice, dandruff, hair loss, skin care, congestion, dementia, infections, worms, menstrual problems and bronchial disorders.
In the 16th to 18th century the German Medical Encyclopedias, Hieronymus Boch, "New Kreutterbuch 1539 and Jacobus Theodorus Tabernaemontanus, and "The new Complete Herbal Book," all gave great respect to Nigella sativa. The oil was used traditionally as others did, but now it was being used on dogs, cats and horses.