There are innumerable seeds which are gaining attention in the health sector due to their unique properties that can do wonders to our health. There are a few which we hear of on a day-to-day basis and there are others which most of us are not aware of or have seen them but don’t know the names or have heard of them but not seen them. One of these “least heard of” seeds are the Nigella Seeds!
Nigella seeds are obtained from an annual flowering plant called ‘Nigella Sativus’, exactly why these seeds are termed as ‘Nigella seeds’.Talking a bit of its origin, the oil of Nigella seeds, interestingly, was found in Egyptian tomb of Tutankhamun, dating back to approximately 3,300 years ago. It is believed that the Islamic prophet Mohammed declared these seeds as “a remedy for all diseases except death.” Isn’t that incredible?
The commonly known nigella seeds are also called as ‘kalonji’, black caraway, black cumin, black seeds, fennel flower, nutmeg flower, roman coriander, wild onion seed and are loaded with phenomenal benefits, offering protection against several health conditions.
Nigella Seeds have massive health benefits. These seeds have been known for their healing properties since time immemorial. From simple conditions to deadly diseases, these seeds can kill it all!
Check out this comprehensive list of benefits of the Nigella seeds:
** Type 2 diabetes: Nigella seeds can trigger the regeneration of the dying beta cells within the diabetic’s pancreas. Scientific studies have shown that 2 grams of nigella seeds everyday could result in reduced fasting blood sugar levels, along with decreased insulin resistance, increased beta-cell functioning and reduced glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c).
**Hypertension: These seeds have a significant blood pressure lowering effect along with reduction in the bad cholesterol (LDL).
** Infections: Nigella seeds being anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antioxidant and antiviral in nature, are known to smack down various deadly infections including MRSA (which is an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection), H. Pylori infection, psoriasis, etc.
**Cancer: These seeds have shown to have miraculous effects in various types of cancer including colon, breast, brain, oral, leukemia and cervical cancer. A chemical compound extracted from nigella seeds, called thymoquinone has an ability to stimulate apoptosis (cell death). Thus, slowing down the cancer progression and arresting the spread of the cancer.
**Brain conditions:Epilepsy- Nigella seeds are known to possess anticonvulsive properties and can thereby reduce the seizure activity.
** Glioblastoma– It is one of the most aggressive brain tumors of all and thymoquinone can induce cell death in the glioblastoma cells.
** Brain lead toxicity- The seeds can reverse the damage caused to the brain due to lead toxicity and also radiation-induced damage.
** Parkinson’s disease: Thymoquinone from the seeds has been shown to protect the neurons from toxicity associated with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
**Asthama: Being anti-inflammatory and brochodilator in nature, these seeds play a huge role in improving asthamatic symptoms. Apparently, thymoquinone is considered superior to the drugs used for asthma.
**Digestive issues: The seeds are extremely effective for indigestion and bowel complaints. They can prevent formation of gas or facilitate the expulsion of gas, thereby combating flatulence.
**The seeds are used to induce post-natal uterine contraction and are also useful in promoting lactation, especially in India. They are one of the effective galactogogues that can help the mothers produce greater amount of milk.
**Sore throat: The seeds can reduce throat pain and soreness and are also used in the treatment of acute tonsil inflammation. They literally reduce our dependence on the pain-killers.
**Last but definitely not the least, Nigella seeds have all the power to reduce the indications of morphine intoxication, tolerance, and addiction. It could be an effective therapy in long-term treatment of opioid dependence.
How to use these seeds in our diet?
They are slightly bitter and peppery with a crunchy texture. You can powder these and add into your juices/smoothies, or roast them lightly to release the essential oils and then grind them with grated coconut, roasted garlic and other spices to make a delicious chutney out of it, or throw them whole in your curries, gravies, dals and soups.
Nigella seeds are indeed a powerful healer and one of the best gifts to mankind! It’s something that you must fill up your jars with and use them regularly in your meal preparations.