Black Seed (??? ???????)
Nigella Sativa commonly known as the blackseed or black cumin originates from the western Asia. It is also known as habbatul sawdah (blackseed) or habbatul barakaah (blessed seed) in the Arabic language. The blackseed is a natural herb from the Ranunculacea (buttercup) family which comes from Western Asia and has also been cultivated in Africa, Middle East, Far east, Mediterranean basin and parts of Europe.
The plant can grow between 16-24 inches in height and presents white flowers wherein the nigella sativa can be found. These black seeds grow between 3mm in length and are a rectangular shape. When rubbed together they release a strong aromatic scent which resembles that of oregano and the crunchy textured seeds have a strong spicy/peppery flavour with a slight bitterness.
The one who is fully aware of the affairs of His creation decreed that trials and tribulations would affect us, and from these trials are some which may affect our health and wellbeing. Therefore from His bounty He made for every ailment a cure and from these cures He made the blackseed. This is supported by the prophetic narration on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said “Use the black seed, because it contains a cure for every type of ailment except death.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and others)
Black seed contains over 100 valuable nutrients and chemical components. From its most affective ingredients is the nigella and melatin which are active ingredients that provide digestive benefits, promote cleansing and assist with overall eliminating action. It also contains Nillegone and Thymoquinone which are two of the most volatile oils found in the seeds. Nigellone offers anti-spasmodic and bronchodilating properties and also acts as an antihistamine which helps to reduce negative symptoms of allergy sufferers, and Thymoquinone contains anti-inflammatory, analgesic properties and acts as an anti oxidant which helps clean the body from toxins. Together they enhance the black seeds affect against respiratory ailments.
The seeds have a rich supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids, a source of 21% protein, 38% carbohydrates and 35% plant fats and oils. And from the vitamins and minerals, it contains vitamin A, B, B2, C, Niacin, Calcium, Potassium, iron, Zinc, Magnesium and Selenium.
Other significant ingredients include: alanine, arginine, ascorbic-acid, asparagine, campesterol, carvone, cymene, cystine, dehydroascorbic-acid, eicosadienoic-acid, glucose, glutamic-acid, glycine, iron, isoleucine, leucine, linolenic acid, lipase, lysine, myristic-acid, nigellin, nigellone, palmitic-acid, phenylalanine, potassium, beta-sitosterol, stearic-acid, stearic-acid, stigmasterol, tannin, thymohydroquinone, thymoquinone and tryptophan.
Blackseed has been for over 1400 years, and in recent centuries increasing numbers of research have been undertaken to investigate its properties. Since 1959 more than 200 studies were undertaken at various international universities and many articles published in support of the vast healing properties and superb affects of black seed on the immune system as well as its assistance in helping the bodys own healing process.
- Research carried out by the The Cancer Immune- Biology Laboratory of South Carolina stated that ‘Black Cumin Oil (Black Seed) generally helps stimulate the production of bone marrow and cells of the immune system. It increases the production of interferon, protects normal cells from the damaging effects of viral disease, destroys tumour cells and increases the number of antibody producing B cells.’
- Due to its constituent Nigellone which offers both anti-spasmodic and bronchodilating properties, black seed is strong against respiratory ailments.
- Studies carried out on rats by the department of bio-chemistry at the Goziosmanpasa University medical facility in Tokat, Turkey concluded that ‘N sativa (nigella sativa) may protect brain and medulla spinalis tissues against oxidative stress induced by EAE (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis).
- Black seed is an anti-oxidant thus helps cleanse the body of toxins. It contains immense benefits for the body and is used as a remedy to treat wide range of ailments such as skin disorder, allergies, illnesses, infections, conditions related to respiratory health, digestive system, kidney and liver function, circulatory and immune system as well as support and assist the general well being. It has been effective in stimulating the body and its energy through treating sexual impotency, stimulating women’s menstrual cycle and flow of breast milk and calming the nervous system. Its properties have made it a successful remedy for treating common problems such as fatigue, asthma and bronchial problems, back pains, eczema, arthritis, diabetes, disorders, flu and nasal congestion, hair loss, headaches, muscular pains, dry coughs, colic pains, skin allergies, toothaches and ulcers.
- The rich supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in the black seed plays a key role in daily health and wellbeing. It helps regulate the metabolism and the cholesterol, eliminates toxins from the body, improves the blood circulation, balances insulin level and increases healthier liver function.
- Through vast research and recent studies it has been discovered that black seed acts as an anti-biotic, anti bacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-asthmatic, antitumor, anti-histaminic, anti hypertensive, hypoglycaemic, and anti-bacterial, anti bronchial and immune boosting agent.
These medical studies attest to the truthfulness of the statement of the messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him) that within the black seed is a cure for every disease.
Although there are not many sources that speak about the side affects of the black seed it is advised that one does not exceed more than 25g as excessive dosage may be harmful (healing with the medicine of the prophet). Pregnant women are not advised to take the black seed and patients with major illnesses such as liver and kidney disease should consult a doctor as it can cause a drop in blood pressure. Diabetic patience are advised to consult a physician before using the black seed.
With all medications one must have faith in its means of cure, but in essence the cure is from Allah. And Allah knows best.
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