Black Cumin (Nigella Sativa)

Black Cumin Definition

Black cumin plant belongs to the Eurasian herb family. The fruit of this plant contains innumerable tiny seeds, which are known as Black cumin seeds. These seeds find importance in culinary, medicinal, and even beauty regime purposes. It is used in homeopathy, aayurveda, and kitchen remedy.

Black Cumin Scientific Name

Black cumin is scientifically known as Nigella sativa.

Black Cumin Picture Picture 1 – Black Cumin Source – greenprophet.com

Black Cumin Description

Looks : Black cumin seeds are black coloured, as the name suggests, tiny seeds. They look like grains, though much smaller in size.

Smell : Black cumin seeds have a pungent smell of their own that adds a delicious aroma to the delicacies.

Taste : Black cumin seeds have a bitter taste of themselves. But the seeds add great flavour to the dishes when used as a seasoning.

Black Cumin Plant

Black cumin plant is one of the annual flowering plant species. It is scientifically known as Nigella sativa. It grows up till 20cm to 30cm. The leaves are linear and very finely divided. The flowers are white and pale blue in colour. The plants bear blown-up capsule like fruits. Each fruit contain numerous Black cumin seeds.

Black Cumin Seeds

Black cumin seeds are tiny, black seeds. They have a pungent smell and bitter taste. But when used as a seasoning in any recipe it does wonders to the dish. The seeds have many medicinal properties and are used as kitchen remedy to many ailments.

Black Cumin Oil

Black cumin oil is got from the seeds only. The oil has some properties that strengthens and brings shine to hair and nails, if nourished with it. The oil is also used for cooking. It is very healthy to consume and is a taste enhancing wizard as well.

Picture of Black Cumin Picture 2 – Black Cumin Photo Source – east-beauty.net

Black Cumin Nutritional Value

Cumin seeds and cumin oil has always been an important and active part of daily cuisines, all around the world. Not only because of its culinary delighting properties to enhance the taste of the recipe, but also because of its high nutritional value content. A table-spoon full cumin seeds that weigh about 6.7gm has the following nutrient content :

  • Calories – 22
  • Fat – 1gm
  • Sodium – 1mg
  • Pottasium – 91mg
  • Total carbohydrates – 3gm
  • Dietary fibre – 3gm
  • Protein – 1g

Black Cumin Extract

Black cumin extract products are used as medicinal products, beauty regime products, and culinary use products as well. These extract products are a brilliant anti-aging agent.

Black Cumin Growing

  • Sowing : Experts suggest to sow and grow the black cumin plant indoors in a pea pot first and then shift outdoors later after seven weeks. If sowing outdoors from then it is best to sow the black cumin seeds twice a year, once before the last Spring-frost till early summer, sow for the second time during the Autumn-end. The seeds should be sown 25cm apart from each other. After sowing the seeds should be covered with a sheet lightly.
  • Area : Black cumin should be ideally grown in the sunny part of the plot.
  • Soil : Ideal soil for growing Black cumin is pH 6 to pH 7.
  • Temperature : Two weeks before reaching 15degree Centigrade the seeds germinate.
  • Drainage : Growing Black cumin needs very good drainage.
  • Fertilizer : In extreme dry phase of the season Black cumin should be supplied with fertilizer.

Image of Black Cumin Picture 3 – Black Cumin Picture Source – alternative-health-fitness.blogspot.com

Black Cumin Health Benefits

Black cumin seeds and oil are very beneficial for health and is a good season also for cuisines.

  • Pregnancy : Its has been proven that Black cumin mixed in milk with honey is extremely beneficial for women during pregnancy. Drinking the mixture increases amount of breast-milk secretion. Consumption of the mixture initiates the foetus in healthy development, leading to a smooth delivery of a healthy child.
  • Digestion : Consumption of Black cumin helps in proper digestion. The seeds contain agents that simulate and increase secretion of some pancreatic enzymes, which in turn results in smooth and easy digestion.
  • Sleeping Disorder : Consumption of a mixture of fried powder of Black cumin powder with ripe bananas treat sleeping disorder and brings a light hearted peaceful sleep.
  • Memory Problem : It has been observed that consumption of Black cumin seeds and oil help increase the memory strength, treat dullness, and is even useful in curing amnesia.
  • Iron Supplier : Black cumin seeds contain great deal of iron in them. Iron help in energy production and improve immunity system of human body. Iron is an essential component of haemoglobin, which transports oxygen to all the body cells from lungs.
  • Metabolism : Black cumin seeds and extracts are a healthy tonic for human body and help in a healthier and smoother metabolism.
  • Antiseptic : Black cumin evolves into a antiseptic potion when diluted in water. This potion works as an effective kitchen remedy for treating common cold, fevers, and throat sore as well if ginger is also mixed in the potion.
  • Stomach Problems : Black cumin seeds are proven to be helpful in treating diarrhea, flatulence, atonic dyspepsia, and nausea.
  • Liver Detoxification : Black cumin has anti-carcinogenic agents that help in accelerating detoxification enzymes of the liver.
  • Renal Colic : Black cumin is known to be a reliable kitchen therapy to treat renal colic, when consumed in a mixture of black salt and caraway seeds.
  • Medicinal Uses : Since ancient days Black cumin has been considered as an all-healer.
  1. It is used to treat many of the physical maladies.
  2. It treats stomach upset, toothaches, headaches, infections, and colds among the small term illness.
  3. It is said to be effective in treating asthma, bronchitis, and allergies.
  4. Research have even shown that Black cumin instigate bone marrow immune cells that help in fighting bacterial infections.

Black Cumin Side Effects

Not much is known about drastically harming side effects of consuming Black cumin seeds or oil. It is advisable to avoid consumption of over amount of Black cumin products to be on a safe side.

  • Avoid over consumption of Black cumin during pregnancy, as that might lead to complications in the child’s growth inside the womb.
  • Possibilities are also there that over consumption of Black cumin can prevent or slow down contraction of uterus.
  • Black cumin contains medicinal properties. Over consumption of the Black cumin leads to over consumption of those medicinal agents as well. This could lead to skin rashes and other mostly skin related side effects.

During pregnancy doctor’s advice should be followed while consuming Black cumin products for the mother’s and child’s safety. If anyone is allergic to any type of cumin but need to consume for some specific reason then also medical suggestion is advisable.

Picture of Black Cumin Picture 4 – Black Cumin Image Source – flickr.com

Black Cumin Uses

Black cumin is a multi-purpose seed. Both the seeds and oil are extremely beneficial, and are widely used.

  • Culinary Uses : The most common use of Black cumin is as a seasoning in food recipes in mostly in Asian, Mediterranean, and Middle East countries. It adds a great flavour and an enticing aroma to the cuisines.
  • Homeopathy Uses : In the western countries Black cumin is widely used as homeopathic remedy to cure many ailments.
  • Aayuredic Uses : Black cumin finds its importance in aayurvedic medical treatment around the world.
  • Kitchen Remedy : Black cumin has many medicinal properties and thus is a very popular kitchen remedy to various maladies like common cold, fever, throat sore, stomach upset, headache, toothache, asthma, bronchitis, and many more.
  • Personal Care Uses : Black cumin is known for its nutrient components that are good for hair and nails. Nourishing hair and nails with black cumin seeds mixed in some other skin friendly oil, or black cumin oil itself, strengthens and makes hair and nails shiny.

Black cumin is an all rounder health beneficial seed. The oil is also very beneficial. It is easy available, easy affordable, and an aromatic seasoning for most Asian food recipes. With all its medicinal properties and nutritional benefits, Black cumin is one of most widely used and admired seeds. Get it the next time while grocery shopping and make the most out of this delicious seasoning agent with lot of health benefits.

Reference:

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/benefits-of-black-cumin-7720.html

http://growingtaste.com/herbs/cumin.shtml www.wikipedia.com

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