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Arabic Name : Shooneez, Habba Sauda, Habb al-barka
Bengali Name : Mota Kalajira, Mugrela
Chinese Name : Pei hei zhong cao
English Name : Black Cumin, Fitches
French Name : Cheveux de Vénus, Nigelle
German Name : Schwarzkümmel
Gujarati Name : Kalonji Jeeru, Kalounji
Hindi Name : Kalonji
Kannada Name : Karijirige
Kashmiri Name : Kalonji
Latin name : Nigella sativa Linn.
Marathi Name : Kalaunji Jire
Persian Name : Siah Dana
Punjabi Name : Kalvanji
Sanskrit Name : Upakunchika
Urdu Name : Kalonji
It’s therapeutic use was initiated after the advent of Islam, since, Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) mentioned its therapeutic efficacy and potential of cure. Hazrat Abu Hurairah States - “I have heard from Rasool Allah (Pbuh) that there is cure for every disease in black seeds except death and black seeds are showneez.” Salim Bin Abdullah narrates with reference to his father Hazrat Abdullah Bin Omar that Rasool Allah (Pbuh) said, “Let fall these black seeds upon you, these contain cure for all diseases except death.” The same narration is found in Sanad-e-Ahmed from Hazrat Aisha (t) and in Ibn-al-Jozi and Trimizi from Abu Huraira. Hazrat Buraida narrates that Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) stated - “Showneez is cure for all ailments except death.” It is stated in the books of seerat that Nabi-e-Akram (Pbuh) himself used to take these seeds for therapeutic purpose but with the syrup of Honey.
Seeds are considered antibilious, antiinflammatory, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactagogue, resolvent, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. Used in allergies, colds and fevers. It is also useful in a wide variety of other diseases and conditions including bilious ailments, cancer, colic, corns, eruptions, headaches, jaundice, myrmecia, orchitis, puerperal fever, sclerosis, stomachache, swellings, tumors of the abdomen and eyes, and warts.
For upper respiratory conditions, at least a few of its constituents have shown an antihistamine-like action, which explains is positive effects for upper respiratory diseases including asthma, bronchitis, cough and flu. The oils of the seed increase milk flow in nursing mothers which explains its use as a galactagogue. The seeds promote menstrual periods.
It also has a positive effect on liver diseases. One of its most obvious uses is for diarrhoea and dysentery, combined with astringents. Externally the seeds can be ground to a powder, mixed with a little flour as a binder and applied directly to abscesses, on the forehead for headache, nasal ulcers, orchitis, and rheumatism. The seeds also are a rich source of sterols, especially beta-sitosterol, which is known to have anticarcinogenic activity. This substantiates its use for indurations and/or tumors of the abdomen, eyes and liver.
Nigella seeds are combined with various purgatives to allay gripping and colic and also help kill and expel parasites. Unani medicine affirms its abortifacient properties and also use it as a diuretic to relieve ascites, for coughs, eye-sores, hydrophobia, jaundice, paralysis, piles and tertian fever.
Many herbalists in current times embrace the healing properties of Nigella seed oil. For example, the oil is sometimes used externally to treat such skin care problems as psoriasis, eczema, and dry skin, and internally to treat stomach problems, respiratory ailments, and allergies, as well as to improve circulation and the immune system. In recent years, the oil has been the subject of immune system research.
One reason that is often given for the medicinal value of Nigella seed oil is its richness in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help to produce prostaglandin E1. Prostaglandin E1 has many functions in the body, particularly in relation to the immune system, sugar metabolism, skin infections, and blood clots. It is also believed to protect the stomach lining.
Recommended Dosage: 1 to 2 g powder of seeds and 2.5 ml to 5 ml oil.
Contraindication: Contact allergic dermatitis can occur with topical use of the oil. This herb is contraindicated during pregnancy.