Black Cumin Seeds ( Nigella Sativa)


Nigella "Black Cumin", is one of the medical and aromatic plants from the Ranunculaceae (buttercup family) family and it is considered as one of the most important plant in Syria. It has been planted since the old ages in many Syrian regions.The plantation is done in December/ January and the fruits become ripe during June, according to the region which grows the plant. They yield a seed capsule with five compartments each topped by a spike. The compartments open when dried to disperse the seeds. The seeds have little bouquet, though when they are rubbed they give off an aroma reminiscent of oregano. This seed has been known since the old ages.
It tastes slightly bitter and peppery with a crunchy texture. And its flavor distinguishes it.
Syria is one of the most important countries that export Nigella.

Main Constituents

The seeds contain numerous esters of structurally unusual unsaturated fatty acids with terpene alcohols (7%); fat oil content is about 40%. Furthermore, traces of alkaloids (nigelline-N-oxide, nigellone, nigellimine) are reported. In addition to the acid value (mg KOH/g fat)<10 Oil content (g/100g)>35.

In the essential oil (avr. 0.5%, max. 1.5%), thymoquinone was identified as the main component (54%) besides p-cymene, dithymoquinone and thymohydroquinone. Other terpene derivatives were found only in trace amounts: Carvacrol, carvone, limonene, 4-terpineol, citronellol.

It’s usage all over the world

Nigella is used whole to spice vegetables and pulses, usually after it has been dry roasted to heighten its aroma and flavor. It is an ingredient of several spice mixes and is sprinkled on bread. It is also used to season bread in the Middle East and of course in Syria. Syrian bread frequently shows the characteristically shaped black grains. The used parts of the plant are deep black, sharp-cornered seed grains

Culinary Uses

Nigella is used in India and the Middle East as a spice and condiment and occasionally in Europe as both a pepper substitute and a spice. It is widely used in Indian cuisines, particularly in mildly braised lamb dishes such as korma. It is also added to vegetable and dhal dishes as well as in chutneys. The seeds are sprinkled on to naan bread before baking.Also Nigella is an ingredient of some garam masalas and is one of the five spices in panch phoran. The seeds may be used whole or ground and are usually fried or roasted before use and they are easily crushed in a mortar and pestle.

Attributed Medicinal Properties

Arab herbalists and pharmacists have used Nigella since antiquity and Nigella is used in Indian medicine as a carminative and stimulant and is used against indigestion and bowel complaints. The seed yields a volatile oil containing melanthin, nigilline, damascene and tannin. It is commonly used for bronchial asthma, bronchitis, and other ailments of the respiratory tract. It is used to reduce inflammation, for digestive disturbances and constipation, to fight worms of the digestive tract, to improve kidney function and get rid of stones, to improve milk production in nursing mothers, to detoxify and strengthen the liver for increased energy and as a general tonic. It also has been found to increase sperm count in men. In addition, it is used topically for skin conditions such as eczema and infections.

Patients with various types of defense system dysfunction for example, too much protection, or misguided protection where body fights its own tissue, the Black Seed and Garlic combination can help restore normal protection. This is the beauty, it restores the "normal".