The benefits of black cumin are various, known for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, antidiabetic, hypotensive, stimulating, digestive, and diuretic action.
The black cumin or nigella sativa is an herbaceous plant of the family of buttercups. It is a pale blue or white flower, which can reach 30 or 40 cm in height. This plant, native to Asia Minor, is cultivated for its edible seeds, which are used as a spice or as a remedy in traditional medicine.
Used for many years, this plant grows in many countries. We find it especially in Egypt, with all its legends. Black cumin is cultivated for its seeds, which are very aromatic, triangular, angular, of intense black, 2 to 3 mm long with a lemony aroma, a little spicy and bitter.
In this article, we are going to discover the virtues and benefits of black cumin.
1. What is the composition of black cumin?
Black cumin seeds are rich in nutrients. They contain proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids as well as secondary metabolites.
They are rich in thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, dithymoquinone, thymol, monounsaturated oleic fatty acids (omega-9), polyunsaturated linoleic fatty acids (omega-6), omega-3, saturated fatty acids palmitic, and stearic.
They are an excellent source of vitamins, especially vitamins E and A.
There are other constituents such as p-cymene, melanthin, nigelline and nigellone, thymoquinone, glucosides, carotene, minerals, carotenoids, unsaponifiable, etc.
2. The benefits of black cumin
2.1 Action on the immune system
The exceptional composition of the black cumin (vitamins, enzymes, trace elements, omega-6, omega-3, etc.) makes this spice boost and strengthen the immune system. It acts mainly in 3 different ways:
- Immunostimulatory activity: thanks to its formidable composition, the nigella is capable of strengthening the immune responses by promoting the action of T lymphocytes and NK lymphocytes (Natural Killer).
- Antimicrobial activity: Natural anti-infectious studies have proven its broad-spectrum antimicrobial action: antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
- Anti-inflammatory activity: its anti-inflammatory action has a very broad action on many ailments in the body. Many pathologies are linked to inflammation.
2.2 Action on the respiratory system
Black cumin seeds (Nigella sativa) are useful against some respiratory problems.
The organic oils in these seeds contain antihistamines, which are expectorant and have antibiotic properties.
These can help protect respiratory health from infectious attacks caused by viruses and bacteria.
The regular application and consumption of these seeds can reduce bronchial congestion and help control sputum increase and treat asthma.
2.3 Action on the digestive system
On the stomach, the cumin is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties; it has powerful antibacterial properties, amplified by its immunostimulatory properties, which will cleanse the stomach in depth.
Besides, its antispasmodic properties help relieve gastric spasms.
Black cumin, therefore, helps relieve digestive disorders of the stomach: belching, abdominal pain, gastroesophageal reflux, nausea, bloating, loss of appetite, but also gastric burns (heartburn).
2.4 Action on the urinary system
One of the benefits of black cumin is that it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, with an effective anti-infectious action, which makes it possible to treat urinary tract infections and inflammations of the bladder wall, and thus to treat cystitis.
In addition, it is a seed with diuretic properties that can increase the volume of urine and help drain toxins from the body.
2.5 Helps control cholesterol
Black cumin seeds (Nigella Sativa) help to fight cholesterol as unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants in the seeds work positively to eliminate cholesterol.
And it helps to remove the fat that accumulates in the arteries and thus avoid infection with atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.
2.6 Reduces high blood pressure
These seeds are known to be effective in lowering blood pressure rates and have proven to be very useful in maintaining stable blood pressure levels in people with moderate high blood pressure.
2.7 It protects against cancer
Black cumin seeds are known for their ability to reduce the development of cancer cells in the breast and are also used to prevent the development of cancer cells in the mouth, colon, and cervix.
2.8 Action on diabetes
Studies have shown that regular consumption of black cumin seeds helps reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance. Nigella is, therefore, a natural remedy for mild type 2 diabetes.
2.9 Help reduce rheumatic pain
Some rheumatic pain can be relieved with black cumin seeds.
Omega-3 fatty acids, along with the antioxidants and essential minerals found in these seeds, can help relieve the rheumatic pain caused by tissue inflammation.
The consumption and the external application can help reduce the intensity of pain. In addition to that, it contributes to improving blood circulation in the affected areas, which is crucial to reduce the symptoms associated with rheumatic pain.
2.10 Beneficial for general well-being
The black cumin, thanks to its extraordinary nutritional composition, is an excellent dietary supplement. It is good to consume it at the change of season to counter fatigue, stock up on energy, strengthen your immune system, and improve your well-being.
It has a sedative and calming action, allowing to relieve states of stress or anxiety, so it is beneficial for promoting sleep and fighting insomnia.
It would fight against male and female infertility, stimulate fertility in women by facilitating cell division of the ovum, strengthening the functioning and action of the gonads, and regulating the menstrual cycles of women.
Thanks to its action on blood sugar, its purgative and detoxifying effects, and its stimulating effect on metabolism, black cumin goes along diets to facilitate weight loss, as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Other health benefits of black cumin
- Reduce headaches, migraines, and dizziness, applied and massaged on the temples
- Relieve joint pain, dental pain and pain in general, in local applications and massages, thanks to their anti-inflammatory and calming properties
- Unclog congested nose and inhaled bronchi.
- Relieve skin problems when applied locally: abscess, psoriasis, acne, eczema, burns, scars, irritations, bruises, yeast infections, etc.
- Help prevent premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, treat skin problems, and help to have beautiful skin.
- Help stop hair loss and promote their regrowth.
3. How to take the black cumin?
There are many ways to consume black cumin for health; the main ways are:
- Eat the seeds directly
- Mix the seeds with honey
- Cooking the seeds
- Infuse the seeds
- Transform them into oil or syrup
- Other more marginal uses: gargles, inhalation, etc.
4. Precautions for using the black cumin
If consumed in excess, the black cumin can be slightly toxic, but not dangerous.
There are no contraindications, no undesirable effects, and no recognized interaction with a drug or with another medicinal plant. It is one of the safest natural remedies.
Children from 6 years old can consume it, but it is not recommended as a precaution for pregnant women.
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Originally published on Live Positively.