WHAT IS NIGELLA SATIVA (BLACK SEED)?
Names Associated with Nigella Sativa:
It is variously referred to in Europe as black cumin or black caraway. To avoid confusing the issue, it is better to remember the botanical name Nigella Sativa. However you may find the following useful.
Black Seed Oil is referred to differently depending on where in the world you are. Variations can be found regionally, for example in Pakistan / India, it is referred to as Kalonji or Kalwanji Oil, whilst in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, it is commonly known as Habbat ul Sauda, Habbat ul Baraka.
The seeds are known by different names in as many cultures, the following are just a few:
Dutch Nigelle, Narduszaad
English Fennel flower, love in the mist, Onion seed, Black Cumin, Black Caraway, nutmeg flower, Roman coriander, Fitch
French Cheveux de Venus, Nigelle, Poivrette
German Zwiebelsame, Nigella, Schwarzkümmel Hindi: Kalonji, Munga reala, Kalongi
Italian Nigella Malay: Jintan hitam Russian: Charnushka, Singhalese: Kaluduru, Spanish: Niguilla, Pasionara
Tamil Karun jiragam
Turkish Çörekotu siyah
Please Note, there are many names attributed to Nigella Sativa. The above list is a mere guideline. As mentioned previously, the botanical name should more than suffice.
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
Taxon: Nigella sativa (Latin)
Parts Used: Seeds
An herbaceous plant of annual growth, belonging to th buttercup family, about 60cm high. The greyish green leaves are wispy and thread like. The flowers have five petals about 2.5 cm wide, white with blue veins and the plant appears between June and September.
Nigella seeds are small, black grains with a rough surface and an oily white interior. They are roughly triangulate (three sided), and approximately 1-3 mm long. The seeds have no natural smell although when they are rubbed they give off an aroma reminiscent of oregano. They have a strong, spicy / peppery taste, are slightly bitter, with a crunchy texture.
Chemical Makeup (Short List): Alanine, arginine, ascorbic-acid, asparagine, campesterol, carvone, cymene, cystine, dehydroascorbic-acid, eicosadienoic-acid, glucose, glutamic-acid, glycine, iron, isoleucine, leucine, d-limonene, linoleic acid, linolenic-acid, lipase, lysine, methionine, myristic-acid, nigellin, nigellone, oleic-acid, palmitic-acid, phenylalanine, phytosterols, potassium, beta-sitosterol, alpha-spinasterol, stearic-acid, stigmasterol, tannin, threonine, thymohydroquinone, thymoquinone, tryptophan.
NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION (TYPICAL AMOUNTS)
Plant Fats: 35-38%
Our Nigella is grown in Egypt or Turkey. These regions are considered by many to be the source of the best nigella in the world. We grow all our products using biodynamic agricultural methods, which insure the herbs are free of man made chemicals and of the highest quality. All the growing and processing of Iman virgin Black Seeds conform to the strict guidelines we set out therefore the natural purity and nutrients are always in abundance!
Nigella sativa contains over 100 valuable components. It is a significant source of protein, essential fatty acids (the type your body can’t produce), and many vitamins namely, A, B, B2, C & Niacin. Minerals include Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium & Selenium.
Vitamin A (retinol) plays a vital role in the functioning of the retina, growth and maturation of the cells lining the inner and outer surfaces of the body, growth of bone, reproduction and embryonic development. Several compounds have vitamin A activity and they are referred to as retinoids. They function with certain carotenoids to protect against the development of certain cancers and to enhance immune function. Carotenoids are substances that are consumed in the diet, some of which are converted to vitamin A. They may also have antioxidant activity. Vitamin A deficiency causes night blindness, a condition in which vision is impaired in dim light. Dryness and ulceration of the eyes, skin eruptions and dryness, abnormal cells of the mucous membranes, urinary stones, and impaired taste and smell also characterize the deficiency. Vitamin A is stored in several sites in the body, so when a deficiency occurs, supplements must be given long enough for these stores to be replenished. Lack of Vitamin A results in joint pain, dry and itchy skin, cracked lips, nausea and vomiting, weight loss
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is important for energy metabolism and in the initiation of nerve impulses. A deficiency of thiamine causes a condition known as beriberi. The major symptoms of the deficiency are related to the nervous system (i.e. sensory disturbances, muscle weakness, impaired memory) and the heart (i.e. shortness of breath, palpitations, and heart failure). Wernicke¹s syndrome is a serious complication of alcoholism and thiamine deficiency that may manifest as impaired muscle coordination, impaired ability to move the eyes, and marked confusion. It may lead to Korsakoff¹s psychosis, a chronic disorder in which memory and learning are impaired. Thiamine is used to treat thiamine deficiency. There are many unproven uses of thiamine including a treatment for poor appetite, canker sores, motion sickness, poor memory, fatigue and as an insect repellent.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is important in promoting the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It also aids in maintaining the integrity of red blood cells. Riboflavin deficiency can occur most frequently in people with long standing infections, liver disease, and alcoholism. A sore throat and sores at the corners of the mouth are generally the first symptoms of a deficiency. This can be followed by a swollen tongue, anaemia and impaired nerve function.
Nicotinic acid (Niacin, Vitamin B3) is important for the release of energy from carbohydrates and fats, the metabolism of proteins, making certain hormones, and assisting in the formation of red blood cells. Niacin deficiency causes pellagra, a condition that affects the skin, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, swollen tongue and weak nervous system. (I.e. headache, depression, impaired memory, hallucinations and dementia). Frequent causes of a deficiency result from a poor diet. Niacin is used for the treatment of niacin deficiency but at large doses is also used to treat high cholesterol and triglycerides.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) has many important functions in the body. It is a powerful antioxidant, protecting against oxidative damage to DNA, membrane lipids and proteins. It is involved in the synthesis of numerous substances such as collagen, certain hormones and transmitters of the nervous system, lipids and proteins. It is necessary for proper immune function, a fact that has led many to use vitamin C to prevent or treat colds, although this has not been supported by current studies. It may, however, shorten or reduce the severity of a cold.
Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, anaemia and general debility that can lead to death. Diets containing 200mg or more of vitamin C from fruits and vegetables are associated with a lower cancer risk, particularly for cancers of the colon, lung, mouth, oesophagus and stomach. Ascorbic acid alone does not appear to prevent heart disease, however the combined use with vitamin E may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Calcium in the body must be tightly controlled because it is necessary to cell function for such things as blood clotting, muscle contraction, enzyme reactions, cellular communication and skin differentiation. It also gives bones and teeth their strength. In fact, the hardest substance in the human body, tooth enamel, is 95% calcium. Calcium is rather deficient in the environment. The body has developed special mechanisms to extract calcium from dietary sources. A deficiency of calcium results in rickets in children and osteomalacia, both of which display a lack of bone mineralization. Calcium deficiency may also contribute to osteoporosis. Extra calcium in the body is usually excreted.
Potassium Functions: Fluid balance, transmission of nerve impulses, helps in the making of protein Deficiency: Muscle weakness, fatigue, confusion Toxicity: Muscle weakness, abnormal heart beat, vomiting
Iron is important in the transportation of oxygen from the lungs by way of the blood stream to the tissues. It is present in the red blood cell protein, haemoglobin. A similar protein in muscle, myoglobin, also contains iron and stores oxygen for use during muscle contraction. Iron is found in the portion of the cell involved in energy production and as a cofactor for several enzymes. Iron deficiency generally occurs during the growth period or when intake fails to replace iron loss that is associated with blood loss. When iron stores are depleted and there is inadequate production of heme (the portion of haemoglobin associated with the iron), the red blood cells become small (microcytic) and have decreased capacity to carry oxygen. There is also a drop in iron-containing enzymes that are important in cellular metabolism. This results in decreased work capacity, fatigue and altered behaviour such as irritability.
Selenium is an essential non-metallic element. Some reports have suggested that selenium may protect against certain types of cancer, but large trials in humans are needed to support this. Selenium is important for the function of several proteins. One of these is glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that prevents oxidative damage to cells from a variety of peroxides. Selenium also appears to bind to some minerals such as arsenic and mercury and decrease their toxicity. Symptoms of selenium deficiency include muscle weakness and pain, inflammation of the muscles, fragile red blood cells, degeneration of the pancreas, and abnormal coloration. There have also been associations of selenium deficiency with several diseases affecting the heart muscle, but a protective effect against heart disease has not been proven.
Magnesium works in conjunction with many enzymes that are involved in energy metabolism, protein synthesis and nucleic acid synthesis. Many people with migraine headaches have been found to have low levels of magnesium ions. A deficiency of magnesium is rare. Drugs that cause potassium depletion, such as certain diuretics, may also cause low magnesium levels. A deficiency can occur in diabetics, and in the presence of gastrointestinal disorders where absorption is impaired, such as prolonged diarrhoea. Magnesium appears to be involved in the regulation of calcium levels; therefore if magnesium levels are low, calcium levels may also be low and unresponsive to treatment unless magnesium levels are corrected. Signs of a deficiency include loss of appetite, irritability, disorientation, convulsions, and abnormal behaviour.
Zinc is important in growth, appetite, development of the testicles, skin integrity, mental activity, wound healing, and proper functioning of the immune system. Zinc is a cofactor for many enzymes, which means that zinc is necessary for the proper functioning of these enzymes. These enzymes participate in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids (such as DNA). Zinc is involved in the functioning of the immune system and in the expression of genetic information. Zinc has been used to reduce the duration or severity of the common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections of viral origin. Investigations are underway to verify these claims. A zinc deficiency may be associated with diets high in unrefined cereal and unleavened bread.
Black seed is a safe and effective herb that can be used by almost anyone. No irritations or side effects are caused when taken correctly. The benefits are realised medium to long term if taken regularly. We do not recommend Black seed oil to be taken by pregnant women. Children under 12 should take half the adult dosage. Not recommended for children under five.
DID YOU KNOW?
Nigella Sativa. is said to have been in use for 2000 years.
The use of Nigella Sativa. Originated in the Middle East and the Far East. From there it spread to other regions, such as Africa and Europe.
It is reported that, in the first century AD, the Greek physician, Dioscorides, recommended it. € Romans used it as a digestive aid.
Ancient Egyptians believed medicinal plants play a part in the afterlife of their pharaohs. Plants have been found in the Giza pyramid and can be seen on display in the Cairo Museum in Egypt. Nigella sativa has been found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Here at Iman products we are constantly striving to provide you with the best range of products to suit individuals of all ages and lifestyles. At present our research and development team is working continuously to bring forward more and more premium quality products. Products that stretch the boundaries of Excellence. Products you have come to expect from the producers of the finest quality Black seed oil in the market today.
Research paper: Nigella Sativa for Arthritis
Research paper: Nigella Sativa for Allergies
Research paper: Nigella Sativa for Cancer
Research paper: Nigella Sativa for Anti microbial activity
Research paper: Many other studies on the effectiveness of Black Seed Oil