Black seeds or Nigella sativa date back to ancient history. They were actually found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, a pharaoh of Egypt. Since only those things were kept in the tombs of pharaohs which assisted them in afterlife you can know the importance of black seeds in the Egyptian culture. Black seeds or Nigella sativa are actually known by various names such as Roman Coriander, Onion seeds, Black Caraway seeds and Black Sesame etc.
Though very cheap and fairly common, especially in Asian and Arabian regions, black seeds are not so well known in the rest of the world. The Assyrians called black seed "tin-tir" which loosely means 'tree of life' or 'sacred plant' and its importance in Assyrian culture can be known by the fact that the most ancient name for Babylon was "tin-tir-ki" which means 'the place of the tree of life'. The Arabs call black seeds "Habattul-barkah" which means 'seed of abundance/blessing'.
In Islamic culture it is believed that black seeds or Nigella sativa can "cure everything except death." We may never be able to prove that but its various other benefits have certainly been proved and there is ample evidence as to its health benefits, some of which are given below.
17 Amazing Health Benefits of Black Seed or Nigella Sativa
- Diabetes: Black seeds or Nigella sativa are very beneficial for both type 1 as well as type 2 diabetes. Black seeds regenerate beta cells in pancreas, reduce insulin-resistance and increase the level of insulin in diabetic patients.
- Cancer: Thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone, two phytochemicals present in black seeds or Nigella sativa have been found to reduce tumor cells in cancer patients. So black seeds or Nigella sativa help in different types of cancer including leukemia, colon cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer and it even induces apoptosis in oral cancer cells.
- MRSA: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is an antibiotic resistant bacterial disease which is quite deadly. Black seeds or Nigella sativa have been found to aid in the treatment of the disease to a large extent.
- Hepatoprotective: All toxins in the body are processed in the liver as it all goes through the liver at one time or another. Black seeds or Nigella sativa benefit the liver by protecting it against the harmful effects of the toxins.
- Anti-Hypertensive: Black seeds also help in decreasing high blood pressure due to its anti-hypertensive property.
- Low Risk of Heart Attacks: Daily use of black seeds or Nigella sativa is quite beneficial in reducing the risk of heart attacks in heart patients.
- Respiratory Ailments: A study has proved that the use of black seeds extract can reduce respiratory problems and chest pains and wheezing in people suffering from respiratory ailments.
- Weight Loss: Even though black seeds or Nigella sativa do not have traditional weight loss properties, it can still help in losing weight indirectly by helping the liver rid the body of toxins, balancing sugar levels in the body and controlling appetite.
- Dementia and Parkinson's Disease: Black seeds or Nigella sativa help in these two diseases by protecting the neurons against synapse damage due to the presence of thymoquinone.
- Protection Against Scars: Application of black seeds oil can prevent the formation of scars after surgery.
- Asthma: Black seeds or Nigella sativa have bronchodilator properties which help in expanding airways and thus help patients suffering from asthma. Black seeds extract, made by boiling black seeds in water, has been found to be more effective than certain medicines.
- Epilepsy: Black seeds have anti-spasmodic properties. Therefore, black seeds can be used to reduce seizures in epileptic patients to a large extent.
- Opium Addiction: Black seeds or Nigella sativa help in combating addiction of opiates. Regular use of black seeds could help an addict get rid of it.
- Protection Against Toxicity: Black seeds can help in protecting against damage caused by toxic substances such as brain damage caused by lead poisoning.
- Analgesic: Black seeds have been found to have analgesic i.e. pain reducing property.
- Anti-Bacterial: Thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone and thymol are three phytochemicals found in black seeds or Nigella sativa which inhibit the growth of 30 different pathogens.
- Antioxidant: Black seeds or Nigella sativa also have antioxidant properties and hence help the body in detoxification.
These are some of the amazing health benefits of black seeds or Nigella sativa. When you really look at it, natural remedies are the best due to many reasons, least of which is that they rarely exhibit side-effects which are quite common in modern medicines. After all, who can compete with Nature or God (whatever you may want to call it), when it comes to treating ailments. Furthermore, a lot of these diseases are becoming common these days due to folks going farther away from nature. So here is some food for thought that even though it is not too late for us to come back yet but it might be in the near future.
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