What is it? This little seed is not new to the Mediterranean or the Middle East. Nigella sative, is not only a food but also a valued traditional medicine that has been used to treat many different ailments for thousands of years.
The black seed is a herbaceous plant although has no relation to the kitchen herb, cumin. It has been said to have a slight peppery flavor and is great sprinkled on breads and cheese. Black seed is tiny and hairy and about 3mm in length, coming from the fennel flower plant of the buttercup family.
How does it work? Black seed can help with:
- Digestive problems including intestinal gas and diarrhea
- High blood pressure
- Immune System booster
- Cancer prevention
- Birth control
- Menstrual disorders
- Increasing breast milk flow
- Achy joints
- Skin conditions
- Parasitic worms
How can I use it? There are several ways to use black seed:
- Eat black seeds plain
- Eat a teaspoon of black seed mixed with honey
- Boil black seed with water. Strain and drink
- Heat black seed and warm milk until it begins to boil. Remove from heat. Cool, then drink
- Grind black seed and swallow it with water and milk
- Sprinkle on bread and pastries
- Burn black seed with bukhoor (incense) for a pleasant scent
Any precautions? Black seed, when used in small quantities, such as a flavoring for foods, appears to be safe for most people, however can cause allergic rashes when applied to the skin. Not much is known about the safety of black seed during breast-feeding and for pregnant women, it can cause the uterus to stop or slow down contractions.
Always consult your physician before trying any new supplement.