Botanical Name- Nigella Sativa Linn.
Family Name- Apiacea
Part of usage: Seed/Seed oil
Kalonji seeds, known as ’seed of blessing’, are widely employed in ancient medicine and cuisines for their medicinal properties and unusual flavour. These seeds are an important part of ayurveda treatment, and they’re commonly used to treat stomach, eye, heart, and neurological problems. These black cumin seeds have also been found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, representing a great importance in ancient Egyptian civilization. In India, dry roasted Kalonji is used to flavour curries, dal, stir-fried vegetables, naans, etc. It is also used in pickles as a flavoring agent.
Main constituent present in it is it's essential oil, Nigellone. Nigella seeds contains fixed oils (Arachidonic, Eicosadienoic, Linoleic, Linolenic, Oleic, etc.), proteins, alkaloids, saponins, and essential oils (Thymoquinone (TQ), Thymohydroquinone (THQ), Dithymoquinone).
What do Ayurvedic texts say about it?
Kalajaji, Kalika (assist in breaking through training performance peaks), Karavi, Pruthvi, Pruthvika, Upakunchika, Sushavi, Bashpika, Kunji, Upakunjika.
- Rasa (taste)- Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter)
- Guna (qualities)- Rooksha (dryness), Laghu (lightness)
- Vipaka- Katu (Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion)
- Veerya (potency)- Ushna (Hot potency)
- Effect on Tridosha: Pacifies Kapha and Vata Dosha. Increases Pitta.
Ayurvedic health benefits:
- Sangrahi: binds bowel in IBS, diarrhoea, dysentery, etc
- Pittalam: increases pitta dosha
- Medhyam: brain tonic
- Garbhasya-vishuddhikar: cleanses uterine cavity
- Jwaraghan: provide relief from fever
- Pachana: improves digestion
- Vrushyam: increases libido
- Rochana: improves taste and appetite
- Kapha-hara: balances kapha dosha
- Chakshushya: improves eye health
- Adhmanahara: relieves bloating
- Gulmahara: useful in abdominal diseases
- Chardihara: relieves vomiting
- Atisarahara: useful in diarrhoea
- Deepana: boosts up digestive fire
- Vata-nashnam: balances Vata dosha
- Daurgandhya-nashana: relieves bad breath and odour
- Sandhan-yogya: heals broken tissues
- Pravartati Artavam: induces menstruation
- Ajeerna-har: relieves indigestion
- Jantughana: kills intestinal worms.
Indications of Black Niger seeds/seed oil:
- Respiratory problems like bronchitis, congestion, asthma, etc.
- Cold and headache
- Male infertility
- Weight loss
- Skin diseases like eczema, vitiligo, etc.
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Cancer prevention
- Immunity enhancement
- Post delivery care
How to use:
- Take 2-5 drops of Kalonji oil. Mix it with coconut oil. Apply to the affected area once a day to manage breast pain.
- Take Kalonji oil and mix it with coconut oil/ rose water. Apply to the affected skin in case of skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, etc.
- Consume ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Kalonji oil with warm water once a day after taking food.
- Kalonji oil can be used in small amount for cooking to have a wholesome effect.
- Soak Kalonji seeds in fresh lemon juice and dry them under sun. Once the seeds absorb all the lemon juice, store it in an air tight container. Eat 10 seeds daily to lose extra fat.
- Rub lukewarm Kalonji oil on the chest to ease chest congestion, prevent runny nose and sneezing.
- Add a quarter spoon of Kalonji oil to a cup of black tea and drink it on an empty stomach to bring down the levels of blood sugar quickly.
- A decoction made with Kalonji is given to the mother from day 2 to day 10 after delivery, with a dose of 15ml in the morning, empty stomach to provide relief from stress and pain caused during delivery.
- Add half a spoon of Kalonji oil or seed powder to a fistful of fresh mint leaves that have been boiled in water. Consume it on an empty stomach every day to boost memory, concentration and prevent other neurological problems.
- Being a good anti-oxidant, it is applied externally in the case of vitiligo.
- To get rid of bad breath, take a half teaspoon of kalonji seeds and chew it 2 times a day for 10-15 days.
Don’t confuse Black nigela seeds with, Black cumin (Bunium bulbocastanum).
- People with Pitta prakriti should avoid this, because it can cause upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, heartburn and constipation.
- Contraindicated during pregnancy.
Always take prescription from an ayurvedic doctor while consuming any ayurvedic drug.
Editor- Debleena Chatterjee
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