Nigella Sativa was discovered in th Giza pyramid in Tutankhamen’s tomb (1567-1320 B.C), implying that it played an important role in ancient Egyptian practices. Although its exact role in Egyptian culture is not known, we do know that items entombed with a king were carefully selected to assist him in the afterlife. The plants found can be seen on display in the Cairo Museum in Egypt.
The earliest written reference to black seed is found in the book of Isiah in the Old Testament. Isiah contrasts the reaping of black cumin with wheat: For the black cumin is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over the cumin, but the black cumin is beaten out with a stick, and the cumin with a rod. (Isiah 28:25,27 NKJV). Easton’s Bible Dictionary clarifies that the Hebrew word for black cumin, “ketsah,” refers to “without doubt the Nigella Sativa, a small annual of the order Ranunculaceae which grows wild in the Mediterranean countries, and is cultivated in Egypt and Syria for its seed.”
Dioscoredes, a Greek physician of the 1st century, recorded that black seeds were taken to treat headaches, nasal congestion, toothache, and intestinal worms. They were also used, he reported, as a diuretic to promote menstruation and increase milk production.
The Muslim scholar al-Biruni (973-1048), who composed a treatise on the early origins of Indian and Chinese drugs, mentions that the black seed is a kind of grain called alwanak in the Sigzi dialect. Later, this was confirmed by Suhar Bakh who explained it to be habb-I-Sajzi (viz.Sigzi grains). This reference to black seed as “grains” points to the seed’s possible nutritional use during the tenth and eleventh centuries.
In the Greco-Arab/Urani-Tibb system of medicine, which originated from Hippocrates, his contemporary Galen and Ibn Sina, black seed has been regarded as a valuable remedy in hepatic and digestive disorders and has been described as a stimulant in a variety of conditions, ascribed to an imbalance of cold humors.
Ibn Sina (980-1037), famous for his volumes called “The Canon of Medicine,” regarded by many as the most famous book in the history of medicine, East or West, refres to black seed as the seed “that stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue and disspiritedness.”
Black seed is also included in the list of natural drugs of Al-Tibb al-Nabawi. There is a traditional saying “Hold onto the use of the black seed for it has a remedy for every illness except death.” This prophetic reference in describing black seed as “having a remedy for all illnesses” may not be so exaggerated as it at first appears. Recent research has provided evidence that indicates that black seed contains the ability to significantly boost the the human immune system –if taken over time. The prophetic phrase “hold onto the use of the seed, also emphasizes consistent usage of the seed.
Black seed has been traditionally and successfully used in the Middle and Far East countries to treat ailments including bronchial asthma and bronchitis, rheumatism and related inflammatory diseases, to increase milk production in nursing mothers, to treat digestive disturbances, to support the body’s immune system, to promote digestion and elimination, and to fight parasitic infestation. Its oil has been used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and boils and is used topically to treat cold symptoms.
The many uses of black seed have earned for this medicinal herb the Arabic approbation habbatul barakah, meaning “the seed of blessing”.
Carminative- Expels gases from stomach and intestines.
Stimulant- Increases functional activity of the brain.
Stomachic- Acts a gastric stimulant.
Locally, oil is anaesthetic- Causes the loss os sense of touch or feeling.
Vermifuge- Expeller of intestinal worms and parasites.
Biological Components of Nigella Sativa Top
Research studies confirm that black seed is the only natural herb that contains over 100 valuable biological nutrients, some of which have yet to be identified. It is a significant source of essential fatty acids, which are the building blocks of cells. Besides building cells and repairing tissue, form antibodi to combat invading bacteria and viruses; they are part of the enzyme and hormonal system: they build nucleoproteins, (RNA/ DNA): they carry oxygen throughout the body and participate in muscle activity.
Also rich in vitamins and minerals, natural vitamins are organis food substances found only in living things, that is, plants and animals. With few exceptions the body cannot manufacture or synthesize vitamins. They must be supplied in the diet or in dietary supplements. Vitamins and minerals are essential to the normal functioning of our bodies. They are necessary for our growth, vitality, and general well being.
Although some of the nutrients found in Black Seed are in small quantities, they are significant.
Below is only a partial list of some of the components and their reactions within the body.
Ascorbic acid --- Anti-arthritic, anti bacterial, anti cold, anti ulcer, Cancer & asthma preventative.
Asparagine --- Anti sickling, diuretic
Beta sisterol --- Anti bacterial, anti cancer, anti tumor
Calcium --- Anti allergic, anti atheriosclerotic, anti osteopotic
Carvone --- Antiseptic, cancer preventative, carminative, Insectifuge
Chromium --- Important in blood sugar metabolism, plays major role in the sensitivity of cells to insulin. Increases cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Improves glucose tolerance
Cobatt --- Stimulates the production of red blood cells
Copper --- Aids in the formation of red blood cells, helps proper formation of bone and maintenance
Cystine --- Anti homocystinuric
D-Limonene --- Anti-cancer (breast), anti tumor promoter, cancer preventative
Fiber --- Anti diabetic, anti obesity, anti tumor, anti ulcer, cancer preventative, cardio protective, laxative
Glucose --- Anti varicose, memory enhances
Glutamic --- Acid Anti epileptic, anti retardation
Glycine --- Anti acid, anti ulcer, cancer preventative, anti gastric
Hederagenin --- Anti allergenic, anti capillary fragility, anti fibrolytic, anti inflammatory, fungicide
Iodine --- Regulates the body’s production of energy, helps burn excess fat by stimulating the rate of metabolism. Improves mentality, speech, the condition of the hair, skin, teeth
Iron --- Anti anemic, anti menorrahgic
Isoleucine --- Anti encephalopathic
Leucine --- Anti encephalpathic, Essential
Linoleic acid --- Anti anaphylactic, anti arteriosclerotic, anti arthritic, anti ecxematic, anti histaminic, anti inflammatory, anti menorrhagic, cancer preventive
Lysine --- Anti herpatic, anti alkalotic
Magnesium --- regulates the neuromuscular activity of the heart, converts blood sugar into energy
Methionine --- Anti catarrh, anti eczematic, cancer preventative, anti oxidant
Myristic acid --- Cancer preventative, lubricant
Nigellone --- Anti asthmatic, anti bronchitic, anti histaminic, anti spasmodic
Oleic acid --- Anti inflammatory, cancer preventative
Palmitic acid --- Anti fibrinolytic
Phenylalanine --- Anti ADD, anti parkinsonian, anti depressant
Phytosterols --- Block the uptake of cholesterol and facilitate its excretion from the body. Blocks the development of tumors in colon breast and prostate glands and reduces inflammation
Potassium --- Anti depressant, anti fatigue, anti hypertensive, anti pasmodic. Promotes healthy hair and skin
Beta Sisterol --- Anti carcinogenic activity
Selenium --- is a major antioxidant nutrient. It decreases the risk of breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer. It preserves tissues elasticity. Helps in the treatment and prevention of dandruff
Serine --- Cancer preventative
Sodium --- Hypertensive
Stigmasterol --- Anti hepatotoxic, anti inflammatory, anti viral, cancer preventative, ovulant
Tannin --- Anti tumor, anti bacterial, anti cancer, anti carcinogenic, anti diarrhoic, anti dysenteric, anti oxidant, anti ulcer, anti viral
Threonine --- Anti bacterial, anti streptococci
Thymohydroquinone --- Anti arthritic, anti asthmatic, anti bacterial, anti histamine, anti oxidant
Tryptophan Analgestic --- anti anxiety, anti dementia, anti hypertensive, anti parkinsonian, anti migraine, anti insomniac, anti maniac
Tyrosine --- Anti parkinsonian, cancer preventative
Thymoquinone --- Anti arthritic, anti asthmatic, anti bacterial, anti oxidant
Vitamin A --- Necessary for growth and repair of body tissue. Helps maintain smooth (beta carotene) soft disease free skin and reduces the risk of lung cancer
Vitamin B1 --- Aids in digestion of carbohydrates, Essential for the normal (Thiamin) functioning of the nervous system, muscles and heart. Promotes growth and good muscle tone, stabilizes appetite
Vitamin B2 --- Metabolizes carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Aids in the formation of (Riboflavin) anti bodies and red blood cells. Promotes general health necessary for the maintenance of good vision, skin, nail, and hair
Zinc --- Anti oxidant, necessary for protein syntheses and wound healing, maintains the body’s alkali balance Top
About OMEGA 3
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (EPA and DHA) from Fish/Marine Oils —
What It Is:
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the two principal fatty acids found in fish. They belong to a family of essential nutrients known as omega-3 fatty acids. The body can manufacture both EPA and DHA from another essential fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) — found in flaxseed oil, canola oil, soy oil and walnut oil — but only to a limited extent. For more information see the separate review of flaxseed oil and omega-6 products.
What It Does:
(For dosages see What to Consider When Using.)
Increased consumption of fish oil may help slow the progression of atherosclerosis and thereby prevent heart attacks, and also reduce risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrythmias. Omega-3 fatty acids have a number of heart-healthy effects, including reducing triglyceride levels, raising levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol and, possibly, "thinning" the blood, reducing levels of homocysteine and reducing blood pressure. Fish oils also appear to enhance the effectiveness of statin drugs used to improve cholesterol profile.
Arthritis and Other Inflammatory Diseases:
EPA and DHA have been tried in the treatment of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis with considerable success (especially in early stages of the disease). These oils may also be useful in the treatment of menstrual cramps, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease), lupus, and IgA nephropathy.
Psychiatric and Mental Disorders:
For reasons that are less clear, omega-3s seem to help depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, according to a limited number of double-blind trials. Fish oil has also been proposed for attention deficit disorder, borderline personality disorder, dyslexia and cognitive impairment, but as yet the supporting evidence for these uses remains exceedingly preliminary.
Other proposed uses of fish oils with some support include asthma, Raynaud's phenomenon (abnormal sensitivity of hands and feet to cold), chronic fatigue syndrome, cystic fibrosis, osteoporosis, reducing the risk of prostate cancer and preventing weight loss during cancer chemotherapy. DHA is important for normal development and functioning of the brain and retina in the fetus and in infants and may also reduce the risk of premature delivery in pregnant women.
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