The Nigella sativa is commonly known as black cumin and small fennel. It is known as kalonji and kalajira in hindi. The seeds of the Nigella sativa and its oil have long been used in the Indian as well as Arabian civilization. The seeds of the Nigella sativa are used for flavoring and to improve digestion. It is also known to provide warmth to an individual in cold climatic conditions. They are also scattered on the folds of woolen fabrics for preserving them from insect infestation.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NIGELLA SATIVA
A small prostrate of this annual herb can grow up to the height of 45 cm. It has 2 to 3 slender pinnate leaves and approximately 2 to 4 cm long cuts into the linear segment. These segments are oblong. The flowers of the Nigella sativa are pale blue in color and have seeds that are black in color.
The Nigella sativa plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean region and can also be found in the regions of Jammu, Kashmir, Bihar, Assam, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. It is also found and cultivated in north eastern and Bengal region of India.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF THE HERB
The Nigella sativa seeds are used widely as a aromatic, stimulant, carminative, galactogogue, diaphoretic and an anthelmintic. It is used as a condiment in curries cooked across India. a tincture made from Nigella sativa seeds is used to relieve the problem of indigestion, diarrhea, dysentery, amenorrhea, appetite loss, worm infections, skin eruptions and dysmenorrheal. The oil is used externally as an antiseptic. The seeds are roasted and used to relieve the problem of vomiting.
The chemical constituents of Nigella sativa are alkaloids like nigellicine, nigellidine and nigellimine. It also contains Flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol glycosides. The Nigella sativa is also rich in saponins, sterols, volatile and fixed oil.
AYURVEDIC PROPERTIES OF NIGELLA SATIVA
- Rasa: Katu (pungent), tikta (bitter)
- Dosha: Pacifies vatta and kapha
- Guna: Laghu (light), ruksha (dry), tikshna (sharp)
- Vipaka: Katu (pungent)
- Veerya: Ushna (hot)
CARE FOR AILMENTS
The Nigella sativa has the following relieving effects and properties:
- Anti microbial: The plant shows strong antimicrobial properties mainly against viruses. The essential oil has also shown positive results against gram positive and gram negative bacteria.
- Hepatoprotective activity: The thymoquinone in Nigella sativa give it this property.
- Anti diabetic activity: The Nigella sativa is known to have significant amounts of hypoglycaemic activity due to the presence of essential oil. This is prescribed to patients suffering from diabetes.
- Anti inflammatory property: Asthma and arthritis cause inflammation and this can be relieved with thymoquinone that is obtained from the seeds of the Nigella sativa.
- Anti oxytoxic property: This helps in providing smooth muscle contraction and better uterine conditions.
- Cytotoxic activity: The herb contains immunopotentiating effects and has anti tumor benefits.
- Anthelmintic properties: This has been found in Nigella sativa and it helps against the problem of tapeworm infections.
- Analgesic action: The essential oil in the Nigella sativa provides in with analgesic properties.
- Hypocholesterolaemic property.
- Anti hypertensive properties.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS FOR USING THIS HERB
The seeds of Nigella sativa are used in food and for medical purposes. There have been no reported side effects of the herb when it has been consumed as per recommendation. However, it has been noticed that excessive consumption of seeds of Nigella sativa can cause dermatitis.
The Nigella Sativa oil also contains melanthin which is toxic in large doses and nigelline that can act as a paralytic.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS THAT USE THIS HERB
The team of Planet Ayurveda provides the following formulations that contain the Nigella sativa extracts:
We at Planet Ayurveda are constantly working on providing the best to our customers. Our products are vegetarian and do not contain any preservatives. The ingredients we use are organically grown. We also do not endorse or practice the testing of products on animals. We have a strict quality policy that we always comply with.