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Black Seed, Nigella Sativa
Black Seed or Nigella sativa is one the most valued medicinal seeds in history. The oil extracted from these highly valuable granules is equally beneficial and is used for different medicinal purposes.

The black seed oil or Kalonji oil is usually cold pressed from the Nigella seeds. The oil does not show fluorescence, not even when diluted with alcohol. A fixed oil is produced by hydraulic expression of the seeds of Nigella Sativa.

The oil of Nigella Sativa is a yellowish to dark amber liquid which when included in diet supplies proteins, carbohydrates, vegetable oils and fats, Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids, essential oils (0.5-1.5%), trace elements and enzymes for vitality and good health of an individual.

Kalonji Oil Nutrient Content


Black seed oil contains numerous chemical compounds. Among its active ingredients are the antioxidants beta-sisterol, nigellone and thymoquinone. The oil also contains selenium, iron, arginine, carotene, calcium, potassium and several amino acids, including a high level of linoleic and smaller amounts of oleic, palmitic and stearic acids. Black seed oil also contains a type of plant saponin called melathin, which contains a significant amount of mucilage.

.The following charts reflect the approximate percentage of essential oils and unsaturated fatty acids in that can be found in Black seed/oil.

However the very often quoted historical reference of Nigella seeds comes from ancient Islamic literature, where the black cumin is regarded as one of the greatest healing herbs to ever exist.

Prophet Muhammad said “Hold on to the use of the black seed, for it has the cure for every illness except death.” He mentioned that the black seed is capable of curing every disease except death.It is stated in the books of seerat that Nabi-e-Akram (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) himself used to take these seeds for therapeutic purpose but with the syrup of Honey. According to Ancient Greek records, the great physician of 1st century, Dioscoredes used black seeds to treat a variety of illnesses like intestinal parasites, toothaches, headaches, respiratory congestion and amenorrhea. He used it as a diuretic to promote menstruation and increase milk production.

Kalonji Essential Oil Composition


(In the essential oil present in 0.5% to 1.5% in black seeds)
Essential Oil Composition (0.5% to 1.5%) Percentage in Black Seed Oil
Cymene 30%
Alfa-Pinene 10%
Thymoquinone Upto 50%


Kalonji Oil Composition of Unsaturated Fatty Acids

Unsaturated Fatty Acids

Percentage in Black Seed Oil

linoleic acid 50-60%
oleic acid 20%
dihomolinoleic acid 10%
Palmitic acid, Stearic acid 30% or less

Kalonji Oil Pharmacological Effects


According to a paper in the June 2005 issue of "Food Control," black seed oil effectively counters 20 different strains of Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne bacteria pathogen responsible for spreading listeriosis. The study authors attribute this effect to the presence of Nigellone.

Thymoquinone and Nigellone are the main ingredients found in Kalonji oil. Thymoquinone is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, has a choleretic effect and good for fat metabolism, detoxification and its bronchodilating effect is protective against asthma attacks. Nigellone is also bronchodilatory which has an antispasmodic and warming effect. This is another reason why black seed/Kalonji oil can help treat respiratory disorders such as asthma and whooping cough. It also contains in significant proportions proteins, carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids. Other ingredients include Oleic acid, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin B2, Niacin and Vitamin C.

It is found that preparations containing linoleic and linolenic acids can be most effective in treating health problems like high blood cholesterol, eczema, skin diseases, multiple sclerosis, pre-menstrual tension, tumors, arterio-thrombotic diseases and rheumatoid arthritis. The Black Seed Oil has a high concentration of these essential fatty acids and thus when consumed provides resistance to body from all these ailments.

Kalonji oil is rich in vitamin B complex. It contains Vitamin B2 that is required by the body to use oxygen and the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is also found in Nigella seed oil which plays an important role in converting carbohydrates and fat into energy. It is essential for normal growth and development and helps to maintain proper functioning of the heart and the nervous and digestive systems. It is also a good source of Niacin or Vitamin B3 that is essential for the breakdown of fats and proteins in the body. It maintains muscle tone along the digestive tract and promotes the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.

According to recent studies the chances of death from cancers like lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers is lower among people with higher selenium blood levels. Antioxidant selenium which can be provided to the body through the intake of black seed oil, is believed to prevent blood clots, to be antiviral, anti-bacterial and inhibit chromozone damage.

  • Containing this essential ingredient Kalonji oil provides a good remedy for skin problems and ailments like asthma, acne, tendinitis, infertility problems in men, and postmenopausal disorders in women.Required only in small amounts by the body the main function of minerals like calcium, iron, sodium, and potassium is to act as essential cofactors in various enzyme functions.
  • With these minerals as constituents the black seed oil has great anti-histamine activity, anti-bacterial property, anti-tumor principles, anti-inflammatory activity, immune system strengthening ability and lactation promoting capability.
  • Saponin Melathin is another essential component of black seed oil that has strong cleaning properties, is a good laxative and is excellent source for destroying parasites. It promotes the absorption of nutrients, helps liquefaction of bronchial secretion, improves metabolism for stimulating the appetite and promotes intestinal cleansing.
  • Beta-sisterol found in Nigella Sativa oil reduces cholesterol levels. It also contains B-Carotene which is an essential vitamin known for its anti-cancer activity. Black Seed oil helps production of Prostaglandin E1 and helps to regulate the weak immune system by increasing its capability of eliminating free radicals, tumors and cancerous cells.
  • The average nutritional values found in black seed/oil are as follows.

Nutrient Average Contents of black cumin Per 100 g on wet Basis USRDA6 %ofUS INQ%
Energy (kcal (MJ) 531(222) 2300(9,63) 23.1 1.0
Protein (g) 20.8 65 32 1.4
Thiamin (mg) 1.5 1.5 100 4.3
Riboflavin (mg) 0.1 1.7 509 0.3
Pyridoxine (mg) 0.5 2 25 1.1
Niacin (mg) 5.7 20 28.5 1.2
Calcium (mg) 185.9 1000 18.6 0.8
Iron (mg) 10.5 18 58.3 2.5
Copper (mg) 1.8 2 90 3.9
Zinc(mg) 6 15 40 1.7
Phosphorus (mg) 526.5 1000 52.7 2.3
Folacin (mg) 0.061 0.4 15.3 0.7
Index of nutritional quality (INQ) Per

With such an unmatchable list of components, nutrients and medicinal values to its credit, Kalonji oil can surely be thought as The Prophet’s Medicine, the medicine with cure for every disease except death.

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