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Habbatus Sawda as a daily health supplement
Most medicines work best when given a chance to run their full course, and this too, is the case with habbatus sauda or black seed. In cognizance of its substantial nutritional components, as well as its specific medicinal properties, the body’s ability to maintain health and promote healing of a lasting nature is best increased through regular use of habbatus sawda .
Habbatus Sawda as an energy source
Ibn Sina (980-1037), in describing the habbatus sawda or black seed as that which “stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue or disspiritedness,” still holds true for Tibb (Islamic Medicine) health practitioners today. The rich nutritional value contained in black seed as outlined by scientific analysis of black seed, also points to it as a great source of energy. From the Tibb health perspective, the black seed has an ability to maintain and restore body heat. Our Western diet, predominantly made up of cold foods — ice in our drinks, yogurt, pizza, cheese — all deplete the innate heat our body requires in order to optimally function. Tibb holds the view that a reduced metabolic rate (innate heat) is the cause of most illnesses. The body, in losing energy, also loses its ability to fight off toxins, resulting in a greater chance of contracting illness.
Habbatus Sawda and other medication
Habbatus Sawda or Black Seed may be used in conjunction with conventional or other forms of natural medicine. It is not recommended that black seed be used exclusively in the treatment of serious medical complaints which may require more immediate action. For example, conditions like bronchitis sometimes require conventional antibiotics to prevent the condition from becoming more severe. However, black seed may be used as a therapeutic aid together with this and other forms of treatment to help counteract any side effects experienced from the use of antibiotics or other potent, chemically based medicines.
Pregnancy and lactation
The habbatus sawda or black seed is not recommended during pregnancy, however during lactation. It is an excellent form of added nutrition for both mother and the growing child while its immune system boosting properties serve as a natural, safe way to build resistance against illness. In addition, as studies have shown, black seed helps increase milk production during breastfeeding. Initial trials have shown that black seed may have an ability to increase the male sperm count.
Babies and toddlers
In addition to its many nutritional components, habbatus sawda or black seed contains carotene, which is essential for infant growth. During the toddler years, black seed provides children with all the energy they require for this active stage of life. Regular usage of black seed, which increases its immune system strengthening effect on the body, will decrease the length and severity of natural childhood illnesses, particularly during winter when children are most susceptible to contracting colds and flu.
Habbatus Sawda for the elderly person
Which its rich nutritional, energy-giving value, in combination with immune system strengthening properties, black seed is an ideal health supplement for the elderly person.
Posted April 9th, 2009 by Mohammad Nadzrin Ibrahim
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Black Seed is the cure for all ailments except death.” (Narrated Burda; Masnad Ahmed).
1. INTRODUCING THE BLACK SEED
(From Al-Islaah Publications)
Black Seed truly is an Amazing Herb!
For centuries, the Black Seed herb and oil has been used by millions of people in Asia, Middle East, and Africa to support their health. An aromatic spice, similar looking to sesame seed except black in color, it has been traditionally used for a variety of conditions and treatments related to respiratory health, stomach and intestinal health, kidney and liver function, circulatory and immune system support, and for general overall well-being. Black Seed is also known as Black Cumin, Black Caraway Seed, Habbatul Baraka (the Blessed Seed), and by its botanical name “Nigella Sativa”.
Since 1959, over 200 studies at international universities and articles published in various journals have shown remarkable results supporting its traditional uses recorded almost 1400 years ago.
While the Black Seed is highly effective by itself, ongoing studies with the combination of other herbs have produced remarkable results.
Amazingly Black Seed’s chemical composition is very rich and diverse. Aside from its primary ingredient, crystalline nigellone, Black Seed contains 15 amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, both fixed oils (84% fatty acids, including linolenic, and oleic), and volatile oils, alkaloids, saponin, and crude fiber, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium and potassium. There are still many components in Black Seed that haven’t been identified. But research is going on around the world.
Muslims have been using and promoting the use of the “Black seed” or “Al-Habbatus-Sawdaa” for hundreds of years. It has become very popular in recent years and is sold by many Muslim and non-Muslim businesses. A large part of this herbal preparation’s popularity is based on the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There is healing in the black seed for all diseases except death”. However, many products that are presently sold as “black seed” may be black cumin, black caraway, or even coriander. As-Suyuti’s Medicine of The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) has black seed listed as coriander seeds, with arguments presented for black cumin, terebinth, and even mustard. However, research seems to favor “black cumin” or Nigella sativa as the black seed. Black cumin may be referred to as nutmeg flower or roman coriander, and even fennel flower by gardeners.
Black cumin has been used for a variety of medical problems for several thousand years. They range from stomach aches to asthma, cancer to coughs, and the traditional use as a spice. Black cumin is also used as:
· a carminative (rids the body of gas from the intestines), a digestive (aids in digestion),
· a diuretic (increases urine flow by ridding the body of excess water),
· an emmenagogue(promotes/regulates menstruation),
· a galactagogue (increases production of milk),
· a resolvent (dissolves boils & swelling),
· a stimulant (increases the flow of adrenaline and energy),
· a stomachic (relieves stomach disorders),
· a sudorific (increases perspiration),
· a tonic (improves bodily functions),
· and a vermifuge (expels worms).
To ensure that you are taking the black seed look for the words Nigella sativa. Only this plant, as opposed to true cumin or coriander has the ability to “heal all diseases”.
Research suggests that the black seed is an effective anti-tumor treatment for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease. The black seed may also be of possible benefit in treating high blood pressure. Except its potential to cause spontaneous abortions (and only in high doses), there may be little, if any, toxic side effects to using it. There is even some research on the possible contraceptive abilities of the black seed. More research is being done on its effectiveness and research trials are also being planned in various countries to study its actual effects on humans. However, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) words tell us there is healing in this plant.However, there is more to be learned regarding the appropriate doses for various medical problems.
2. Arabic Name
Habb al-Sauda (Hadith) Shoniz, Habb al- Barakah
3. Other Names
Black Cumin, Black seed (English), Nielle (French,German) Melanthion (Greek) Shoniz, Siah Dana (Persian) Ketzach, Ketyach (Hebrew) Kalaunji (Hindi, Urdu) Krishn Jirak (Sans.) Kalijira(Beng.) Kalaonji Jiram (Gujarati) Nilajirakira (Tel.) Kalijira (Mar.) Karaunji Rigam (Tamil) Karun Chiragam (Mal.).
4. Botanical Identification
Nigella sativa Linn-Herb. (Family :Ranunculaceae). The name Nigella comes from the Latin word nigellus, meaning black.
Mediterranean Region. Cultivated in many countries including India.
6. Appearance & Texture
Nigella sativa (Black Seed) are small matte black grains with a rough surface and an oily white interior, similar to onion seeds. The seeds have little bouquet, though when rubbed, their aroma resembles oregano. They have a slightly bitter, peppery flavor and a crunchy texture. The seeds may be used whole or ground and are usually fried or roasted before use (they are easily crushed in a mortar).
7. HADEETH & ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE ON BLACK SEED:
a) The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, “Black Cummin (Habbas-Sauda) is the cure for all the diseases except Saam and “Saam is death” ‘ (Narrated Abu Huraira; Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Maja, Masnad Ahmad).
b) “I came to Madina with Ghalib bin Al-Jabr. During the journey, Ghalib fell ill. Ibn Atique came to see him and said that Ayesha (radhiyallahu anha) narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, “Black cumin is remedy for all diseases. ” We powdered Black cumin, mixed with olive oil and dropped it in both the nostrils (of Ghalib). We did it and Ghalib recovered. (Narrated Khalid Bin Saad, Ibn Maja, BuKhari).
c) The Messenger (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said, “Black cumin is the cure for all ailments except death.” (Narrated Burda; Masnad Ahmed)
d) The Messenger(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah said, “Make Black cumin obligatory (its use as medicine) for yourself as it is a cure for every disease except saam “. Someone asked, ‘What is saam”. He said, “Death”. (Narrated Ayesha- Masnad Ahmed, Abdullah bin Umar – Ibn Maja; Abu Huraira – Tirmidhi).
Muslims have been using and promoting the use of the “Black Seed” or “Al-habbat ul Sawda” for hundreds of years, and hundreds of articles have been written about it. Black seed has also been in use worldwide for over 3000 years. However, many Muslims do not realize that black seed is not only a prophetic herb, but it also holds a unique place in the medicine of the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam). Black seed is mentioned along with many other natural cures in the Hadith. However, many herbs and natural cures in the Hadith and Qur’an are simply “mentioned” briefly, leaving the discerning searcher to utilize it. Black seed is one of the few that is said to “cure all diseases except death.” It is unique in that it was not used profusely before the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) made it’s use popular, and it is one of the few herbs that is described in great detail in the Hadith with recipes and instructions on usage actually being found in the Hadith themselves. Last, but not least, black seed has been studied by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Although there were more than 400 herbs in use before the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and recorded in the herbals of Galen and Hippocrates, black seed was not one of the most popular remedies of the time. Because of the way Islam has spread, the usage and popularity of black seed is widely known as a “Remedy of the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)”.
In fact, a large part of this herbal preparation’s popularity is based on the teachings of the Prophet (sallalllahu alaiyhi wassallam). The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) not only mentioned the usefulness of black seed in his teachings, but also gave specific instructions on how to prepare the seed for medical use.
In fact, since it was made popular in the Seventh Century, there has not been a period in Muslim history when the use of it was ever stopped. At all times the seed was utilized with the belief and faith that benefits will be derived from practicing the Holy Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam)’s Sunnah.
In addition to the above mentioned Ahaadeeth, there are several others in which Black Seed / Black Cumin has been described as a medicine of great value. Some of the books on the “life of the Prophet Muhammad” (Sirat-al-Nabi) have reported that he(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) used to take Black Cumin with honey regularly. It must be borne in mind that the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) also gave great emphasis on the use of medicines in general and Habbul-Sauda in particular for various ailments and that is why he used to say that it is a “medicine for all ailments except Saam i.e. death”. As a matter of fact he (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) gave this advice for several other medicines also which indicates that he laid emphasis on the use of medicine.
8. CONFUSING THE BLACK SEED WITH OTHER SEEDS
Scholars of Hadeeth have generally reported that Habbe-Sauda is the Arabic name of Shomz (Persian) and these black seeds are also called Kammun Aswad (Black Cumin). In Persian, names like Siah Biranj or Siah Dana are also given which mean Black seed. It must be made clear that cumin (Arabic – Kamun) are the seeds from Cuminum cyminum (known as Zira in Hindi, Urdu and Persian). Likewise carway seeds from Carum carvi are also called Siah Zira although these are quite different than the seeds of Nigella sativa. The seeds of Ipomoea hederacea are also called Kala -Dana -i.e. Black Seeds, in Indian bazar. Even the black seeds of Mustard (Brassica nigra) are also sometime termed Kala Dana (Arabic-Kharadal Aswad). Thus, it may be said that there is lot of confusion in the identities of names like Kala Dana, Siyah Dana, Kala Zira, Siyah Zira etc. but the black seeds referred to in the Hadeeth under the name Habbe-Sauda are definitely the seeds from Nigella sativa and may be called Black cumin.
9. WHAT IS BLACK SEED?
An annual herbaceous plant, black seed (Nigella sativa) is believed to be indigenous to the Mediterranean region but has been cultivated into other parts of the world including Saudi Arabia, northern Africa and parts of Asia.
Tiny and hairy, being no more than 3mm in length, black seed originates from the common fennel flower plant (Nigella sativa) of the buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family.
The plant has finely divided foliage and pale bluish purple or white flowers. The flowers grow terminally on its branches while the leaves grow opposite each other in pairs, on either side of the stem. Its lower leaves are small and petiole, and the upper leaves are long (6-l0 cm). The stalk of the plant reaches a height of twelve to eighteen inches as its fruit, the black seed, matures.
Nigella sativa reproduces with itself and forms a fruit capsule which consists of many white trigonal seeds. Once the fruit capsule has matured, it opens up and the seeds contained within are exposed to the air, becoming black in color (black seeds).
Nigella sativa and its black seed are known by other names, varying between places. Some call it black caraway, others call it black cumin (Kalonji), or even coriander seeds. In English, the Nigella sativa plant is commonly referred to as “Love in a Mist”. Nevertheless, this is Nigella sativa, which has been known and used from ancient times and is also known in Persian as Shonaiz.
The most pertinent point to be made about black seed is that it should be regarded as part of an overall holistic approach to health and ideally should be incorporated into one’s everyday lifestyle. In this way, the many nutritional and healing properties contained in the seed can help build the body’s immune system over time,
supplying it with the optimum resources it needs to help prevent and fight illness.
10. HOW TO CULTIVATE?
Potting: These plants flourish in regular, well cultivated garden soil. They need to be set 4 to 5 inches apart to produce healthy, long-lasting flowers. Nigellas don’t need any support. To harvest Black Cumin, pick each pod as it turns yellow. Dry in batches in the sun. Use a catch cloth or bag to catch the seeds as the pods split, then strain the seeds to remove chaff. Black cumin has a strong flavor, resembling fennel. Grind the seeds and use as you would pepper in seasoning, but test first.
Propagation: Seeds may be sown outside in the spring. Don’t sow them too thickly, however, because they will not flourish if overcrowded. They will need to be thinned 4 to 5 inches apart. These plants can easily be cultivated in a greenhouse that has a night temperature of 45 to 50 degrees. They may be sown from September to January to provide flowers from March to June. They may be grown in 5-inch pots or in deep flats or benches. These should be filled with a light, fertile, well drained soil. When transplanting seedlings, make sure not to disturb their roots for they won’t recover very easily. Take care in watering; too much will cause failure and too little will cause their leaves to yellow. Plants that have filled their pots up with roots should be given a dilute liquid fertilizer weekly.
11. HISTORY OF BLACK SEEDS
Nigella sativa (Black Seed) was discovered in Tutankhamen’s tomb, 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 earliest written reference to black seed is found in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. Isaiah 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. (Isaiah 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 Bakht 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/Unani-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 humours.
Ibn Sina (980-1037), most 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, refers to black seed as the seed “that stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue or disspiritedness.”
Black seed is also included in the list of natural drugs of Al-Tibb al-Nabawi, and, according to the Hadith, “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 which indicates that black seed contains an ability to significantly boost 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 for centuries 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 has earned for this medicinal herb the Arabic approbation Habbatui Barakah, meaning “the seed of blessing.”
12. THE TRUE UNIVERSAL REMEDY
In the United States and in Europe, Black Cumin Oil -Black Seed Oil (Nigella Sativa) is enjoying and unprecedented upsurge in popularity as a food supplement. Black Cumin Oil is also known as “Black Oil, “Black Seed Oil” and “Kulunji”.
Analyses of its contents and the mode of action of Black Cumin Oil were conducted in the U.S. The results give reason to believe that this traditional oil, used for thousands of years, may be a truly universal remedy.
Scientists have confirmed the strong antibacterial and antimycotic actions of Black Cumin Oil which has been used for centuries in China and indeed throughout the Orient, in remedies for all kinds of inflammatory conditions and fungal diseases. In their reports, scientists have even highlighted a remarkable decrease in blood sugar levels.
“Black Cumin Oil generally helps stimulate the production of bone marrow and cells of the immune system”, wrote the scientists of the Cancer Immune-Biology Laboratory of South Carolina. They also said, “It increases the production of interferon, protects normal cells from the damaging effects of viral disease, destroys tumor cells and increases the number of antibody-producing B-cells. All registered effects make Black Seed Oil an ideal candidate for use in cancer prevention and cure.” Not bad for a totally natural product with absolutely no side effects.
Researchers have recently written the worldwide first report on the anti-tumor effects of Black Seed Oil. It’s title: “The study of the effects of Nigella Sativa on humans. (Nigella Sativa is the botanical name for Black Cumin.)
The effects of Black Cumin Oil on humans were recently also studied in Germany. A Munich immunologist, Dr. Peter Schleicher, closely co-operated with institutions in the United States and has, as a result, written two books on the subject containing numerous recipes for the treatment of a wide variety of ailments. Most of them are skin disorders or allergy related conditions, like asthma and hay fever and are far too numerous to be listed here.
Historically interesting is that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
recommended this oil 1400 years ago as a “remedy against everything except death”, and to this day the seed of the Nigella Sativa plant and its oil are a proof to this statement, as more remedies and cures are being discovered.
Black Seed Oil unquestionably has a positive and stabilizing effect on the human immune system, which may be the reason why it is so beneficial in cases of skin disorders and allergy related conditions. Moreover, since most diseases are the result of defective immune systems, it is fair to assume that this oil’s beneficial effects go far beyond skin disorders and allergies.
13. PRIMARY PROPERTIES OF BLACK SEED
As the evidence presented in this section will show, it is quite probable that as medical science increasingly learns more about black seed, one or more of its more active ingredients may become combined into a pharmacy prescription for specific conditions. In the event that this does occur, it is also likely that this particular extract of black seed will be chemically compounded and thus become a more potent medicine.
While it may be argued that chemical additives may increase black seed’s effectiveness in treating specific conditions, the healing principles of black seed in its pure, natural form should also be taken into account
· Black seed, in its complete, natural form, acts on the principle of assisting the body’s own natural healing process in overcoming illness or maintaining health. It works on the part or system of the body affected without disturbing its natural balance elsewhere.
· The effect of black seed’s combined nutritional and medicinal value is that not only does it help relieve the current condition at hand, but also helps the body build further resistance against future ailments or disease.
While historical evidence suggests black seed’s potential use for a wide variety of ailments, we have limited our descriptions of its primary healing properties here to the most recent research findings on black seed.
a) Nutritional value
Black seed is rich in nutritional values:
• Monosaccharides (single molecule sugars) in the form of glucose, rhamnose, xylose, and arabinose are found in the black seed.
• The black seed contains a non-starch polysaccharide component which is a useful source of dietary fiber.
• It is rich in fatty acids, particularly the unsaturated and essential fatty acids (Linoleic and Linoleic acid). Essential fatty acids cannot be manufactured by the body alone, and therefore we acquire these from food.
• Fifteen amino acids make up the protein content of the black seed, including eight of the nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized within our body in sufficient quantities and are thus required from our diet.
• Black seed contains Arginine which is essential for infant growth.
• Chemical analysis has further revealed that the black seed contains carotene, which is converted by the liver into vitamin A, the vitamin known for its anti-cancer activity.
• The black seed is also a source of calcium, iron, sodium, and potassium. Required only in small amounts by the body, these elements’ main function is to act as essential cofactors in various enzyme functions.
b) Immune system strengthening
Studies begun just over a decade ago suggest that if used on an ongoing basis, black seed can play an important role to enhance human immunity, particularly in immunocompromise patients.
In 1986, Drs. El-Kadi and Kandil conducted a study with human volunteers to test the efficiency of black seed as a natural immune enhancer. The first group of volunteers received black seed capsules (1 gram twice daily) for four weeks and the second group were given a placebo. A complete lymphocyte count carried out in all volunteers before and four weeks after administration of black seed and the placebo revealed that the majority of subjects who took black seed displayed a 72% increase in helper to suppressor T-cells ratio, as well as an increase in natural killer cell functional activity. The control group who received the placebo experienced a net decline in ratio of 7%. They reported, “These findings may be of great practical significance since a natural immune enhancer like the black seed could play an important role in the treatment of cancer, AIDS, and other disease conditions associated with immune deficiency states.”
These results were confirmed by a study published in the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal in 1993 by Dr. Basil Alt and his colleagues from the College of Medicine at Kin Faisal University.
In the field of AIDS research specifically, tests carried out by Dr. Haq on human volunteers at the Department of Biological and Medical Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1997) showed that black seed enhanced the ratio between helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells by 55% with a 30% average enhancement of the natural killer (NK) cell activity.
c) Anti-histamine activity
Histamine is a substance released by bodily tissues, sometimes creating allergic reactions and is associated with conditions such as bronchial asthma.
In 1960, scientists Badr-El-Din and Mahfouz found that dimer dithymoquinone isolated from black seed’s volatile oil, under the name of “Nigellone,” and given by mouth to some patients suffering from bronchial asthma, suppressed the symptoms of the condition in the majority of patients.
Following the results of this early study, crystalline nigellone was administered to children and adults in the treatment of bronchial asthma with effective results and no sign of toxicity. It was observed, however, that although effective, crystalline nigellone displayed a delayed reaction.
In 1993, Nirmal Chakravarty, M.D., conducted a study to see if this delay could be attributed to the possibility of crystalline nigellone being an inhibitory agent on histamine. His hypothesis proved correct. Dr. Chakravarty’s study found that the actual mechanism behind the suppressive effect of crystalline nigellone on histamine is that crystalline nigellone inhibits protein kinase C, a substance known to trigger the release of histamine. In addition, his study showed that crystalline nigellone decreased the uptake of calcium in mast cells, which also inhibits histamine release.
The importance of these results are that people who suffer from bronchial asthma and other allergic diseases may benefit from taking crystalline nigellone.
d) Anti-tumor principles
A study of black seed’s potential anti-tumor principles by the Amala Research Center in Amala Nagar, Kerala (India) in 1991 lent further impetus to Dr. Chakravarty’s suggestion for the possible use of black seed in the treatment of cancer.
Using an active principle of fatty acids derived from black seed, studies with Swiss albino mice showed that this active principle could completely inhibit the development of a common type of cancer cells called Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC). A second common type of cancer cells, Dalton’s lymphoma ascites (DLA) cells were also used.
• Mice which had received the EAC cells and black seed remained normal without any tumor formation, illustrating that the active principle was 100% effective in preventing EAC tumor development.
• Results in mice who received DLA cells and black seed showed that the active principle had inhibited tumor development by 50% less compared to mice not given the active principle.
The study concluded, “It is evident that the active principle isolated from nigella sativa seeds is a potent anti-tumor agent, and the constituent long chain fatty acid may be the main active component.”
In 1989, a report appeared in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmacy about anti-fungal properties of the volatile oil of black seed. 1992 saw researchers at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, conducting a study in which the antibacterial activity of the volatile oil of black seed was compared with five antibiotics:
ampicillin, tetracycline, cotrimoxazole, gentamicin, and nalidixic acid.
The oil proved to be more effective against many strains of bacteria, including those known to be highly resistant to drugs: V. cholera, E. coli (a common infectious agent found in undercooked meats), and all strains of Shigella spp., except Shigella dysentriae. Most strains of Shigella have been shown to rapidly become resistant to commonly used antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents.
In light of the above research findings, it is of interest that homeopaths have long been known to make a tincture from the black seed for digestive and bowel complaints. Traditionally, the black seed is still used to help relieve vomiting and diarrhea, as well as flatulent colic, and to help counteract the griping action of purgatives (e.g. certain laxatives, fruits such as apricots when over consumed).
• As early as 1960, Professor El-Dakhakny reported that black seed oil has an anti-inflammatory effect and that it could be useful for relieving the effects of arthritis.
• 1995, a group of scientists at the Pharmacology Research Laboratories, Department of Pharmacy, Kings College, Lond, decided to test the effectiveness of the fixed oil of Nigella sativa and its derivative, thymoquinine, as an anti-inflammatory agent. Their study found that the oil inhibited eicosanoid generation and demonstrated anti-oxidant activity in cells.
• The inhibition of eicasanoid generation, however, was higher than could be expected from thymoquinone alone. Their study suggested that other compounds within the oil might also be responsible for the enhanced anti-inflammatory reactions in cells.
• The scientists speculated that the unusual C20:2 unsaturated fatty acids contained in black seed were possibly responsible for boosting the oil’s effectiveness.
• In 1997, studies conducted at the Microbiological Unit of the Research Center, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, found that externally in an ointment form, the anti-inflammatory activity of the black seed was found to be in the same range as that of other similar commercial products. The tests also demonstrated that the black seed is non-allergenic.
g) Promotes lactation
“ A study by Agarwhal (1979) showed that black seed oil increases the milk output of breastfeeding mothers.
A literature search by the University of Potchefstroom (1989), including biological abstracts, revealed that black seed’s capacity to increase the milk flow of nursing mothers could be attributed to a combination of lipid portion and hormonal structures found in the black seed.
Research shows that Black Seed Oil contains more than 100 components, some of which are still unidentified, that work together synergistically. It is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (also known as “essential fatty acids”) which are the building blocks of cells and help the body produce ProstaglandinE 1.
Black Seed contains the following Essential Fatty Acids: Myristic Acid (0.5%), Palmitic Acid (13.7%), Palmitoleic Acid (0.1%), Stearic Acid (2.6%), Oleic Acid (23.7%), Linoleic Acid [Omega-6] (57.9%), Linolenic Acid [Omega-3] (0.2%), Arachidic Acid (1.3%) – and the following nutrient components Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine, Niacin, Folacin, Calcium, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Phosphorus.
14. PUBLISHED REPORTS
Published Scientific Reports confirm that Black Seed has an astounding array of health benefits
• Increases immune function.- U.S. Patents Sections, Antiviral Agents Bulletin #5,482,711
• Black seed stimulates bone marrow and immune cells and raises the interferon production, protects normal cells against cell destroying effects of viruses, destroys tumor cells and raises the number of anti-bodies producing B cells.
-Cancer Immuno-biology Laboratory .South Carolina
• Black seed contains valuable unsaturated fatty acids, for example Linoleic and Gammalinolen acids get into the organism. By that it possible to reach a synthesis of important immune regulating substances derived as from Prostaglandin E1. Linoleic acid stabilizes the cell membranes and Prostaglandin has the effect of inhibiting inflammation. By that the immune reactions are stopped which cause the illnesses and which otherwise could be the start of many chronic illnesses like acne and hayfever right up to cancer.
~ Dr. Peter Schleicher Immunologist, Munich, Germany
• Black seed proves to have an ant histamine, ant-oxidant, anti-biotic, anti-mycotic and broncho-dilating effect.
– Study of Black seed oil on humans, American Scientists
• Black seed is truly a remarkable herb that has been used for over 3000 years. It contains over 100 valuable components. It is a significant source of essential fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates and other vitamins and minerals.” The seeds are also rich in sterols, especially beta-sitosterol, which is known to have anticarcinogenic activity”.
~ Dr. Michael Tierra LAC. O.M.D
• Black seed tests prove to be genuine universal remedy.
~ Pharmaceutical newspaper, Wissenschaftlicher Text
• Black seed is a valuable source of protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, Bi, B2, C and niacin as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, selenium, magnesium and zinc.
~ Phytochemicals of Nigella sativa seeds. Food Chemistry.
15. BLACK SEED USES & REMEDIES
Commonly known as the “seed of blessing,” black seed (Nigella sativa) has been used as a natural remedy in the Middle and Far East for more than 2000 years. Black seed provides nutritional support for the body’s defense system.
In 1959, the active ingredient in black seed, crystalline Nigellone, was first isolated and identified as providing many health benefits. Clinical trials have validated the efficacy of black seed in promoting health and wellness.
The most pertinent point to be made about black seed is that it should be regarded as part of an overall holistic approach to health and ideally should be incorporated into one’s everyday lifestyle. In this way, the many nutritional and healing properties contained in the seed can help build the body’s immune system over time, supplying it with the optimum resources it needs to help prevent and fight illness.
16. USES OF BLACK SEED
a) Black seed as a daily health supplement
Most medicines work best when given a chance to run their full course, and this too, is the case with black seed. In cognizance of its substantial nutritional components, as well as its specific medicinal properties, the body’s ability to maintain health and promote healing of a lasting nature is best increased through regular use of black seed.
b) Black seed as an energy source
Ibn Sina (980-1037), in describing the black seed as that which “stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue or disspiritedness,” still holds true for Tibb (Islamic Medicine) health practitioners today. The rich nutritional value contained in black seed as outlined by scientific analysis of black seed, also points to it as a great source of energy.
From the Tibb health perspective, the black seed has an ability to maintain and restore body heat. Our Western diet, predominantly made up of cold foods — ice in our drinks, yogurt, pizza, cheese — all deplete the innate heat our body requires in order to optimally function. Tibb holds the view that a reduced metabolic rate (innate heat) is the cause of most illnesses. The body, in losing energy, also loses its ability to fight off toxins, resulting in a greater chance of contracting illness.
c) Black seed and other medication
Black seed may be used in conjunction with conventional or other forms of natural medicine. It is not recommended that black seed be used exclusively in the treatment of serious medical complaints which may require more immediate action. For example, conditions like bronchitis sometimes require conventional antibiotics to prevent the condition from becoming more severe. However, black seed may be used as a therapeutic aid together with this and other forms of treatment to help counteract any side effects experienced from the use of antibiotics or other potent, chemically based medicines.
d) Pregnancy and lactation
The black seed is not recommended during pregnancy,
however during lactation It is an excellent form of added nutrition for both mother and the growing child while its immune system boosting properties serve as a natural, safe way to build resistance against illness. In addition, as studies have shown, black seed helps increase milk production during breastfeeding.
Initial trials have shown that black seed may have an ability to increase the male sperm count.
e) Babies and toddlers
In addition to its many nutritional components, black seed contains carotene, which is essential for infant growth. During the toddler years, black seed provides children with all the energy they require for this active stage of life. Regular usage of black seed, which increases its immune system strengthening effect on the body, will decrease the length and severity of natural childhood illnesses, particularly during winter when children are most susceptible to contracting colds and flu.
f) Black seed for the elderly person
Which its rich nutritional, energy-giving value, in combination with immune system strengthening properties, black seed is an ideal health supplement for the elderly person.
17. MORE USES OF BLACK SEED
Ibn Sina (Avicenna) in Qanun (Canon of Medicine) says “Black Seed Acts as an Expectorant, it stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue and dispiritedness.”
Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyya in “Medicines of The Prophet” lists up to 50 illnesses cured by the Black Seed.
These include:-benefits bronchitis and cough, helps increase body tone, digestive tonic, quells belching, dries up damp stomach, quells colic pain – stomach gas cholic, expels worms from intestinal tract, removes patches of leukoderma, benefits some skin allergies such as Acne & Eczema, opens obstruction, stimulates menstrual period, increase flow of breast milk, quells quarta phlegmonous fever and can cause excessive salivation.
He also says that its oil retains the nervous system, helps pertussis, dry cough, asthma, and bronchial respiratory complaints.
Taking the oil unmixed internally can cause gripe and greatly irritates the digestive system.
He also states that it helps abnormal absence of menstruation (Amenorrhoea) and menstrual difficulties (dysmenorrhoea), kills intestinal worms and can promote abortion in very high doses, (doses in excess of 20g Black Seed) it helps tertian fever, paralysis, and piles among other illnesses.
Stomach worms: Removes the stomach worms and intestinal worms.
Colds: If boiled and applied to the head, it cures cold and rheumatic tendency.
Moles: It can be applied to remove the developed moles from the body, cleans the skin and regularizes the menses.
Headaches: Its paste cures the headache, breaks the boil.
Phlegmatic swelling: If taken with vinegar, it removes the phlegmatic swelling.
Eye Pain: It is mixed up with the oil of Ersa and smelled to cure eye-sore or pain.
Tooth ache: Its gurgle cures the toothache.
Urine discharge: It regularizes the urine-discharge if it is taken.
Mosquitoes: Its smoke drives away the mosquitoes and bugs.
Fevers: It cures the phlegmic and melancholic fevers. A little of it in a bit of cloth tied round a patient cures his cold and cough and fever of fourth day.
Breast Milk: If taken, it increases the milk of the woman.
Abdominal Ailments: parches the moisture of the belly, cures griping colic, pain of the chest, and cough, nausea and vomiting, dropsy and the disease of the spleen.
Complexion: If taken with oil regularly, it reddens the complexion, and fairs it.
Stomach worm: If taken with vinegar, it kills the stomach-worm.
Phlegmatic Fever: If taken with lemon-juice mixed with sugar or honey, it cures fourth day fever and phlegmic fever.
Bladder Stone: If taken with honey, it removes the bladder stone.
Leprosy: Its paste with vinegar cures leprosy and the colocynth deadens the intestinal worm.
Manly Potency: Its paste with olive oil applied to the penis improves the manly- potency.
Mental Disease: Qatada (radhiyallahu anhu) says that twenty one (21 grains of kalaunji should be kept in a bit of cloth, bound up and boiled, first day two drops of the boiled water should be administered into the right nostril and one into the left, second day one into the right and two into left one and one into the left. This treatment is an effective precaution against any mental disease.
Contraction of uterus: A decoction of Black Seeds can promote contraction of the uterus after birth and it benefits eruptive skin diseases.
Gout: Adding to one’s diet helps GOUT, and it can balance the uric acid in blood.
Reduces Swellings: Also helps reduce swellings, and remove scales in ringworm.
Gall Stones & Kidney stones: Crushed Black Seeds sweetened with Honey can help dissolve gall stones and kidney stones and when taken over a few days, it increases urine, menses and milk.
Growth of Hair: Ointment of Black Seeds stimulates growth of the beard, and can prevent hair graying.
Common Cold: Powdered Black Seeds with oil of Coriander Seeds relieves common cold, opens obstructions and dissolves wind.