Benefits And Nutrition Of Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway) For Health

Benefits And Nutrition Of Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway) For Health

What is Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway)

Nigella sativa seed is variously called fennel flower, nutmeg flower, black caraway, black seed and Roman coriander, black cumin, onion seed and black sesame.

Nigella sativa is part of the Ranunculaceae family and an herb with a long history of traditional use in southeast Asia, Egypt, Greece, and the Middle East.

Benefits And Nutrition Of Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway) For Health
Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway) Flower Picture

Nigella Sativa are hardy annuals that grow from 15 to 60 cm in height. Their seeds are often used in cooking. Nigella blooms in the summer with blue, pink or white flowers and have feathery leaves, bearing five to ten petals produce an inflated fruit that contains the much sought-after seeds.

In herbal medicine, a natural substance known as nigella sativa is sometimes used to treat certain health conditions. Nigella sativa grows throughout India, Arabia, and Europe and has long been used as a spice and food preservative. Nigella was regarded as a panacea by the ancients, and played a central role in the medical practice of Middle Eastern and South Asian societies for over 2000 years, where it was used for the treatment of a range of conditions including asthma, headache, dysentery, infection, back pain, dermatological and gastrointestinal conditions.

In modern research, Nigella Sativa has been shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory activity, lipid, glucose, and blood pressure lowering effects, anti-allergic effects, as well as neuroprotective, antimicrobial, and smooth muscle relaxing effects. Preclinical research has indicated potentially important anticancer effects, though this has yet to be investigated in human studies.

Nutrition Of Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway) For Health

Nigella and melatin are two ingredients in Nigella Sativa that contribute greatly to its highly diversified powers.  These substances work together to provide the digestive benefits that have been revered in Nigella Sativa.  They also promote cleansing and assist with overall eliminating action.

Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway) provides a rich supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These ingredients play a key role in daily health and wellness.  They help to regulate the metabolism, carry toxins to the skin's surface for elimination, balance insulin levels, regulate cholesterol, improve body circulation, and promote healthy liver function.  A deficiency in polyunsaturated fatty acids can lead to a wide number of health problems including nervous system disorders, uninhibited growths, and skin diseases.

Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway) contains over 100 valuable nutrients.  It is comprised of approximately 21% protein, 38% carbohydrates, and 35% plant fats and oils.  The active ingredients of Nigella Sativa are nigellone, thymoquinone, and fixed oils. Nigella Sativa also contains significant proportions of protein, carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.  Other ingredients include linoleic acid, oleic acid, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin B2, niacin, and vitamin C.

Nigella Sativa has over 1400 years history of use. Many ancient books and text suggest the following traditional uses for Nigella Sativa. But please note, that these should not be understood as cures or treatments for any disease or illness.

Benefits Of Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway) For Health

Many Benefits Of Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway) For Health Follow 

Type 2 diabetes 

Researchers found that just two grams daily of nigella sativa (black seed) could result in reduced fasting blood sugar levels, along with decreased insulin resistance, and increased beta-cell function in the pancreas.


Published in Medical Science Monitor, one study found nigella sativa (black seed) to be effective at reducing the frequency of seizures in children who resisted conventional treatment. Black seed indeed has anti-convulsive properties.

Colon Cancer

In cell studies, nigella sativa (black seed) has been found to have anti-cancer properties, inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells specifically. In one animal study, the seed was able to fight colon cancer in rats successfully with no observable side effects. The same obviously can’t be said for conventional cancer treatments.


The deadly and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection known commonly as MRSA responded favorably to treatment with nigella sativa (black seed) in this study from the University of Health Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan.

Protection Against Heart Attack Damage

An extract from nigella sativa (black seed) has been shown to possess heart-protective qualities, dampening damages associated with heart attacks and boosting overall heart health.

Breast Cancer

A few studies have linked a thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa to reduced breast cancer tumor growth and increased apoptosis (cell death) in breast cancer cells.

Benefits And Nutrition Of Nigella Sativa (Black Caraway) For Health
nigella sativa seed (black seed)

Brain Cancer

A study published in the online journal PLoS One indicates thymoquinone from nigella sativa (black seed) can induce cell death in glioblastoma cells. Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive brain tumors of all.


As it’s been shown to do with other types of cancer, nigella sativa (black seed) compound thymoquinone has also been shown to induce apoptosis in leukemia cells.

Brain Damage from Lead

A study published in Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology  indicates nigella sativa (black seed) is able to dampen and reverse damage to the brain sparked by lead toxicity.

Oral Cancer

Research indicates thymoquinone from nigella sativa is able to induce cell apoptosis in oral cancer cells.

High blood pressure

Published in the journal Fundamentals of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers found extract from nigella sativa (black seed) to cause a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, offering a natural treatment for mild forms of hypertension.


Multiple studies, including this one published in the journal Phytomedicine, has found Nigella sativa to possess anti-asthmatic effects. One even found it superior to conventional drug treatment.

Sore throat

Research indicates that nigella sativa (black seed) is an effective treatment for acute tonsillopharyngitis with tonsil or throat tissue inflammation. Basically, it can relieve viral sore throats.

Radiation Damage Control

The active compound thymoquinone has been found to protect brain tissue from radiation-induced damage. Researchers say the substance is able to “clearly protect brain tissue from radiation-induced nitrosative stress.”

Morphine Addiction and Toxicity Prevention

A study published in Ancient Science of Life found Nigella sativa to reduce the indications of morphine intoxication, tolerance, and addiction. Could this seed be the answer to opiate dependence?

Protection Against Chemical Weapons

Researchers from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran found a tincture of nigella sativa (black seed)able to reduce the symptoms of chemical weapons exposure including wheezing, respiratory symptoms, and even the need for drug treatment.

Post-Surgical Scar Prevention

Tested on areas of post-operative trauma, Nigella sativa was found to protect peritoneal surfaces from scarring or adhesion formation.


Applied topically to psoriasis inflammation, nigella sativa (black seed) was able to increase epidermal thickness and soothe eruptions.

Parkinson’s Disease

An extract of thymoquinone, from nigella sativa (black seed), was shown to protect neurons from toxicity associated with Parkinson’s disease and dementia in a study published in Neuroscience Letters.

Cervical Cancer

In a cervical cancer cell line, extracts of thymoquinone were able to trigger apoptosis or cell death, slow cancer progression, and stop the spread of the cancer.