Black Seed Nigella sativa, also known as black caraway, and/or the black cumin (Kalonji), is an herbaceous plant is native to the hot, dry climates of the Middle East, Northern Africa, and some parts of the Mediterranean. The seeds are so popular that more acreage is devoted to growing this blessed seed every year.

Black seeds are tiny and hairy, being no more than 3mm in length. The seeds originate from the common fennel flower plant (Nigella sativa) of the buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family.  Nigella sativa is sometimes mistakenly confused with the fennel herb plant (Foeniculum vulgare).

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 (6-10cm). The stalk of the plant reaches a height of twelve (12) to eighteen (18) inches as its fruit, the black seed, matures.

Nigella sativa reproduces with itself and forms a fruit capsule which consists of many white triagonal 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 has a long history of healing. For thousands of years, the seed and its oil have been used for health conditions ranging from asthma and allergies to wounds and worms. 

Black seed has been traditionally and successfully used for thousands of years in the Middle and Far East countries to treat ailments including:

Bronchial Asthma and Bronchitis.

Rheumatism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and various other inflammatory diseases.

Treat digestive disturbances, and fight parasitic infestation. 

Support the body's immune system.

Increase milk production in nursing mothers.

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. 

In ancient Egyptian society, the rich golden oil pressed from the Black (Cumin) Seed was named "Pharaoh's Oil." Black cumin seeds were popular among the Egyptian pharaohs and were even found in King Tutankhamun's tomb. The people in this civilization used this oil externally to nourish the skin and hair. The pharaoh's personal physician is said to have carried around a bowl of Black Seeds to aid digestion.                          


The five major components that are found in Black Seed are:

  • Nigellin and Melanthin - promotes intestinal cleansing.
  • Sterols - Supports secretion throughout the body.
  • Nigellone and Thymoquinone - These two volatile oils have anti-spasmodic and broncho-dialating properties.  Additionally, they work as an antihistamine.
  • Essential Fatty Acids - Rich in supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids. They regulate metabolism, carry toxins to the skin for elimination, balance insulin levels, regulate cholesterol, improve blood circulation and help liver functions. 
  • Prostglandin - Produces E1 that regulates hormone secretion and lowers blood pressure.

Click here to view pertinent references regarding the thorough research on the medicinal potential of Black Seed (Nigella sativa) and its components.