The Black Seed: Scientific Nutrition for the Whole Body.

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In our ‘one stop shop’ mentality of living these days, there are some foods and herbs that provide a power house of nutrition, health as well as healing benefits in a very compact way.  If you have never heard of Black Seed before, you may want to keep reading to see just exactly what this powerful seed can do for your health. It has been said that “The Black Seed has a cure for every aspect of ill health except death.” Within the holistic healing communities; both practitioners and their clients consume Black Seed to treat the whole body, and in cases to treat specific ailments: many consider the Black Seed that powerful.  Just what exactly is Black Seed and why are such claims made about this?

Known by its scientific classification name Nigella Sativa, Black Seed comes from an annual herbaceous plant that grows in various parts of the world including Asia, Saudi Arabia, Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. Usually Black Seeds are no longer than 3 millimeters in length and it originates from the buttercup Ranunculaceae family, this is not the size of the whole flower but rather the seed portion of the flower. Its flower color ranges in blueish purple to deep white. As the flower blooms it self reproduces and in that stage many of the seeds are white. Once the fruit capsule has fully matured it opens up and the once white seeds turn black once exposed to the air however the whole flower is not what we consider “Black Seed”. “Black Seeds” are the edible seeds that the buttercup flower produces and these can be consumed as is, ground in a powder or cold pressed into an oil. The Black Seed has also been known to be called by other names such as ‘Kalonji’, Black Cumin, Black Onion Seed, Black Caraway, Fennel Flower and Nutmeg flower, however due to its intense dark color it has been more commonly called “Black Seed”.

Historically, it has been the opinion that Black Seed was used in Egypt, Greece and the Far East as a Holistic medicine meaning consumed on a regular basis if not daily in order to prevent disease in ill health in general. Ibn Sina, a Persian Philosopher who lived during a period within the Golden Age of Islam wrote of the healing properties of the Black Seed. Ibn Sina is known in the Western world as “Avicenna”. Although Ibn Sina wrote books on a variety of topics ranging from Philosophy, Psychology and Music, he also wrote the Canon of Medicine.   The Canon of Medicine is a 5 volume encyclopedia collection on all the medical knowledge that existed at that time. It was highly regarded as a very important contribution to the field of medical health and was one of the most used medical text books used in Europe from the 13th to the 17th centuries. Ibn Sina stated in the Canon of Medicine that “The Black Seed stimulates the body’s energy and helps the body recover from fatigue”.

The Black Seed is highly nutritious in its content and contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids, dietary fiber, Vitamin A, calcium, iron and Arginine, which happens to be essential for the growth of the infants. As more knowledge and study on the Black Seed began to occur, it was determined that it was used to treat headaches, toothaches, nasal congestion and intestinal worms in ancient times. While many still consume Black Seed today to treat these same symptoms, much more scientific study has been done on its curative powers only to reveal that it may alleviate and may in fact decrease some of the most common ailments that Humanity is facing today.

While knowledge of how Black Seed was used in previous times is good to know for historical value, how does using Black Seed in modern times relate to Humanity’s more chronic and persistent problems and health issues? It seems in fact that people have come to know the Black Seed for other curative properties which also includes treatment for Type 2 Diabetes. In a scientific study in 2010 it was concluded that with a minimum dosage of 2 grams of Black Seed (Nigella Sativa) per day it may be a beneficial adjuvant to oral hypoglycemic agents for patients who are dealing with  Type 2 Diabetes.  Oral hypoglycemic agents are taken to treat diabetes mellitus by lowering glucose levels in the blood. The Black Seed can stand as an alternative to having to use these agents and at a much lower cost. The average cost for 8 ounces (228 grams) of Black Seed is less than $3.00.

Thymoquinone, an active constituent within Black Seed was shown be more superior to fluticasone in an animal study. Fluticasone furoate is a synthetic drug that is usually added in nasal sprays used for the treatment of allergies, congestion, sneezing, itching and runny nose. In the same study conducted on humans, it was shown that when Black Seed was boiled and administered it had a potent effect on opening asthmatic airways. This stands as excellent news for those seeking a natural method to alleviating breathing complications without resorting to always resorting to needing a prescription.

People dealing with issues related to poor liver function can use Black Seed Oil as a treatment. The results in a study related to Black See Oil indicated that GSH (glutathione), SDH (sorbitol dehydrogenase), LDH (lactate dehydrogenase), G-6 Pase (glucose 6 phosphate), Serum Protein (total protein in serum) and phospholipids (long chain of hydrogen and carbon molecules) were attenuated (to make bacteria or viruses less virulent); diminution of collagen content and improvement in liver and kidney architectures were observed with regular use of Black Seed Oil. The diminution of collagen content as is relates to the liver is important because large amounts of it can contribute to cirrhosis and the disruption of normal liver architecture.

Black Seed can be used to treat symptoms related to allergies like eczema, bronchitis and allergic rhinitis.  In a study, Clients were given between 40 to 80 milligram of Black Seed per day and it was concluded as per subjective feelings of the Client that the Black Seed was effective in relieving their symptoms related to allergies. Black Seed is able to do this by boosting the body’s immunity which inhibits inflammation during allergic reactions.

Black Seed Oil has even been shown to treat toothaches and mouth pain in general. To do this the oil is applied to the affected area and then repeated for fifteen seconds. The oil can also be mixed with a glass of warm water and gargle as another method of treatment for tooth aches and pains. This natural form of healing for toothaches is more ideal due to the fact that it is economical, doesn’t require a visit to the dentist and contributes to the reduction of the infection in the mouth due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Even in the world of modern day Cancer therapy, Black Seed has been used as an alternative treatment.  In 1997 a scientific study was conducted on Black Seed Oil’s efficacy in fighting cancer. Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) was shown to have the ability to block the growth of tumors and even dissemination in the metastasis of tumors. While studies like these have been conducted sporadically, have those in the fields of Healthcare ever considered what the present world of Cancer treatment would look like if a consideration was given to add more natural treatments like Black Seed into the equation? Black Seed are able to reduce the population of Cancer cells by altering their cellular morphology. The greater the concentration of Black Seed Oil to treat the Cancer cells the greater level of cell death.

It should be evident on just these few examples of what Black Seed can treat; that it is truly a Holistic and multi-functional seed and oil that seems to show that it really can treat different ailments within the body. It has also shown that its high nutrient content also make it an ideal food that should be consumed on a regular basis for optimal health, so what’s the best way to consume the Black Seed? Naturally, the Black Seed can be purchased in its original seed form and it can also be purchased in its oil form.

The best way to take the seed is to heat them first on low heat and stirred every few minutes. After this they can be placed in a coffee grinder and ground into a fine powder and placed into vegetarian capsules and taken as it as or with meals. For Black Seed Oil use when treating cancer it should be taken as 3 tables daily with adding garlic and a regimen of regular exercise for it to be the most effective. To strengthen the immune system, one teaspoon should be taken with fresh juice or raw honey one hour before breakfast daily. If you are wondering which is better to take I would say that the oil is more ideal for faster absorption a in the body, as reported by the Clients treated in my nutrition practice.

As a Certified Holistic Nutritionist I not only place Black Seed on the meal plans of my Clients, but have also used it consistently since 2008 as a means of stabilizing health and keeping illness at bay. If you happen to live in or near any major U.S. city you are usually able to find black seed and its oil at international markets, health food stores and places that specialize in the sale of healing herbs. Even if you don’t have access to the Black Seed at any of the stores near you, there are several options for purchasing it online. Prevention is the key to having supreme health and the Black Seed, in all of its forms just may be the essential food that you have been looking that lives up to its reputation as a nutritional healing agent.

With love and health to you and your loved ones for a life time.

 

Daud Scott; CHNP; CPT.

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