If you google black cumin, a ton of links come up for nigella seeds, which is not correct. Both cumin and black cumin are from the parsley family, and black cumin is simply a darker-colored version of the traditional sort. It looks a lot like caraway and has a slightly different, more milder flavor than traditional cumin. Where cumin has a bit more earthiness and an almost gamey quality, black cumin is sweeter, delicate, with more of the pine-menthol flavors and even a nuttiness. To me, it doesn’t linger as much on the palate as regular cumin.
Nigella Sativa (black seeds), an annual flowering plant that grows to 20-30cm tall, is native to Asia and the Middle East. The flowers of this plant are very delicate and pale colored and white.
The seeds are used in Middle Eastern cooking, such as in their local breads. The seeds are also used by thousands for their natural healing abilities.
Black Seed is considered to be the greatest healing herb of our time and it has been much neglected. It is being used to strengthen the immune system, fight and irradiate Prostate Cancer and other tumors, purify the blood and increase longevity. Black seed was found in King Tut’s tomb, proving the value of this herb to the Kings.
Nigella Sativa or black seeds was used by the ancient Romans in cooking and the Asian herbalist for many remedies, including migraines too.
The name Nigella Sativa comes from the Latin word, nigellus, meaning black. Nigella Sativa is small black seeds, with a slightly rough texture and it has an oily interior.
Rather than being ground to a powder form, black cumin is often left whole. It is generally very lightly toasted, which highlights that nutty flavor even more.
Black Seed Mechanisms of Actions
- Strengthens the immune system
- Promotes lactation
Benefits of Nigella Sativa (black seeds)
- Breast feeding (increase the flow of breast milk)
- Common cold symptoms and flu
- Dry Cough
- Eye disease & impaired vision
- Gall stones & kidney stones
- Heart complaints & Constriction of Veins
- Headache and Ear ache
- Loss of Hair & premature Graying.
One teaspoon of the oil in the morning mixed with honey, one hour before breakfast. If you choose to have the ground seeds, then 1 teaspoon of the seeds, twice a day. If you have a debilitating disease, such as cancer, then the dosage is double.
Preparation of the Ground Seeds
When you buy the ground seeds, they must be heated, as the taste is very bitter. Heat the seeds in a large skillet on low heat, stirring often, as they will burn. Keep tasting the seeds until they have a bland taste. After the seeds are bland, place them in a coffee grinder and grind. Traditionally, the seeds are mixed with honey and eaten that way.