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  • Writer's pictureKim Smolders

The Magic of Nigella Sativa.


Nigella Sativa, aka black cumin, comes from the fennel flower. It is a powerful healing agent that has been well known for thousands of years in traditional medicine circles in Egypt, India & The Middle East, but not so much in modern medicine. It is especially noted for its preventative, restorative & therapeutic attributes as well as its ability to support the body in its own natural healing processes.


The healing power of Nigella Sativa can largely be attributed to the main bioactive compound, thymoquinone, which has many attributed pharmacological actions, including anti-oxidant, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-histamic, immunomodulatory, & antitumor effects. It also exhibits hepato-, gastro-, neuro-, & nephroprotective activities. It is found in both the seeds as well as the oil, both of which have potency. The oil is extracted from the black cumin seeds,


Benefits.

Anti-inflammatory.

Due to the thymoquinone & high levels of anti-oxidants present, black cumin seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing oxidative stress & inflammation in the body. This will have effect on so many different body systems & symptoms as inflammation is often the underlying factor to (chronic) pain, illness & dis-ease.


Digestive health.

The seeds can also aid digestion, decrease bloating & reduce cramping. Research in rats has also shown that the gastro-protective properties prevent the formation of stomach ulcers through inhibiting excess acid secretion & thus protecting the mucus lining in the stomach.


Anti-aging.

Along with fighting wrinkles, black seed oil can help the overall health of our skin & hair. Packed with vitamins such as A, B, C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc & other trace elements, it provides the necessary nutrients for recovery & repair. It can also work to prevent & alleviate acne.

Lower cholesterol.

Supplementing with black cumin seeds has been associated with better lipid metabolism & significant decreases in both total & LDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.


Liver protective.

The liver is responsible for removing toxins, metabolizing drugs, & processing nutrients. It also produces proteins & other chemicals in the body crucial for your health. Several studies have shown that black cumin can reduce the toxicity of these chemicals & protect against kidney & liver damage.


Metabolic health.

Studies have shown improvements in glycemic control, fasting blood glucose & insulin levels for diabetic patients who struggled to reduce fasting blood glucose levels despite using oral diabetes medications. Glucose regulation is a key pillar of general health & wellbeing as glucose dysregulation is implicated in many chronic diseases.


Cancer-fighting.

Due to its high level of anti-oxidants, nigella sativa neutralizes harmful radicals that generally contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer. For example, research shows that thymoquinone available black cumin induces cell death in blood cancer cells. Another study also showed that nigella sativa extract could significantly help to inactivate breast cancer cells in the body.



How to incorporate it in your daily life.

Sprinkle it on salads & other dishes.

Top your favourite salad, stir-fry, or soup with these tangy seeds to spice up your dish


Blend it in smoothies.

Smoothies are the perfect way to get your dose of micronutrients. Add a teaspoon or two to the vegetables & fruit you are blending to add some character to your smoothie.


Add it to homemade bread & baked goods.

If, like me, you love making homemade bread, then this is a great way to incorporate more black cumin seeds into your life. Simply add it to the mix, along if other seeds if you like, and back as normal. You can also blend it into your cookie and cake recipes if you enjoy them with a twist.


Teaspoon it.

If you are hardcore enough then you can just pop some onto a teaspoon and eat it straight up. It is rather potent in flavour but it is totally worth it for the health benefits you receive!



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