Black cumin, also called by its Latin name Nigella sative, is Roman coriander or Catherine flower. It belongs to the plant genus of black cumin (Nigella). Despite its name, there is no relationship to either caraway or cumin. While the latter belongs to the umbelliferae family (Apiaceae), black cumin is part of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Natural black cumin is used in the production of black cumin oil. As an annual herbaceous plant, it reaches a height of 15 to 50 cm, rarely up to 80 cm. Above ground, the black cumin appears hairy, and sometimes glandular trichomes are visible. Its erect and simple or branched stems are striated at the top. Also distinctive are its pinnate leaves, which have 0.8 to 2 mm wide leaf sections that taper to one point at the upper end. The plant has no bracts, and its hermaphroditic and protandrous flowers are radially symmetrical. The five overlapping petals are white or light blue in the nail and plate-divided. The plant's honey leaves, which can add up to ten, are divided into a short pin and two-lobed plate. Furthermore, long stamens are present, and the ovary is superior with central angle constant placentation. A style with a slight, heady stigma can be seen per the bellows compartment. The multiple follicles of the black cumin become brownish when ripe and are up to 16 mm long and 12 mm wide. You can find the styles in the strands, which contain numerous seeds.
Black cumin has been used as a spice and medicinal plant for 3000 years and is particularly popular as a spice plant in the Middle East and India. It originally comes from West Asia, Iraq, and Turkey. But it also thrives in southern Europe, India, Pakistan, and North Africa. Since the plant has a long growing season, a warm and sunny location is ideal. Humid, light to medium-heavy and calcareous soil is best suited. Although you can easily plant it in your garden, it is rare in Central Europe. However, until the 17th and 18th centuries, black cumin cultivation was widespread in our country. Due to the black cumin oil extraction, the plant is gaining popularity again. Used for seasoning, medicinal and cosmetic products, black cumin seeds grow in follicles that look similar to the poppy. Once these green pods turn brownish in July through September, they can be cut off to harvest the oily seeds. These are two millimeters small, black-brown and angular. The taste of the seeds is slightly hot and spicy. In the kitchen, they are often used as flatbread spices or in the North African spice mixture Dukkah.
When the pods turn brown, it's time to harvest the seeds. First, you separate the seed pods from the plant, then the oily seeds are threshed out of the pods. The seeds are then dried and cold-pressed. Gently the seeds are processed, and in most cases, a processing temperature of 35 to 40 degrees C1elsius is kept during cold pressing to preserve the valuable ingredients better. The finished product is then a greenish-brownish oil.
Black cumin oil contains essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids, and essential oils. The metabolic processes in the body are unsaturated. Therefore, fatty acids are crucial and must be ingested sufficiently through food. Among other things, they reduce the risk of a heart attack. Amino acids are present in high concentrations in black cumin oil. The body needs essential amino acids for synthesizing enzymes, hormones, and proteins and for a functioning metabolism. They also work to avoid deficits in muscle building and support the body with increased susceptibility to infections and joint problems. The amino acids in black seed oil are: arginine, asparagine, glycine, lysine, phenylalanine, serine, tyrosine, and valine. The vitamins and minerals in black cumin oil play an essential role in cell protection and construction. However, vitamins are also crucial for the formation of bones and blood as well as for metabolic regulation. In addition to vitamins B1, B2, and B6, Nigella sative oil also contains vitamins C, E, and H. The oil furthermore offers beta-carotene, folic acid, selenium, and magnesium. Essential oils comprise only one percent of black seed oil but have potent antioxidant and hypoglycemic effects. Above all, the ingredient thymoquinone has a germicidal and antibacterial effect. Researchers at London's Kings' College have proven its anti-inflammatory effects. Due to its numerous ingredients, black cumin oil has countless applications, which is why it earned the name "Gold of the Pharaohs." The cold-pressed oil relieves indigestion and reduces inflammation. In alternative naturopathy, it is also used for ADHD. Even in animals, especially horses and dogs, the oil has numerous uses: such as strengthening the immune system, regulating metabolism, and treating chronic bronchitis and asthma. The oil relieves four-legged friends with skin or coat problems, disinfects, and promotes wound healing. Numerous scientific studies have looked at the diverse effects of black cumin oil, for example, the intake of the oil for allergies. They observed a noticeable alleviation of allergy symptoms with atopic and pollen allergies. They noted positive effects in type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure. In addition to the positive impact on blood sugar, you can improve cholesterol levels by consuming black cumin oil. Some of the studies that have these positives effects have been carried out with a small number of test subjects and covered a short test period. When buying edible oil, you should pay attention to the shelf life and use it quickly because it lasts for a maximum of three months since it has an intense and unique taste and tastes a little bitter and slightly spicy to each his own, like the seeds. In addition to the beneficial effect of regulating the immune system, black cumin oil is also used in cosmetics. You can use it externally for skin and hair care and treating skin problems such as psoriasis or neurodermatitis. Furthermore, you can use it as a base for cosmetic products such as skin care lotions, masks, scrubs, hair shampoos, hair conditioners, and hair treatments since it ensures solid and shiny hair. Seite: 3 von 4 In general, black cumin oil is very well tolerated, and side effects are infrequent. However, consuming the oil on an empty stomach is not recommended as it may irritate the gastric mucosa. Increased belching at the beginning of the intake is considered another side effect. To get your body used to the oil, you should start with a small dosage, slowly increasing. We recommend using a good quality oil that has been cold-pressed since it reduces the risk of stomach pain. As it is well known, the dose makes the poison, so black cumin oil in vast quantities can damage the kidneys and liver. Allergic reactions can also occur, and we recommend avoiding consuming the oil during pregnancy.
The natural black cumin is often confused with the "damsel in the open" (Nigella damascena) since both plants look very similar. Black cumin seeds are one of the oldest spices in the Middle East. Its healing properties are still highly valued; in the past, oil bottles were given to Egyptian kings as grave goods.