Health Benefits of Black Onion Seeds (Nigella Sativa)

By Patricia | January 28, 2010

Black onion seed or nigella sativa is not only commonly used as a spice but has several medicinal properties. The use of black onion seeds as a medicinal herb is believed to be a tradition that is several centuries old. Nigella sativa is also referred to as black cumin, fennel flower, black caraway, nutmeg flower, and sometimes Roman coriander. This dispersal of the herb’s name in several cultures and languages is indicative of its popular use and benefits. Black onion seeds are used as a medicine in both herb form and pressed to make oil. Various folk medical traditions trace the use of this herb as a medicine not only to the Bible but to the Islamic tradition as well. This tradition of using black onion seeds as medicine includes the treatment of ailments like respiratory disease, diseases of the heart, lungs and kidney, and the strengthening of the immune system. Several countries have recorded the use of black onion seeds in the treatment of skin disorders like boils and eczema, digestive disorders, to fight cold and flu bacteria, and other infectious parasites. Rheumatism, asthma, and bronchitis have also been treated with the help of black onion seeds. Many recent studies have identified newer and more specific uses of black onion seeds that have increased the herb’s range of curative powers. Several chronic ailments like cancer, tumors and asthma are also believed to be treated by black onion seeds. In the treatment of cancer especially, researchers have identified certain compounds in black onion seeds that promote the immunity of a patient by accelerating the production of immune cells. These immune cells, known as neutrophils, are present in bone marrow and get into action when there is a bacterial infection. Black onion seeds accelerate the growth of neutrophils, thereby boosting the body’s immunity.

Black onion seeds effectiveness in treating those diseases caused by a weakened immunity lends to its immense popularity as a medicinal herb. Allergy induced disorders like asthma respond well to treatment by black onion seed. Symptoms of cold and flu also respond well to treatment using black onion seeds. Cough and chest congestion are relieved with the use of black onion seeds along with garlic and honey. The use of black onion seeds has also been adopted by homeopathic medicine where it is used to cure numerous ailments. The seeds contain essential fatty acids that are necessary in the treatment of several digestive disorders. They are also antimicrobial and are thus used in the treatment of intestinal infections and to eliminate any kind of stomach parasite.

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