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Ancient Egyptian Cancer-Fighting Super-Spice
Secret Compounds in Black Seed
- Thymoquinone – A phytochemical that has demonstrated anti-cancer, anti-inflammation and immune-boosting properties.
- Essential Fatty Acids – Black seed is high in essential fatty acids, particularly Linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an omega 6 that has cancer prevention properties. It has also been shown to help with conditions such as cystic fibrosis and dermatitis.
- Amino Acids – Nigella Sativa contains 15 amino acids that are needed for many bodily functions to maintain good health.
- Minerals – Black onion seed also contains a lot of minerals which are important for normal bodily functions. These minerals include calcium, sodium, potassium and iron.
- Carotene - A compound that the human body can convert into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed in the human body for the growth of new cells, improved night vision and healthy skin and hair to name but a few of its vital functions.
- Phytosterols. This compound has been shown to lower cholesterol.
Nigella Sativa: The Spice of Egyptian Pharaohs
Black Cumin has an interesting history that traces back to the Eyptian Dynasty. The seed was discovered in Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb. This discovery dates all the way back to 1325 BC. The ancient Egyptians had very strong beliefs regarding the items they placed in the tombs of their deceased pharoahs. They carefully selected items which they believed would assist the Pharoahs as they passed on into the afterlife.
Pharaoh Tutankhamun was buried with Nigella Sativa seeds in Ancient Egypt.
Various seeds, plants and spices were placed in the tombs to ward off evil spirits and protect from evil beings. It is particularly significant for Black Onion seed to make an appearance here as only the most important items (gold amulets, several ornaments,weaponry etc.) were placed in these tombs. It’s not clear why the black seed was in the Pharoah’s tomb, but it’s safe to say it played an important role in ancient Egyptian life.
History also tells us that Black Onion Seed’s healing powers were discovered long before modern times. As a matter of fact, Black Onion seed makes an appearance in both the Holy Bible and the Holy Quran. An interesting quote is derived from the Holy Quran when the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, says “Use the Black Seed for indeed, it is a cure for every disease except death” – Saheeh al-Bukharee 7:591.
“Use the Black Seed for indeed, it is a cure for every disease except death” – Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, in the Holy Quran
Nigella flowers have been grown in English cottage gardens since Elizabethan times & are known by the romantic name “Love in the Mist.”
Identifying Nigella Sativa
Nigella Sativa is a flowering plant that grows in South & South West Asia. Its fruit produces numerous little black seeds that are often used as a spice. However, don’t be surprised if you don’t see them in your local grocery marketed under their botanical name.
Instead, look for their more consumer-friendly label: Black Onion Seeds. The spice they produce is known as Black Cumin. Other names include fennel flower, nutmeg flower, Roman coriander, blackseed or black caraway seeds.
The Nom-Nom Factor
These litle black seeds taste like a combination of onions, black pepper and oregano and have a slight bitterness to them like mustard seeds. In Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, dry-roasted nigella seeds flavor curries, vegetables, poultry, rice dishes, baked goods and even certain liquors.
Black Cumin Research from the Lab
To date, there has been a lot of research aimed at evaluating the healing powers of black onion seeds. Let’s take a look…
Cancer-Fighting. Black seed extracts have proved effective in treating tumors without the negative side effects of chemotherapy. Scientists have discovered a black seed component known as Thymoquinone. A recent study as the Texas A&M university showed that thymoquinone had anti-cancer properties. They identified that “Thymoquinone inhibits tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth”. In June 2007, the Brazilian Journal of medical and Biological Research published a study on the anti-tumor properties of black seed extracts. The study showed that there was a clear reduction in the growth of cancer cells in mice that were treated with black seed extracts (up to 95%). This was significant as it confirmed that black seed extracts had anti-cancer properties.
Anti-Inflammation. Another study on Black Onion Seed looked at the health benefits. The study was carried out at the University of South Carolina in 2005. They discovered that the oil of the seed and consituents such as thymoquinone had “potent anti-inflammatory effects”. Their experiments centered on conditions such as colitis and arthritis”. They also discovered that “the oil and certain active ingredients showed beneficial immuno-modulatory properties, augmenting the T cell- and natural killer cell-mediated immune responses”. T cells and natural killers cells are the body’s natural army. They defend the body from disease by killing off any infections. This is promising for those with immune disorders such as AIDS where the T cell count is usually low.
Allergy Protection – Certain diseases like bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema cause the body to produce histamines. When these histamines are released, the body’s immune system is goes into overdrive, causing tell-tale symptomatic allergic reactions. Researchers have reason to believe that Nigella Sativa protects people with these diseases by blocking the release of histamines in the first place. In Munich, 600 allergy patients were given 500mg of Black seed oil twice a day for 3 months. Scientists recorded a massive improvement in 85% of the patients.
Opioid Withdrawal – Nigella Sativa also helped relieve withdrawal symptoms for those trying to get off opiates. Researchers reported “rapid improvement in signs and symptoms of acute opioid abstinence” from black cumin and that it also “prevented the development of significant craving and relapse”. They recommended it be part of any opiate withdrawal treatment program.
Anti-Microbial Properties – The anti-microbial properties of Nigella Sativa include protective effects for viral and bacterial infections, and even parasites. In one study, black seed oil was given by injection to subjects with murine cytomegalovirus (very similar to the human herpes virus). After just 10 days, the virus was no longer detectable in the either the spleen or liver. Even more exciting, research out of Cairo University shows that botanical extracts are effective against a host of drug-resistant bacterial infections, including E. coli. Still other studies show that essential oils from Nigella Sativa are effective against parasites like tapeworms even when diluted at a 1:100 ratio
Nigella Sativa has over 100 chemical compounds and has Vitamins such as calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and Vitamins A, B, C, D and E in the seeds.
“Let fall these Black Seeds upon you, these contain cure for all diseases except death.”
The Prophet Muhammad
Black Cumin was frequently praised by the forefathers of modern medicine; In the Cannon of Medicine by Ibn Sina (980-1037) it states, “Black Cumin stimulates the body’s energy and helps recover from fatigue or dispiritedness.”
Doiscorides used the herb to treat a variety of ailments and Hippocrates particularly favored it for liver and digestive complaints.
Modern medicine recognizes that its strong anti-bacterial qualities make Black Cumin effective against
Cholera, E. coli, and nearly all strains of Shigella
(except S. dysentriae), comparing favorably –and it some instances outperforming- several pharmaceutical antibiotics.
Black cumin is a part of the buttercup family and the seeds are dark, thin, and crescent-shaped when whole. Hundreds of studies have been conducted on black cumin which have shown that compounds from the seeds help fight diseases by boosting the
production of bone marrow, natural interferon, and immune cells.
Several of the studies have shown that black cumin seed extract could assist individuals with autoimmune disorders and could possibly help to fight cancer.
Black Cumin seeds are very nutritious; they contain 35% oil, most of which are Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) and 21% protein. The EFA’s like Linoleic Acid (LA) and Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) acid help strengthen and maintain cell integrity,
heal skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, reduce wrinkles, and heal wounds.
One of black cumin's most popular and effective uses is the treatment of diseases related to the respiratory system: including
asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and cold symptoms.
The seeds help increase body tone, stimulate menstrual period, and increase the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers.
Black cumin seed oil helps
calm the nervous system, quells colic pain, stimulates urine production, helps treat pertussis, improves digestion and helps prevent and lower high blood pressure.
The seeds are very effective in
curing abscesses and tumors of the eye, abdomen and liver,
probably due in great part to the anti-tumor compound beta-sitosterol found in the seeds.
Black cumin also:
*stimulates energy and helps in recovery from fatigue and low spirits.
*is an effective cure for skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, acne, psoriasis and boils.
*treats flatulence, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, constipation and dysentery.
*is a powerful immunomodulator
The Greeks and the Arabs have been prescribing Nigella Sativa for over 2000 years in the treatment of
and it works quickly and efficiently. By simply
the oil around the eyes and nose, the headache usually disappears within a short period of time.
One of the volatile oils in BCSO, called Nigellone is a powerful anti-histamine that is excellent for treating seasonal allergies and
triggered by a histamine response. The active properties of Black Cumin are vasodilating, mucous reducing and relax the airways, making it perfect for the treatment of asthma and chronic bronchitis. Taking a teaspoon of the oil twice daily in hot water or nettles tea and a little raw honey is a delicious way to reduce asthma and allergy symptoms without side effects. When taken long-term, at least 3-6 months, studies have indicated that BCSO can bring up to 90% improvement in allergy symptoms.
Protects healthy cells
The first major study of Nigella sativa in cancer prevention and treatment was performed by scientists at Cancer Immuno-Biology Laboratory of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. They concluded that a healthy immune system will detect and destroy cancer cells before the cancer endangers the patient. The immune system does this by supporting increased production of immune cells, bone marrow cells, and B-cells that produce antibodies.
Black cumin stimulates neutrophil activity. These are the short-lived immune cells that are normally found in bone marrow but mobilized into action when there is a bacterial infection. Extracts of black cumin have also been shown to modulate production of interleukins, a quality it shares with some other highly revered herbs: ginseng, astragalus, mistletoe, garlic, and cat's claw.
A woman in Yemen, suffering from 3rd stage cancer, sought a natural treatment. She was advised to take black seeds with honey three times a day, in addition to garlic and honey, also taken three times per day. Her husband faithfully crushed the seeds and mixed them with honey. He also crushed the fresh garlic and mixed it with honey. After three months, her cancer disappeared. The woman has continued to use honey and garlic, even after the disappearance of her disease.
Some supplements have been associated with both general cancer protection as well as protection against specific forms of cancer. Examples include digestive enzymes and black cumin oil (Nigella sativa), which have all been shown to be effective against deadly
Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have discovered that an extract of nigella sativa seed oil, known as thymoquinone, can remedy one of the most virulent and difficult to treat cancers: pancreatic cancer. The extract does this by blocking pancreatic cell growth, and actually enhancing the built-in cellular function that causes programmed cell death, or apoptosis.
Black cumin seeds are small. They can be used to maketea
by simply pouring hot water over the seeds and letting the brew steep for 10 minutes, about a tablespoon makes a nice cup of tea, but it is better to keep the cup covered until ready to drink so as to prevent the aroma from escaping. Some people add a few seeds to their favorite tea or coffee and allow their imaginations to conjure up images of camels and nomads. The seeds can also be added to casseroles or breads, used in
canning, or extracted in wine or vinegar. Some people grind the seeds and mix them with honey or sprinkle them onsalads
. They make a nice addition to salad dressings and even stir fry dishes, especially when combined with lemon, cilantro, and tahini.
Black Cumin is often used as a culinary herb, and like most herbs found in the kitchen, it has a beneficial effect on digestion. As a carminative, Black Cumin prevents bloating, gas and cramping, as well as relieving diarrhea and vomiting. It’s pedantic effects on the alimentary canal does nothing to decrease the deliciousness of Black Cumin seeds sprinkled on naan, a tasty flatbread from India traditionally baked in a clay oven. Black Cumin seed is also a wonderful seasoning forstews beans
and is indispensable when making
curries or garam masala
Black cumin seedsmixed with honey and garlic are excellent tonics for people with asthma or coughs as well as those who want to enhance their immunity during cold and flu season or when an infection is setting in.
Some producers will seek to get more of the final product by extracting the oil with solvents; these chemically treated oils should never be used for healing. Always know your source and do not trust “sale items.” The best oil comes from Egypt and Morocco, where traditional methods of cold pression have been passed down through generations.
It is totally safe for internal use.
In 2008 Jefferson Kimmel Cancer Center studied the effect of Nigella sativa on pancreatic
cells and discovered that they were able to kill 62% of the cells. Future research by Jefferson showed that with the use of Nigella sativa, they were able to annihilate or cause cell death on 82% of tumor cells. In addition to the positive results on pancreatic cancer, they found more results worth noting. According to Hwyda Arafat, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, "Nigella sativa helps treat a broad array of diseases, including some immune and inflammatory disorders. Previous studies also have shown anticancer activity in prostate and colon cancers, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects."
Black Seed Oil Compounds Kills Prostate Cancer Cells in Lab Study
Black seed oil from the Nigella sativa plant is found to kill prostate cancer cells, found in lab studies. Researchers from Tulane University have shown that Thymoquinone (TQ) has anti-cancer properties that suppress the growth and lead to death of
cells. The discovery comes from the scientists desire to find natural compounds with anti-cancer properties.
Introduction to Nigella Sativa and How it works
Nigella sativa sounds so formal doesn't it; like a technical term in a medical dictionary? It doesn't seem like a simple black seed in a small flower. This small black seed may be your new vitamin pill that just may save your life though. Can Nigella sativa really be the promised miracle drug that comes from Mother Nature?
This may be the very first time you have ever heard of Nigella sativa and its many treatments of disease, including cancer. But I guarantee you that this will not be the last time you ever read about this prophetic medicine called Nigella sativa. This very inexpensive seed just may change your entire life and your future.
We have talked about the history, the research, faith healing and more, but now we want to give specifics about black seeds mechanisms of actions which include:
- •Strengthens the immune system
- •Promotes lactation
By using Nigella sativa you now know how powerful it is and thus can avoid many pharmacy medicines. Compare the cost of Nigella sativa oil with what pharmacies charge for their medicines. Besides the cost involved remember the damage that the chemicals due on the body itself.
Again let me state that in some cases black seeds should be used in conjunction with other remedies. I had a pulled
and the pain was so bad I could not get out of bed. I took some doctor prescribed medicine to help me walk. Once the nerve was relaxed more, I took black seed oil and grape seeds. I now do not suffer with this debilitating condition because I took Nigella sativa to prevent further attacks. (anti-inflammatory).
Black Cumin Research References
- Thymoquinone inhibits tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth through suppressing AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathways
- Anti-tumor properties of blackseed (Nigella sativa L.) extracts
- Immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties of the Nigella sativa L. seed
- Role of Nigella Sativa in Opioid Dependence
- M.L. Salem, M.S. Hossain. Protective effect of black seed oil from Nigella sativa against murine cytomegalovirus infection. Int J Immunopharmacol, 22 (9) (2000 Sep), pp. 729–740
- N.M. Morsi. Antimicrobial effect of crude extracts of Nigella sativa on multiple antibiotics-resistant bacteria. Acta Microbiol Pol, 49 (2000), pp. 63–74
- R. Agarwal, M.D. Kharya, R. Shrivastava. Antimicrobial and anthelmintic activities of the essential oil of Nigella sativa Linn. Indian J Exp Biol, 17 (1979), pp. 1264–1265
- M.S. Akhter, S. Riffat. Field trail of Saussurea lappa roots againt nematodes and Nigella sativa seed againt cestodes in children. J Pak Med Assoc, 41 (1991), pp. 185–187
- Ramadan MF, Morsel JT (2004) Oxidative stability of black 45 cumin (Nigella sativa L.), coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) and Niger (Guizotia abyssinica Cass.) crude seed oils upon stripping. Eur J Lipid Sci Technol 106:35-43
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.