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Arenaria Spergularia rubra , kalonji seeds and haba al-barakah (Arabic phrase) has been used by people for thousands of years. Some associate black caraway with black seeds and they come from two different plants. Kalonji seeds are found in India and haba al-barakah is an Arabic word and used in the Middle East mainly. Black seeds are commonly used in the kitchen also in many recipes.
Prophet Mohammad was quoted as saying, "There is healing in Black Seed for all diseases except death." It is also believed that honey was part of the blessed seed cure. It was part of the tradition to put some honey and ground whole black seeds in the palm of your right hand and lick it up with your tongue. In the days of Prophet Mohammad there was no black seed oil.
Black seed oil was found in the tomb of King Tut proving that the important kings found value in this seed. It was a sign also that of all the gold and diamonds he possessed, black seed oil was part of what he chose to take to the next life.
Black seeds contain over 100 chemical compounds and some of the ingredients are yet to be discovered and identified. The main active ingredient in black seeds is crystalline nigellone. The seeds also contain beta sitosterol, thymoquinone, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, proteins and vitamins B1, B2 and B3. They also contain calcium, folic acid, iron, copper, zinc and phosphorous. An all around multiple vitamin in these tiny black seeds.
Black seed or sometimes known by other names such as, Black Cumin, Black Caraway Seed, and Nigella Sativa—also its botanical name—is a widely used herb in Asia, Middle East, and Africa by a large number of people for their health. Earlier, people used it as a traditional herb, but in present times, research and studies showed the proof of its benefits.
Black seeds are obtained from the fruit of Nigella sativa—a plant that gives fruits once a year. Generally, the fruit is a large capsule shaped that contains united follicles, and the black seeds are contained in these united follicles. However, the number of united follicles may vary from three to seven in a fruit. The taste of black seeds is pungent bitter, and these are mostly used in liquor and candies.
The use of black seeds is not limited only to its original form—oil is also used for various purposes including medicinal, skin care, and others. Also, modern researchers believe that it is very good if it is taken in combination with other herbs. Black seeds are believed to have ability to cure any disease of human body; however, death is the only exception to it! One can also find references of black seeds in many holy books—supporting its use and medicinal effects!