|Latin Name:||Nigella sativa|
|English Name:||Black cumin, black seed|
|French Name:||Nigelle, cumin noir d’Égypte|
History and Origin
Black cumin oil, haba sawda in Arabic, is widely known for its virtues. The seeds from this plant have been known since Antiquity. Pharaohs used it abundantly. Black cumin seeds and oil were apparently found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. The Queen Nefertiti is said to have widely used black cumin oil as a cosmetic care. Given its many properties, in Egypt, it is called habat al-baraka, the sacred seed. Black cumin was also widely used in Egyptian cuisine. Pharaohs’ physicians used the seeds as digestive aid as well as a cure against headache, toothache, infections, inflammation, allergies and asthma. Originally from Asia Minor, today it is cultivated in many countries, such as India, Israel, Tunisia and Egypt.
Several research studies have been done about the black cumin properties (mainly on these active components: thymoquinone, dithymoquinone and thymol). There is increasing interest in learning more about its effects on prevention and treatment of different diseases.