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Nigella Sativa: Black Seed

Nigella Sativa:  Black Seed | Mr Vitamins
Avicenna describes Black Seed, Nigella sativa as 'The seed that stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue and dispiritedness'. Black seed is one of the most revered medicinal seeds in Middle Eastern history, traditionally used in India and the Middle East for:
  • loss of appetite
  • fever
  • indigestion
  • diarrhoea
  • oedema
  • general weakness
  • asthma
  • chest congestion and
  • arthritis
In Ethiopia it is used for stomach aches and in South-east Morocco, diabetes and hypertension. Black seed is such an important part of my dispensary because it is so versatile multifaceted, I use it to treat insulin resistance; allergic rhinitis; to improve breast milk production; as an immune enhancer; and for a variety of digestive issues including gastro intestinal infections, increasing appetite and calming the gut.

Digestive/ Immune syrup

  • 2 teaspoons of black seed
  • 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of manuka honey
  • 150 mls of apple cider vinegar
  • 7 to 14 cloves of crushed garlic (less garlic as a digestive more garlic as an immune booster


Under a low heat warm seeds in the vinegar for 10 minutes; strain ; add honey and combine under a low heat; add mixture to crushed garlic and store in a jar. As a digestive or immune tonic take one teaspoon after meals

Culinary uses

  • Can be used to season curries, soups, sauces, salad dressings, and chutney’s.
  • In bread- 2 tablespoons can be used in bread dough.


  • One teaspoon of the seeds per cup of water, bring to boil, let it infuse for 10 minutes
  • Blends well with ginger cinnamon and manuka honey


  • To make quick and easy nasal decongestant, simply place two tablespoons of the whole seeds in a piece of muslin clothe tie with a rubber band and inhale, to reactivate rub between hands before use.

Scientific Research

  • Immune enhancing- nigella improves immune function by enhancing phagocytic activity of macrophages by 43%, 2gms per day of the seeds were used.1
  • Helicobacter pylori- a dose of 2gms of the seed along with 40mg of omeprazole were used, inducing a 66.7% eradication of Helicobacter pylori. Doses of 1 and 3 gms were not as successful.2
  • Mood enhancing – a significant elevation of mood state was seen in healthy adolescent males compared to the placebo group, the dose given was 500mg in a capsule form for 4 weeks.3
  • Asthma – a significant reduction in all asthma symptoms, and pulmonary function tests showed marked improvements, as a result the need for anti-asthmatic medications were reduced. The dosage was a decoction of the seed at 15ml/kg over 3 months.4
  • Weight loss – body weight and waist circumference was reduced significantly in men with central obesity compared to placebo and a reduced appetite was also shown. The amount given was 3gm per day for 3 months.5


  • 2 grams of the crushed seed per day
  • As a herbal extract 2 mls twice a day

Cautions and Contraindications

Contraindicated in pregnancy.

Teresa Adouni Naturopath and HerbalistNaturopath and Nutritionist Teresa Adouni

Teresa is passionate about nutrition and cooking. She believes that good health lies in balance and her aim is to help you find that balance using supplements where necessary, herbal medicine, and food as medicine. Find out more about Teresa here   References
  1. Işik H, et al. Potential adjuvant effects of Nigella sativa seeds to improve specific immunotherapy in allergic rhinitis patients. Med Princ Pract. (2010)
  2. Salem EM, et al. Comparative study of Nigella Sativa and triple therapy in eradication of Helicobacter Pylori in patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia. Saudi J Gastroenterol. (2010)
  3. Bin Sayeed MS1, et al. Nigella sativa L. seeds modulate mood, anxiety and cognition in healthy adolescent males. J Ethnopharmacol. (2014)
  4. Boskabady MH, et al. The possible prophylactic effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in asthmatic patients. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. (2007)
  5. Datau EA, et al. Efficacy of Nigella sativa on serum free testosterone and metabolic disturbances in central obese male. Acta Med Indones. (2010)