Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Any qualified nutritionist will agree that the storehouse of the health-giving nutrition in a plant is not the flesh but it is the seed. Mother Nature does put all her eggs in one basket – she calls it a seed! Therein resides the “family jewels” of the plant and the promise of its future. But the seed is guarded by bitter tasting and acrid chemicals which discourage animals and man from eating them. So, for example, you yourself typically eat the sweet flesh of the apricot and throw away the seed (which, by the way, is the source of a potent cancer remedy Laetrile), or you eat the pumpkin pie but throw away the potent pumpkin seeds which rescue thousands of prostates a day! You eat the grape fruit but throw away the seeds which kill parasites. The seed typically has 30 fold more active ingredients than the flesh of fruit or vegetable.
I can help you stop wasting the greatest gift of the plant when you throw away the seed. It is time to stop wasting this nutritional opportunity! Eat the seeds!
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Within Islam there are many herbs, plants and fruits that are believed to have medicinal and healing properties. Olive, pomegranate, dates and figs are amongst those that are directly mentioned in the Qur’an as blessed foods. However, there is only one that can stake a claim as a super food and that is Black cumin or ‘Habbat ul Sawda’ as it is known in Arabic. According to hadith, the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) is believed to have said: “In the black seed is healing for every disease except death.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Indigenous to the Mediterranean region, the black seed plant (Nigella Sativa) has been used medicinally by Muslims and non-Muslims alike for hundreds of years. In fact the earliest written reference to the black cumin is in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament where Isaiah talks of the harvesting of the black seed. It was also mentioned in the Bible as the curative ‘black seed’ and has been used by Asian herbalists and the Romans for culinary purposes. However it never really held any place of importance until the rise of Islam.
A Cure For All Things
Within Arabo-Islamic culture, the black seed has been prescribed for various ailments including fever, asthma, chronic headaches, diabetes, digestion, back pain, infections and rheumatism. In fact, since its rise in popularity in the Seventh century the black seed has remained a staple of family medicine within the Muslim world. The black seed is believed to have 100 components and is a significant sources of fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Whenever I get a cold or flu, the first things that gets added to my hot drinks is black cumin and although it leaves no taste in the drink- the trick is to chew the seeds rather than just swallow them whole. They have a slightly bitter and peppery taste but nothing too strong so it is a relatively pain-free medicine. My mother constantly tells me about its amazing properties and it seems that there science out there to back it up.
A Revival In Natural Medicine
Black seed has been scientifically proven to demonstrate strong anti-bacterial, antioxident, anti-inflammatory andantiviral properties which support its claims to be of medicinal value for various ailments. There was also interesting studies carried out which found that black cumin had inhibitory effects on carcagins and was also helpful for fighting tumours.
A rise interest of Mediterranean cuisine and herbs has highlighted the uses of the black seed which seems to be enjoying a revival in popularity across the Muslim world and in the west. It has been introduced to recipes and is even an ingredient in Evoca cola which is also known as ‘Islam Cola’.
Black seed can also be used as a spice and particularly as a substitute to pepper- although with its additional properties it really does give flavour with added health benefits.