8 Proven Health Benefits of Kalonji (Nigella Seeds)

8 Proven Health Benefits of Kalonji (Nigella Seeds)

Kalonji also called black cumin or Nigella is a natural remedy for many health problems. Its scientific name is Nigella sativa and it belongs to the buttercup family of flowering plants.

The seeds, contained inside fruit have medicinal potential. These seeds are used in many recipes. For centuries, kalonji plant is a treatment for bronchitis, diarrhea and many other health problems.

Following are the beneficial things that you must know about Kalonji.

1.Kalonji is rich in antioxidants

Kalonji is naturally rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants are helpful to neutralize the harmful free radicals inside the body which otherwise causes oxidative damage to cells. As per research, antioxidants are generally good for health. They protect the body against certain conditions such as cancer, diabetes, cardiac diseases and obesity.

There are certain compounds inside kalonji that includes thymoquinone, carvacrol, t-anethole, and 4-terpineol. These compounds make up most of the antioxidant potential. However, more research is required to determine the mechanism by which these antioxidant compounds influence human health.

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2. Kalonji can help to lower cholesterol

Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance inside the body. The problem arises when cholesterol is produced in high amounts, which stores inside the body and increase the risk of heart problems.

Fortunately, Kalonji is one of the many gifts from nature that help in lowering cholesterol. There are several research studies, which explain that kalonji is associated with reducing the levels of both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides.

Kalonji oil is a product of kalonji, which has a better effect on lowering cholesterol as compared to kalonji seeds alone. The effect of kalonji on HDL or good cholesterol is positive. It increases the levels of HDL cholesterol inside the body.

health benefits of Kalonji

3. Kalonji may help to treat cancer

Kalonji has a high content of antioxidant compounds that help to neutralize the free radical damage. The diseases like cancer are mostly affected by free radical damage, which increases the spread of the cancerous cells. If the free radical damage is under control, the disease can be managed in a better way.

Kalonji has been studied for the potential anticancer potential. Thymoquinone, its active compound that is of significant importance. It induces cell death of cancer-causing cells in the blood.

However, there is no evidence of the use of Kalonji in treating cancer in humans. More studies are required to determine the exact way and method to use kalonji against cancer.

4. Kalonji has antibacterial effect

Bacteria are the long-term enemy of humans which cause an infection whenever possible. Disease-causing bacteria have a long list of infections for humans. It ranges from minor ear infections to deadly pneumonia.

The research suggests that kalonji has a natural antibacterial potential. It can fight against certain strains of bacteria that otherwise cause infection in humans. When topically used, it is helpful against bacteria, which cause skin infections i.e. staphylococci.

This role of kalonji as an antibacterial agent is, however, dosage dependent.

health benefits of Kalonji

5. Kalonji reduced inflammation

Inflammation looks like a minor thing but when it occurs at a cellular level, it can cause various problems. Inflammation is not a disease itself but just an immune response by the body. It can occur due to multiple reasons i.e. injury, infection etc.

Chronic inflammation is said to be indicating a number of underlying health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. Kalonji is proven by research as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.

It is even effective in severe disease i.e. rheumatoid arthritis. The same compound thymoquinone helps to reduce the inflammation. Even after the proven effective results of kalonji, the human usage of kalonji needs a clear guideline.

6. Kaloji protects the liver from damage

The liver plays an extremely important role in the human body. It removes the toxins, metabolizes drugs, processes nutrients and produces certain proteins and chemicals, which are otherwise damaging for health.

Kalonji protects the liver from damage and injury, which is proven by research. The main reason, which gives kalonji its distinctive properties, is against the oxidative stress.

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7. Kalonji regulates the blood sugar level

High blood sugar brings numerous health problems. The major symptoms of having high sugar level include increased thirst, unintentional weight loss, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.

If it is ignored for long and untreated, high blood sugar can result in serious complications such as nerve damage, vision changes and delayed wound healing. The research records suggest that kalonji regulates the blood sugar.

health benefits of Kalonji

8. Kalonji prevents the risk of stomach ulcers

Stomach ulcers are very painful which are formed when stomach acid wash the mucus layers of the stomach. These mucus layers are protective in nature. When this layer is distorted, the result is painful ulcers inside the stomach.

Kalonji is helpful to preserve the internal lining of the stomach. In this way, it prevents the stomach ulcers to form. Research says that kalonji and its compounds are helpful to prevent the development and protection of stomach lining, even after effects of alcohol.

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All these types of researches are only limited to animal models. They are not tested on humans. It suggests that you can use kalonji as a health supplement but it is not the medicine for stomach ulcers

Extra benefit- Kalonji is easy to use in routine

Kalonji is easily accessible and you can find it everywhere. There are so many ways to use kalonji in the diet. Usually, the taste of kalonji is not very admirable. It is somewhat bitter. It tastes like a mix of oregano and onions.

Kalonji is a major part of Middle Eastern and South Asian recipes. When used it recipes, it is lightly toasted. It is either used as whole or ground as a fine powder in curry or baked dishes.

Some people also eat raw kalonji seeds mixed with honey, yogurt or water. They can be added to breakfast in oatmeal or smoothies. Kalonji oil is also available in the market which is used after dilution. It can be applied topically for growing hair, reducing inflammation and on different skin conditions.

Kalonji is also available in the form of supplements, which can be used directly. Among all these forms, a user can select any that suits him.

Don’t forget that Kalonji is not suitable for everyone

While reading all these benefits, remember that kalonji is not suitable for everyone. It truly depicts the famous quote that not everything is for everyone. Despite the benefits of kalonji, there are many people who cant use kalonji.

Kalonji is safe for everyone when it is used as spice or seasoning food recipes. But when you take kalonji supplement or kalonji oil, it comes with a number of precautions and risks.

For example, you can’t randomly use kalonji on skin before testing it. it may interact with your skin and cause an adverse reaction. For the safe side, do a patch test by using a small amount of kalonji oil on the skin. If it doesn’t itch or burn, you can prolong the use.

Also, it is not suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. It is better to consult your doctor before using kalonji in these situations.

The takeaway

Kalonji is seed from Nigella sativa plant, which is famous for their diverse benefits. They have a high medicinal property due to the rich antioxidant content. Traditionally kalonji is used in a number of food recipes and home remedies.

Kalonji has many health benefits, most of which are proven by research. However, it is not evident how and how much kalonji should be used to treat these health conditions naturally. It suggests that more research should be done on safe usage guideline of kalonji.

Not as a medicine but you can use kalonji to season your food recipes or to use it as a supplement. It brings many health advantages if used in accordance with safe usage practice.

 

The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.

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