tahini.Black cumin plants are native to the western parts of Asia. It is grown both in the wild andcultivated on farms. Egypt, India and the Middle East also produce this medicinally reveredherb. The best seeds come from Egypt where they grow under almost perfect conditions inoases where they are watered until the seed pods form. Other names for black cumin extractare nigella, Black Caraway, Black Cumin, Damascena, Devil in-the-bush, Fennel flower,Melanthion, Nutmeg Flower, Roman Coriander, and Wild Onion Seed.
(Note: Some of those same names are also used for other plants. This article refers ONLY to Nigella sativa black cumin.)
Most people seeking the benefits of black cumin take the oil in capsule form. Over a period oftime, usually a few months, the hair and fingernails are strengthened and have more luster.However, some people use the oil externally, for beauty as well as for treating skin conditionssuch as psoriasis and eczema. One can buy a ready-made cream, add some oil to a favoritecream, or make one's own cream from scratch by warming equal parts (by volume) of blackcumin seeds and a nice carrier oil, like shea butter or jojoba. It's best to use a double boiler orbe lazy (like me) and use a yogurt maker because the temperature is very even so you cansafely ignore the process for hours. The oil will darken. When you feel this has been warmedlong enough, melt a little beeswax into the warm oil. Stir it with a glass rod or new chopstick. Ifyou like, you can add an essential oil or combination of oils just before the beeswax stiffens.Choose this for aesthetic or health reasons. Some people use such mixtures on burns or skininfections; some just use these creams to feel good, moisturize the skin, relieve joint or pain,or make wrinkles vanish.Many combine vinegar and oil. In this case, mix one cup of black cumin seeds in organicapple cider vinegar. Let this sit anywhere from a few days to two weeks. Then, strain themixture, first through a conventional strainer, then through a finer filter, like cheesecloth or achemical-free coffee filter or tea bag. Mix the remainder with equal parts black cumin vinegarand black cumin oil. Heat this for a few minutes and then put into a mason jar and refrigerate.Apply this to problem skin such as areas with acne or take one tablespoon before meals forflatulence and digestive problems.With a seed containing so many constituents and having such a long ethnobotanical history, itis not surprising that many throughout the Mediterranean and Asia believe that black cumin isbasically good for all that ails us. However, the claims are not outrageously far-fetched if oneconsiders how complete the seeds are in terms of their many chemical constituents,especially the major essential acids which make up the bulk of black cumin seed oil.
Black Cumin Seed Oil Composition:oleic acid - 49%linoleic acid - 38%linolenic acid - 2%
Since black cumin is regarded by many as a virtual cure-all, it may not be taken seriously bysome, but for those inclined to dismiss folklore, it should be noted that these humble seedshave been found superior to almost every other natural remedy when used for autoimmunedisorders, conditions in which patients suffer greatly because their own systems attack theirbodies. Black cumin, especially when combined with garlic, is regarded as a harmonizer of