Kalonji or Nigella Sativa is considered a miraculous herb with a rich historical and religious background. It is widely grown in different parts of the world and is an annual herb cultivated in India. The seeds of kalonji find their use as a spice and in herbal medicine. Ayurveda speaks highly of kalonji seeds for their ability to treat various ailments. Moreover, archaeologists found kalonji seeds as one of the treasures kept in Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt. Hence, it is evident that the wonders of kalonji seeds date centuries back.
Kalonji bushes, which are extensively planted throughout India, provide tiny black seeds. The kalonji seeds have a spicy taste and aroma, similar to that of fennel seeds and nutmeg. Kalonji is used in curries, bread and sweets across India, North Africa and the Middle East. Kalonji seeds are famously sprinkled over naans to enhance their taste. Although Kalonji seeds are one of the world’s oldest spices, they find their way into kitchens even today.
Kalonji Seeds: Common Names
- Tamil – Karunjarakam, Karunjiragam
- Telugu – Peeajila Kara, Nallajilakara
- Hindi – Kalajira, Mangraila
- Malayalam – Karinchirakam
- Bengali – Kala Zeera, Mangrela
- Guajarati – Kalaunji Jirum, Kadujeeroo
- English – Black Cumin, Nigella Seeds, Black Seed, Fennel Seed, Seed of blessing
Are Kalonji, Onion Seeds, and Black Sesame the same thing?
Onion seeds and black sesame are sometimes confused with kalonji. These seeds are completely unrelated and unquestionably distinct from one another.
Kalonji’s Nutrient Profile
Over 100 nutrients are found in the Black seeds. It comprises roughly of
- 21% – protein
- 38% – carbohydrate
- 35% – plant fats and oils
Vitamins and minerals:
- 102% – Iron
- 96% – Magnesium
- 35% – Vitamin C
- 25% – Vitamin B6
- 2% – Vitamin A
Interesting Ways to Incorporate Kalonji into your Daily Diet
Nigella Sativa can be used in a spice mix regularly. You can toss this spice mix into soups, dals, veggies, or salads.
- Kalonji seeds – 2 tbsp
- Coriander seeds – 6 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tbsp
- Fennel seeds – 6 tbsp
- Dry roast all the seeds and grind them into a fine powder.
- Add turmeric powder and store it in an air-tight container.
Note: This spice mix can be used in veg and non-veg curries/sabzi preparations.
Few more interesting ways to add Kalonji to your daily diet-
- Dry roast Nigella sativa, Cardamom, fennel seeds and powder them. Store in an airtight container. Mix half to one teaspoon of this spice mix into milk and enjoy.
- To balance the flavor and help digestion, add toasted nigella to citric pickles.
- A kalonji and jeera tempering goes well with rice
The Health Benefits of Nigella/Kalonji Seeds
1. Seeds of Kalonji for constipation
Clinical studies show both preventive and therapeutic effects of Nigella sativa and its main constituent – thymoquinone on various gastrointestinal disorders.
Constipation makes you restless all day long. It may also impact your appetite. It is the most common gastrointestinal disorder that causes problems with our digestive system. kalonji oil combined with warm water or black tea can help you overcome constipation quickly and effectively.
2. Reduces headaches
Natural remedies should be used instead of consuming unnecessary contemporary medicinal pills. A few drops of Kalonji oil applied to the temples will help you relax and ease a bad headache.
3. Helps to lose weight
Obesity is connected to many health problems. Studies show kalonji seeds aid in weight loss when taken along with warm water.
4. Improves oral health
Kalonji is an excellent tooth pain reliever. It is beneficial to your general oral health – bleeding gums and weak teeth. Apply few drops of Kalonji oil on the affected area for better healing.
5. Heart health
The heart is our body’s most critical organ, and keeping it healthy is crucial. It is an excellent heart tonic. It maintains your heart healthy by lowering your bad cholesterol levels.
6. Treats diabetes
Kalonji seeds are a powerful natural diabetes treatment. It aids in blood sugar regulation. Kalonji oil can be combined with warm water or black tea and consumed on an empty stomach by diabetics.
7. Improves memory power
Memory loss is a common concern for elderly people. For optimum brain function, take it every day on an empty stomach. Take kalonji seeds with mint leaves as recommended by Ayurveda for memory improvement. The oil from kalonji seeds is linked to improving your memory power.
8. Relieves muscle soreness
Kalonji seeds have pro effects that can help with a variety of ailments. It is well-known for relieving joint discomfort by lubricating the joints.
9. Keeps blood pressure in check
People take a lot of medicines to control their blood pressure, which can harm their kidneys.
With the help of Kalonji seeds, it can be naturally regulated. Kalonji seed oil also assists in the control of bad cholesterol levels.
Kalonji Oil and its Health Benefits
The Nigella Sativa seed oil is made from seeds and has therapeutic effects. Oil is extracted by cold pressing the herb.
We can solve an endless number of problems with black seed oil. Black seed oil can be applied directly to your skin and hair.
1. Skin and Hair Benefits
Kalonji oil can also be used along with coconut oil, honey, or olive oil, and applied to the skin and hair. To gain the benefits of kalonji oil, include it in your beauty routine.
The oil’s antibacterial properties may aid in the prevention of acne by combating skin infections. To treat acne, apply Kalonji oil mixed with a carrier oil to the skin.
3. Boosts the health of your hair
By fighting dandruff and scalp inflammation, kalonji oil can help to enhance scalp health. Black seed or kalonji has been found to be quite effective when it comes to preventing greying of hair before time.
Warm-up some black seed oil and massage the hair and scalp with it.
The oil is said to help with skin and hair quality. The skin is left feeling rejuvenated.
5. Combats Hair Loss
It also protects hair follicles from damage and prevents hair loss. The use of this oil to regrow hair is claimed to be a safe and natural method.
6. Weight reduction
Weight loss has been proven to be aided by supplementing with black seed. The seeds have been used in traditional medicine to reduce obesity, diabetes, and bad cholesterol.
- Allergies, asthma, diabetes, headaches, high blood pressure, and digestive problems are all treated with black seed oil
- The immune system is said to be boosted by black seed oil. It protects us against a variety of viral and bacterial illnesses. Honey and Kalonji mixed aid to strengthen your essential organs and bones
- Soak your feet in warm water with a teaspoon of Kalonji seed oil and lemon juice. This will aid in the speedy healing of cracked heels
- Black seed oil can be a good treatment for male infertility as studies show that it can increase sperm count and sperms can swim faster with the administration of black seed oil
- Black seed oil can reduce inflammation. It can also stall cell damage
- Black seed oil may have properties that can arrest cancerous growth. However, there are more studies that need to substantiate this claim
Take Kalonji oil along with curd and apply it to your gums and teeth to improve your dental health.
Side-effects of Kalonji oil
Some people may get an allergic reaction while using black seed oil topically. So first on a small area of skin to do a patch test. Just to make sure it doesn’t cause any allergic reaction. Always use high-quality, pure oil for maximum benefits.
Similarly, if you are ingesting black seed oil orally, you should seek a medical practitioner’s advice first. Too much of it may cause undesirable side effects.
Interesting Recipes Using Kalonji
1. Paratha with mint and kalonji seeds
Mint and kalonji seeds make these parathas extremely tasty, nutritious and give a distinct flavor.
- Wheat Flour – 2 cups
- Oats Flour – 1 cup
- Curd – ½ cup
- Kalonji Seeds – 4 tbsp
- Ghee – 1 tbsp
- Salt – As per taste
- Put the wheat flour, oats flour, salt, mint leaves, nigella seeds, curd, and salt in a bowl
- Knead the dough using water in small batches
- Allow 30 minutes for the dough to rest
- Roll the dough into small balls. Dust some flour and roll it into round or oval paratha.
- Cook on tawa until both sides cooked well
Apply a little ghee and serve immediately. This paratha is delicious with any spicy gravy. When served together they are a marvel combo!
2. Kalonji pulao
- Basmati Rice – 2 Cups
- Kalonji – 1 tbsp
- Cloves – 2
- Cinnamon – ½ stick
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp
- Butter/Ghee – 2 tsp
- Mixed Herbs – As per choice
- Almonds – As per choice
- In a mixing bowl, put the basmati rice (80-90% cooked)
- In a pan, melt the butter
- Combine all of the spices, including the kalonji seeds
- Toss in the rice and cook it over a low heat
- Allow the pan to sit on sim for another 5 minutes
Enjoy your rice, which is simple to make but packed with flavor!
Best Way to Preserve Nigella/Kalonji Seeds
Keep it dry and sealed. Limited quantities should be purchased to keep the aroma and flavor at their best.
Almost everybody can benefit from black seed, as it is a safe and effective plant. When the correct dose is taken, no irritations or adverse effects occur.
In high amounts, however, it can cause low blood sugar and low blood pressure. It’s also unclear how it will affect lactating mothers. So, if you’re lactating, it’s advisable to steer clear of Kalonji. Consistent use is necessary to reap the benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is Kalonji a hair-growth supplement?
A. Black seed oil is thought to naturally restore hair growth in thinning areas thanks to its high concentration of thymoquinone, a powerful antihistamine. The black seed oil has to be diluted in another carrier oil and applied to the scalp to reduce inflammation, stimulate hair growth, and reduce flakiness and sensitivity.
Q. What is the process for making black seed oil?
A. For the production of good quality oil with a high level of natural antioxidants, Oil is extracted by cold pressing.
Q. Is kalonji a seed that comes from onions?
A. No.. not only are kalonji seeds and onions seeds produced by different plants, but they also belong to different plant families. Kalonji seeds are obtained from the Nigella sativa plant while onion seeds are obtained from the Allium cepa plant.