Strengthen Your Immunity With These Foods During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Rahim

Black Seed

Black cumin seeds assist your body’s immune system directly, giving it aid wherever needed.

Also known as: Nigella sativa, Kalonji, Black cumin

Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): I heard Allah’s Apostleﷺ saying: “There is healing in Black Cumin for all diseases except death.” (Sahih Bukhari 7:71:592)

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  • Anti-Bacterial
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Oxidant
  • Anti-Fungal
  • Anti-Cancer Elements
  • Antihistamine
  • Antiasthmatic
  • Anti-Viral
  • Anticoagulant

For centuries, the Black Seed herb and oil have been used by millions of people in Asia, Middle East, parts of Europe and Africa to support their health. An aromatic spice, small and similar in size to sesame seed, it has been traditionally used for a variety of conditions and treatments related to respiratory health, stomach and intestinal health, kidney and liver function, circulatory and immune system support, and for general overall well-being.

Black Seed is grown in various countries and therefore known by many names such as Black Cumin (Egypt), Black Caraway (Turkey), Kalonji (Pakistan & India), Habbatul Baraka or the Blessed Seed (Middle East), among others. Its botanical name is Nigella Sativa.

Amazingly Black Seed’s chemical composition is very rich and diverse. Aside from its primary ingredient, crystalline nigellone, Black Seed contains 15 amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, both fixed oils (84% fatty acids, including linolenic, and oleic), and volatile oils, alkaloids, saponin, and crude fiber, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium and potassium. There are still many components in Black Seed that haven’t been identified. But research is going on around the world.

Mahfouz and El-Dakhakhny, prominent Egyptian researchers isolated the active principle nigellone from Black Seed’s essential oil in 1959.  There are over 100 different chemical components in the seed. 

Nigella and melatin are two ingredients in Black Seed that contribute greatly to its highly diversified powers.  These substances work together to provide the digestive benefits that have been revered in Black Seed.  They also promote cleansing and assist with overall eliminating action.

Two of the most volatile oils found in Black seed are nigellone and thymoquinone which were fist discovered in the herb in 1985.  Nigellone offers both anti-spasmodic and bronchodilating properties which contribute to Black Seed’s potency against respiratory ailments.  It also acts as an antihistamine which helps to reduce the negative symptoms of allergy sufferers. Thymoquinone contains excellent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is also a strong anti-oxidant and helps cleanse the body of toxins.  Both nigellone and thymoquinone work in conjunction with one another to enhance Black Seed’s action against respiratory ailments.  It also provides a healthy alternative to the more commonly prescribed cortisone based therapies used by allergy sufferers.

Black seed provides a rich supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These ingredients play a key role in daily health and wellness.  They help to regulate the metabolism, carry toxins to the skin’s surface for elimination, balance insulin levels, regulate cholesterol, improve body circulation, and promote healthy liver function.  A deficiency in polyunsaturated fatty acids can lead to a wide number of health problems including nervous system disorders, uninhibited growths, and skin diseases.

Black seed contains over 100 valuable nutrients.  It is comprised of approximately 21% protein, 38% carbohydrates, and 35% plant fats and oils.  The active ingredients of black seed are nigellone, thymoquinone, and fixed oils. Black seed also contains significant proportions of protein, carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.  Other ingredients include linoleic acid, oleic acid, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin B2, niacin, and vitamin C.

A 1994 study conducted in London by King’s College revealed that Black Seed has properties that inhibit certain enzymes, which also inhibit the production of certain prostaglandins. This is more proof that the rich and complex combination of elements found in Black Seed work together for a total effect.

Black Seed has over 1400 years history of use. Many ancient books and text suggest the following traditional uses for Black Seed. But please note, that these should not be understood as cures or treatments for any disease or illness.

Since black seed oil is a strong nutritional supplement, a significantly stronger immune system was found in patients who were consuming black seed oil.

One may use black seeds to improve one’s overall immune system, thereby improving your body’s defense mechanism and protection from bacteria.

If you are recovering from a common cold or experiencing the occasional seasonal soreness in your throat, the nigella seeds may ease your general discomfort.

For Cough and Asthma

Apply Black seed oil to the chest and back.

Mix a teaspoon of Black seed oil in Boiling water and inhale the vapor twice a day.

Take half a teaspoon of Black seed Oil daily in the morning.

Cystic fibrosis

Massage the chest with black seed oil, and drink a mixture of one teaspoon black seed oil with a teaspoon pure honey, morning afternoon and evening.

Diabetes

Mix a cup of whole black seeds, a cup of Water Cress Seeds (Mustard seed can be used as an alternative), half a cup of pomegranate peel and half a cup of fumitory. Grind the mixture to powder. Take half a teaspoon of the mixture together with a teaspoon of black seed oil daily before breakfast for one month.

Diarrhea

Mix a teaspoon of black seed oil with a cup of yogurt. Drink the mixture twice a day until symptoms disappear.

Dry Cough

A teaspoon of black seed oil should be mixed in coffee and taken twice a day. Rub the chest and back with black seed oil.

Eye disease & impaired vision

Rub the eyelids and the sides of the eye orbits half an hour before going to bed with black seed oil. A tablespoon of the oil should also be drunk with a cup of carrot juice. Results should be apparent in one month, insha Allah.

Facial paralysis & tetanus

 Inhaling the vapor of black seed oil and hot water can help against facial paralysis and tetanus, and eliminates their causes, insha Allah.

Flu & nasal congestion

Placing three to four drops of black seed oil in each nostril relieves nasal congestion and head cold distress.

Gall stones & kidney stones

Prepare a formulation of 250g of ground black seed & 250g pure honey, stir thoroughly before use. Take two tablespoons of this formulation and mix thoroughly with half a cup of hot water. Finally add one teaspoon of black seed oil. This mixture is to be taken every morning before consuming any food. Remember:

A teaspoon of black seed oil mixed in a glass of orange juice with breakfast makes you active all through the day. A teaspoon of black seed oil mixed in a hot drink after supper gives you a quiet sleep all through the night.

Asthma, Bronchial & Respiratory problems

Mix a tablespoon of black seed oil in coffee. Take twice daily. Rub chest with black seed oil every night and inhale the vapor of black seed oil in hot water.

Backache & other kinds of rheumatism

Mildly heat a small amount of black seed oil and then stroke the rheumatic area intensely. A teaspoon of oil should also be drunk three times daily.

Beard growth

Massage the beard area with black seed oil ensuring that the oil penetrates to the roots, this stimulates the growth of the beard and prevents premature hair graying.

Breast feeding (increase the flow of breast milk)

Prepare a mixture of 250g black seeds & 250g pure honey, stir thoroughly before each dosage. Take two tablespoons of this formulation mixed with one teaspoon of black seed oil daily.

Common cold symptoms and nasal congestion

Firstly fry whole black seeds, then finely grind them into powder. Soak this in black seed oil and any vegetable oil. Place three to four drops in each nostril (N.B. this will cause excessive sneezing).

For Hypertension  

Take half teaspoon of Black seed oil with any hot drink at any time. Take 2 lobes of garlic on empty stomach. Apply Black seed oil to your whole body and expose it to the sun every three days, continue the treatment for a month.

For Heart complaints & Constriction of Veins

Take half teaspoon of black seed oil mixed with any hot drink daily in the mornings, this will liquefy the fats and widen the veins and arteries.

Inflammation of the Nose and throat

Put a few drops of oil in to a cup of boiling water and inhale the vapor. Take half a teaspoon of black seed oil with lemon juice daily.

For Headache and Ear ache

Apply black seed oil to the forehead, sides of face adjacent  to the ears and behind  the ears. Take half teaspoon of Black seed Oil and continue for about 3 days.

For Loss of Hair & premature Graying.

Scrub the scalp thoroughly with lemon, leave it for 15 minutes, wash away with water and shampoo and dry well, thereafter apply Black seed oil to the whole scalp, continue for a few weeks. 

For Eye infection, Pain and Weak sight.

Apply Black seed oil around the eyes and on the eye lid before going to sleep. Take half a teaspoon Black seed oil mixed with carrot juice. For weak sight continue treatment.

For Backache and Rheumatic pain

Warm Black seed oil slightly and apply to the area thoroughly as you are massaging the bone, not the skin and drink half teaspoon Black seed oil for 15 days.

For Vomiting

Take half teaspoon of fresh ginger juice mixed with equal amount of Black seed oil, twice a day.

For toothache

Mix a half teaspoon of Black seed oil with warm water and gargle the mouth and apply oil on the affected tooth, it will alleviate pain quickly.


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Here’s a quick list of ways to take black seeds:

  1. Consume a teaspoon of black seed oil
  2. Mix teaspoon of black seed oil with honey
  3. Consume black seeds plain
  4. Boil water with black seeds, let simmer and consume (Black Seed Tea anyone?)
  5. You can add black seeds to bread, food, and pastries

Nigella sativa is NOT to be used for the treatment and cure of many diseases and serious illnesses, which should be addressed by consulting with your physician. And remember to always consult your doctor when it comes to trying to cure any serious health issues.

What it can be used for is promoting general health and well-being as a nutritional supplement to boost immune system.


Natural Remedies of Arabia

Arabic: Habba Souda, Habbat al-Barakah;
Other Name: Fennel Flower, Black Cumin Nigella sativa; Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Native to the Mediterranean and grown throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia, Nigella sativa is cultivated for its seeds, which are known as the “seeds of blessing.” For the Arabs, black seed is not only a food but also a valued traditional medicine that has long been used to treat such ailments as asthma, flatulence, polio, kidney stones, abdominal pain and so on. It has served as an important health and beauty aid for thousands of years.

According to tradition, the Prophet Muhammadﷺ described black seed as a cure for every disease except death. The great physician Ibn Sina (980–1037), better known as Avicenna, stated that black seed works as an expectorant, stimulates the body’s energy and helps overcome fatigue and dispiritedness.

How to use:

  1. Eat black seeds plain;
  2. Eat a teaspoon of black seed mixed with honey;
  3. Boil black seed with water. Strain and drink;
  4. Heat black seed and warm milk until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat. Cool, then drink;
  5. Grind black seed and swallow it with water or milk;
  6. Sprinkle on bread and pastries;
  7. Burn black seed with bukhoor (incense) for a pleasant scent.

In the kitchen: Black seed is aromatic with a slight peppery flavor. It is one of the distinct flavors of Arab pastries. It is often sprinkled on breads and cheese. It is heated with milk for flavor. It is eaten ground with honey or with cakes and pastries.

Remedies across Arabia: In Arabia, black seed remains a traditional remedy for asthma, coughs, stomach aches, abdominal pain, colic, general fatigue, rheumatism, mouth and larynx diseases, skin diseases and cancer. It is also believed to strengthen a mother after childbirth; stimulate menstruation, urination and liver functions; aid digestion; dissolve kidney stones; and increase intelligence. Black seed is used to beautify skin, nourish hair and stimulate hair growth.

Did you know?

Black seed was found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. This suggests that black seed had an important role in ancient Egypt, since it was customary to place in tombs items needed for the afterlife.


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FAQ’s About Black Seed

What is Black Seed?

Black Seed is a traditional herb that has been in use for thousands of years by people living in the Middle East and some parts of Asia and Africa to promote health and general well-being. It is also known the “Blessed Seed”.


What are the essential properties of Black Seed?

Black Seed herb contains over 100 components, many of which still remain to be discovered. It is a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids and contains about 35% oil, 21% protein, and 38% carbohydrates. More than 50% of the oil are essential fatty acids. It’s linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid content help form Prostaglandin E1, which helps the body to inhibit infections, balances the immune system, and regulates allergic reactions. Gamma-linolenic acid also helps stabilize the cell membrane. Black Seed also contains about .5-1.5% volatile oils including Nigellone and Thymoquinone which have been researched for anti-histamine, anti-oxidant, anti-infective, and broncho-dialating effects.


What are some of the traditional uses of Black Seed?

Traditionally, Black Seed has been used for a variety of conditions and treatments related to respiratory health, stomach and intestinal complaints, kidney & liver support, circulatory and immune system support, and to improve general health. Black Seed oil has been used topically for different skin conditions, dryness, joint and scalp massage.


What scientific research has there been on Black Seed?

Since 1959, there have been over 200 studies at international universities and articles published in various journals showing remarkable results supporting some of its traditional uses. In 1960, Egyptian researchers isolated that Nigellone, which is only found in Black Seed and responsible for its broncho-dialating effect. Recently scientists in Europe studied the anti-bacterial and anti-mycotic effects of black seed oil. Scientists at the Cancer and Immuno-Biological Laboratory reported in a study that Black Seed may stimulate bone marrow and immune cells and may raise the interferon production, protect normal cells against cell destroying effects of viruses, and raise the number of anti-bodies producing B cells.


What about the effects of Black Seed and Prostaglandin E1 on the Immune System?

Through the formation of Protaglandin E1, the complete immune system is harmonized and the body’s over-reactive allergic reactions are stabilized. By also inhibiting infection, the immune system is able to prevent and control chronic illnesses. Healthy cells are protected from the damaging effects of viruses, inhibiting tumors. As a result Interferon cell protein is formed, inhibiting growth of damaging micro-organisms. Recently independent clinical studies in the Archives of Aids described the possible effects of Black Seed on the defense system by improving the ratio between helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells by a significant amount while also enhancing the natural killer cell activity.


What are some of the other Effects of Black Seed?

Black Seed may support metabolism and improve digestion. There have been studies published that show Black Seed may have a lowering effect on blood sugar levels and may useful in the treatment of diabetes melitus.


What are the overall benefits of Black Seed?

Black Seed is a multi-faceted herb with many benefits, especially when it comes to maintaining a strong and healthy immune system. It is also very useful for respiratory complaints and seasonal allergies, weakened or over-stimulated Immune system, kidney or liver problems, digestive and stomach complaints, and joint and circulation related issues. Black Seed is a safe herb that can be used by anyone. It has no known side effects and has a long history of use for several thousand years.


What is more effective, Black Seed herb or oil?

Both are equally effective, but Black Seed oil is more concentrated and contains greater amounts of essential fatty acids. Caution should be taken when using low quality imported black seed oil because many oil products are imported and be adulterated or mixed with carrier oils. Some oils coming from the Middle East are extracted with heat and hexane, a petroleum by-product. Always use a product that is labeled as 100%, cold-pressed, solvent free, and packed and sealed by machine.

Continued on Page 3: Sumac


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