Popular names: black coriander, black cumin, chernukha.
Parts used: seeds.
Pharmacy name: nigella seeds – Nigellae semen (formerly: Semen Nigellae).
Botanical description. Herbaceous plant within 30 cm in height. The leaves are three-lobed and pinnatipartite with narrow-lanceolate segments. The whole plant (especially the stem) is slightly pubescent. The stem is simple or branched. The white flowers at the tops of the branches are distinguished by a greenish or bluish pattern at the ends of the petals. Seeds are black, wrinkled, sharply triangular. Blooms from July to September. It is not easy to find nigella in nature, since it is cultivated less and less in gardens and feral specimens are not common. Southern Europe is considered the homeland.
Collection and preparation. Whoever is interested in this old medicinal plant should sow the blackberry in the garden. Do not forget that the ripened seeds still need to be dried after harvesting.
Active ingredients: essential oil, fatty oil, saponin, tannins and bitterness. The so-called nigellon turned out to be active against bronchial spasms, thymoquinone – as a choleretic agent.
Healing action and application. The chemical composition determines the gastric and choleretic effect of nigella, but it certainly has a beneficial effect on the intestines. This remedy is especially effective for flatulence, although it is not widely used. However, there is hope that science will look into this medicinal plant, since its seeds should also work with asthma. It remains only to wait. So far, nigella is only a folk remedy and in some places it is also used as a spice.
Use as a condiment. By order of Charlemagne and Saint Louis, the peasants had to grow “black coriander”, which was not only a medicinal plant, but also a valuable spice. Therefore, it was cultivated in many peasant gardens. Even today, nigella is used instead of pepper and as a culinary seasoning to improve digestion. I advise you to try this plant as a seasoning.
Application in folk medicine. In folk medicine, black seed tea is valued as a remedy for bloating, diarrhea and biliary colic. It is also given to women in labor with insufficient secretion of milk.
- Nigella tea: 1 teaspoon of crushed seeds pour 1/4 liter of boiling water, leave for 10 minutes and strain. Take 2 cups daily.
Side effects are not to be feared. Just avoid overdose to avoid irritating the stomach and intestines.