Nigella Seeds are also known by a huge range of other names. They are also known as Black Caraways ,Black Cumin, Black Onion Seeds and Greek Coriander. It is also known as Kalonji in Hindu and Urdu and ?abbat al-barakah (seed of blessing) in Arabic. In Islam it is regarded as one of the greatest forms of healing medicine as it was recommended 1400 years ago in a hadith - "Use the Black Seed for indeed, it is a cure for all diseases except death." Sahih Bukari 7:591. It was also documented by the Greek physician of the 1st century, Dioscoredes, as an ailment for general health problems such as toothaches, headaches and was mainly used as a dietary supplement in those times. Egyptians also appreciated it as a panacea - Pharaoh Tutankhamun (1334-1325BC) even had a bottle of the oil in his tomb!
This flavoursome small black seed is often used in Jewish rye bread, flatbreads and savoury pastries. It is also mixed with other seeds, such as mustard, cumin, fennel and fenugreek to make up a blend known as Panch Puran which is used in Bengali cooking for beans, vegetable dishes and most famously, naan bread. In India, this seed is an ingredient in many curry and garam masala recipes.
Researchers have concluded that black seed oil could prove to be an effective ingredient to enhance mainstream treatment of allergic diseases. Also, prostaglandin E1 derived from the omega-6 fatty acids found in black seed oil is a potent immune regulatory substance, particularly in participation with important phytonutrients such as thymoquinone (TQ), which is believed to be one of the major active components of the seed.