Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said: “Use this Black Seed regularly, because it is a cure for every disease, except death.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
What is the Black Seed?
Its botanical name is Nigella sativa. It is believed to be indigenous to the Mediterranean region but has been cultivated into other parts of the world including the Arabian peninsula, northern Africa and parts of Asia.
The Black seeds originate from the common fennel flower plant (Nigella sativa) of the buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family. It is sometimes mistakenly confused with the fennel herb plant (Foeniculum vulgare).
The plant has finely divided foliage and pale bluish purple or white flowers. The stalk of the plant reaches a height of twelve to eighteen inches as its fruit, the black seed, matures.
The Black Seed forms a fruit capsule which consists of many white trigonal seeds. Once the fruit capsule has matured, it opens up and the seeds contained within are exposed to the air, becoming black in color.
The Black seeds are small black grains with a rough surface and an oily white interior, similar to onion seeds. The seeds have little bouquet, though when rubbed, their aroma resembles oregano. They have a slightly bitter, peppery flavor and a crunchy texture.
The Black Seed is also known by other names, varying between places. Some call it black caraway, others call it black cumin, onion seeds or even coriander seeds. The plant has no relation to the common kitchen herb, cumin.
Muslims’ use of the Black Seed:
Muslims have been using and promoting the use of the Black Seed for hundreds of years, and hundreds of articles have been written about it. The Black Seed has also been in use worldwide for over 3000 years. It is not only a prophetic herb, but it also holds a unique place in the medicine of the Prophet .
It is unique in that it was not used profusely before the Prophet Muhammad made its use popular. Although there were more than 400 herbs in use before the Prophet Muhammad and recorded in the herbals of Galen and Hippocrates, the Black Seed was not one of the most popular remedies of the time. Because of the way Islam has spread, the usage and popularity of the Black Seed is widely known as a "remedy of the Prophet ." In fact, a large part of this herbal preparation's popularity is based on the teachings of the Prophet .
The Black Seed has become very popular in recent years and is marketed and sold by many Muslim and non-Muslim businesses.
The Black Seed is rich in nutritional values. It contain almost 40% fixed oils and 1.4% volatile oils. It also contains around fifteen amino acids, proteins, calcium, iron, sodium, and potassium. Among its most effective compositions are thymoquinone, dithymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, and thymol. The magazine Food Chemistry found the Black Seed to be high in protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, C and niacin as well as calcium, potassium and iron. These are the very nutrients that modern science has found that we most lack. It also provides many of the same nutrients that the FDA recommends to help prevent disease and slow down the aging process.
Dr. Michael Tierra, author of Planetary Herbology, also found the Black Seed to be high in the above nutrients. In addition, he found a remarkable number of sterols, especially beta-sitosterol, which is known to have anti-carcinogenic properties. The Journal of American Scientists reports that Black Seed has a number of useful properties such as antihistamine, antioxidant, antibiotic, antimycotic and broncho-dilating effects.
The benefits and uses of the Black Seed:
The Black Seed is an excellent herb with many benefits and uses, especially when it comes to maintaining a strong and healthy immune system. The prophetic reference in describing the Black Seed, as having a healing for all illnesses is not exaggerated as it at first appears. The Black Seed has been used for a variety of medical problems for several thousand years. These uses range from stomach aches to asthma, cancer to coughs, and the traditional use as a spice. The Black Seed is also used as: a carminative (rids the body of gas from the intestines), a digestive (aids in the digestion of foods), a diuretic (increases urine flow by ridding the body of excess water), an emmenagogue (promotes and regulates menstruation), a galactagogue (increases the production of milk), a resolvent (dissolves boils and swelling), a stimulant (increases the flow of adrenaline and energy), a stomachic (relieves stomach disorders), a sudorific (increases perspiration), a tonic (improves bodily functions), and a vermifuge (expels worms). Caution should be taken when using the black seed by pregnant or potentially pregnant women, as high doses of this product could induce spontaneous abortions.
To insure that you are taking the Black Seed look for the words Nigella Sativa. Only this plant, as opposed to true cumin or coriander has the ability to “heal all diseases.”
Research suggests that the Black Seed is an effective antitumor treatment for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and fibrocystic breast disease. The Black Seed may also be of possible benefit in treating high blood pressure. Except its potential to cause spontaneous abortions (and only at high dosages), there may be little if any toxic side effects to using the Black Seed.
Recent research has provided evidence that most illnesses arise because of an imbalanced or dysfunctional immune system, which cannot perform its primary function of defending the body optimally. Researches also indicate that the Black Seed contains an ability to significantly boost the human immune system - if taken over time.
The role of the Black Seed in increasing human immunity was not clear before 1986, when Dr. Qaadi and his colleagues started a series of researches in the United States. Afterwards, many researches were launched in various countries. Dr. Qaadi proved that the use of the Black Seed strengthens immunity since the ratio of the T assistant lymph cells increased by an average of 72% compared to the restraining cells. Also, there was a considerable development in the activity of natural killer cells with an average of 74%.
The results of many modern researches supported the findings of Qaadi. Amongst them are the results published by the International Immunity magazine in August 1995 about the effect of black seed on the outer lymph cells and the activity of white blood multi-nucleus cells. In September 2000, the International Immunity magazine also published a research on the effect of the Black Seed oil in preventing cytomegalovirus on laboratory rats. The Black Seed oil has been tested as an anti-virus substance and the immunity acquired during the early stages of the disease was measured through determining the natural killer cells and other things.
In October 1999, the European magazine of Cancer published an article on the effect of thymoquinone on abdomen cancer in rats. Likewise, in May 1998, a magazine specialized in anti-cancer researches published an article on the extracts of the Black Seed as a treatment for cancer tumors. On April 2000, the Ethanol Medical magazine wrote about the toxicity and immunity effects of ethanol extracted from the Black Seeds. Also, in February 1995, Medical Plants magazine published an article on the effects of the Black Seed stable oil and thymoquinone on white blood cells. Many other researches came out supporting these facts.
More research is being done on the effectiveness of the Black Seed. Research trials are also being planned in various countries to study its actual effects on humans. However, we don't need to look any further than the Prophet's words that tell us there is healing in this plant. As long as we trust in Allah and take the prescription His Prophet has given us, we will all be evidence of this magnificent plant's abilities to heal all diseases.
Nonetheless, more is needed to be learned about the appropriate doses of this herb for various medical problems. We pray that Allah may guide Muslim physicians to take a closer look at this plant and begin prescribing it for all of our physical ailments.
The Prophet told us that the Black Seed is a cure for every disease. The Arabic word ‘Shifaa’ (cure) came without the definite article which means that it is an indefinite word that covers most cures. This means that the Black Seed contributes to the cure of every disease. It has been scientifically proved that the immunity system is the only system that has the ability to combat diseases and produce cells that kill viruses.
Based on these facts, we can conclude that the Black Seed is a cure for every disease because it strengthens the immunity system which is responsible for curing diseases and combating viruses.
These scientific facts are obvious. No one can claim the credit of knowing these facts fourteen centuries ago, except a Prophet. Allah Almighty Says about His Prophet (what means): “Nor does he speak of (his own) inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed.” [Quran 53: 3-4]