Black cumin (or Nigella sowing) is an annual herbaceous plant of the Ranunculaceae family. Seeds have a peppery taste and nutmeg smell due to the presence of essential oils in them. Unlike black pepper, it does not irritate the mucous membranes. The leaves and seed oil of black cumin have been used medicinally for centuries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Traditionally used for various procedures related to the problems of the respiratory system, stomach, intestines, kidneys, liver, cardiovascular system, improving immunity and improving the general condition of the body.
The phytochemical composition of this plant is quite diverse, including steroids, alkaloids, lipase enzyme, essential oil, fatty oil, triterpene saponins, coumarins, flavonoids, phenolcarboxylic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, melantin glycoside, bitter and tannins, vitamins.
Researchers have determined that nigella seed extract has an estrogenic effect and has antispasmodic properties. One of the main components of the essential oil of nigella – thymoquinone – has an analgesic effect. In addition, its choleretic effect has been confirmed, which makes it significant in fat metabolism and detoxification. A high antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral activity was also established.