I’ve mentioned a lot on social media, and on a few other posts about my new found love for black cumin seed – but I know from your comments (and from just how new it is to me) that not everyone is aware that this even exists, let alone what it is used for, and how to actually implement it.
What is Black Cumin Seed?
Black cumin seed is from Nigella Sativa, a blue or white flowering plant in the buttercup family. There are many other names for black seed, including black caraway, onion seeds, kalonji, and fennel flower…. just to name a few.
The black seed grows in North Africa and the Middle East. One of the coolest non-nutritional facts about Black Cumin Seed is that it dates allllll the way back to the Old Testament (Isaiah 28:25), found in King Tut’s tomb and known for Muhammad’s quote that it could “heal every disease except death”.
What Does Black Cumin Seed Taste Like?
It has a strong, bitter, peppery, smoky flavor, and, when I open my bag of it, I had to question if It was pencil shavings based on the smell (I confirmed that this is just what it smells like when more than two different brands/purchases emit the same fragrance.) It takes me back to elementary school, but it tastes good. They are very aromatic.
What are the Health Benefits of Black Cumin Seed?
There have been many studies done showing promising results for improvement of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, allergies, and maybe even cancer. Some studies are showing hope for cognitive decline prevention in those with Alzheimer’s. A quick google will give you many more benefits and studies you can read for yourself. I often check out this site for things like this as a jumping-off point.
How Can You Use Black Cumin Seed?
Though some folks stuff their seed in a capsule and take it each day, we like to use it for seasoning only – all of the studies are on small doses of this seed and I’m not ready to try a larger dose. Cooking allows me to enjoy the aroma, the flavor, and the benefits.
Use it in homemade salsa and dressings, sprinkle it on potatoes or steamed veggies, add it to veggie soups and stews.
Is Black Cumin Seed Safe?
Black cumin seed appears safe in small doses (we use a quarter of a teaspoon or less) but do your own deep research and consult an herbalist or your physician to determine how often you should use this spice.