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The Healing Powers Of Black Seeds
In the early twentieth century, the pharmaceutical drug industry began to form and began promoting new pills and other products as the ideal treatments for all manner of disease. Around this same time, many people (at least in industrialized countries in the Western world) began to forget about traditional folk remedies and natural treatments. In all folk medicine traditions, food was viewed as the ideal natural medicine, and one of the most widely praised of these was nigella sativa, or black seeds.
What Are Black Seeds?
Most people have probably encountered this spice before, but since it goes by so many different names, they may not be aware of it. Black seed is also referred to as Roman coriander, black cumin, fennel flower and black caraway. Whatever you choose to call black seeds, they’ve been used as a medicinal spice in many different cultures over the centuries.
These seeds come from the flower of the ranunculaceae family, which is native to the Middle East and is related to buttercups. Black seeds have a bitter taste, and are used as an ingredient in many dishes in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.
The Health Benefits of Black Seeds
Cancer-fighting properties. In one study on lab rats with colon cancer, treatment with black seeds was able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. What was amazing about this was that the beneficial compounds in black seeds specifically targeted the cancer cells, rather than indiscriminately targeting all fast-dividing cells the way chemotherapy does.
Other forms of cancer also appear to be treatable with thymoquinone, a compound extracted from black seed. One study found that it was able to kill breast cancer cells, and another produced similar results in glioblastoma, a particularly serious form of brain cancer. A study done in China found that thymoquinone has the ability to fight mouth cancer, as well.
Finally, research has also shown this compound’s effectiveness at combating leukemia.
While more research certainly needs to be done on the cancer-fighting abilities of black seed extracts, this is very promising news for people interested in alternative cancer treatments.
Compounds in black seeds are also effective against MRSA, or staph infections that don’t respond to standard treatment with antibiotics. A study at the University of Health Sciences in Pakistan found that strains of MRSA exposed to nigella sativa extract saw their growth inhibited. This is potentially life-saving news for patients all over the world dealing with treatment-resistant staph infections. As more and more disease strains emerge that are immune to antibiotics, traditional remedies like black seeds may see a huge comeback.
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