Medicinal Properties of Onion Seeds

Onion Seeds

Botanical Name :- Nigella sativa
Indian Name :-

Other names: Kalonji (Hindi), Kezah (Hebrew), Chernuska (Russian), çörek otu (Turkish), حبه البركة ḥ habbatu l-barakah - Arabic

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This plant is found throughout India in the form of bushes, with blue flowers, that reach a height of approximately half a meter. It originally came from Turkey and Italy, and was brought to India by physicians to be cultivated. The seeds are black and triangular in shape, have a strong pungent smell, and contain a considerable amount of oil.

Chemical Composition: The seeds contain 1.5 % volatile oil and 37.5 % non-volatile oil. In addition to this albumen, sugar, organic acids, glucoside, melanthin, metarbin and bitter substances are also found. The glucoside is toxic in nature; hence its in large doses and for a prolonged period may be harmful.

According to Zohary and Hopf, archeological evidence about the earliest cultivation of N. sativa "is still scanty", but they report that N. sativa seeds have been found in several sites from ancient Egypt, including Tutankhamun's tomb. Although its exact role in Egyptian culture is unknown, it is known that items entombed with a pharaoh were carefully selected to assist him in the after life.

The earliest written reference to N. sativa is thought to be in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament where the reaping of nigella and wheat is contrasted (Isaiah 28: 25, 27). Easton's Bible dictionary states that the Hebrew word ketsah refers to without doubt to N. sativa (although not all translations are in agreement). According to Zohary and Hopf, N. sativa "was another traditional condiment of the Old World during classical times; and its black seeds were extensively used to flavor food."

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-removes the obstruction of any part of the body, expels the gases and strengthens the stomach.
-It is emmenagogue, lactogogue and a diuretic.
-It is an anti-helminthic, if taken with vinegar and useful with chronic colds.
-Its inhalation is beneficial in the treatment of common colds.
-Its oil is effective with alopecia (hair loss).
-Half a teaspoon, if boiled in water, is helpful for asthma and alleviates the toxic effects of bee and wasp stings.
-Continuous use of the seeds is effective for mad dog bites.
-Paralysis, facial palsy, migraine, amnesia and palpitations are also ailments which benefit from it.
-It can also be used as an expectorant and antipyretic.
-It normalizes the secretions of the stomach and pancreas. This is very effective in the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus.
-It expels stones in the kidney and bladder if taken with honey.
-It is effective in jaundice when taken with milk.
-Its powder, when taken with water, is good for hemorrhoids.
-If black seeds are boiled in vinegar and then applied to the teeth and gums, it reduces inflammation and pain of the gums.
-It is also reported that its fine powder is effective if applied in the early stages of cataracts.
-Black seed is also used for skin disorders.
-The oil is also effective in earache.

Onion seeds have been traditionally used in the Middle East and Southeast Asian countries to treat ailments including asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and related inflammatory diseases, to increase milk production in nursing mothers, to promote digestion and to fight parasitic infections. Its oil has been used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and boils and to treat cold symptoms. Its many uses have earned nigella the Arabic approbation 'Habbatul barakah', meaning the seed of blessing.

Onion Seed Recipes -  Onion Seed Naan

  • Directions:

  • 350 gm self-raising flour
  • 200 ml soda water
  • Half tsp Nigella (black onion) seeds
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • Butter to serve
  • 1 tsp salt


    Method :

    Heat the soda water in the microwave for a minute. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl with a fine sieve. Add to it the salt and nigella seeds.

    Then pour half the soda in and crumble the dough mixture. Slowly add in the rest of the soda water in and mix it into the flour with your hands.

    When the soda is evenly incorporated into the flour, start punching it with your knuckles over and over again in a rolling motion.

    If the dough feels sticky to the touch, you could add a teaspoon of flour to it. Ultimately, you will get a pliable dough and that spings back when you touch it.

    Of course you could just do all of this with a dough hook.

    Now, transfer it to a bowl greased with the oil. Cover it with a clean, wet cloth and leave to sit somewhere warm. If it’s cold, you could just stick it in the oven turned to its lowest setting.

    After an hour, take the dough out and punch it well for two minutes. Then stick it back in the bowl under damp cloth.

    Another hour later, preheat the oven to 230 degrees centigrade. When it’s hot, line a baking sheet with kitchen foil. Roll the dough with your hands into a long, thick sausage. Break it into four equal parts. Fashion each part into a quarter inch thick tear shape and place on the sheet.

    Bake for about eight minutes. Then rub the golden brown top with butter until it melts all over and serve hot.

    If making more, you could add the butter and leave to sit wrapped with a clean cloth or some kitchen foil. Serve hot and freeze some for later like I did.

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