Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

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Common name:


Synonym name:

black cumin

Hebrew name:

קצח הגינה

Scientific name:

Nigella sativa


Ranunculaceae - נוריתיים

Arabic name:


annual plant
0.6-0.8 m
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
Mostly it grows in cultivated fields especially in the Israeli Arab sector. Today you can find it growing wildly near the Arab villages. Nigella (black cumin) seeds are sold in spice stores and natural food stores.
Nigella (black cumin) is an annual plant from the family Ranunculaceae. It grows in cultivated fields, often it can be found growing wild near Arab villages. Its leaves color is grayish green, they grows alternate and are cut into narrow lobes. The flowers color is Grayish blue. The fruit consists of curved follicle in antlers shape. 
in the Israeli Arab traditional medicine nigella has Many uses: Its seeds are used as a remedy for diarrhea, chest and heart pain, cold, high fever, abortion, excessive sweating, body odor, stomach worms, body swelling, breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting, sores and scabies.
The best treatment For Cardiac rehabilitation is chewing nigella seeds. Dosage: 10 seeds, 3 time a day. 
Put the seeds in your mouth, hold between your teeth, chew a lot and swallow. 
Other way is to crush head of garlic, mix it with a cup of olive oil and a full teaspoon of nigella seeds. Eating 3 tablespoons of the mixture a day is effective for treating heart disease.
 Another way is to grind 2 heaping tablespoons of nigella seeds  and add them a cup of raisins, cup of sesame seeds, ½ cup of honey and ¼ cup of olive oil. Mix it well and eat 3 full tablespoons from the mixture per day. 
The Arabs of Israel grow nigella, and its seeds are added to bread and other baked food. Whole Nigella seeds are used for flavoring breads, rolls and cheeses. The seeds add a special taste to bread and pizza. The seeds are added to vinegar and candied fruits. In Italy and Southern France the seeds are used in cooking. In Germany it is added ground, in to black pepper, to enhance the flavor. Nigella seed powder is used in Indian cuisine as an ingredient of the curry spices mixture.
In the book of the prophet Isaiah it is written about nigella:  " When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the black cumin(nigella), and scatter the cumin (28,25); " For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing-sledge, neither is a cart-wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the black cummin is beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod"
In the Mishnah and Talmudic period they grew the plant throughout the country, and its seeds were used as a spice for bread and as a very effective medicine for treating heart disease.
Assaf the physician, The famous Jewish doctor from the sevens century, indicates the virtues of Nigella seeds "will benefit all kinds of colds in the head, chest and the rest of the body, kills intestinal worms, strengthen vitality and multiply sperm".