Science of Spices and Culinary Herbs - Latest Laboratory, Pre-clinical, and Clinical Studies

Volume: 4

Nigella Sativa (Prophetic Medicine): The Miracle Herb

Author(s): Roohi Mohi-ud-din*, Reyaz Hassan Mir, Taha Umair Wani, Abdul Jalil Shah, Prince Ahad Mir, Nazia Banday, Rafia Jan, Asma Mohi-ud-din and Zulfiqar Ali Bhat *

Pp: 54-92 (39)

DOI: 10.2174/9789814998123121040005

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Nigella sativa Linn. belongs to the family Ranunculaceae and is recognized as a prophetic medicine because of its mention in Prophetic Hadith, as a natural remedy for all diseases except death. It is known as Habat-ul-Barakah/Habat-ul-Sauda in Arabian countries and as Kalonji in India. As per Tibb-e-Nabwi (Prophetic Medicine), its daily consumption has been highly suggested. Considering its potential, ancient herbalists have termed it as ‘the Herb from Heaven.’ Ibni Sina, famous as Avicenna in the West, also referred to N. sativa as the seed “that stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue” in his great book “The Canon of Medicine.” Seeds and oil of N. sativa have a long history of folklore usage in various systems of medicines and food like Unani and Tibb, Ayurveda and Siddha. Numerous studies support that the seed of N. sativa and specifically its main active constituent, thymoquinone, has significant potential and possesses a broad range of biological activities like antihypertensive, diuretics, digestive, hepatoprotective, anti-cancer, appetite stimulant, anti-diarrheal, nephroprotective, neuroprotective, analgesics, anti-bacterial, and in treating skin disorders. In this chapter, we intend to present a comprehensive review of traditional and ethnomedicinal uses of Nigella seeds in different systems of traditional medicines. Then, the present chapter is directed towards highlighting the beneficial contribution of researchers to explore the pharmacological actions with the therapeutic potential of this miraculous herb and its bioactive compounds in modern medicine as in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies to reveal its potential for the treatment of various diseases.

Keywords: Black seeds, Habat-ul-Barakah, Islamic Traditional Medicine, Nigella sativa, Thymoquinone, N. sativa oil, Tibb-e-Nabwi, Pharmacological actions, Phytochemistry.

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