Black seed oil, also popularly known as kalonji oil, is extracted from Nigella sativa plant native to India.
It is a medicinal plant and according to Ayurveda, people have been using black seed oil and seeds to prepare medicines and herbal concoctions. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, and immune-enhancing properties.
Kalonji seeds are used in Middle Eastern countries as a spice. They add it to pastries, dairy products, salads, and other foods. Since ancient times blackseed oil has been applied topically and taken internally for virtually any ailment, from bruises, bad hair, colds, and snake bites to headaches, indigestion, and a variety of skin problems. It is an excellent remedy for asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and many other conditions. It helps to heal minor cuts and prevents formation of scars. A study of 90 obese women found that adding black seed oil to a low-calorie diet produced more weight loss than the diet alone. And a study of 250 men found that black seed oil by itself, or in combination with turmeric, produced some weight loss and reduced risk factors for diabetes. It also has conditioning, nurturing and healing benefits for the skin and scalp. Kalonji powder acts as a stimulant and when added to skin care products, helps to detoxify, deep cleanse and nourish the skin. A word of caution though, as black seed oil can turn rancid. It should be stored in a cool place, in a dark-coloured bottle. The normal dose is 1 tbs daily.
(The author is founder, Inatur)