14 Amazing Health Benefits of Kalonji
Kalonji or Nigella seeds are small storehouses of anti-oxidants and nutrients. They are beneficial t the body in ways ranging from helping fight acne to reducing the risk of cancer.
Nigella seeds, or kalonji, are perfect when it comes to benefits such as weight loss, fighting acne, regulating blood pressure and managing blood sugar levels. What’s more, Kalonji seeds have numerous properties that help fight disease-causing bacteria. Nigella seeds are also completely effortless to incorporate into your regular diet. Over centuries, Kalonji has been known to be used to treat a wide range of ailments and has been a favorite ingredient in many home remedies. Along with these, Kalonji is also packed with vitamins, amino acids, and other proteins.
Millions of Indian homes use Nigella seeds not just for its wide range of health advantages, but also because of its ability to add flavor and character to your food. Kalonji is the Indian name for Nigella seeds and is an ingredient generally used widely in Indian dishes for tempering and for adding a nutty and delicious flavor to the food. It does the work of adding an alluring aroma and a unique taste.
Let us take a deep dive into the health benefits of Kalonji Seeds.
Health Benefits Of Kalonji (Nigella Seeds)
1. Helps Reduce Inflammation
A number of studies have been conducted to observe the effect of kalonji on the body’s natural immune response to injuries and infection, which is known as inflammation.
The effects of kalonji have also been observed on chronic inflammation which contributes to diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It was observed in a study that Nigella seeds have a component known as Thymoquinone which helps decrease inflammation in pancreatic cancer cells.
Additionally, another study conducted on rheumatoid arthritis patients showed that kalonji oil helped reduce inflammation.
Although the results of these studies have been promising, results in humans were limited to those already suffering from specific illnesses.
2. May Help in Fighting Cancer
Kalonji is packed with antioxidants which help bring down the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer. Certain test-tube studies showed that thymoquinone present in kalonji helps in killing blood cancer cells.
More test-tube studies conducted also showed that Nigella seeds may also be effective in reducing the risk of several other types of cancer such as breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.
Yet again, the studies conducted have been promising, but further studies are required to ascertain these results in human beings.
3. Helps Kill Disease-Causing Bacteria
Kalonji has proven to be just as effective as antibiotics in killing off disease-causing bacteria that can lead to conditions ranging from the simple flu to pneumonia. A study conducted on infants showed that the topical application of Nigella seeds on infants has the same results as antibiotics in cases of Staphylococcal skin infections.
More studies have been conducted that have shown promising effects of Nigella seeds on the inhibition of the growth of MRSA and many other bacterial strains.
Kalonji Seeds For A Healthy Heart
4. Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels
The human body has two types of cholesterol- HDL or good cholesterol and LDL or bad cholesterol. Intensive research suggested that Kalonji helped reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Additionally, a study showed that kalonji seed powder helped increase good cholesterol levels in the body.
Another study conducted on diabetic individuals concluded that regular consumption of kalonji for a year showed a significant decrease in bad cholesterol levels and increase in good cholesterol levels.
In another similar study conducted on diabetic individuals who consumed 2 grams of Nigella seeds every day for 12 weeks showed improved cholesterol levels.
Kalonji Seeds For Respiratory Issues
5. Helps with Asthma
The consumption of Nigella seeds in the form of a boiled extract helps relieve nasal congestion since it opens up the bronchioles, allowing easier airflow.
It has also been observed that kalonji seeds help to provide relief from nasal congestion, runny nose, and itchy nose.
Helps Protect Major Organs
6. Good for the Liver
Several studies were conducted on animals to see the effectiveness of kalonji seeds in protecting against liver damage and injury. One particular study observed the effect of exposing mice to toxins either with or without the presence of kalonji seeds. It was seen that the mice exposed to kalonji showed lower degrees of liver and kidney damage.
These studies were conducted on animal subjects and not on human beings. Hence, the results of these studies, although promising, are not conclusive in the case of human beings.
7. Helps Protect the Kidney
Popular opinion states that consuming kalonji oil along with some honey and warm water can help relieve pain caused by kidney stones, help prevent kidney stones and also protect the kidney against infections.
8. Helps Prevent Stomach Ulcers
Painful sores in the stomach’s lining known as stomach ulcers are caused by stomach acids damaging the stomach’s lining. Kalonji has shown to help protect the stomach lining.
In a study conducted on 20 rats with stomach ulcers, it was seen that treating them with kalonji worked just as well as treating with common medicines.
In another animal study, the effect of kalonji was observed on the prevention of stomach ulcers and the protection of the stomach lining against the effect of alcohol.
It is important to note that both these studies were conducted on animal subjects and not human beings. Further research is required to ascertain the effects on humans.
To helps strengthen teeth and gums
Nigella seeds have been used to help strengthens teeth and gums for ages. Massaging curd and kalonji on your gums twice every day can help you maintain oral health.
For reducing joint pains
Yet another age-old remedy, it is a common practice to heat up some kalonji with mustard oil until the oil begins to smoke. This oil is then cooled down and applied to inflamed joints for pain relief.
Kalonji for weight loss
Many believe that adding some Nigella seeds to your regular mix of warm water, honey and lemon can help shed extra kilos and get in shape.
For boosting memory
It is a common practice to consume ground up kalonji seeds with honey to boost memory power.
For skin health
A cup of sweet lime juice along with a spoon of kalonji oil can be applied on the face about twice a day. This helps to get rid of blemishes and acne. However, remember to do a patch test on your arm first to check for any possible allergic reactions.
To strengthen the immune system
Kalonji is packed with anti-oxidants. Daily consumption of nigella seeds helps strengthen the immune system.
Other Names of Kalonji
- Nigella Seeds
- Black Cumin
- Black Caraway
- Black Seed
- Cumin Noir
- Fennel Seed
- Small Fennel
- Seed of Blessings
If you plan on using Kalonji, or any other natural product for that matter, topically- do not forget to first perform a patch test, preferably on the arm, to check for any allergic reactions that may take place. Always buy seeds that look jet black in color and have a strong aroma. Store these seeds in cool places in airtight containers. Also, avoid buying large quantities of kalonji since very little goes a long way.
- What is Black seed oil and how is it made?
Black Seed Oil or Kalonji Oil is derived from cold-pressed Kalonji seeds, a process that is commonly used to extract pure oils from nuts and seeds. This method ensures that the properties of the Black Seeds are retained and maximum benefits can be attained.
- How is Kalonji Oil used?
Kalonji Oil can be taken internally or applied topically on the skin and scalp. A small patch test is advised on the skin before extensive use on skin and scalp. It can be used alone or in combination with other natural ingredients for added benefits according to the condition you need to address. For overall well-being, it is advised to mix half a teaspoon of Kalonji Oil with a teaspoon of honey and consume it on an empty stomach in the morning and later at bedtime.
- What are the different ways to consume Kalonji?
1. Kalonji Powder
Take ¼ – ½ teaspoon of powdered Kalonji. Swallow it with water or honey after taking lunch or dinner.
2. Kalonji Capsule
Take 1 capsule with water after taking lunch or dinner.
3. Kalonji Oil
Take ¼ – ½ teaspoon of Kalonji oil with warm water once a day after a meal. Do check the label of Kalonji oil bottle before using internally.
- Is Kalonji good for hair growth?
Yes, Kalonji may be good for hair. Kalonji seed and oil have antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. It strengthens the hair follicles and retards hair fall as well as promotes hair growth. It also provides lustre to hair and manages damaged hair