In India, each dish is incomplete without spices. “Kalonji” also known as black cumin is a very popular spice in every kitchen. In English, it is called fennel flower, black caraway, nutmeg flower, Roman coriander. It is a flavorful spice that has its own sweet and nutty flavor. Kalonji is a widely used medicinal plant that has a history of a thousand years. It finds its use in several forms like Kalonji oil, roasted seeds, raw seeds, etc. Kalonji or Kalojeere, also known as black cumin or black caraway that goes with the botanical name Nigella sativa is a flowering plant that grows vastly in the regions native to south and southwest Asia. Though popularly known as black cumin, it should not be confused with ‘Kala Jeera’ that belongs to the family of Binium bulbocastanum.
Touted as a ‘seed of blessing’, Kalonji seeds are used extensively in ancient medicine and various cuisines for their medicinal benefits and distinct flavour alike. These seeds form an integral part of ayurvedic medicine and are widely recommended for treating disorders that are related to stomach, eyes, heart and neurological conditions.
Ayurveda recommends daily consumption of 20 grams of these seeds to enhance lubrication between joints, for maintaining a healthy heart, fight breathing problems and to prevent cancer, thanks to its anti-carcinogenic properties.
Kalonji seeds are a storehouse of protein, carbohydrate, dietary fiber and fat. The seeds are also abundant in vital minerals including calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium and potassium and essential vitamins A, C, E and K conferring with the improved immune system, healthy liver and maintaining heart health. Kalonji oil can instantly cure eye-related problems such as eye redness and continuous watering. As it is rich in many essential vitamins, these black seeds improve vision and prevent further issues such as cataract. Take 1/2 tsp of Kalonji oil mixed with a glass of fresh carrot juice to improve eye problems.