Black Seed Oil & Islam: Benefits, Use & Hadith

Khadija Ahmed

January 15, 2024
Organic black seeds (Nigella Sativa) in a ceramic bowl, a healthy supplement mentioned in the Quran

We've read about the Quranic benefits of pomegranate, figs, and dates, but did you know that Black Seed (or Nigella Sativa) is also referenced in Ahadith from the times of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as one of the most important superfoods you can consume?

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah's Messenger (pbuh) saying, "There is healing in black cumin for all diseases except death." [Sahih al-Bukhari 5688]

So what exactly is Black Seed? 🌱

Black seed, also known as Nigella Sativa, black cumin, fennel flower, black caraway, Roman coriander or kalonji, originates from a small flowering shrub that grows in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Western Asia. This tiny, jet-black seed is incredibly potent, having been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years due to its wide array of health benefits, including treatment for everything from asthma to diabetes.

Where is Black Seed mentioned in Islamic texts? 📖

Black Seed is mentioned numerous times in authenticated hadith including the aforementioned Bukhari hadith that it is a cure for all diseases except death. It was also narrated by Khalid bin S'ad:

We went out and Ghalib bin Abjar was accompanying us. He fell ill on the way and when we arrived at Medina he was still sick. Ibn Abi 'Atiq came to visit him and said to us, "Treat him with black cumin. Take five or seven seeds and crush them (mix the powder with oil) and drop the resulting mixture into both nostrils, for `Aisha has narrated to me that she heard the Prophet (pbuh) saying, 'This black cumin is healing for all diseases except As-Sam.' Aisha said, 'What is As-Sam?' He said, 'Death."

What are the health benefits of Black Seed? 💪

Scientific studies in recent times have begun to uncover the huge benefits of Black Seed and how it matches its Islamic reputation as a cure for everything. Here are some benefits that have been backed up by research papers:

  1. It's an anti-oxidant: Black Seeds are loaded with antioxidants, substances that fight off free radicals in the body, which reduces inflammation and protects against various chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

  2. It regulates blood sugar levels: Studies suggest that Nigella Sativa may help keep blood sugar levels balanced, making it a helpful supplement for those with diabetes.

  3. It improves cholesterol levels: Black Seeds contain healthy fatty acids like linoleic acid and oleic acid that help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

  4. It supports liver health: Black cumin can assist in preventing both damage and disease to the liver.

  5. It helps with healthy skin: With its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, black seed oil can be an effective treatment for various skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

  6. It helps improve sleep: Data published in a recent paper shows that 200mg per day of black seed oil can lead to an increase in REM sleep and improvement in non-REM sleep

How can I consume Black Seed? ☕️

Today Black Seed, or Nigella Sativa, can be found in numerous consumer forms which make for easy consumption. Black Seed does have a strong taste so it's important to find a form that works in your routine. Some examples include:

  • In cooking: Black Seed can be used as a flavourful spice in your meals, adding a slightly bitter, onion-like flavour to dishes.

  • As a supplement: Black Seed Oil and Black Seed Powder can be consumed in capsule form or loose powder as a dietary supplement.

  • In skincare: Black Seed Oil (pressed from the seeds) can also be used and applied to skin.

  • As a tea: The Nigella Sativa seeds can be brewed into a delicious tea. Simply steep the seeds in hot water for 10 minutes, strain, and enjoy.

As Muslims we believe the Quran holds many miracles and is an answer book for how to best live our lives to maximise happiness in this life and the next. Black Seed is an underrated health superfood that we can and should incorporate into our diets. And Allah always knows best.

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