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THE BLACK SEED

History of the Black Seed

For over two thousand years the black seed, a plant from the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family, has been traditionally used by various cultures throughout the world as a natural remedy for several diseases and ailments and to improve health in general.

The ancient Egyptians knew and used the black seed and described it as a panacea (cure for problems and diseases). Tutankamun even had a bottle of the oil in his tomb!

The Romans also knew this seed and called it Greek Coriander and used it as a dietary supplement.

In the first century, the Greek physician Dioscoredes recorded that the black seed were taken to treat headaches, nasal congestion, toothache and intestinal worms.

The black seed is also mentioned in the Bible in Isiah 28:25-27 as the ‘fitches’. Ibn Senna, known in the West as Avicenna, who wrote the great medical treatise ‘The Canon of Medicine’, referred to the black seed as the seed ‘that stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue’.

What is Nigella Sativa (the black seed)?

Nigella Sativa originates from Western Asia and is a herb that grows about 16-24 inches in height and has white flowers when in bloom. The plant is now cultivated from the Near East to India. The deep black, sharp-cornered rectangular seeds (no longer than 3 mm) are the part of the plant that is used for the preparation of products.

The black seed is cultivated in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Arabia, Oman, Ethiopia, Middle East, Far East, India, Bangladesh, France, Germany and the Mediterranean Basin. It also grows wild in Egypt, Syria, Asiatic Turkey and the Balkan States.

Nigella Sativa is known commonly in Arabic as Habbat-ul-Baraka (blessed seed) and in English as Love in the Mist.

Research

Since 1959, over 200 studies have been carried out at international universities and articles published in various journals have shown remarkable results supporting its traditional uses.

The Nigella Sativa seed itself contains numerous esters of structurally unusual unsaturated fatty acids and the chemical composition is very rich and diverse. Apart from its active ingredient, crystalline nigellone, it contains 15 amino acids (including eight of the nine essential ones), carbohydrates, fatty acids including linolenic and oleic, volatile oils, alkaloids and dietary fibre, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium and potassium.

Recent research on the black seed as an anti-biotic, anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, anti-bacterial, anti-bronchial and immune boosting agent has shown great promise.

Traditional uses of the Black Seed from around the world

For centuries, the black seed and its oil has been used by people in Asia, Africa, the Middle and Far East to promote health and fight disease. It has been traditionally used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions related to respiratory health, stomach and intestinal complaints, kidney and liver function, circulatory and immune system support and to improve health in general.

Please find below some traditional Black Seed remedies that are used around the world:

Asthma & Bronchial Problems (Far East, Middle East & Malay Peninsula)
Mix a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil in coffee. Taken twice daily. Also rub chest with Black Seed Oil every night and inhale the vapour of Black Seed Oil in hot water.

Backache & other kinds of rheumatism (Middle East & Malay Peninsula)
Mildly heat a small amount of Black Seed Oil and then stroke the rheumatic area intensely. A teaspoon of the oil should also be drunk three times daily.

Diabetes (India)
Mix a cup of whole Black Seeds, a cup of watercress or mustard seeds, half a cup of pomegranate peel, and half a cup of fumitory. Grind the mixture to powder. Take half a teaspoon of the mixture together with a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil daily before breakfast for one month.

Diarrhoea (India & Middle East)
Mix a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil with a cup of yoghurt. Drinking the mixture twice a day until symptoms disappear.

Dry Cough (Middle East & North Africa)
A teaspoon of Black Seed Oil should be mixed in coffee and taken twice a day. Rub the chest and back with Black Seed Oil.

Flu & Nasal Congestion (General)
Placing three to four drops of Black Seed Oil in each nostril can relieve nasal congestion and head cold distress.

Hair Greying (General)
Massaging the hair with Black Seed Oil regularly may prevent premature hair greying.

Hair Loss (India & Middle East)
Stroke the scalp thoroughly with lemon and leave for about 15 minutes, shampoo, wash and dry hair thoroughly. Then massage Black Seed Oil into the scalp. Drink a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil mixed in tea/coffee.

Hay Fever (Middle East)
One tablespoon of Black Seed Oil mixed with a glass of lemon should be taken twice daily until symptoms disappear.

Headaches (General)
Rub the forehead and the sides of the face near the ears with Black Seed Oil and bandage the head. Also a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil should be taken before breakfast.

Healthy Being (General)
To maintain good health take a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil mixed with one teaspoon of pure honey, twice daily.

Healthy Complexion (General)
Mix a tablespoon of Black Seed Oil with a tablespoon of olive oil. Rub the face with this mixture and leave it for at least one hour. Wash with soap and water.

Hypertension (India)
Mix any drink with a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil and also take two lobes of garlic every morning with breakfast. Rub all the body with Black Seed Oil and expose your body to sun rays for half an hour once every three days. Repeat for one month.

Laziness and Fatigue (Turkey)
One tablespoon of Black Seed Oil with a glass of pure orange juice every morning for at least 10 days.

Memory Improvement (Middle East)
A teaspoon of Black Seed Oil mixed in 100mg of boiled mint for at least 15 days.

Muscular pains (General)
Massage the area with Black Seed Oil.

Nervous Tension Stress (India)
A teaspoon of Black Seed Oil with a cup of tea/coffee to be taken three times daily.

Sexual Impotency (Europe & Middle East)
Mix 200g of ground Black Seeds with Olive Oil & l00g of ground olibanum & 50g of Black Seed Oil & 50g of olive oil & 200g of pure honey. Mix thoroughly and take a tablespoon after every meal.

Sleeping Disorder (General)
A tablespoon of Black Seed Oil mixed with honey in any hot drink in the evening.

Toothache & Gums (General)
First cook Black Seeds with vinegar. Add Black Seed Oil. Rinse the mouth with this formulation to help the gums and relieve toothache.

Ulcers (Indonesia & India)
Roast powdered Black Seeds over the fire. Mix them with oil of orrisroot, or the oil of henna plant, or the oil of camphire plant making an ointment that is then spread over the festering rural ulcers. After lavation treat with vinegar.

Source : muslimhealthnetwork

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Hello everybody

I thought of starting a blog exclusively dedicated for Natural Herbals from Ceylon,

Why Herbals for Health?

Using herbs and plants for medicinal purposes has a long tradition. In Sri Lanka (Ceylon), India and China, these traditions date back thousands of years.

Once thought of as “traditional medicine” used by native or ancient cultures, herbal medicine has emerged as a popular alternative or supplement to modern medicine. According to the World Health Organization, $60 billion are currently spent on herbal remedies globally, and the trend is growing rapidly.”

It is estimated that in the United States alone, botanical dietary supplements exceed $4.5 billion in 2007. Herbal products can be found in grocery stores and on the Web, as well as natural food markets, their traditional source. Sixty-eight percent of Americans take dietary supplements. Herbal remedies are the leading type of alternative therapy for both adults and those under 18. The herbal market is growing steadily at about 20 percent each year, and herbal remedies are being used as alternative therapies for both adults and children. With this increase, however, come many questions.

The term herbs in this fact sheet refers to plants used for oral medicinal purposes, not herbs for cooking. It includes botanicals, herbs, herbals, herbal products, herbal medicines, herbal remedies and herbal supplements.

Why Take Herbs?

People take herbs for many reasons and many conditions. One of the biggest reasons is that herbs are considered natural and therefore healthier and gentler than conventional drugs. (Ironically, many prescription drugs are of herbal origin.) They are used for everything from upset stomachs to headaches. Some people take them for overall health and well-being, not for any specific condition. For others, herbal use is grounded in traditions passed down from generation to generation or recommended by folk healers.

Are Herbs Effective?

Many herbs have health benefits. Research has shown that echinacea cuts the length and symptom severity of colds and that powdered ginger is effective against morning sickness, postoperative nausea and vomiting, and vertigo-related nausea. There is a growing body of well-controlled research studies, but we still do not know all of the short-term and long-term benefits and risks of many herbs, let alone all of their active or beneficial ingredients. More and more studies are being conducted and questions are being answered.

To address this uncertainty, federal law states that herbs cannot claim to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure a condition or disease. Herbs may carry health-related claims about effects on the “structure or function of the body” or “general well-being” that may result from the product. This definition is very loose and gives rise to misleading health claims. Ultimately, the Consumer is responsible for checking their validity and avoiding products with fraudulent claims. See fact sheet 9.350, Nutrition Quackery

The best prescription for disease prevention is a healthy lifestyle. This includes a diet high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low in fat. Physical activity also plays an important role. Finally, there is no data to suggest that herbs are more beneficial than conventional drugs for treating illnesses.

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