Home >> Ethnobotany Plants: Part-N >> Nigella sativa L.

Nigella sativa L.

Group: Dicot
Family: Ranunculaceae - Buttercup family
Duration: Annual
Growth Habit: Forb/herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Kalojira, Kalijira, Mugrela.

Tribal Name: Kaillazera (Rakhaing), Kaillazera (Tripura).

English Name: Black Cumin, Small Fennel.

Description of the Plant:

Annual herbs. Leaves alternative, exstipulate, pinnately compound. Inflorescence is terminal, umbel, surrounded at the base by an involucre of bracts. Flower small. Schizocarpic fruit.Cultivated in marginal land.

Chemical Constituents:

Seeds contain 40% fixed oil and fatty acids like linoleic, oleic, stearic, linolenic and palmitic acids, proteins and amino acids such as glutamic acid, arginine, aspartic acid, cystine and methionine. They also contain up to 1.4% of essential oil containing a crystalline active principle, nigellone and the terpenes, carvone and carvene. Seeds have also been found to contain 2-methyl-4-isopropyl-p-quinone, nigellone, toxic glycosidal saponins, melanthin and hederagenin derivatives and the sapogenin, melanthigenin. The seeds are rich in elements like K, P, Na, Fe, Zn, Ca, Mg, Mn and Cu (Ghani, 2003). Cholesterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol and a-spinasterol have also been isolated from seed oil (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Nigella sativa L.

Nigella sativa L.

Mode of Uses:

Powder prepared from dry fruit is taken twice daily as patient can until cured to treat cough, headache and pyorrhoea. Powder prepared from black cumin (Nigella sativa) packed in a piece of cloth and smelled continuously for three days in weakness and low pressure after delivery and excessive menstruation. Powder prepared from niger (Nigella sativa) mixed with mustard oil and applied into the head relief to treat hyper pyrexia of children (Rakhaing).

Powder prepared from dry fruit is taken half tea spoonful until cured to treat weakness and low pressure after delivery (Tripura).

Powdered seeds mixed with seasame oil are much used as an external application in eruptions of the skin; also useful in pain of the body and in catarrh.


Cultivated in different districts.

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