Kalonji or Nigella Sativa is considered a miraculous herb with a rich historical and religious background. It is widely grown in different parts of the world and is an annual herb cultivated in India.
The seeds of kalonji find their use as a spice and in herbal medicine. Ayurveda speaks highly of kalonji seeds for their ability to treat various ailments. Moreover, archaeologists found kalonji seeds as one of the treasures kept in Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt. Hence, it is evident that the wonders of kalonji seeds date centuries back.
Kalonji bushes, which are extensively planted throughout India, provide tiny black seeds. The kalonji seeds have a spicy taste and aroma, similar to that of fennel seeds and nutmeg.
Kalonji is used in curries, bread and sweets across India, North Africa and the Middle East. Kalonji seeds are famously sprinkled over naans to enhance their taste. Although Kalonji seeds are one of the world’s oldest spices, they find their way into kitchens even today.
Kalonji Seeds: Common Names
- Tamil – Karunjarakam, Karunjiragam
- Telugu – Peeajila Kara, Nallajilakara
- Hindi – Kalajira, Mangraila
- Malayalam – Karinchirakam
- Bengali – Kala Zeera, Mangrela
- Guajarati – Kalaunji Jirum, Kadujeeroo
- English – Black Cumin, Nigella Seeds, Black Seed, Fennel Seed, Seed of blessing
Are Kalonji, Onion Seeds, and Black Sesame the same thing?
Onion seeds and black sesame are sometimes confused with kalonji. These seeds are completely unrelated and unquestionably distinct from one another.
Kalonji’s Nutrient Profile
Over 100 nutrients are found in the Black seeds. It comprises roughly of
- 21% – protein
- 38% – carbohydrate
- 35% – plant fats and oils
Vitamins and minerals:
- 102% – Iron
- 96% – Magnesium
- 35% – Vitamin C
- 25% – Vitamin B6
- 2% – Vitamin A
Interesting Ways to Incorporate Kalonji into your Daily Diet
Nigella Sativa can be used in a spice mix regularly. You can toss this spice mix into soups, dals, veggies, or salads.
- Kalonji seeds – 2 tbsp
- Coriander seeds – 6 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tbsp
- Fennel seeds – 6 tbsp
- Dry roast all the seeds and grind them into a fine powder.
- Add turmeric powder and store it in an air-tight container.
Note: This spice mix can be used in veg and non-veg curries/sabzi preparations.
Few more interesting ways to add Kalonji to your daily diet-
- Dry roast Nigella sativa, Cardamom, fennel seeds and powder them. Store in an airtight container. Mix half to one teaspoon of this spice mix into milk and enjoy.
- To balance the flavor and help digestion, add toasted nigella to citric pickles.
- A kalonji and jeera tempering goes well with rice
The Health Benefits of Nigella/Kalonji Seeds
1. Seeds of Kalonji for constipation
Clinical studies show both preventive and therapeutic effects of Nigella sativa and its main constituent – thymoquinone on various gastrointestinal disorders.
Constipation makes you restless all day long. It may also impact your appetite. It is the most common gastrointestinal disorder that causes problems with our digestive system. kalonji oil combined with warm water or black tea can help you overcome constipation quickly and effectively.
2. Reduces headaches
Natural remedies should be used instead of consuming unnecessary contemporary medicinal pills. A few drops of Kalonji oil applied to the temples of the forehead will help you relax and ease a bad headache.
3. Helps to lose weight
According to some research, people who are obese or have type 2 diabetes may benefit from using black seed oil to lower their body mass index (BMI).
For instance, a small 2015 research on obese women found that those who combined a low-calorie diet with 3 grams of black seed oil per day lost more weight overall than those who took a placebo and followed the same low-calorie diet.
The supplement resulted in an average weight loss of roughly 4.4 pounds, according to a 2018 evaluation of the benefits of black seed oil on weight loss (2.1 kilograms).
4. Improves oral health
Kalonji is an excellent tooth pain reliever. It is beneficial to your general oral health – bleeding gums and weak teeth. Apply a few drops of Kalonji oil to the affected area for better healing.
The benefits of Kalonji’s anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial properties from the chemical Thymoquinone have been extensively studied in scientific literature to support the maintenance of healthy gums. provides assistance to people who suffer from dry mouth by helping to lubricate oral surfaces.
Kalonji works wonders to soothe dental discomfort. Your overall dental health, including weak teeth and bleeding gums, will benefit. For faster healing, apply a few drops of Kalonji oil to the injured region.
5. Heart health
The heart is our body’s most critical organ, and keeping it healthy is crucial. It is an excellent heart tonic. It maintains your heart healthy by lowering your bad cholesterol levels.
6. Treats diabetes
Kalonji seeds are a powerful natural diabetes treatment. It aids in blood sugar regulation. Kalonji oil can be combined with warm water or black tea and consumed on an empty stomach by people with diabetes.
7. Improves memory power
Memory loss is a common concern for elderly people. For optimum brain function, take it every day on an empty stomach. Take kalonji seeds with mint leaves as recommended by Ayurveda for memory improvement. The oil from kalonji seeds is linked to improving your memory power.
8. Relieves muscle soreness
Kalonji seeds have pro effects that can help with a variety of ailments. It is well-known for relieving joint discomfort by lubricating the joints.
9. Keeps blood pressure in check
People take a lot of medicines to control their blood pressure, which can harm their kidneys.
With the help of Kalonji seeds, it can be naturally regulated. Kalonji seed oil also assists in the control of bad cholesterol levels.
Kalonji Oil and its Health Benefits
The Nigella Sativa seed oil is made from seeds and has therapeutic effects. Oil is extracted by cold pressing the herb.
We can solve an endless number of problems with black seed oil. Black seed oil can be applied directly to your skin and hair.
1. Skin and Hair Benefits
Kalonji oil can also be used along with coconut oil, honey, or olive oil, and applied to the skin and hair. To gain the benefits of kalonji oil, include it in your beauty routine.
Black seed oil may promote hair development, however, according to a very tiny study conducted in 2014 with just three participants. This is because the oil contains considerable levels of proteins and fatty acids, which might improve blood circulation and, in turn, stimulate hair growth.
After four weeks, the study indicated that the coconut and black seed oil mixture encouraged more hair growth than the other three coconut oil mixtures when it was administered to four locations of the participants’ shaved heads.
The oil’s antibacterial properties may aid in the prevention of acne by combating skin infections. To treat acne, apply Kalonji oil mixed with a carrier oil to the skin. Furthermore, a wide variety of bacteria, largely from culture collections, have been reported to be resistant to its seed oil and extracts’ antibacterial activities.
3. Boosts the health of your hair
By fighting dandruff and scalp inflammation, kalonji oil can help to enhance scalp health. Black seed or kalonji has been found to be quite effective when it comes to preventing greying of hair before time.
Warm up some black seed oil and massage the hair and scalp with it.
The oil is said to help with skin and hair quality. The skin is left feeling rejuvenated.
Antioxidants are essential in the fight against many chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. The essential components terpineol, carvanol, thymoquinone, and t-anethole in kalonji contribute to its high antioxidant content. Because of this, it protects cells from oxidative damage by scavenging dangerous free radicals.
5. Combats Hair Loss
It also protects hair follicles from damage and prevents hair loss. The use of this oil to regrow hair is claimed to be a safe and natural method.
6. Weight reduction
Weight loss has been proven to be aided by supplementing with black seed. The seeds have been used in traditional medicine to reduce obesity, diabetes, and bad cholesterol.
- Allergies, asthma, diabetes, headaches, high blood pressure, and digestive problems are all treated with black seed oil
- The immune system is said to be boosted by black seed oil. It protects us against a variety of viral and bacterial illnesses. Honey and Kalonji mixed aid to strengthen your essential organs and bones
- Soak your feet in warm water with a teaspoon of Kalonji seed oil and lemon juice. This will aid in the speedy healing of cracked heels
- Black seed oil can be a good treatment for male infertility as studies show that it can increase sperm count and sperms can swim faster with the administration of black seed oil
- Black seed oil can reduce inflammation. It can also stall cell damage
- Black seed oil may have properties that can arrest cancerous growth. However, there are more studies that need to substantiate this claim
Take Kalonji oil along with curd and apply it to your gums and teeth to improve your dental health.
Side-effects of Kalonji oil
Some people may get an allergic reaction while using black seed oil topically. So first on a small area of skin to do a patch test. Just to make sure it doesn’t cause any allergic reaction. Always use high-quality, pure oil for maximum benefits.
Similarly, if you are ingesting black seed oil orally, you should seek a medical practitioner’s advice first. Too much of it may cause undesirable side effects.
Interesting Recipes Using Kalonji
1. Paratha with mint and kalonji seeds
Mint and kalonji seeds make these parathas extremely tasty, nutritious and give a distinct flavor.
- Wheat Flour – 2 cups
- Oats Flour – 1 cup
- Curd – ½ cup
- Kalonji Seeds – 4 tbsp
- Ghee – 1 tsp
- Salt – As per taste
- Put the wheat flour, oats flour, salt, mint leaves, nigella seeds, curd, and salt in a bowl
- Knead the dough using water in small batches
- Allow 30 minutes for the dough to rest
- Roll the dough into small balls. Dust some flour and roll it into round or oval paratha.
- Cook on tawa until both sides cooked well
Apply a little ghee and serve immediately. This paratha is delicious with any spicy gravy. When served together they are a marvel combo!
2. Kalonji pulao
- Basmati Rice – 2 Cups
- Kalonji – 1 tbsp
- Cloves – 2
- Cinnamon – ½ stick
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp
- Butter/Ghee – 2 tsp
- Mixed Herbs – As per choice
- Almonds – As per choice
- In a mixing bowl, put the basmati rice (80-90% cooked)
- In a pan, melt the butter
- Combine all of the spices, including the kalonji seeds
- Toss in the rice and cook it over a low heat
- Allow the pan to sit on sim for another 5 minutes
Enjoy your rice, which is simple to make but packed with flavor!
Best Way to Preserve Nigella/Kalonji Seeds
Keep it dry and sealed. Limited quantities should be purchased to keep the aroma and flavor at their best.
Almost everybody can benefit from black seed, as it is a safe and effective plant. When the correct dose is taken, no irritations or adverse effects occur.
In high amounts, however, it can cause low blood sugar and low blood pressure. It’s also unclear how it will affect lactating mothers. So, if you’re lactating, it’s advisable to steer clear of Kalonji. Consistent use is necessary to reap the benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is Kalonji a hair-growth supplement?
A. Black seed oil is thought to naturally restore hair growth in thinning areas thanks to its high concentration of thymoquinone, a powerful antihistamine. The black seed oil has to be diluted in another carrier oil and applied to the scalp to reduce inflammation, stimulate hair growth, and reduce flakiness and sensitivity.
Q. What is the process for making black seed oil?
A. For the production of good quality oil with a high level of natural antioxidants, Oil is extracted by cold pressing.
Q. Is kalonji a seed that comes from onions?
A. No. not only are kalonji seeds and onions seeds produced by different plants, but they also belong to different plant families. Kalonji seeds are obtained from the Nigella sativa plant while onion seeds are obtained from the Allium cepa plant.
Q. What happens if we eat kalonji seeds daily?
Clinical studies have shown that Kalonji can ease asthma symptoms by lowering inflammation and relaxing smooth muscles. These actions, along with its antioxidant capabilities, aid in preventing gastrointestinal diseases and reducing their symptoms.
Q. When should I take kalonji seeds?
Take a few kalonji seeds and drink some warm water, or put 8–10 kalonji seeds in a glass and let them soak overnight. In the morning, drink the kalonji water after removing the seeds.
Q. Is Sabja and kalonji same?
No, Sabja and Kalonji are different.
Q. Is kalonji good for periods?
Kalonji has the property of balancing Vata so it is good to control dysmenorrhea or menstrual pain.
Q. Is kalonji hot or cold?
Taking Kalonji aids in enhancing digestion and lowering Ama. This occurs as a result of its digestive and appetiser qualities. Due to its heated nature, it also decreases the collection of extra mucus.
Q. Is kalonji and black cumin the same?
India has long used the spice known as black cumin or kala jeera. the seeds of a plant known as Nigella Sativa, which have historically been used to treat a number of illnesses. Other names for these seeds are Kalonji, Himali Jira, and Kala Jeeral. These seeds are used as a spice in Indian cuisine.
Q. How do kalonji seeds help in hair growth?
It guards against harm to hair follicles and stops hair loss. It is stated that using this oil to regrow hair is a secure and natural process.
Q. Is chia seeds and black seeds the same?
No, Chia seeds and black seeds are different.
Q. Is kalonji good for skin?
Blackseed oil is used to remove all bodily contaminants and is reported to have antibacterial effects. Additionally, nigella seeds are used on the skin to treat acne, enhance skin texture, and even out skin tone.
Q. Does black seed increase fertility?
Kalonji oil supplementation has been demonstrated to enhance hormone balance, which can increase libido and sexual desire. According to a research that looked at 24 papers, Kalonji oil helps women maintain appropriate levels of the chemicals progesterone and testosterone, which are essential for fertility and sexual desire.
Q. Can Kalonji seeds be eaten raw?
You can consume kalonji fresh, add it to food, or combine it with honey or water. The oil can also be consumed orally as a supplement, or it can be diluted and used topically to the skin and hair.
Q. Is kalonji good for Grey hair?
Taking kalonji oil for hair has the benefit of effectively reversing greying as well as preventing it from happening prematurely. The high linoleic acid content, which helps to maintain the loss of black pigment cells in your follicles, is to blame for this.
Q. Should black seed oil be taken on an empty stomach?
Black seed oil should preferably be consumed raw (no heating in pan/wok) as the oil with denature, reducing its nutrient content. Black seed oil can be consumed post a meal, with a meal or your food too can be prepared in it. Just ensure, you are consuming the recommended dosage and not more.