Black cumin, Nigella sativa (NS), which is also known as black seed (Kalijeera), is an
annual flowering plant from the Ranunculaceae family. Its seeds were used in most ancient medical
systems. For ages it was considered to be a panacea. It is rooted in our traditions and has flourished
into an intensively investigated medicinal plant. There is an abundance of reports on the biological
activities of Nigella sativa seeds or extracts. The spectrum of its activity is impressive and includes antimicrobial,
antiviral, anticancer, antimalarial as well as an antidiabetic or immunostimulatory potency. In this review both in vitro and
in vivo results are gathered and the results of clinical trials are discussed. Patents and the industrial use of NS as both a
food supplement and as animal feed are also mentioned. An analysis of the literature data showed that the comprehensive
investigations of Nigella sativa are fairly well translated into actual everyday healthcare. The data presented in this review
reveals future use of this valuable plant.
Keywords: Anticancer, antimicrobial, gastroprotective, Nigella sativa, thymoquinone.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport