La nigelle cultiv’ée : Nigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae)
Cultivated black cumin: Nigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae)
The seeds ofNigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae), commonly known as black seed or black cumin, are widely used in folk medicine for the treatment and prevention of a number of diseases. The seeds contain both fixed and essential oils as well as proteins, alkaloids and saponin. Much of the biological activities of the seeds has been shown to result from thymoquinone, which is the major component of the essential oil and also present in the fixed oil. The pharmacological properties of the seeds’ crude extracts and some of their active constituents-for example, volatile oil and thymoquinone-include anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimutagenic, antineoplastic, antihepatotoxic, antinephrotoxic, respiratory and immunological, hypoglycaemic, antiulcer, antimicrobial and antiparasitic activity. The seeds are characterized by very low toxicity. A large number of studies support the potential use ofN. sativa in therapeutics.
Nigella sativa, Seeds, Thymoquinone, Pharmacological actions, Toxicity