A prominent example of a fascinating therapeutic oil that I encountered through my travels (and wrote about in my book) is black cumin seed oil.
This oil is extracted from the seeds of Nigella sativa (habet el-Baraka in Arabic). The black seeds are contained in seed pods and have an odor similar to caraway. Believed to originate in Egypt, the plant is now cultivated in North Africa, Asia, and Europe. The ancient Egyptians used the black cumin as a digestive aid and as medicine for colds, headaches, and infections. A bottle of black cumin medicine was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun for his use in the afterlife. Black cumin seed is also mentioned in the Bible as “fitch,” and both the Ancient Egyptians and Hebrews cultivated it. Its oil was used in Hebrew circumcision ceremonies as an antiseptic. The herb was also valued in Europe for healing and as a spice until the 18th century, when it began to be used as a decorative plant in gardens.
Black cumin seed is biochemically extremely complex and contains more than 100 ingredients, mostly essential fatty acids, volatile oils, trace elements, vitamins, and natural antihistamines and analgesics.
Here are seven of its benefits: