The Miracle of Black Cumin

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Nigella Sativa's Important Substances

Black cumin seed is thought to contain over 100 ingredients, many remain unknown. Some components of black cumin seed extract are as follows:

Myristic Acid
Myristic acid, also called tetradecanoic acid, is a common saturated fatty acid. A myristate is a salt or ester of myristic acid. Myristic acid is also commonly added co-translationally to the penultimate, nitrogen terminus, glycine in receptor-associated kinases to confer the membrane localisation of the enzyme. The myristic acid has a sufficiently high hydrophobicity to become incorporated into the fatty acyl core of the phospholipid bilayer of the plasma membrane of the eukaryotic cell. In this way, myristic acid acts as a lipid anchor in biomembranes.

The ester isopropyl myristate is used in cosmetic and topical medicinal preparations where good absorption through the skin is desired.

Palmitic Acid
A fatty acid, occurring in many natural oils and fats and used in making soaps. Palmitic acid, or hexadecanoic acid in IUPAC nomenclature, is one of the most common saturated fatty acids found in animals and plants. Palmitate is a term for the salts or esters of palmitic acid. The palmitate anion is the observed form of palmitic acid at physiological pH. Palmitic acid is the first fatty acid produced during lipogenesis (fatty acid synthesis) and from which longer fatty acids can be produced.

Palmitoleic Acid
An unsaturated fatty acid that is a common constituent of the glycerides of human adipose tissue, but generally found in higher concentrations in the liver..Dietary sources of palmitoleic acid include a variety of animal oils, vegetable oils, and marine oils.

Stearic Acid
A colorless, odorless, waxlike fatty acid, used in making soaps (to harden soaps), candles, lubricants, and other products. It is one of the useful types of saturated fatty acids that comes from many animal and vegetable fats and oils. Stearic acid is prepared by treating animal fat with water at a high pressure and temperature, leading to the hydrolysis of triglycerides. It can also be obtained from the hydrogenation of some unsaturated vegetable oils.

Oleic Acid
An organic acid that is prepared from fats and is used in the preparation of oleates and lotions and also used in making soap.

Linoleic Acid
Linoleic acid is a colorless to straw-colored liquid polyunsaturated fatty acid of the omega-6 series. Linoleic and another fatty acid, gamma-linolenic, or gamolenic, produce compounds called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are substances that are found in every cell, are needed for the body's overall health maintenance, and must be replenished constantly. Linoleic acid is an important fatty acid, especially for the growth and development of infants. Fatty acids help to maintain the health of cell membranes, improve nutrient use, and establish and control cellular metabolism. They also provide the raw materials that help in the control of blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammation, body temperature, and other body functions. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid, which means that the body cannot produce it, so it must be obtained in the diet.

Linolenic Acid
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a member of the group of essential fatty acids called omega-3 fatty acids, so called because they are an essential dietary requirement for all mammals. Linolenic acid is also an essential fat, but it, and the other omega-6 fats, compete with omega-3s for positions in cell membranes and have very different effects on human health. Studies have found evidence that ALA is related to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid that exists primarily in plant fats. It is a precursor of prostaglandin E1, which has a role in regulation of immune system function. GLA can also form a lithium salt, increasing its solubility in water. The resulting compound is Li-GLA, also called lithium gammalinolenate. Li-GLA is currently in phase II clinical trials to determine whether it is useful in the treatment of HIV infections, since it has the ability to destroy HIV-infected T cells in vitro.

Arachidonic Acid
An unsaturated fatty acid found in animal fats, that is essential in human nutrition and is a precursor in the biosynthesis of some prostaglandins. Arachidonic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is present in the phospholipids (especially phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylinositides) of membranes of the body's cells, and is abundant in the brain.

Any of a group of complex organic macromolecules that contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and usually sulfur and are composed of one or more chains of amino acids. Proteins are fundamental components of all living cells and include many substances, such as enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, that are necessary for the proper functioning of an organism. Many proteins are enzymes that catalyze biochemical reactions, and are vital to metabolism. Other proteins have structural or mechanical functions, such as the proteins in the cytoskeleton, which forms a system of scaffolding that maintains cell shape. Proteins are also important in cell signaling, immune responses, cell adhesion, and the cell cycle. Protein is also a necessary component in our diet, since animals cannot synthesise all the amino acids and must obtain essential amino acids from food.

It is also known as vitamin B1 or aneurin. A water-soluble vitamin found in many foods; liver, and whole grains are particularly rich sources. Thiamine works closely with other B vitamins to assist in the utilization of proteins and fats as well, and helps mucous membranes and the heart to stay healthy. The brain relies on thiamine's role in the conversion of blood sugar (glucose) into biological energy to function properly. Thiamine is also involved in certain key metabolic reactions occurring in nervous tissue, the heart, in the formation of red blood cells, and in the maintenance of smooth and skeletal muscle. Thiamine deficiency is known as beriberi in humans and polyneuritis in birds. Muscle and nerve tissues are affected by the deficiency, and poor growth is observed. People with beriberi are irritable, depressed, and weak. They often die of cardiac failure.

Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin is widely distributed in nature, and is found mostly in milk, egg white, liver, and leafy vegetables. It is a water-soluble yellow-orange fluorescent pigment. It is an easily absorbed micronutrient with a key role in maintaining human health. Like the other B vitamins, it supports energy production by aiding in the metabolising of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Vitamin B2 is also required for red blood cell formation and respiration, antibody production, and for regulating human growth and reproduction. It is essential for healthy skin, nails, hair growth and general good health, including regulating thyroid activity. Riboflavin also helps in the prevention or treatment of many types of eye disorders, including some cases of cataracts. It may assist bloodshot, itching or burning eyes and abnormal sensitivity to light.

Pyridoxine, or vitamin B6, is a member of the water-soluble family of B vitamins. It is necessary in the processes to metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, to make hormones and neurotransmitters, and to support the immune system. It also plays a role in the production of normal, healthy red blood cells and some of the neurotransmitters needed for proper nervous system function. In conjunction with folic acid and cobalamin, it acts to reduce homocysteine levels, thus lowering the risk of developing heart disease.

A vitamin also known as nicotinic acid, a component of the vitamin B complex. It is a white water-soluble powder stable to heat, acid, and alkali. Severe lack of niacin causes the deficiency disease pellagra, wherein a mild deficiency slows down the metabolism decreasing cold tolerance. Extemely high doses of Niacin can cause niacin maculopathy, a thickening of the macula and retina which leads to blurred vision and blindness.

Folacin (Folic Acid)
Folic acid and folate (the anion form) are forms of the water-soluble Vitamin B9. These occur naturally in food and can also be taken as supplements. Folate is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is needed to replicate DNA. It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Thus folate deficiency hinders DNA synthesis and cell division, affecting most clinically the bone marrow, a site of rapid cell turnover.

As the most plentiful mineral in the body, calcium plays a key role in the development and maintenance of bones and teeth. Calcium enables the contraction of muscles, including the function of the body's most important muscle, the heart. It is also essential for normal blood clotting, proper nerve impulse transmission, and the appropriate support of connective tissue.

Iron is a mineral that the human body uses to produce the red blood cells (hemoglobin) that carry oxygen throughout the body. It is also stored in myoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in the muscles that fuels cell growth.

Copper is an essential mineral that plays an important role in iron absorption and transport. It is considered a trace mineral because it is needed in very small amounts. Only 70–80 mg of copper are found in the body of a normal healthy person. Even though the body needs very little, copper is an important nutrient that holds many vital functions in the body. It participates in a wide variety of important enzymatic reactions in the body, build elastin and collagen, which are an important components of bones and connective tissues. Therefore, copper is believed to protect the bones and joints against degeneration and osteoporosis. Copper is key mineral for the immune system, promotes wound healing, helps the body produce energy, normal functioning of insulin, normal functioning of the cardiovascular system, protects the structure and function of the nervous system, including the brain.
It is also a component of or a cofactor for approximately 50 different enzymes.

Zinc is a mineral that is essential for a healthy immune system, production of certain hormones, wound healing, bone formation, and clear skin. It is required in very small amounts, and is thus known as a trace mineral. Zinc is an activator of certain enzymes, such as carbonic anhydrase. Carbonic anhydrase is important in the transport of carbon dioxide in vertebrate blood. Normal growth and development cannot occur without it. Despite the low requirement, zinc is found in nearly every cell of the body and is a key to the proper function of more than 300 enzymes, including superoxide dismutase.

Phosphorus forms the basis of a very large number of compounds, the most important class of which are the phosphates. For every form of life, phosphates play an essential role in all energy-transfer processes such as metabolism, photosynthesis, nerve function, and muscle action.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Nigella Sativa Plant

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Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta -- Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida -- Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Ranunculales
Family Ranunculaceae -- Buttercup family
Genus Nigella L. -- nigella
Species Nigella sativa L. -- black cumin

Nigella sativa, grows to a height of 6 to 12 inches. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs, bears milky white apical blossoms that turn bluish-green near the tip, containing a coarse ball-like fruit capsule that develops after the plant blossoms, and a crown of five protruding beak-like spikesand. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.
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Black cumin was found on Tutankhamen's tomb hundred years ago, but why it was found on his tomb, what was the special thing of black cumin so people of Ancient Egypt put it on Tutankhamen's body when he was buried?
Black seed oil has been a beauty secret of women since ancient times. Physicians of the pharaohs used the seeds as a digestive aid after opulent feasts and as a remedy for colds, headaches, toothaches, infections, inflammatory disorders and allergies. Beside of that black cumin was a vital ingredient in many Egyptian dishes.

In the Unani Tibb system of medicine, black cumin has been regarded as a valuable remedy in a number of diseases. Ibn Sina A.D.), most famous for his volumes called The Canon of Medicine regarded by many as the most famous book in the history of medicine, refers to black cumin as the seed that stimulates the body's energy and helps recovery from fatigue and dispiritedness and several therapeutic effects on digestive disorders, gynecological diseases and respiratory system have been ascribed to the seeds of Nigella sativa. It is also included in the list of natural drugs of 'Tibb e nabwi', or prophetic medicine, according to the tradition "hold onto the use of the black seeds for in it is healing for all diseases except death" (Sahih Bukhari vol. 7 book 71 # 592).

Black cumin and its oil have been used to purge parasites and worms, detoxify, ameliorate amoebic dysentery, shigellosis, abscesses, old tumors, ulcers of the mouth and rhinitis. Recent research confirms these uses for humans, dogs, cats and horses. If it's crushed then mixed them with vinegar and honey, can be applied to snake bites and scorpion stings.