Indian spices cover a large range of ingredients, some like cumin and mustard seeds that are frequent add-ons to our dishes and others like Ajwain and Kalonji (also known as Nigella seeds), which are used for special recipes. While these seeds add a plethora of flavours, they are also bestowed with several health benefits.
Just like in the case of nigella, also known as Mangrela in some northern Indian households, dry roasted kalonji is used for flavouring curries, dal and stir-fried vegetables. Apart from this, it also acts as a key ingredient in kachoris and samosa. The tiny black seeds are also loaded with trace elements, vitamins, crystalline nigellone, amino acids, saponin, crude fibre, proteins and fatty acids like linolenic and oleic acids, volatile oils, alkaloids, iron, sodium, potassium and calcium.
It keeps your heart healthy, addresses breathing problem, lubricates your joints, and is known to have anti-carcinogenic properties. Here are some other benefits.
Stability in blood sugar
This is probably one of the most known benefits of kalonji, as diabetes has grown to be one of the most dangerous lifestyle diseases. If you already have diabetes, kalonji oil can also help to manage it. Take half a teaspoon of the oil in a cup of black tea every morning, and monitor your blood sugar regularly to see its effect.
Easy to inculcate in diets
With a bitter taste that is described as a mix between oregano and onions, it is often found in Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisines. It’s usually lightly toasted and then ground or used whole to add flavour to bread or curry dishes. Some people also eat the seeds raw or mix them with honey or water. They can also be added to oatmeal, smoothies or yoghurt.
Sweet lime juice and kalonji oil together can fix many skin problems. For every cup of sweet lime juice, you’ll need about half a teaspoon of kalonji oil. Apply the oil twice a day on your face and watch your blemishes and acne disappear.
Headache and joint pains
Kalonji oil is said to be an old home remedy for headaches. All you need to do is rub it on your head and relax. One can also slightly heat it along with mustard oil and then massage their knee and other joints as it helps to relieve from frequent joint pains as well.
The protective effects of kalonji, with its antioxidant content and ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, helps to protect your liver. Kalonji is known to reduce the toxicity of chemicals and protect against liver and kidney damage. You can have it in regular curries or just boil in water and drink it for better effect.