Nigella Sativa :

About Black Seeds

Ethiopia is located in the tropical region, making it excellent for growing black cumin seeds. Over 18000 metric tons annual production from Amara, Oromia, SNNP, & Gambella regions is produced.

Black cumin seeds boasts hundreds of uses. used in flavorings, seasoning, pressing oil, curing diseases, applying on hair & skin, as a natural virality drug,…. and more.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) says: “There is healing in black seeds for all diseases except death”.

The seeds of N. sativa have been widely used in the treatment of different diseases and ailments. In Islamic literature, it is considered as one of the greatest forms of healing medicine. It has been recommended for using on regular basis in Tibb-e-Nabawi (Prophetic Medicine).

An effective prevention method from stage 1 and stage 2 cancers, heavy smoking side-effects, diabetics, and kidney problems – black cumin seeds/oil is one of the best gifts. check out dr. cass ingramm’s following video:


Black Seed Oil and its many benefits



The black seeds are gathered from the Nigella Sativa flower fetus. With the plants reaching a height about knee-deep, has a straight branchy stem, dissected leaves, & white – bluish flowers. Also known as black caraway, black cumin, nigella, and kalonji.

Black cumin is known for centuries. People have gone so far as to say Egyptian queen Cleopatra’s beauty is because she uses black cumin, & the elite rulers throughout the Middle East used kalonji oil to maintain good health and longevity.


Egyptian historical literature indicates the many uses for black seed oil: natural cosmetics, antidotes for snake bites, digestion improvement, getting rid of intestinal parasites, etc. The oil was found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs in the form of a container, making it a significant plant even in ancient times. Oil from the Egyptian seeds was eventually named “Royal”, & as you can see Egypt along with Ethiopia are located in the tropical regions of Africa thus also labeling Ethiopian black cumin as among the “Premium” quality.

The use of this flower’s seed/oil for traditional remedy in Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East is about 3000 years old (according to modern archaeological findings). With many historical facts of priming these seeds by ancient scientists and healers. As an example, the Greek physician Hippocrates knew about the Nigella Sativa and applied it to treat his patients. His compatriot Dioscorides used the seeds for treating headaches and toothaches.

Top reason for Nigella Sativa popularity as a universal natural remedy is the seed’s unique chemical composition. Each seed contains vast quantities of vitamins, natural resources, and fatty acids. The main active component of the oil is a crystalline nigelon, a substance that is not fully understood by chemists, but has been thoroughly investigated by physicians.

Nutrition Content of Nigella Sativa Seeds

The nutrition of seeds from different regions is different, as it depends on the soil, water, and climatic conditions of the region. Therefore, the end-result of using the seed oil can be different. This explains why people buying products without knowing what seeds were used for obtaining the oil do not feel the effect. The first question that a buyer of such rare product should ask: “What seeds were used for the oil extraction?”. But this is not the only criteria for quality of the product, so for more information about it, check out the page of our website on Quality.

Black Seeds and extracted black seed oil contain more than 100 active ingredients and about 50 catalysts of natural cell biosynthesis, and this is not all…

“There are still many components that have not been identified yet and research is currently on-going around the world with respect to this plant” (Zahoor et al., 2004)

Cumin seeds include very important Phytochemical components that make this product very powerful and useful (Dr. Axe, the creator of the famous American site of alternative medicine):

  • Thymoquinone (TQ)
  • Thymohydroquinone (THQ)
  • Thymol

Some details about the above Phytochemical components:

THYMOQUINONE – a substance contained in 30-40% essential oils of Nigella Sativa seeds. An emerging drug with anti-cancer molecules First obtained in 1960 by Professor El-Dakhakhny.

THYMOHYDROQUINONE – another kind of Thymoquinone. The most potent natural acetylcholinesterase inhibitors on the planet. Thymohydroquinone has the main role in halting enzyme activity, allowing the brain to keep a big amount of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine longer.

THYMOL – an active famous ingredient that has useful medicinal properties. Thymol is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. There is even a medical drug called “Thymol” – antihelminthic drug, antiseptic, bactericidal, antipruritic, and anthelmintic. And others, such as tooth elixirs and disinfectants.

To consider the chemical composition of seeds of black cumin, seeds from different countries have been tested and investigated in various laboratories around the world since the early 1990’s. With many different research results because as mentioned before the nutritional content depends on the place of origin, the soil, water, and climate of that particular region.

“The pure seeds of Nigella sativa showed richness and diversity in its biological structure.  These seeds contain carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, volatile, and fixed oils” (Rajsekhar and Kuldeep, 2011)

Different regions seeds chemical ingredients table:

NutrientsContent (g/100g) *Ethiopian **
Moisture4.2 - 7.25.29 +/- 0.89%
Proteins16.1 - 20.919.83 g/100g
Fat15.0 - 40.641.3 g/100g
Carbohydrates28.5 - 52.09.52 +/- 2.31%
Ash3.8 - 4.65.10 g/100g
Calories800 - 1,200 (30-40 per teaspoon)

* seeds from : Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, India, Pakistan, China, India, Ethiopia, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, and Sudan. (source: BIONATAL LLC. EDINBURG, USA)

** one type of ethiopian black cumin seed. (source: ALEMU BELAY, ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY)

You see discrepancies between seeds tested from the different regions of Africa, Asia, and the Mediterranean. Proving that the quality of the oil is directly dependent on the seeds. zemzemTrades uses exclusively Ethiopian origin black cumin seeds for production of oil. Find out more in our Quality section.

Important Vitamins in black seeds:
The table was created by average research result of 2004.

VitaminsQuantity (µg/g)
Folic Acid610


Furthermore, “Biological examination of Nigella Sativa contents has revealed that it contains carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A by the liver” (Nergiz and Otles, 1993). 

Another crucial component in natural Nigella is the presence of Fiber. With a study made by The Enzymatic-Gravimetric Assay (1996) verifying the presence of the following components:

  • Total Dietary Fiber (TDF)
  • Soluble Dietary Fiber (SDF)
  • Insoluble Dietary Fiber (IDF)

Fiber contents of samples from different varieties of Nigella Sativa seeds:

FiberContent (g/100g)
TDF25.5 - 37.8
SDF6.0 - 11.0
IDF19.4 - 23.8


The above table clearly shows the huge difference in the quality of cumin seeds from different countries due to the varying mineral quantity held in the seeds. Mineral content was determined by the AOAC methods in 1997, using “flame AAS system”. As you will see below for global comparison.

Mineral content difference of black seeds from different countries:

ElementContent (g/100g)*Ethiopian**
Iron0.15 - 57.556.45 +/- 3.2
Calcium0.04 - 833.18481.57 +/- 14.9
Magnesium0 - 267.0--
Sodium0.75 - 84.2137.31 +/- 2.8
Potassium7.6 - 594.1746.27 +/- 5.8
Phosphorous1.8 - 569.9710.67 +/- 8.6
Copper0.02 - 1.8--
Zink0.06 - 5.95.40 +/- 0.14
Cadmium0 - 0.01--


Conclusion: the tables presented above comparing the black cumin seeds from different countries, clearly indicate that quality can vary globally. & that oil, extracted using black seeds from different countries, also result in different tones, color, and bitterness.

In the Quality section of our website, you will learn about the quality of Ethiopian black cumin seeds, which zemzemTrades extracts oil, and a brief analysis of our oil.

Get a quotation for Ethiopian black seed oil, contact us anytime.

Black Seed Oil Properties

There are many works and articles on the internet about the attributes of black seed oil, so we will emphasize a few, a research published in Addis Ababa University in 2016 named “Extraction, Characterization, & Optimization of Essential Oil from Ethiopian Black Cumin Seed Varieties”. Thus, obtaining a number of proven properties of kalonji oil of various studies including:

Research done on properties:

– Al-Saleh, Billedo. A.G and El-Doush. (2006). Levels of selenium, DL-a-tocopherol, DL-gtocopherol, all-trans-retinol, thymoquinone and thymol in different brands of Nigella sativa seeds. J. Food Comp. Anal.

– Atta-ur-Rahman, S.Malik, Cun-Hung. H and Clardy.J. (1985). Isolation and structure determination of Nigellicine, a novel alkaloid from seeds of Nigella sativa. Tetrahedron. Lett.

– Bilal, A. (2008). Effects of different preparations of Nigella sativa on glucose and lipid metabolism in type diabetic patients. Pakistan: Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Crop and Food Sciences Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid.

– Ermias Assefa, A. A. (2015). Adaptability study of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) varieties in the mid and high land areas of Kaffa zone, South West Ethiopia. Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

– Haq, A., Lobo.P., Al-Tufail. M., Rama. N.R. and S.T. Al-Sedairy. (1999). Immunomodulatory effect of Nigella sativa proteins fractionated by ion exchange chromatography. Int. J.Immunopharmacol.

– Ramadan MF et al., (2012). Antiradical and antimicrobial properties of cold-pressed black cumin oil, Eur Food Techno.

– Ramadan, M.F. and Morsel. J.T. (2002). Neutral lipid classes of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) seed oils. Eur. Food Res. Technol.

– Rao, Madduri V. , Al-Marzouqi, Ali H. , Kaneez, Fatima S. , Ashraf, S. Salman and Adem Abdu.(2007). Comparative Evaluation of SFE and Solvent Extraction Methods on the Yield and Composition of Black Seeds (Nigella Sativa), Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies.

– Salem, M.L. (2005). Immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties of the Nigella sativa L. seed. Int. J. Immunopharmacol.

– Sultan, M. (2009). Characterization of black cumin seed oil and exploring its role as a functional food. Faisalabad: National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture Pakistan.

Black seed oil promotes good health.

Purchase black seed oil today, visit our contact page for more details.

Black Cumin Seeds Effect and Benefits

Since 1959, many of black seeds’ health benefits have been confirmed by a number of tests in chemical and bioengineering studies. To list all the researches done around the world would be impossible therefore, we encourage you to research more what people, and bloggers, social media are saying. Historical readings include famous ruler Cleopatra, and how she made use of Black Seed Oil. Readings from Dioscorides and Hippocrates. You also find many modern and ongoing research on black seeds by doctors, professors, and scientists.

Black Seed Oil has many benefits promoting good health. Many of a research studies has there been. The oil is used in various ways, as you will learn from sources such as health and natural medicinal portals, forums, blogs, and informative websites mentioning the many benefits the oil offers.

Professional researchers on black seeds include: expert in oncology Dr. Peter Schleider , Wayne State Medical University professor of cancer research Dr. Mohammed Ramsey , and works of Dr. Debasis Mondal from Tulane University, and many others.