“When he has leveled its surface,
does he not sow the black cumin and scatter the cumin,
plant the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place,
and the spelt in its place?”
“For He instructs him in right judgment, his God teaches him.”
“For the black cumin is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cumin;
but the black cumin is beaten out with a stick,
And the cumin with a rod.”
New King James Version of the Bible
Isaiah Chapter 28, Verses 25 to 27
The earliest known reference to Black Cumin is in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible, where the sowing and reaping of wheat and Black Cumin are compared. Another early find was as an inclusion in Tutankhamun’s tomb who ruled as the boy king from 1333 BC – 1324 BC. During biblical times the black seeds were used as a spice and were used extensively, during the times of King Tut the use is not known!
The seeds are still consumed today as a spice being included in casseroles and breads; sometimes they are ground and mixed with honey or sprinkled on salads. About a tablespoon of seeds with hot water makes an aromatic cup of tea. A few seeds can be included with any cup of tea to make the flavor more interesting.
Both the herb and the pressed oil from the seeds have been used in herbal medicine for centuries in the Middle East and Africa. They have been used there to treat a wide variety of ailments including: asthma, bronchitis, inflammatory diseases, to increase mother’s milk, to promote digestion, and kill parasitic infections. The oil is directly used to fight skin conditions such as eczema and boils, and to treat upper respiratory colds. Due to its many uses it has been given the Arabic term of “Habbatul barakah,” meaning ‘the seed of blessing.’