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Black Cumin (Nigella sativa)

This herb, otherwise known as Black Carroway, is often considered to be a great folk medicine in India and West Asia. But what exactly is this herb? Let's learn more about it!

Physical Description and Behavior

This plant can be about a foot tall with very divided leaves. It has delicate white to pale-blue flowers with up to 10 petals. The main thing about this flower is its fruit, which is an inflated capsule that contains a ton of seeds, not unlike that of a sunflower.

Fun fact: while there is evidence that this seed can cause short-term benefits on LDL and HDL levels, there is no evidence to show that it has any long term benefit on human health. This is despite a ton of research into it, as well as its status as a traditional medicine.

Their seeds are pretty interesting, as they have a kind of black charcoal appearance. They also have an odd edged shape. Their aroma seems to be similar to that of fennel and their taste similar to that of nutmeg. These seeds are often ground up and used as spices.

This plant also forms a mutual relationship with certain times of fungi. The fungi inhabit their roots and even some of their cells, feeding on the glucose. In return, the plant receives nutrients from the fungi.

Habitat and Location

It is native to North Africa, West Asia, and India. However, it has also been spread to many other parts of the world, including most of Europe, the US, and even some parts of East Asia.

I cannot find much on their natural habitat, as all o the information in regards to them is about cultivated land and gardens.

To learn more about how to grow this plant, check out the video below

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