Kalonji Seeds are the small black granules found in the fruits of Nigella sativa plant which is an annual herbaceous plant which belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. This is native plant of south west Asia that is abundantly cultivated in India, Bangladesh, Turkey and other Eastern countries.

The plant has erect stem, light green finely divided leaves, blue and white star shaped flowers and fruits bearing Black Seeds. These are usually triangular, tiny and hairy seeds of no more than 3mm in length and possess a severe pungent smell.

Chemical Composition of Kalonji Seeds

The chemical composition of Kalonji Seed (Black Seed/ Nigella Sativa Seed ) is very rich and diverse. Aside from its primary ingredient, crystalline nigellone, this Kalonji Seeds contains 15 amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, 1.5% volatile oils, 37.5% non volatile oils, alkaloids, saponin, crude fiber and other minerals. However all the components of Black Seed haven’t been identified till now. But research is going on around the world.

Black Seeds – Biochemical Constituents

The Kalonji Seeds mainly constitute of alanine, arginine, ascorbic-acid, asparagine, campesterol, carvone, cymene, cystine, dehydroascorbic-acid, eicosadienoic-acid, glucose, glutamic-acid, glycine, iron, isoleucine, leucine,linolenic-acid, lipase, lysine, methionine, myristic-acid, nigellin, nigellone, oleic-acid, palmitic-acid, phenylalanine, phytosterols, potassium, beta-sitosterol, alpha-spinasterol, stearic-acid, stigmasterol, tannin, threonine, thymohydroquinone, thymoquinone, tryptophan, tyrosine, limonene and linoleic-acid.

Nutritional Components Of Kalonji / Black Seeds

Kalonji Seed or Black Seed contains more than hundred valuable nutrients. It contains about 21% Protein, 38% carbohydrates and 35% plant fats and oils. The contents are similar to evening primrose oil, but because of its complex composition, it is much stronger.

The active ingredients of Black Seed are Thymoquinone, Nigellone and Fixed oils. It also contains in significant proportions proteins, carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids. Other ingredients include Linoleic acid, Oleic acid, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin B2, Niacin and Vitamin C.

Nutritional Value Of Kalonji / Black Seed

  • Kalonji / Black Seeds are rich in nutritional values.
  • Black Seed contains Monosaccharides in the form of glucose, rhamnose, xylose, and arabinose.
  • A non-starch polysaccharide component which is a useful source of dietary fiber is found in Black Seed.
  • Fifteen amino acids make up the protein content of the Black Seed. It is rich in unsaturated and essential fatty acids which cannot be manufactured by the body alone.
  • Black Seed contains arginine which is essential for infant growth.
  • They contain carotene, which is converted by the liver into vitamin A, the vitamin known for its anti-cancer activity.
  • As these possess minerals like calcium, iron, sodium and potassium, they have anti-bacterial properties, anti-tumor principles, show anti-histamine activity and help to promote lactation.

The average nutritional values of Black Seeds are as follows:

Nutrient Average Contents of Black Cumin Per 100 g on wet Basis USRDA6 %ofUS INQ%
Energy (kcal (MJ) 531(222) 2300(9,63) 23.1 1.0
Protein (g) 20.8 65 32 1.4
Thiamin (mg) 1.5 1.5 100 4.3
Riboflavin (mg) 0.1 1.7 509 0.3
Pyridoxine (mg) 0.5 2 25 1.1
Niacin (mg) 5.7 20 28.5 1.2
Calcium (mg) 185.9 1000 18.6 0.8
Iron (mg) 10.5 18 58.3 2.5
Copper (mg) 1.8 2 90 3.9
Zinc(mg) 6 15 40 1.7
Phosphorus (mg) 526.5 1000 52.7 2.3
Folacin (mg) 0.061 0.4 15.3 0.7
Index of nutritional quality (INQ) Per


Analysis Of Volatile Oil In Black Seed

Black Seeds contain considerable amounts of essential oil. The analysis of the volatile oil (essential oil) content in the Black Seed reveals chemical compounds that have been proven to exert all of these actions. The seed, which contains 1 of 4 of volatile oils has the following composition:

Volatile OilPercent (%)Properties of Kalonji Oil
Cymene32 %Known to have been used for its local analgesic actions, in rheumatic conditions.
Pinene3 %When taken internally has mild expectorant and colic properties and when used externally has similar actions to Cymene.
Carbony25 %Responsible for the antiseptic and anti-microbial properties of the seed. Extensive microbiological tests have confirmed its action against gram-positive as well as gram-negative organisms.
Carvone0.05 %Known for its anti-colic and flatulence properties.
Limonene27 %Reported to be effective in the treatment of gallstones.
1.5 %When inhaled or rubbed on the chest, it enlarges the bronchi, dissolves cramps and raises their temperature which quickly alleviates symptoms due to bronchial asthma and whooping cough. Also inhibits the release of histamine.
ThymochinonInhibits infection, relieves pain, stimulates the gall bladder and works as an anti oxidant.

Kalonji Oil Properties

Black Seeds have properties of stimulant, aromatic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, excitant, galactatagogue, purgative, resolvent, stomachic, sudorific, tonic, and vermifuge. The recent discoveries and researches reveal that the Black Seeds are superior to almost every other natural remedy when used for autoimmune disorders, especially when combined with garlic, it acts as a harmonizer of the imbalance which allows immune cells to destroy healthy cells.

  • The Black Seed has been used for variety of conditions and for treatment related to respiratory health, stomach, intestinal and heart complaints, kidney & lever function, circulatory & immune system support. Nearly 70% of all traditional ayurvedic formulas contain Black Seed as important ingredient.
  • Kalonji Seeds are most effective in treating diabetes, cancer, asthma, dry cough, paralysis, polio, toothache, headache, earache, obesity, jaundice, hair problems, eye diseases, heart complaints, skin problems, uterus problems, ladies diseases, and various other health ailments all over the world. 

Therefore it is not at all wrong to mention these as “The Blessed Seeds”.