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Kalonji, aka Black Seed or Black Cumin (Nigela sativa)



Kalonji seeds are light, dry, and hot in qualities, pungent/bitter in taste, with a heating metabolic effect and a pungent post-digestive taste.


Kalonji pacifies Vata and Kapha, and it aggravates high Pitta, although it’s okay for balanced Pitta to use occasionally.


Healing Properties Listed in the Ayurvedic Texts


  • Helps maintain and increase breast milk (galactogogue)
  • Balances the hormonal system for both men and women
  • Enhances absorption of nutrients
  • Supports the bone marrow (majja dhatu)
  • Burns semi-digested food (ama) in all seven bodily tissues (dhatus)
  • Enhances reproductive fluid (shukra dhatu) and purifies the ovaries and uterus
  • It is good for menstrual cycle and flow; it is a hormonal modulator for high flow
  • Increases physical strength
  • Beneficial to the eyes


How to Use Kalonji

  • Always cook it with food
  • Use in moderation
  • Cook it in combination with cumin, fenugreek, fennel, and/or ajwain.
  • Use it to enhance the flavor of sweet and savory foods, especially breads.


Where to Buy

Keep in mind that kalonji is different from black sesame or onion seeds.


It is commonly available in Indian grocery stores, but you can also find it in some health food stores and online.


Sanskrit Names

Upakunchika, Deepya, Kalika, Bashpika, Taruna, Jeerna, Sushavi, Pruthveeka, Kalee.




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