Black Seed | Saouda: Specialist of black seed (habba sawda)

Used as a condiment in the East for more than three thousand years and also appreciated for its healing and cosmetic virtues, the nigella seed – or  Nigella-Sativa (botanical name) – is a flowering plant native to Asia Minor.

Nigella is a ranunculus class plant. It is an annual plant with finely cut leaves.

It has different names around the world.

  • In France: cheveux de Vénus
  • In Algeria and Morocco: as sanoudj
  • In Yemen: al qahta
  • In Libya: al kamoun
  • In Iran: as shouniz
  • In India: kalonji
  • In English speaking countries: black seed
  • In Egypt: habbat al baraka
  • In German speaking countries: schwarzkümmel
  • In the Middle East: habba saouda

We know that the physicians of the pharaohs have been using this plant to treat the illnesses of their masters.

At this time in history, nigella was mainly used as a condiment to spice the most exquisite dishes. It was also used as beneficial oil to treat the skin as well as facial care product.

After opening the tomb of tutankhamen, archaeologists discovered a phial containing nigella oil then named Oil of the pharaohs.

The legendary complexion of nefertiti had a lot to do with nigella. As for cleopatra, she was well aware that this ancestral seed was preserving the beauty and youthfulness of her body.