CategoriesIngredients

Nigella Seeds

What are its benefits?

In addition to their use in cooking in parts of Africa and Asia, nigella seeds have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of conditions, and research now provides a scientific foundation for some of these uses:

  • One of the primary constituents of Nigella seed oil, thymoquinone, has antioxidant effects.
  • Nigella seed oil was shown to inhibit production of pro-inflammatory molecules called eiconsanoids. This supports the use of nigella seeds for relief of inflammation-related ailments.
  • While pursuing studies of a weak or porous intestinal barrier as a contributor to mental disorders (through failure to keep food antigens or environmental toxins from passing farther into the body), researchers found that Nigella sativa protected the intestinal mucosa and suppressed the growth of potentially harmful gut microbiota.
  • Extracts of nigella seed were found to have antifungal and antibacterial effects in numerous studies.

What is it?

The fruit of an annual herb (Nigella sativa) yields many Nigella seeds, very small black seeds that have a somewhat bitter, pungent flavor. These seeds are also known by other names, such as black seed, black cumin, black carraway, black onion seeds, and kalonji. The plant is grown in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and India, and it has been used in cooking and as a medicine in these areas for centuries.

 

Nigella seeds provide a number of nutrients, including calcium, iron, zinc, copper, thiamin, niacin, phosphorous, and folic acid. They contain a bioactive component called thymoquinone, which has shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other therapeutic qualities, such as preventing cell damage.

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CategoriesIngredients

Neem Leaf

What are its benefits?

In our intestines, some bacteria are beneficial and some are harmful. Further, some bacteria such as E. faecalis are not a problem in healthy people, but they can become opportunistic pathogens in people with underlying health conditions. Some common bacteria (such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa) are known to form biofilms – aggregates of bacteria held together by a matrix of carbohydrate. Biofilms can form on the surfaces of living tissues, such as those in the human oral cavity and gut.

 

Bacteria within a biofilm are more persistent and less vulnerable than when not part of a biofilm. That is, they are resistant to antibiotics. A 2019 study found that biofilm formation has been implicated in a variety of gastrointestinal diseases. A separate study set out to find medicinal plants that could inhibit or eradicate biofilm. It discovered that an extract of neem leaf was effective in disrupting formation and structure of biofilms, as well as reducing conditions that support biofilm growth.

 

Neem is a plant long used in traditional East Indian medicine, and modern research has found that the leaf shows significant antibacterial activity (against such bacteria as Streptococcus mutans and Enterococcus faecalis) and antifungal activity (against Candida albicans, for example). Thus, neem leaf can support natural gut immunity by contributing to a healthy balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria.

What is it?

Neem (Azadirachta indica) is an evergreen tree used for thousands of years in the traditional medicine systems of India. While neem is bitter and pungent to the taste, all parts of the tree can be consumed. Typically, its twigs and leaves are chewed to support healthy gums and the oral microbiome, and neem oils are used to promote healthy skin and hair. It is the leaves and seeds that are most powerful. The leaves contain a variety of compounds, including:

  • Quercetin (a polyphenolic flavonoid known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties)
  • Nimbosterol (beta-sitosterol)
  • A number of liminoids (nimbin and its derivatives)

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