Scientific name: Nigella sativa
Common name: Black cumin, nigella
General Description: Often confused with cumin despite belonging to a different family, Nigella or black cumin has been used as an ornamental plant but primarily for oil production and spices from its seeds. These can also be used to flavor bread, pasta, and cheese.
The following varieties are available:
- 'Black cumin' is an annual plant that produces a great abundance of flowers that attract many insects.
- 'Alcaravia cumin' seeds are used for medicinal purposes in the treatment of digestive and intestinal problems. The leaves, fruits, and roots can also be used.
Type of use: Food
Nutritional facts: The seeds yield nigella oil, which contains mainly fatty acids, and is also rich in saponin, tannin, provitamin A, vitamin E, and omegas 3, 6, and 9.
Climate: Grows well in cool, dry areas, preferring locations with good sunlight.
Soil: Well-drained sandy or loamy soils are suitable.
Watering: This crop has low water requirements. However, there are two critical phases during flowering and seed formation, and water should not be lacking.