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Ingredient of the week: Black seed oil

Food By Wambui Kuria

Black seed oil is extracted from the seeds of Nigella Sativa a plant native to South Asia. It’s also known as black cumin, black caraway or kalonji. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which aid with; asthma, diabetes, hypertension, weight loss, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. Black seed oil is applicable and ingestible.

Studies done have shown black seed oil has aided those with acne, eczema and psoriasis. Before using black seed oil, test it out on a small patch of your skin to make sure it doesn’t trigger an allergic reaction.

Black seed oil can be used as cooking oil as well as a base for salad dressing. It is used a lot in the Middle East and some East Asian countries as a food flavouring. The taste of black seed oil takes getting used to. It smells like something between car oil (best way I can describe it) and oregano. Pretty confusing right?

The oil is available in shops that sell health and nutritional products. Cost varies. I would estimate it at Sh3,000 for a 250ml bottle.

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