The main difference between black seeds and black cumin seeds is that black seeds are Nigella sativa while black cumin seeds are either Bunium bulbocastanum or Nigella sativa.
There are many misconceptions about black seeds and black cumin seeds. Some of you may use the names black cumin and black seeds to refer to a multitude of black coloured seeds. However, this usage is incorrect. The name black cumin to refer to two different plants – Bunium bulbocastanum and Nigella sativa. Black seeds actually refer to Nigella sativa.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Black Seeds
– Definition, Features, Use
2. What are Black Cumin Seeds
– Definition, Features, Use
3. Relationship Between Black Seeds and Black Cumin Seeds
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Black Seeds and Black Cumin Seeds
– Comparison of Key Differences
Black Cumin Seeds, Black Seeds, Bunium bulbocastanum, Kalonji, Nigella sativa
What are Black Cumin Seeds
Black cumin seeds can refer to two different plants: Bunium bulbocastanum and Nigella sativa. Although both these plants are used as spices and are considered to have therapeutic properties, they are quite different from each other.
Bunium bulbocastanum or b. bulbocastanum is also known as black cumin, earthnut, and great pignut. In Indian cuisine, we call them black zira (jeera). It is a plant species belonging to the family Apiaceae and is native to Northern Africa, Southeastern Europe, and Southern Asia. Bunium bulbocastanum plant reaches about two feet tall and bears frilly leaves and white flowers. Most importantly, all parts of this plant have uses. The round-shaped taproot is edible and tastes like chestnuts and coconut. Leaves are used as herbs or as garnish similar to parsley. The seeds, which are the most used part, act as a precious spice.
Nigella sativa, which is the other plant species known as black cumin, is also called black seeds. We’ll look at the nature and uses of black seeds in the following section.
What are Black Seeds
The scientific name of black seeds is Nigella sativa. Black seed is also known as fennel flower, black caraway, black cumin and kalonji. It is an annual flowering plant belonging to the family Ranunculaceae. It is native to parts of Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. This plant grows nearly three feet and has wispy foliage, small delicate, pale flowers, and capsule-like fruit filled with seeds.
Black seeds are about the size of caraway seeds. We use them as a spice, natural flavouring or seasoning. Moreover, they have a bitter taste, like a mixture of onions, black pepper, and oregano. They also have a pungent smell.
Moreover, black seeds have been used for centuries to treat various types of diseases. They consist of a number of active ingredients, including the powerful compound thymoquinone. Thymoquinone helps to reduce inflammation, protect against cancer, and improve the immune system.
Relationship Between Black Seeds and Black Cumin Seeds
- Most people use these two words interchangeably. In fact, some products available in the market also use these names interchangeably, i.e., black seeds as black cumin, and vice versa.
- Moreover, these spices can be used as a replacement for each other.
Difference Between Black Seeds and Black Cumin Seeds
Black seeds refer to seeds of Nigella sativa while black cumin seeds can refer to seeds of two different plants: Bunium bulbocastanum and Nigella sativa.
Moreover, black seeds have long been used to treat many health conditions, like inflammation and asthma. In comparison, black cumin seeds have fewer health benefits.
The main difference between black seeds and black cumin seeds is that black seeds are Nigella sativa while black cumin seeds are either Bunium bulbocastanum or Nigella sativa. However, most people use these two words interchangeably. Even some products available in the market also use these names interchangeably, i.e., black seeds as black cumin, and vice versa.
1. “Black Cumin.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2020, Available here.
2. Morris, Susan York. “What Are the Two Types of Black Cumin?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 13 July 2020, Available here.