ZIRA SIYAH

English : Black caraway/Black cumin

Urdu : Zira siyah/Kala Zira/Zirah kirmani

Telugu : Sima-jilakaru

Description :

Carum nigrum which is known as black caraway, is a herb, found as a weed in clutivated lands or as wild growth on grassy slopes of mountains. It is 15-75 cm high.

Black Caraway seeds are elongated with detached mericarps from the pedicel, almost equally five-seeded , slightly curved tapering to each end, glabrous brown with five very narrow yellowish primary ridges and thin pericarps and the large oily endosperm; and also with aromatic and characterstic odour and taste.

There is a big confusion in recognizingthe real black cumin or Kamoon aswad. Usually ,carum carvi or Caraway seeds are considered as black cumin or Kamoon  aswad but it is not correct according to the books ” The wealth of india Vol II C” and llmul-advia wriiten by Allama Hakeem Mohammed Kabeer -ud-din Saheb. ” Careway is a different species which is caroya or caravia in Arabic and Urdu languages which is included in the formulation of  ‘Jawarish-e-Mastagi Murakkab’ with Kamoon aswad. However both the species i.e caraway and black caraway are commonly used as black cumin. Some other authorities mention black cumin in the chapter of cumin seeds i.e Cuminum cyminum in a normal way as if there are two varieties of cumin i.e one is white cumin and the other is black cumin.

Action and Uses:

Black Caraway is a good stomachic, appetizer, carminative and diuretic. It is used in gastric upset , dyspepsia, hiccough and flatulent colic , chronic diarrhoea , dropsy and renal calculus and crystalluria. It is also included in some formulations as a corrective of  other constituents i.e to correct their nauseating and gripping effect. It also relieves nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. It continuous use reduces body-weight and as such careful in obesity.

Caraway is a mild stomachic and carminative and also corrective of other drugs like black caraway. It is also used in all those affections in which black caraway can be given. Caraway water is a useful remedy in the flatulent colic of infants.

Ibn Sina’s View:

It is not and dry; carminative and desiccant. It checks vomiting and worms stomach and also digestvie. It is useful in hiccough and palpitation. Decoction of seeds is used to be drunk as diuretic , anti-spasmodic and vermicidal.

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