Nigella was me. My labmates started calling me Nigella finding me obsessed with…
“Hey, What’s Up Nigella?”
“Aur Kya Haal Hain Nigella 🙋♀️?”
Nigella was me. I got this name in the last semester at University. My labmates started calling me by the name ‘Nigella’ after finding me obsessed with my on-going research project on Nigella seeds. They actually used to tease me with this name.
However, they were not at fault if they were pulling my legs. It was me who couldn’t help it. I realized later that I was a bit over-enthusiastic about my findings and was talking just a bit ‘extra’ over something in which they were really not interested. But…
I was just so amazed by the things I found in those research publications.
In the last year of our Masters program, we were supposed to conduct one-year-long independent research project in the lab & the dissertation. I had decided long back that I will work on ‘Nigella’.
Nigella is the scientific name (Nigella sativa) of the black seeds, ‘Kalonji’. When I was in the last year of graduation, I just came across a Hadeeth somewhere regarding the black seeds.
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: “Use this black seed. For indeed it contains a cure for every disease except As-Sam” And As-Sam is death.
And, I just thought how wonderful it would be to explore theses sides scientifically. And, guess what???
Two years later, Allaah SWT made circumstances like that I had to choose Phytochemistry as the subject for my Masters.
I never wanted to study this subject.
However, I forgot that a few years back a fleeting thought passed across the mind and I wished something that Allaah SWT had Said ‘Be’ and ‘it was’. Those seeds could be explored best only under this subject. (By the way ‘be mindful of your whims’)
Long story short. I decided. I expressed my wish to work on Nigella to my guide who agreed on that. But…
“What exactly you would be doing”, my guide asked me.
I requested him some time for me to decide my dissertation topic. He gave me a few weeks. I took a few months 🙄. And, then I got this nickname ‘Nigella’.
I thought it would be easy. It was not. There were hundreds and thousands of research papers already published on the subject. The seeds were already explored very well and in every aspect. Its chemistry, physiology, medicinal properties, isolation, extraction and what not!
Here I was in a dilemma on what to do and… there they were saying ‘cool’.
They said, “There is already so much published. Copy anything and relax in the lab”
I wanted to do something myself as I loved to do.
I was going crazy in doing the literature search to find some clue. I bet there was not a single published study across the world over the web until 2011 that I had not studied.
I was simply amazed after reading all that. It was a panacea. From head to toe, the black seeds had medicinal effects on everything. Its chemistry too was beyond comprehension. There were many things about it that amazed me. However, one research paper caught my extra attention.
It said that Nigella i,e. Kalonji, the black seeds, have been found to have ‘Indazole nucleus alkaloids’.
Indazoles are extremely rare in nature. They are not found (till now) naturally anywhere in the universe except in the plant of this family.
Can you believe it?
OK. Let me put it in simple words.
There are some chemicals in those seeds that you can synthesize in the laboratory but you can not find them naturally anywhere else.
So, what 🤔?
It means, if you think logically, there must be a system of enzymes and pathways extra-ordinary in this particular plant that made the synthesis of those rare indazoles possible in them and not anywhere else in nature.
I was just wondering if it had any co-relation with the Hadeeth that I read some years back.
Is it the same extra-ordinary life-supporting system hidden in those seeds that makes it medicine for everything except death?
Alhamdulillaah ❤️. I got my dissertation topic. I wanted to work on enzyme systems present in seeds. However, I could not yield anything significant from my research. And, I knew I couldn’t. It was beyond my ability and in any case, was not possible in one year of basic research.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t stop proving my hypothesis to anybody and everybody.
Hey. These seeds have an indazole nucleus that means…
“Spare us yaar 😡”
So, I stopped.
Then I got married. My plans for my Ph.D. got changed. And, I started making ‘rotiyan’ (Indian bread) at home.
(They said right, “Padh lo kitna bhi, banaani to rotiyan hi hain 😒)
I pray that this indazole ring system in black seeds could attract more interest from around the globe. The chemists, biologists, technologists could work together. Genetic engineering and enzymologists might help. And, one day after spending a few decades the multi-billion pharma industry could reach to the ultimate truth…
That do not wait for another health pill to be launched.
That prevention is better than cure.
That food is the ultimate medicine.
That value the treasures our Lord has blessed us.
That whatever has been told us through Qur’an & Hadeeth is timeless & legitimate.
The ultimate that Allaah SWT is the Best Creator and the Only Lord worthy to be worshipped.
Back to my story.
I am happily married (Alhamdulillaah) and making ‘rotiyan’ just like any other ordinary married woman.
However, unlike them, I am not making ordinary ‘rotiyan’. I am always adding ‘Nigella’ in my dough from the last five years 😀.
The Might of Pen.