Nigella and Silybum marianum, are appreciated around the world for years, but are not so popular in Poland. However, they contain so many valuable constituents that it is worth to introduce them in your daily diet. There are a lot of possibilities to do so.
Nigella sativa, was already known in ancient times. They were used, among other things, for colds, inflammations and digestive tract disorders. It was believed that its seeds possess valuable properties. In Arabic countries, it is still used today for gastrointestinal problems.
Nigella seeds can be used in many ways:
For example, by making an infusion from seeds, it can be made very simply. Pour one teaspoon of seeds into a glass, and then pour them in freshly boiled water, leave for 20 minutes and strain. The infusion can be drunk 2-3 times a day, half a glass. In this form it is also suitable as a hair rinse or skin wash, for example with acne.
Perfect as a spice. Grounded seeds of Nigella perfectly blend with bread, meat or salad. You can easily replace pepper with it – due to its similar taste. However, Nigella is milder, so it doesn’t irritate the digestive tract.
For lovers of all kinds of tincture, a tincture of ground Nigella seeds will be ideal. Just pour half a glass of seeds into a glass of 40% alcohol and let it stand for at least 7 days, before drinking strain the mixture through cotton sheet. The tincture can be used internally and externally, for example for washing and rubbing in case of aching muscles or rheumatism.
Silybum marianum (thistle)
Silybum marianum, commonly called also thistle, is a plant known for centuries. Legend has it that it owes its Latin name Silybum Marianum to the Mother of God herself. Apparently, during the journey to Egypt, Mary wanted to feed the Baby and, for this purpose, she hid between the leaves of the Silybum marianum. While feeding a few drops of milk fell on the plant, that’s why on its leaves have white spots to this day.
The Silybum marianum owes its centuries-long popularity to its unique properties. Eaten regularly increases the body’s natural immunity and helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. Also, it has antioxidant activity – it protects the body against free radicals, which are result of stress, alcohol consumption, UV rays or polluted environment.
The most valuable part of the Silybum marianum is its seeds, which contain a complex of flavonolignans, so-called silymarin. Ground seeds can be used in various ways.
First of all, they are perfect for seasoning meats, soups and sandwiches. You can also add them to your favorite yogurt or oatmeal. It is recommended to eat 1-2 teaspoons a day. Since silymarin does not dissolve in water, it is worth to make a tincture instead of a traditional infusion. For this purpose, you will need 100 g of seeds of Silybum marianum and 500 ml of 70% alcohol. Pour alcohol on the seeds and leave for 14 days, then strain. It is recommended to consume 15 drops diluted in tablespoon of water 3 times a day for 2 weeks.