, 4:220 | Cite as

La nigelle cultiv’ée : Nigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae)

  • K. GhediraEmail author
Article Original Pharmacognosie

Cultivated black cumin: Nigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae)


Les graines deNigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae), ou nigelle cultivée, sont largement utilisées en médecine traditionnelle pour le traitement et la prévention de nombreuses maladies. Elles contiennent principalement une huile fixe et une huile essentielle, des protéines, des alcaloïdes et une saponine. Les activités biologiques des graines sont principalement dues à la thymoquinone, composé majoritaire de l’huile essentielle et présent dans l’huile fixe. Différents extraits et autres constituants actifs issus de la graine, notamment l’huile essentielle et la thymoquinone, sont responsables de diverses propriétés pharmacologiques, particulièrement des activités anti-oxydante, anti-inflammatoire, analgésique, antimutagène, antinéoplasique, antihé-patotoxique, antinéphrotoxique, immunostimulante, hypoglycémiante, antiulcéreuse, antimicrobienne et antiparasitaire. Les graines se caractérisent par une faible toxicité. Bien que toutes ces potentialités ne se soient pas encore concrétisées, de nombreux travaux soutiennent l’utilisation possible deN. sativa en thérapeutique.


The seeds ofNigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae), commonly known as black seed or black cumin, are widely used in folk medicine for the treatment and prevention of a number of diseases. The seeds contain both fixed and essential oils as well as proteins, alkaloids and saponin. Much of the biological activities of the seeds has been shown to result from thymoquinone, which is the major component of the essential oil and also present in the fixed oil. The pharmacological properties of the seeds’ crude extracts and some of their active constituents-for example, volatile oil and thymoquinone-include anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimutagenic, antineoplastic, antihepatotoxic, antinephrotoxic, respiratory and immunological, hypoglycaemic, antiulcer, antimicrobial and antiparasitic activity. The seeds are characterized by very low toxicity. A large number of studies support the potential use ofN. sativa in therapeutics.

Mots clés

Nigella sativa Graines Thymoquinone Propriétés pharmacologiques Toxicité 


Nigella sativa Seeds Thymoquinone Pharmacological actions Toxicity 


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© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de pharmacognosiefaculté de pharmacie de MonastirTunisie

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