Black Cumin

Nigella sativa

Black cumin

Other Names:

Black Seeds, Black Caraway, Black Onion Seed, Kalonji


  • Antibacterial
  • Antioxidant
  • Antiviral
  • Antiseptic
  • Antifungal
  • Immunity
  • Antitumor
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Kidney-protection
  • Gastroprotective
Black cumin (Nigella sativa) is a widely used medicinal herb found worldwide. It is native to Southern Europe, North Africa and Southwest Asia and it is cultivated in many countries in the world like Middle Eastern Mediterranean region, South Europe, India, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia. Black cumin seeds contain a fatty oil rich in unsaturated fatty acids, mainly linoleic acid (50-60%), oleic acid (20%), eicodadienoic acid (3%) and dihomolinoleic acid (10%). Specific applications studied in poultry include:
  • Egg Quality: Black cumin at the level of 2 or 3% positively influenced egg production, egg weight, and shell quality and decreased the concentration of cholesterol in the egg yolk.
  • Antibacterial: Adding 2% black cumin seeds to the diet of laying hens can decrease Escherichia coli counts.
  • Antiviral: Black cumin extract can inhibit Infectious Bronchitis virus at an early point in infection, probably by rendering the virus non-infectious.

Poultry Specific Studies

TypePlant PartDosageSpecific useResultsRef
Chickensmeal10% of dietgut microbiotabeneficial in inhibiting pathogenic microbes during early post-hatch days.A Zaazaa et al., 2022
Quailseed powder1-2% of feedantioxidanthad a positive influence on the quail growth, lipid profile, antioxidant, immunity, meat storage quality, pH, and decrease in pathogenic bacteria content.M Asghar et al., 2022
Broilersseeds2 to 300 mg/kg of feedaflatoxicosiswhen combined with thymoquinone, enhanced AF detoxification via the AFAR pathway, by increasing AKR7A2 and Nrf2 levels, in addition to reducing hepatocyte apoptosis.M Ates et al., 2021
Broilerspowdered seeds10g/kg of dietimmunityDecreased abdominal fat and ileal Escherichia coli.V Laudadio et a., 2020
Chickens1% of dietantifungalcan help alleviate the negative effects of aflatoxins in diet.S Abosaleh et al., 2019
Hensoil3% dietantibacterialreduced the number of thrombocytes and neutrophils and increased lymphocytes in broilers, reduced gut Escherichia coli count.A Seidavi et al., 2020
Broilersseed powder2% of dietantibacterialacts as an immune enhancer in broilers against Pasteurella multocida.M Raheem et al., 2021
Broilersseed powder1-1.4% of dietimmunityenhanced immune responsiveness in broiler chickensS Al-Mufarrej et al., 2014
Broilersseeds20 g/kg of dietimmunityimproved plasma lipid profile and antibody-mediated immunityH Ghasemi et al., 2014
Hensseeds4% or 5% of dietimmunitypositively influenced egg production, egg weight and shell quality. Furthermore, it decreased the concentration of serum LDL cholesterol and egg yolk cholesterol concentrations and enhanced immunity against Newcastle disease virus.SH Khan et al., 2013
Hensseeds2% of dietGI healthdecreased the enumeration of ileal E. coli and morphological and histological alterations in small intestine such as enhancement of villus height to crypt depth ratio, increased goblet cell numbers and proliferation of lamina propria lymphatic follicles.J Boka et al., 2013
Hensseeds2-3% of dietegg productionincreased shell strength of eggs.R Aydin et al., 2008