A tale of two Sativas

By Richard Shrubb

But for the stigma of cannabis, companies would almost certainly leap on its therapeutic benefits. There is a downside – companies like to own things. If they own it they can make money from it. Perhaps the stigma surrounding cannabis has a benefit – no company has the balls to try patenting the plant and calling it its own …

Black Cumin Seeds from the plant Nigella SativaFood giant Nestle has applied for a world patent on another very important therapeutic plant, Nigella Sativa. They will own the rights to use it exclusively as a medicine to prevent food allergy.

Black Cumin is a seed from the plant Nigella Sativa. Like cannabis it has a number of compounds found to have medicinal value through the millennia. 1400 years ago, the prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, is supposed to have said “Use the Black Seed for indeed, it is a cure for every disease except death”.

Black Cumin is the only seed entombed in King Tutankhamen’s pyramid in Egypt. One can only assume that this was the best all round medicine for him to use in the Afterlife – not unlike people imagine cannabis to be today!

According to the website superhumanfoods.org Back Onion seed can help in several ways:

  1. Thymoquinone – A phytochemical that has demonstrated anti-cancer, anti-inflammation and immune-boosting properties.
  2. Essential Fatty Acids – Black seed is high in essential fatty acids, particularly Linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an omega 6 that has cancer prevention properties. It has also been shown to help with conditions such as cystic fibrosis and dermatitis.
  3. Amino Acids – Nigella Sativa contains 15 amino acids that are needed for many bodily functions to maintain good health.
  4. Minerals – Black onion seed also contains a lot of minerals which are important for normal bodily functions. These minerals include calcium, sodium, potassium and iron.
  5. Carotene –  A compound that the human body can convert into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed in the human body for the growth of new cells, improved night vision and healthy skin and hair to name but a few of its vital functions.

Phytosterols. This compound has been shown to lower cholesterol.

Nigella sativa flower

Nigella Sativa


Nestle likes the immune boosting properties. According to the anti corporate greed website Sumofus. org, “Nestle is claiming to own it, and filing patent claims around the world to try to take control over the natural cure of the fennel flower and turn it into a costly private drug”. If you click on the link to the site you can sign a petition against this happening in the UK.

Cannabis has its issues. If you wish to use it for your own health problems you are labeled a stoner and drug abuser. If a corporate body wants to use it as a medicine? Exactly the same drug is no longer a means of getting stoned and becomes a medicine. Need we say who is doing that now?!

Bud moneyOn the GW Pharmaceuticals website they claimed that the rescheduling “confirms the distinction between Sativex – with its evidence of quality, safety and efficacy as recognised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – and crude herbal cannabis, which will remain on Schedule 1 of the Act.”

This is somewhat difficult to understand since the only difference between Sativex and “crude herbal cannabis” is the method of delivery. One has to wonder whether the same claim will be made by Nestle, that Thymoquinone  would be safer administered orally on its own?

Monsanto has recently forced a law through US Congress which “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future.”

The wider issue to this, is why governments will listen to a company first and wider science second? This issue is endemic and largely shows what is wrong with our global political system – that companies have primacy over individuals. One can argue that though companies can make game changing contributions to political parties, few individuals can. Money talks!

Richard Shrubb

Richard Shrubb is a freelance journalist with a specific interest in medical science and sailing, for more info about Richard, see his web site www.richardshrubb.co.uk and you can follow Richard on Twitter #Shrubberz



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