With Hydroxychloroquine becoming the drug that is most sought after, especially after US President Donald Trump vouching for it as an effective treatment for coronavirus, news of Kalonji or Nigella seeds that are also known as black cumin having Hydroxychloroquine in abundance is doing rounds asking people to consume it daily.

A message is going viral on social media especially on WhatsApp stating that "Hydroxychloroquine is founded 100% in Kalonji seed (black cumin). So take 7 Kalonji seeds with Honey, mix with hot water take before breakfast to prevent yourself from coronavirus attack."

Fact check

Black cumin seeds
Black cumin seeds/Nigella seeds/Kalonji Wikimedia Commons

First of all Hydroxychloroquine itself has not been proved as a cure ore treatment for coronavirus. Trump has just claimed that it can be an effective treatment for coronavirus patients but has not been approved as a medicine. The second fact is that black cumin or Kalonji does not have Hydroxychloroquine. Studies have claimed that black cumin has compounds including thymoquinone, carvacrol, t-anethole and 4-terpineol.

Though black cumin is considered as a medicinal property that has various health benefits, no scientific study has proved it beneficial to check coronavirus. Nor the above-said mixture (black cumin with honey and hot water) has been proved by any government for use as medicine for coronavirus. As black cumin is considered high in antioxidants, it is said to be good for those suffering from stomach ulcers, regulating sugar level in the blood, protect the liver, alleviate inflammation and lowering cholesterol level.

Black cumin is used as a home remedy

Reports also claim that black cumin is used as a home remedy against digestive tract conditions including gas, colic, diarrhoea, dysentery, constipation, and haemorrhoids. It is also said to be a temporary remedy for respiratory conditions like asthma, allergies, cough, bronchitis, emphysema, flu, swine flu, and congestion.

As breathlessness and respiration-linked problems are considered as symptoms of coronavirus, and black cumin being considered as a home remedy for similar problems, the news of the use of black cumin might have started spreading on social media.

But coronavirus is a serious condition and is not limited to respiratory problems. Moreover, reports in Healthline also claim that black cumin may result in skin allergies or dermatitis for some people. Some test-tube studies have also stated that it may influence blood clotting. Consuming black seeds in excessive quantity might prove problematic to pregnant women too.

So, it is advised that black cumin be used in moderate quantity and with doctor's advise in case of any complications like allergies. But no doctor has advised so far that it can be used as prevention for coronavirus.