Guizotia abyssinica is an erect, stout, branched annual herb, grown for its edible oil and seed. Its cultivation originated in the Ethiopian highlands and has spread to other parts of Ethiopia. Common names include noog/nug ; niger, nyger, nyjer, or niger seed; ramtil or ramtilla; inga seed; and blackseed, khursani in marathi Gujitil in Assamese, “Huchellu” and “Gurellu” in Kannada, “Karala” or “Karale” in Marathi.
Niger seeds are also used in human consumption in southern parts of India. In Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, niger seeds (called valisalu/valasulu in Telugu, uchellu/gurellu in Kannada, and Karale in Marathi) are used to make a dry chutney which is used as an accompaniment with bread (Chapathi). They are also used as a spice in some curries. In Ethiopia, an infusion made from roasted and ground niger seeds, sugar and water, is used in treating common colds.
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