black seed

The Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil

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Black seed oil, from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant, has a more than 2,000 year-old history for its medicinal uses. Grown in Asia, Pakistan, and Iran, it has been called “the remedy for everything but death”. This do-all plant packs a powerful health punch. This is what it does and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.

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What Is Black Seed Oil and Where Does It Come From?

Black seed oil is the oil extracted from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant in Asia, Pakistan, and Iran. People have used it to heal a wide range of ailments for more than 2,000 years. This is why they have said that it will help with everything that ails you, except for death. Though ancient people did not necessarily know why black seed oil is so good for your health, today, we now have a better idea. This oil contains the phytochemical thymoquinone, which is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and helps to remove toxic chemicals from the body. (1)

The actual research on black seed oil is relatively limited. Most of what we know of it as a remedy is based on anecdotal accounts dating back for many, many years. These are some of the ailments that it has shown to at least be somewhat helpful.

Read: Turmeric supplements have been linked to liver damage in five people

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Type 2 Diabetes

According to a 2017 review, researchers have found that black seed oil could be helpful for patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Their study involved participants taking either black seed oil, tea, or the actual seeds themselves. The results showed that those who took the oil saw a decrease in their fasting blood glucose levels. It is important to note, however, that these people were still taking their diabetes medications in conjunction with healthy lifestyle changes. More than one study has found that this oil helps to reduce fasting blood glucose levels. Again, most of these were taken still alongside regular diabetes treatment. (2)

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Allergies

Allergies and nasal inflammation affect millions of people around the world. Studies have shown that black seed oil helps to reduce nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy nose, and sneezing. Reports show that it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihistaminic, antimicrobial, and analgesic effects. This makes it effective against sinusitis, and inflammation of the sinuses. (3, 4)

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Rheumatoid arthritis

There have been some studies showing that black seed oil can help ease the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. After one month of taking the oil in capsule form, patients reported a reduction in arthritis symptoms, blood levels of inflammatory markers, and their number of swollen joints. (5)

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Obesity Risk Factors

There are many health risks that come along with obesity. A study done on obese women revealed that taking Nigella sativa oil in conjunction with a low-calorie diet helped the women to lose more weight, further decrease their waist circumference, and also reduce their triglyceride levels. (6) Another study found that when you add in an exercise routine, these benefits increase even more. They also found that with exercise, cholesterol levels went down. (7)

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The List Goes On

Clinical research has been done on black seed oil for its use involving several other conditions and health issues. These include (8, 9, 10):

  • Headaches
  • Digestive disorders
  • Immune system and fighting infections
  • Acne
  • Dry hair and hair growth
  • Psoriasis
  • Dry skin

All of the research teams for these, however, agree that more studies need to be done to confirm Nigella sativa’s effects on these problems. There are risks associated with black seed oil supplements, including toxicity, allergic reaction, and reduced blood clotting. (11, 12) This is why it is extremely important to speak with your doctor before beginning a new supplement, including this one. If you are taking it and notice any adverse reactions, stop taking it right away. If the symptoms become bad, go see a doctor immediately. 

Keep Reading: Why Up to 80% of Us are Deficient in Magnesium

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Sources

  1. Review on Clinical Trials of Black Seed (Nigella sativa ) and Its Active Constituent, Thymoquinone.” PubMed. Alireza Tavakkoli, et al. September 2017.
  2. Effect of Nigella sativa oil supplement on risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Wiley. Akram Kooshki, et al. June 8,2020.
  3. Herbal treatment of allergic rhinitis: the use of Nigella sativaScience Direct. Soheila Nikakhlagh MD., September–October 2011.
  4. Natural therapeutic approach of Nigella sativa (Black seed) fixed oil in management of Sinusitis.” Science Direct. Mohaddese Mahboubi. March 2018.
  5. Immunomodulatory Effect of Nigella sativa Oil on T Lymphocytes in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Taylor Francis Online. Sorayya Kheirouri, et al. April 21, 2016.
  6. Effects of Nigella sativa oil with a low-calorie diet on cardiometabolic risk factors in obese women: a randomized controlled clinical trial.” Royal Society of Chemistry. Reza Mahdavi, et al. 2015.
  7. The Effects of 8-week Nigella sativa Supplementation and Aerobic Training on Lipid Profile and VO2 max in Sedentary Overweight Females.” NCBI. Esmail Farzaneh, et al. 2014.
  8. Phytochemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutic uses of black seed (Nigella sativa).” Science Direct. Wesam Kooti, et al. October 2016.
  9. Comparative study of Nigella Sativa and triple therapy in eradication of Helicobacter Pylori in patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia.” Saudi Journal of Gastro Enterology. Eyad M Salem, et al. 2010.
  10. Effect of Topical Application of Black Seed Oil on Imiquimod-Induced Psoriasis-like Lesions in the Thin Skin of Adult Male Albino Rats.” American Association for Anatomy. Ebtsam F. Okasha, et al. September 19, 2017.
  11. Review: Nigella sativa (Prophetic Medicine): A Review.” NCBI. Hira Ijaz, et al. January 2017.
  12. Allergic contact dermatitis from black cumin (Nigella sativa) oil after topical use.” Wiley. Alexander Steinmann, et al. April 2006


    Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
Julie Hambleton
The Hearty Soul Team
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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