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Black Seed Oil: The Unbiased Scientific Truth, Must Read

General Health

Black Seed Oil: The Unbiased Scientific Truth, Must Read

Black Seed Oil: The Unbiased Scientific Truth, Must Read

In This Article
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Benefits
  • Anti-Cancer
  • Antimicrobial Effects
  • Anti-diabetic Effects
  • Cardiovascular Effects
  • Immunomodulatory Effects
  • Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects
  • Weight Loss/Anti-Obesity Effects
  • Dermatological Effects
  • Side Effects
  • Uses
  • Recommendations and Considerations
  • Conclusion


Herbal medicine has been around for centuries in the treatment of several ailments and conditions. Sometimes, the use of those plants can be a better alternative for people.

What is Black Seed Oil and is it Beneficial to Your Health?

Black seed oil is one of the well-known and widely used forms of treatment for several different ailments


Black seed oil is made from Nigella sativa, a small flowering shrub with purple or white-tinged flowers that grow in Eastern and Southern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Western Asia. The shrub produces fruits that have tiny black seeds which have been used in remedies for thousands of years. It is an important drug in the Indian traditional systems of medicine like Unani and Ayurveda. Black seed is also known as:

  • Black caraway
  • Black cumin
  • Black onion seed; and
  • Kalonji

The oil is commonly called black cumin seed oil, which is very different from true cumin (Cuminum cyminum). It is also important not to confuse black seed oil with black pepper, black sesame or black cohosh.

Many active substances have been isolated, identified and reported at various varieties of seeds that were black. The main active compounds contain thymoquinone (TQ), alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, antioxidants, unsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, and crude fiber, one of many others. The seeds also have a good number of different vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron, magnesium and more. These chemicals in the black seed oil aid to provide the many possible health benefits

What are the Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil?

Most of the therapeutic properties are due to the presence of thymoquinone (TQ) which is a major active chemical component of the essential oil.

Several animal and human studies indicate that Nigella sativa and its ingredients have a wide assortment of pharmacological effects, such as immune-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, eucalyptus, anti-asthmatic, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective and renal protective effects, and among many others.

The sections below look deeper into some of the many health benefits from current research


A number of studies have shown positive effects about black seed oil along with anticancer action, which is likely due to the powerful phytochemicals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory capacities.

Numerous studies have shown that TQ has therapeutic potential in the management of human health as well as in the prevention of cancer via modulation of genetic cascades.

  • Scientists from Croatia discovered that the phytochemicals found in black seed oil resulted in a 52% decrease in tumor cells.
  • In vitro research also reveals that TQ helps induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukemia cells, breast cancer cells and brain tumor cells.
  • Potential therapeutic roles have shown promising results in cancers such as pancreatic, osteosarcoma, bladder, breast, colon, skin, and lung cancers.

Antimicrobial Effects

The black seed oil has been shown to have many antimicrobial effects, including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparasitic effects.

  • Strong antifungal activity against Candida albicans, a yeast that can overgrow in the body and lead to candidiasis, has been seen in studies.
  • Some of the most promising research has shown the effectiveness of black seed oil against several multi-drug-resistant bacteria strains.
  • One study provided evidence that black seed oil may possibly help slow down or stop Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA, a common “superbug”) from spreading out of control.

Anti-diabetic Effects

Black seed oil may prove clinically useful in the treatment of diabetes and in the protection of β-cells against oxidative stress[2][15].

  • Research has shown that the effect of black seed oil appears more pronounced on fasting blood sugar levels, postprandial blood glucose levels, hemoglobin-A1c levels, and lipid profiles. These effects can prevent diabetes complications including atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiovascular Effects

Research regarding black seed oil and its impacts on cardiovascular action have revealed favorable and hypotensive effects as well as modulating lipid profiles in patients with dyslipidemia.

  • One review that looked at 19 clinical trials concluded that the use of black seed oil can improve the lipid profile and prevent cardiovascular diseases in both healthy people and hyperlipidemic patients.
  • The black seed oil has shown to possibly help lower total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, blood sugar (which in turn protects the heart), blood pressure, and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.

Immunomodulatory Effects

Immune modulation is just one of the most crucial attributes of Nigella sativa, and lots of studies have been done so as to prove that this substantial effect. One review article looked at five studies that immediately showed the immunomodulatory effect of Nigella sativa.

  • Other investigations have demonstrated that Nigella sativa may be an optimum choice for treating patients with allergy-related diseases, such as asthma, atopic eczema, and allergic rhinitis.
  • Certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and many other autoimmune conditions are among the many diseases and conditions that may benefit.

Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects

Black seed oil, specifically its constituent TQ, has been shown to have amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, relieving inflammation inside the body and on the skin.

  • Studies have shown that Nigella sativa and TQ may inhibit inflammatory cytokines and provide antiarthritic activity, have protective effects on lipid peroxidation, and reduce oxidative stress.

Weight Loss Effects/Anti-Obesity Effects

A reduction of body weight has been seen in obese patients, as well as a reduction in metabolic syndrome parameters.

  • A systematic review published in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders discovered that black seed oil was among the most effective natural remedies on the planet for anti-obesity properties.
  • Another systematic review and meta-analysis revealed the ability of the black seed supplement to help lower body weight. Decreased BMI and waist circumference were also seen.

Dermatological Effects

Black seed oil has several applications and benefits for problematic dermatological conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin pigmentation (vitiligo), skin hypersensitivity, wound healing, and alopecia

Possible Side Effects

In general, several studies have discovered olive oil to become secure. But there are a few studies that have found some possible side effects. There’s a chance that black seed oil may increase the effects of drugs which the body procedures through the cytochrome p450 pathway.

Examples of medications include beta-blockers like metoprolol (Lopressor) and the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin). Taking too much black seed oil can be harmful to your liver and kidneys as well. Proper dosing and further studies are recommended. Allergic reactions may also occur with topical black seed oil. Make sure to do a patch test before applying it to a large area on your skin.

During one study, contact dermatitis developed after topical application of black seed oil, however, it may have been due to some impurity in the commercial black seed oil


Black seeds can be used as a spice or as an herbal medicine (both orally and topically). The seeds of Nigella sativa and their oil have been widely used for centuries in the treatment of various ailments throughout the world. They are also used in food like flavoring additives in bread and pickles due to their low levels of toxicity.

Black seed oil can be used topically, but always make sure to dilute it with a few teaspoons of a carrier oil, like almond or coconut oil. Black seed oil can be added to homemade massage oils and lotions, as well as shampoo and conditioner, to experience the many health benefits.

Black seed oil has a peppery scent and works nicely as a base note in homemade aromas using oils. A high-quality (100% pure, therapeutic-grade and accredited USDA organic) black seed oil may be utilized in all sorts of recipes, from meat main courses to soups and stews. In addition, it can be added to beverages like chai tea lattes and smoothies. Its spicy taste can add to many dishes.

Black seed oil can be purchased at most health stores and pharmacies. It is often packaged into capsules for daily consumption and it is also sold as an oil

Recommendations and Considerations

Some researchers suggest further investigations of Nigella sativa with larger samples and groups, diverse doses and longer periods of study as many studies show conflicting results. More clinical studies are needed as well in order to establish more sound results and recommendations.

There aren’t any particular recommendations for how black seed oil to both choose along with the appropriate dosage can vary by person and health condition. If picking a product with individual packaging, then follow the suggested dosage given. It’s likewise suggested to stop carrying black seed oil least two weeks prior to any operation date.

Make sure to store black seed oil away from any heat and light and keep out of reach of children. The FDA does not monitor herbs and supplements, so it is important to research and use reputable brands.

Make sure to talk with your doctor before you begin taking black seed oil, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, currently taking any medication or have a medical condition


Black seed oil was widely used for centuries in the treatment of various ailments around the world and research has shown many potential health benefits with modest unwanted effects listed. However, more research is needed to provide sound evidence for its therapeutic usage and dosage recommendations.

If you are planning to use black seed oil, make sure to check with your doctor beforehand and use a reputable brand.

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