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Health and Beauty Benefits of Black Seed Oil

Nigella sativa, also known as, black cumin, fennel flower, or black sesame, has been in use medicinally for centuries. Egyptian, Arabic, Ayurvedic, and Chinese cultures were among the first to have documented use of this amazing seed. Traditionally, black seed oil was used to cure and prevent a number of diseases ranging from migraines to cancer. This seed should be referred to as a “super-seed”, due to all of its medicinal uses. Even the Prophet Mohammad was quoted saying, “Use this black seed; it has the cure for everything except death”. After reviewing many research articles, I must agree. This tiny seed packs a major health optimizing punch! Nigella Sativa grows mainly in Northern Africa, Eastern Europe, and Western Asia. It is considered a Holy plant in the Middle East, and is thought to be energetically stimulating to the body. There have been hundreds of studies published (Over 700!) that support the efficacy and power of black seed oil.

Traditional Use

  • N. sativa seeds were used historically against a wide array of ailments; obesity, migraines, bronchitis, dysmenorrhea (painful periods), paralysis, hypertension, gastrointestinal issues, and cancer, are just a few examples of diseases effectively treated with this super seed [1].

Active Constiuents

  • Thymoquinone is one of the most bioactive phytochemicals of N. sativa. It is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and a powerful antioxidant. Research has also found that it exhibits a beneficial effect on dopaminergic neurons aiding in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease [1].

  • Thymohydroquinone is anti-microbial and anti-tumorigenesis; effective in treating infections and potentially preventing cancer [3]. Studies illustrate that this constituent also functions as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor [4]. This is beneficial for those who suffer from ailments such as glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, Alzheimer's, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

  • Thymol, the main constituent of N. sativa's volatile oil, is also found in the herb Thymus vulgaris (Thyme); which is used by many for seasoning purposes. Thymol decreases blood pressure by blocking calcium channels [1]. It is also antimicrobial; effective against HSV-1, bacteria, and yeast.

Nutritional Content [2]

  • Fixed Oil

  • Saturated Fatty Acids: palmitic acid, stearic acid, and myristic acid

  • Unsaturated fatty acids: Arachidonic, eicosadienoic, linoleic, oleic, dihomolinoleic fatty acids

  • Volatile Oil

  • Thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, dithymoquinone, nigellone, carvacol, thymol

  • Proteins

  • Arginine, glutamic acid, leucine, lysine, methionine, tyrosine, proline, threonine

  • Minerals

  • Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and iron

  • Carbohydrates

  • 33%

  • Fiber

  • 5%

  • Vitamin precursor

  • carotene

Benefits in Health Care

  • Antimicrobial: Research has found that N. sativa is effective against both gram positive and negative bacteria. The oil was found to inhibit Staph. aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli, and Candida. Studies also show that it is effective in vitro against MRSA [1]. It is extremely important and necessary to have accessibility to herbs that are effective against bacteria in this day and age; because there is a growing number of bacteria that are or will soon become resistant to pharmaceutical antibiotics.

  • Anti-cancerous: Extracts of N. sativa inhibit cancerous cell growth and function as anti-tumorigenic; causing apoptosis (cellular suicide) and cell cycle arrest of cancerous cells with a minor effect on non-cancerous cells [1].

  • Anti-allergic: N. sativa inhibits TH2 cytokines and eosinophil infiltration within the airways [1]. This is beneficial for those with seasonal allergies as well as asthmatic patients.

  • Anti-hypertensive: Black seed oil is known to reduce cholesterol. The active constituent thymol was also shown to lower blood pressure through the blocking of calcium channels [1].

  • Gastroprotective: Black seed oil is beneficial for the GI system because it is a carminative; decreasing bloating, gas, and stomach pain. It is reported that Hippocrates used black seed oil for digestive and metabolic disorders. Furthermore, the phytochemical thymoqunoine was found to be successful in protecting the gastric mucosa against damage from absolute alcohol, as well as promote the healing of ulcers [1].