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.
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 .
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 .
Thymohydroquinone is anti-microbial and anti-tumorigenesis; effective in treating infections and potentially preventing cancer . Studies illustrate that this constituent also functions as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor . 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 . It is also antimicrobial; effective against HSV-1, bacteria, and yeast.
Nutritional Content 
Saturated Fatty Acids: palmitic acid, stearic acid, and myristic acid
Unsaturated fatty acids: Arachidonic, eicosadienoic, linoleic, oleic, dihomolinoleic fatty acids
Thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, dithymoquinone, nigellone, carvacol, thymol
Arginine, glutamic acid, leucine, lysine, methionine, tyrosine, proline, threonine
Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and iron
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 . 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 .
Anti-allergic: N. sativa inhibits TH2 cytokines and eosinophil infiltration within the airways . 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 .
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 .
Benefits in Skin Care
Black seed oil is full of antioxidants and skin repairing nutrients. These elements keep the skin firm, moisturized and help prevent the formation of wrinkles. Cleopatra used black seed oil in her beauty treatments to maintain her notably beautiful skin.
The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil are very beneficial topically for fighting and preventing acne outbreaks.
Corrects Skin Pigmentation
Research has proven that black seed oil is both melanin producing and inhibitory. In a double blind study, it was found that patients with vitiligo who used black seed oil twice a day for 6 months, had a decrease in their hypopigmented areas . The study concluded that there were no significant side effects. On the other side of the spectrum, black seed oil can be used to prevent the formation of scars and help even skin tone.
Benefits in Hair Care
Black seed oil regrows and strengthens hair. The mechanism of action is not fully understood yet; however, the antioxidant, antimicrobial and nutrient content of the herb, are most likely the reason for this benefit. In ancient Egypt, Queen Nefertiti, used black seed oil to bring luster to her hair and nails.
The seeds for planting and dietary use can be stored for about a year
Be sure to store them in an airtight container to prevent the loss of the volatile oils (aroma).
If you purchase black seed oil, it can be stored for 6 months to a year.
Tip: Store in the refrigerator to help extend the shelf life.
Studies have shown that N. sativa is safe when ingested orally and applied topically. However, as with most things, caution should always be taken if pregnant or lactating.
Where to Purchase?
I purchased my black seed oil from: