People traditionally use black seed oil to boost inflammation, allergies, immune protection, and weight loss. Despite being touted as a “miraculous herb,” the number of its traditional uses have not been validated by proper scientific research. Keep reading to find out more about the supposed advantages of black seed.
Does Black Seed Oil Have Health Benefits?
Traditional Uses & Research Limitations
Nigella sativa, commonly called black seed, is a flowering plant native to South Asia.
Although black seed can be sometimes called black cumin (or black cumin seed), it shouldn’t be confused with regular cumin (Cuminum cyminum) which belongs to an entirely different plant family.
Any mention of black seed or black cumin in this informative article refers, especially to Nigella sativa.
Black seed has been traditionally used for various health conditions, but a lot of its supposed benefits lack scientific evidence and rely only on findings from cell culture or lab animals.
Additionally, black seed nutritional supplements haven’t been accepted by the FDA for clinical use. In general, dietary supplements lack strong clinical research. Regulations set manufacturing standards for nutritional supplements however, don’t ensure that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your physician before supplementing.
Black seed or Nigella sativa is a flowering plant with a long history of traditional use that hasn’t been studied in several clinical trials.
In this informative article, we’ll go over the latest research behind the prospective advantages of black seed oil to summarize the degree of proof for its many traditional and modern uses.
Benefits of Black Seed Oil
Maybe Successful for:
A boiled infusion of the seeds improved asthmatic symptoms in one study (15 mL/kg of 0.1 gram% boiled extract each day ) of 29 asthmatic patients. It decreased the incidence of asthma symptoms, wheezing, and improved lung function for over 3 months. The patients who took black cumin seed extract had a reduced need for additional drugs and inhalers.
Another placebo-controlled study of 80 asthmatics had comparable outcomes. From the study, black seed oil taken by mouth for 4 months improved asthma control. Scientists also detected a trend in lung function development.
Some traditional medicine practitioners use the black seed to reducing diabetic symptoms, including high blood sugar and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.
Restricted evidence backs up the benefits of diabetes. But, sudden drops in blood sugar can be harmful to people with diabetes. If you are already on diabetes drugs, be sure to speak with your doctor before supplementing with dark cumin.
Several large investigations on tens of thousands of people indicated that black seed may be a fantastic complementary approach for keeping glucose levels in check, especially in people with type two diabetes. It helped reduce both blood sugar and blood lipids, possibly with long-term gains (by also reducing HBA1C).
In a study (prospective) of 60 patients with insulin resistance, black seed oil (5 ml daily) improved fasting blood sugar levels. But here it was given as an add-on to sugar and lipid-lowering drugs (metformin and atorvastatin).
In patients who have type 2 diabetes on oral anti-diabetes drugs, black seed supplementation aids to decrease cardiovascular disease. In a study of 114 patients, 2 grams of black cumin seeds daily over one year decreased lipids, blood pressure, and BMI.
In rats, black cumin seed extract helped sensitize the muscles to insulin and triggered energy balance pathways–both important in type 2 diabetes (AMPK).
However, the current evidence is limited and inconclusive. Further clinical studies are required to determine whether the black seed is beneficial for many individuals with diabetes.
3) High Blood Pressure
Daily use of black seed extract for two months reduced blood pressure in patients with mildly elevated blood pressure (systolic BP 140 — 159 mmHg). The test group received either 100 mg or 200 mg of the extract 2 times per day. Aside from decreasing blood pressure, the infusion also reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol, which may clog blood vessels.
In a different analysis of 70 healthy volunteers, the petroleum lowered blood pressure after two months. No adverse effects have been reported. The treated group took 2.5 ml of black seed oil twice daily.
However, in a different study (64 participants), the ramifications of powdered black seed capsules on blood pressure, lipids, and BMI were not statistically significant.
Similarly, in elderly patients with moderately large blood pressure (systolic BP 160 mmHg), black cumin seed extract had a statistically insignificant impact. Within this analysis (76 participants), 300 mg of the extract was awarded 2 times per day for a month.
In the end, a huge review of over 800 patients concluded that black seed may lower mildly elevated blood pressure, with black cumin seed powder using a stronger effect than the petroleum. The authors emphasized that it might help lower blood pressure in only mild cases and might take two months to attain any impact.
All in all, the evidence to support the blood-pressure-lowering effects of black seed is weak and needs to be confirmed in larger studies.
Animal studies also looked into further potential effects of black seed on the heart. By way of instance, black cumin seeds improved the recovery of damaged heart tissue in rats (in response to heart surgery or post-heart attack treatment).
In another rat study, both exercise and black seed raised heart blood circulation and fresh blood vessels, potentially helping to prevent heart issues. These effects remain unexplored in humans.
4) Male Infertility
In a single little study of 68 infertile men, a daily intake of 5 ml (1 teaspoon ) of black seed oil for two months improved semen quality with no adverse outcomes. We can not draw any solid conclusions from this research, whose findings haven’t been replicated by other researchers.
In diabetic rats, black seed raised testosterone. It also improved sperm quality and motility in a different rat study, likely because of its antioxidant activity. Further research is needed.
5) Breast Pain
Mastalgia is breast pain which may or might not be connected to the menstrual cycle in girls.
In one clinical study of 52 women, a gel comprising 30 percent black seed oil implemented at the site of pain twice daily for two menstrual cycles reduced breast pain by about 82%. This was considerably greater than seen with a placebo gel, which reduced pain by 18%.
The subsequent purported benefits are only supported by restricted, low carb clinical studies. There’s insufficient evidence to support the use of black seed for any of the below-listed uses.
Remember to talk with a doctor prior to taking black seed oil supplements. Black seed shouldn’t be utilized as a substitute for accepted medical therapies.
6) Allergies and Hayfever
A couple of small-scale human studies indicate that black seed might decrease allergic symptoms, especially in people with breathing difficulties.
One review (of 4 research, a total of 152 patients with allergic diseases) reasoned that black cumin seed oil might help with allergies. When used as an add-on to conventional treatment, it reduced postoperative allergies symptoms, including asthma, eczema, and stuffy nose.
According to the study, patients obtained black seed oil capsules 40 to 80 mg/kg per day, which might be approximately 2 — 4 grams of oil each day for someone who weighs about 110 lbs.
In another study of 66 patients with allergic rhinitis, black seed oil decreased symptoms like itching, runny nose, sneezing, and congestion following 2 weeks. And in 39 patients with similar symptoms, 2 grams daily of black seed cumin seeds after immunotherapy decreased symptoms and increased neutrophils.
Despite these promising findings, large scale, high-quality research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of various black cumin seed oil preparations on allergic symptoms.
Some scientists believe that black seed may also help with breathing conditions that aren’t caused by allergies. The boiled infusion of the seeds enhanced breathing and lung function, reducing the demand for inhalers, in a study of 40 compound war victims who had breathing problems.
7) High Blood Lipids
Some scientists discovered that black seed may protect the heart by reducing blood lipids, which may help prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
An overview of clinical studies (SR-MA, 17 RCTs) concluded that black seed supplementation might help reduce:
- Total cholesterol
- LDL cholesterol
However, scientists emphasize that additional high quality, randomized-controlled trials are required to explore the ramifications of spine cumin on lipid and cardiovascular wellness.
Black seed oil had a stronger effect on lowering lipids than the powder, but just the powder managed to likewise increase HDL cholesterol.
For example, at a small study of 10 patients with high cholesterol, 1 g of black seed powder before breakfast for 2 months also decreased the above-mentioned blood lipids. In a study of 88 similar patients (RCT), 2 g of black seed capsules lowered cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides after a month.
The Way It Works
Based on the available scientific evidence, black seed can protect the heart by:
- Flushing excess fluids from the body (diuretic)
- Reducing the fight-or-flight (sympathetic) response
- Increasing blood vessel-relaxing nitric oxide
- Lowering blood lipids
- Acting as an antioxidant
On the other hand, the above-mentioned mechanisms were mostly drawn from animal or cell-based studies and stay clinically unproven.
Black cumin seed (Thymoquinone) has supported anti-inflammatory properties. Some people think that it is fantastic for the two Th1 and Th2 dominance, although the evidence is lacking.
Just several extremely tiny research (with 4 and 1 patients) indicated that black seed oil may assist with inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Much larger studies are needed. Black cumin’s anti-inflammatory potential was attributed to the active ingredient, thymoquinone, in animal studies.
Black cumin seed essential oil reduced inflammation and pain in mice. In addition, it reduced autoimmune brain inflammation in rats with Multiple Sclerosis. These effects remain unproven in humans.
In rats with arthritis, the active ingredient, thymoquinone reduced numerous pro-inflammatory cytokines (such as IL-6, IL-1β, TNF alpha — Th1 cytokines) while increasing anti-inflammatory ones (IL-10).
Some scientists consider that it might reduce brain inflammation by blocking NF-κB and preventing the immune cells from generating more nitric oxide, which can be overly produced in inflammation and autoimmune disorders. But, their theories remain unproven.
Inadequate evidence supports the supposed benefits of the black seed for anxiety. Despite several promising findings, further clinical trials are necessary.
Black cumin seeds decreased anxiety and improved mood and cognition in a study of 48 teenaged male volunteers following 4 months. The treated group took 1 g of seed daily in capsule type.
Black seed extract decreased anxiety in mice, possibly by increasing serotonin levels from the mind. It also reduced fatigue and anxiety and increased thyroid function in mice. Such mechanisms remain to be researched in people.
Black cumin seed calmed and secure the developing brain in rats, even people who have been under stress.
Some scientists think black seed might reduce stress thanks to the active ingredient, thymoquinone, which raised GABA in mice.
10) Poor Cognition
In a study of 20 older volunteers, 1 g of seed daily improved cognition, attention, and memory after fourteen days. These findings remain to be replicated. We can not draw any conclusions from one, small, low carb clinical research.
Thymoquinone and other elements of black cumin seeds protect the brain from damage in many animal studies and cell studies. It prevented brain damage from lead in developing mice, as well as from arsenic. In developing rats with inadequate thyroid function, it helps stop learning difficulties and brain damage. These outcomes remain to be researched in humans.
11) Indigestion from H. Pylori
A tincture prepared from the seeds is traditionally used for indigestion, loss of appetite, and diarrhea, whereas black seeds have been traditionally used to prevent vomiting. So far, there’s quite limited evidence to support its use in people that have indigestion because of Helicobacter pylori infection.
In a study of 88 patients with indigestion positive for Helicobacter pylori, black seed helped eliminate the bacteria and symptoms. A minimal dose of 2 g of the seeds (in conjunction with omeprazole) was effective and comparable to standard triple antibiotic therapy, while both higher and lower doses were significantly less efficient.
Some reviews suggest it may also help protect the stomach lining from damage and ulcers, mostly based on findings from animal studies and clinical expertise. Therefore, such claims remain unproven.
Black cumin seed protected the stomach lining from the harmful effects of alcohol in rats. The oils also averted gut damage in rats. Clinical studies are required.
12) Weight Loss
The evidence is limited and mixed in regards to black seed and weight reduction, a traditional “sign”.
In one study of obese men, the black seed did improve weight loss and reduced appetite following 3 months. In another study of 64 patients, the seeds had no significant effect on BMI and waist-hip ratio.
In fact, many studies found that black seed doesn’t help with weight loss.
Therefore, the current evidence indicates that black cumin seed is most likely ineffective for weight reduction.
13) Hepatitis C
Black cumin seed improved symptoms and reduced viral load in patients with Hepatitis C in a study of 30 individuals.
In another analysis of 75 patients with hepatitis C, black seed alone (500 mg) or blended with ginger (500 mg) had comparable beneficial effects.
These studies were small and potentially biased. Large-scale, multi-center clinical trials are needed to explore the ramifications of black seed preparations on hepatitis C and other viral diseases.
Black cumin seeds (Thymoquinone) reduced symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in a report of 40 female patients, at a dose of 500 mg of the petroleum 2X day. It decreased general symptoms, joint stiffness, and swelling.
Besides this research, no clinical data will be readily available. Thus, we don’t know if black seed influences arthritis. Further research ought to be encouraged.
A black seed oil chemical known as thymoquinone reduced seizures in children with epilepsy in a pilot study of 22 kids.
Thymoquinone also had an anti-seizure impact in mice. Scientists speculate it may reduce seizures by boosting GABA from the brain.
Without additional clinical studies, this purported health advantage remains unproven.
16) Opioid Dependence and Withdrawal
Black Seed helped reduce the signs of opioid dependence and withdrawal in a study of 35 opioid-dependant patients. It also helped reduce weakness, infections, and improve appetite. Further research is required.
Animal and Mobile Research (Lacking Evidence)
No clinical evidence supports the use of black seed for any of the conditions listed in this section.
Below is a list of the existing creature and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. On the other hand, the studies listed below shouldn’t be interpreted as encouraging any health advantage.
17) Antioxidant Defense
Animal and cell studies suggest that black seed acts on the next antioxidant pathways:
- Growing liver enzymes, such as glutathione
- Protecting a variety of cells from oxidative harms, such as the gut, liver, kidneys, and blood vessels
- Lowering homocysteine
The effects of black seed on those pathways in humans have never been investigated.
There are a couple of other animal studies we can’t draw any conclusions from. In one, black seed extract restored antioxidant enzymes (in red blood cells) in mice using malaria, which helped clear the parasite disease. In a different study, the petroleum neutralized harmful Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and brain injury in mice.
The specific advantages of its antioxidant action in humans still remain to be researched.
Traditionally, folks apply black seed oil into your skin to prevent diseases and relieve pain.
Black seed was researched for combating a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites, but the vast majority of research has been in animals, microorganisms, or cells. Consequently, this supposed benefit remains unproven.
Some scientists discovered that black cumin seeds act against:
- Staphylococcus aureus, a frequent cause of skin infections.
- MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a big problem when it comes to hospital-acquired infections that are tough to treat.
- H.pylori, a common cause of stomach ulcers (see advantage #7).
- The formation of “Biofilms”.
The impacts of black cumin seeds on fungal infections have been researched. Some extracts were active against Candida albicans in meals, but animal and human studies are lacking.
Black seed oil additionally shielded against mould (aflatoxicosis) in rats. Some researchers believe that, with additional research, black seed might have the potential for helping individuals with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.
Black seed helped fight the herpes-causing cytomegalovirus virus (CMV) in mice.
Black seed helped clear a malaria-causing parasite in mice.
The oil may protect against a parasite that damages the liver.
In test tubes, black seed protected against several parasites that could lead to serious gut issues in humans.
More research is needed.
19) Muscle Enhancement
Cell studies suggest that possible immune-boosting impacts of black seed might be on account of its active ingredient, thymoquinone. In cell studies, it increased immune cell activity and antibody levels.
Black cumin seed managed to raise the immune response in cells (IL-3 from lymphocytes).
We can not draw any conclusions from cell-based studies, however.
20) Kidney Health
Regardless of the dearth of evidence, black cumin seeds have been traditionally used for its prevention and treatment of kidney stones.
It helped fight kidney stones in rats and shielded the kidneys from damage and injury.
Clinical studies are lacking.
21) Milk Production Whilst Breastfeeding
Traditionally, black seed has been used to help raise milk production through breastfeeding in breastfeeding mothers. Human studies have not tested this claim, which remains unsupported by contemporary science. Black cumin seeds can stimulate milk production in rats.
22) Muscle Comfort
The consequences of black seed to muscle relaxation in humans are still unknown.
Black Seed reduced spasms in muscle cells in various research.
It has an impact only on smooth muscles, like the heart, gut, and airways. This is the reason black seed is used for asthma, breathing difficulties, gut issues, high blood pressure, and potentially urinary tract problems.
It acts by blocking the effects of calcium on the tissues and obstructing histamine and cholinergic pathways.
Does black seed assist with cancer prevention? The simple answer is: we don’t really know yet.
There is no evidence to suggest that black seed prevents cancer because it has mostly been studied in cells and animals.
The study we bring up is experimental and in the first stages. Keep in mind that human studies are needed before we can speak of any cancer-preventive effects.
Black seed oil blocked tumor growth and spreading in rodents. It appears to trigger phase I and II detox enzymes.
Thymoquinone from black seed reduced liver and liver cancer in rats.
Black seed oil protected against the immune-suppressing and harmful effects of radiation from rats.
In cells, it might kill cervical cancer, bone cancer, breastfeeding, and stomach On the flip side, many substances can kill cancer at a dish. Nearly all of them neglect additional animal studies and human trials because of a lack of efficacy or safety.
Some evidence indicates that black seed oil could be beneficial in people with diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, male infertility, and breast pain. Most other traditional uses of black seed–such as for improving digestion and immunity–have yet to be investigated in clinical trials.