If you have not heard about Nigella Sativa, it’s time for you to get to know all about the health benefits of these powerful ancient seeds. Nigella Sativa is also known as Black Cumin, black seed oil, and it comes in seeds, pills and an oil. Black Cumin seeds come from a plant. These powerful seeds have been used for more than 2000 years, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who conducted a study of randomized control trials on the benefits of thymoquinone (TQ).
The powerful ingredient that gives black cumin seeds their many health properties is thymoquinone (TQ). Thymoquinone is a phytochemical compound from the Nigella Sativa plant. Phytochemicals are ingredients that are produced by plants. Phytochemicals help plants resist fungus, bacteria, and infections from animals, insects, and the environment. Numerous studies conducted, claim Nigella Sativa’s health benefits are so vast, that some countries think of the plant as a cure all for many chronic health problems.
Let’s dig in and learn about the diseases and health problems that black cumin seeds or black seed oil can help prevent or cure. According to one study conducted by the NIH, the active ingredient thymoquinone is highly effective against various illnesses, which includes cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetes, inflammatory conditions, and various bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral infections (Tavakkoli, Mahdian, Razavi, & Hosseinzadeh, 2017). Researchers also suggest that TQ is effective for treating auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes, obesity, hair loss, high blood pressure, asthma, congestion, pink eye, intestinal worms, and even some forms of cancer Tavakkoli, et al. (2017).
One of the most remarkable things that I find about this powerful plant is that is has very minimal side effects. Black seed oil has been proven to help restore moisture and promotes hair growth, which is why I use it on my scalp along with coconut oil just prior to my regular shampoo. Hair loss for women and men can be a very traumatic experience. Unfortunately, many women can experience hair loss from hormonal changes due to pregnancy and menopause.
Check out some of the hair products on the market with Black Seed Oil.
Nigella Sativa has also been used to help restore abnormal thyroid levels for people who suffer from Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Hypothyroidism is a condition that can happen when someone is not making enough hormones from the T3 or T4 thyroid glands. Our thyroid health is extremely important for the healthy function of our metabolism, body temperature, and heart health.
You can find black seed oil at natural food stores like Wholefoods, Sprouts, Vitamin Shoppe, and online at Amazon. If you purchase the oil version of Nigella Sativa, please ensure that you purchase a brand that does not have a lot of unhealthy fillers and preservatives. I really like the “plnt” organic black seed oil that is sold at the Vitamin Shoppe stores. This brand does not contain unhealthy fillers or preservatives. I also use the black seeds in my food and love the version in the photo sold by Terrasoul found here.
If you decide to give black seed oil or black cumin seeds a try, make sure you let your primary care doctor know before using the oil, pills, or seeds. This is really important if you are taking medications to manage any chronic health conditions.
Review on Clinical Trials of Black Seed (Nigella sativa ) and Its Active Constituent, Thymoquinone. (September 2017). Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5633670
Nigella sativa L. (Black Cumin): A Promising Natural Remedy for Wide Range of Illnesses. (May 2019). Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6535880/
Tavakkoli, A., Mahdian, V., Razavi, B. M., & Hosseinzadeh, H. (2017). Review on Clinical Trials of Black Seed (Nigella sativa ) and Its Active Constituent, Thymoquinone. Journal of pharmacopuncture, 20(3), 179–193. https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2017.20.021
Disclosure: (I am a writer and editor for the National Institutes of Health. Information contained in this blog post are not associated with my role at the NIH).