Black seed oil is something my wife and I started taking recently and already feeling the benefits, so much so that I felt the need to share this with you in the form of this blog. If you don`t know about this, read this and see what you think and consider trying it.
What is Black Seed Oil?
Black seed—also called black caraway, black cumin, black onion seed and kalonji—comes from Nigella sativa, a flowering shrub that grows in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It contains chemical compounds called thymoquinone and caryophyllene that have been linked to certain health benefits.
The substance has been used medicinally for thousands of years. In fact, historians believe that King Tut, Cleopatra, and Hippocrates ingested black seed for an array of conditions, including malaise, weakness, coughing and skin care.
In recent years, black seed oil (a liquid version of black seed) has gained popularity in the health food sphere as awareness of its purported health benefits spreads. Here’s what you need to know:
How to use black seed oil
As a supplement, black seed oil can be ingested in pill or liquid form. The oil can also be used topically on skin and hair.
If buying the liquid form of black seed oil, it’s recommended to choose a high-quality product that doesn’t have any added ingredients.
Black seed oil has a strong flavor that’s slightly bitter and spicy. It’s often compared to cumin or oregano. As a result, if consuming black seed oil as a liquid, you may want to mix it with another strongly flavored ingredient, such as honey or lemon juice.
Black seed oil can be massaged onto the skin, for such issues as arthritis etc.
High in antioxidants
Black seed oil is high in antioxidants — plant compounds that help protect cells against damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals
Antioxidants are important for health, as research has shown that they can reduce inflammation and protect against conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer
In particular, black seed oil is rich in thymoquinone, which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. As a result, studies suggest this compound may protect brain health and aid in treating several types of cancer.
Black seed oil has been in use for thousands of years for medicine, food, and even cosmetics. Today, many people reach for it for the same reason you’d take an aspirin or ibuprofen: In hopes that it targets inflammation and tamps it down. It also has substances that can help protect cells from damage.
Helps Weight Loss Goals
A study of 90 women with obesity found that subjects who added black seed oil to a low-calorie diet experienced more weight loss than those who simply adjusted their diets. Studies show a decrease in BMI due to the ability of black seed oil to regulate metabolism and decrease cravings. Naturally regulating the appetite can help those on reduced-calorie diets to eat less.
To prevent scarring, some physicians suggest applying black seed oil to minor cuts and abrasions once the wounds begin to heal. The oil can also alleviate symptoms in people who experience rashes due to allergic reactions and eczema due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. Topical application can ease itching and reduce redness and irritation.
Promotes Strong, Shiny Hair
Black seed oil contains an antihistamine called nigellone, which research shows can help with androgenic alopecia or alopecia areata, conditions that result in hair loss. Black seed oil may improve scalp health, reduce inflammation, and increase the strength of the hair follicles. In addition, the skin-calming effects may ease the itching and flaky skin of dandruff.
In one small study, people put black seed oil drops in their noses to treat mild, moderate, or severe cases of allergic rhinitis, aka hay fever. After 6 weeks, more than 9 of 10 people said their sneezing, itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and other symptoms got better or went away completely. That was true for just 3 in 10 people in the group that used regular food oil. More research is needed. Ask your doctor if black seed oil is right for your condition.
Black seed oil has the ability to fight bacterial infections, even drug-resistant ones such as MRSA, a staph infection that resists traditional antibiotics. Black seed oil is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial. Studies show that black seed oil has an inhibitory effect on MRSA. It can also destroy unhealthy cells such as bacteria and tumors.
Helps Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Studies suggest regular consumption of black seed oil can help lower LDL cholesterol — the bad cholesterol. Black seed powder, as opposed to the oil, was shown to increase HDL cholesterol — the good cholesterol. This is good news for those with high blood cholesterol, as reduction of LDL and an increase in HDL, correlates with a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
If Cleopatra had pimples, she probably dabbed on black seed oil to clear them up. For centuries it’s been used to treat rashes, psoriasis, and skin inflammation. Studies suggest that black seed oil may work just as well as benzoyl for acne.
The phytochemicals in black seed oil may help naturally treat cancer by acting against invading tumor cells. In particular, the thymoquinone in black seeds can promote cell destruction in tumors. The oil also contains antioxidants that research shows have cancer-fighting properties. Antioxidants reduce the number of free radical molecules in the body that damage healthy cells and inhibit new cell growth, allowing cancerous cells to grow and spread.
Promotes Liver Health
The liver works hard, removing toxins, producing bile, and processing fats. Compromised liver function due to the side effects of medication or alcohol consumption impacts the organ’s filtering capabilities. Black seed oil has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent and protect the liver from damage. Black seed oil may also reduce the risk of liver disease and fatty liver due to viruses and toxins.
In the Kitchen
The seeds from N. sativa go by the names of black seeds, black cumin, black caraway, and kalonji. You can use them or their oil like cumin or oregano to spice curry dishes, pickles, and bread.
This is when your airways swell up and make it hard to breathe. One well-designed but small study found that black seed oil helped control asthma symptoms better than dummy treatments. Researchers think that someday, the oil could be added to regular asthma therapy.
In many parts of the world, Nigella sativa seeds are used as traditional medicine for obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. In some small studies, supplements made with it have shown to lower levels of cholesterol and blood fats called triglycerides. Taking powdered (but not oil) supplement may even boost your “good” cholesterol when coupled with aerobic exercise.
This autoimmune disorder can swell your joints and wear down your bones. One small study suggests that taking black seed oil every day may lessen joint swelling and stiffness. With more evidence, it may be a helpful add-on therapy for RA.
Black seed oil is a traditional treatment for male infertility, and a systematic review of several studies found that it is, indeed, effective. The antioxidant effects of the oil significantly improved sperm count and other fertility markers in male subjects with fertility problems.
The studies included in the review indicate that black seed can positively influence sperm and semen production, enhance the health of the reproductive organs, and regulate sex hormones. Infertile men should speak to a physician before choosing black seed oil as a fertility treatment, as there is insufficient evidence that black seed oil can cure infertility completely.
Nigella sativa is one of the world’s most common medicinal plants. So, it’s generally safe. But large amounts of black seed oil have caused liver and kidney damage in rats. It also may slow blood clotting time and make bleeding more likely. So, like anything else, moderation is the key.
As I said, black seed oil is something my wife and I started taking recently and already feeling the benefits so it`s part of our daily diet now. Seems to be too many benefits not to be taking this. I`m not claiming it has miracle qualities, but I know we feel better for taking it.
Many people think black seed oil has a very strong, bitter taste. That’s probably why many mix it with sugar or honey, but for me it`s a straight shot out of the bottle onto a tea spoon and straight down in one!