With hundreds of peer-reviewed studies to back it up, black seed oil is one of the biggest secrets of the natural health and healing world. Although many people haven’t heard of it, black seed oil is linked to healing such a wide range of diseases and ailments, with virtually no side effects!
Black seed oil can be used internally on ailments ranging from cancer and diabetes to heart and liver health, as well as balancing cholesterol and diabetes. Topically, it can be used to help treat skin conditions like eczema as well as skin infections and fungus. Black seed oil is also known for its ability not only to support healthy hair but even reverse hair loss!
Derived from black cumin seeds, this oil ought to be in everyone’s kitchen, bathroom cabinet, and natural apothecary. Let’s explore what black cumin seed oil is, the benefits, and how to use it safely.
What is Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil is the oil derived from black cumin (Nigella sativa) seeds. The seeds come from the black cumin plant, which is part of the Ranunculus family.
Most people know cumin for its fragrant properties in Asian, Mediterranean, and African cooking but indeed it’s medicinal properties reach far wider than just flavor. In these countries (and in traditional eastern medicines like TCM and Ayurveda), black cumin seeds are still used to this day as herbal medicine.
The medicinal properties of black cumin seed oil are linked to three natural chemicals: thymoquinone (TQ), thymohydroquinone (THQ) and thymol. These phytochemicals have very strong antifungal properties that have been shown to kill a wide range of fungus and molds.
Black seed oil is also known as black cumin seed oil, but it is not the same thing as true cumin, black pepper, black sesame, or black cohosh.
What are the Benefits of Black Seed Oil?
Although the mechanisms aren’t yet completely understood, there are hundreds of peer-reviewed studies highlighting the profound healing benefits of black seed oil.
1. Combats Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs
With the advent of pharmaceutical medicines, many bacterias and viruses are becoming antibiotic resistant. Known as ‘superbugs’ these strains of infections are becoming virtually impossible to treat with mainstream Western medicine. Common examples include HIV, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, staphylococcal, and candida. Superbug infections are on the rise, killing almost 100,000 people per year in America.
The Nigella sativa plant (black seed oil) has shown promising results in effectively targetting such superbugs, in conjuncture with antibiotic use. One study highlights how black seed oil impacted 97 out of 144 strains that were otherwise antibiotic resistant.
Black seed oil has been especially successful at treating Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), a superbug that is plaguing the nations hospitals and nursing homes. This drug-resistant infection is often contracted at the hospital, at times when the immune system is already fighting for survival. MRSA has become a global health risk, and black seed oil has been shown to be a natural remedy for this often deadly infection.
2. Helps Fight Cancer
Black cumin seed oil has been shown to help naturally treat cancer, due to its powerful phytochemical compounds. These phytochemicals include antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
Thymoquinone and Thymohydroquinone (two of the phytochemicals present in black cumin seeds) have been shown to reduce tumor size by 52 percent. Thymoquinone acts as a free radical scavenger and has been shown to induce apoptosis (cell death) in leukemia cells. Thymohydroquinone is one of the most powerful natural acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors on the planet. Together, they work synergistically to fight cancer.
Black cumin seed can also be used in conjuncture with a traditional Western medicine approach to fighting cancer since these properties protect the body against some of the dangers of radiation.
3. Combats Diabetes
Nigella sativa is one of the only substances known to man that may help prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
One study demonstrated that black seed improved glucose tolerance as effectively as Metformin, without the side effects. Metformin is the leading type 2 diabetes prescription medication, but it comes with a long list of ‘side’ effects that make it a suboptimal solution.
4. Supports Healthy Skin and Hair
Used topically, black cumin seed is known to strengthen and soften hair and skin. This is in part due to its high nigellone content, which is a powerful antihistamine that combats some forms of alopecia. Since it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, black seed oil also nourishes, hydrates, and cleanses the skin (and scalp). It is said that Cleopatra was said to use black seed oil to maintain beautiful hair and skin, during the Egyptian era.
Used on skin conditions like eczema, black seed oil has yielded more positive results than it’s pharmaceutical counterpart Betamethasone. Unlike the drug, black seed oil’s benefits came with none of the (long list) of side-effects from the pharmaceutical cream. In fact, black seed oil can also be used on wounds to the likelihood of scarring.
5. Supports in Weight Loss
The benefits of black seed oil in supporting healthy weight loss are well documented in the scientific literature. Nigella sativa contains one of the most effective plant compounds with anti-obesity properties. Supplementing with black seed oil has been shown to reduce weight circumference as well as body mass index (BMI).
6. Boosts Fertility
Black seed oil has been shown to improve male sperm count, sperm motility, and semen volume in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Although the mechanisms are not yet completely understood, another meta-analysis of all the studies on black seed oil and male fertility during the span of 14 years concluded that indeed it has a positive influence on sperm parameters, semen, Leydig cells, reproductive organs, and sexual hormones.
7. Boosts Digestion
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed black seed oil as a remedy for digestive unrest. Black cumin seeds have carminative properties, meaning that they relieve gas, cramps, and bloating. Black seed oil can be used to ease digestive upset, and support overall smooth, healthy digestion.
8. Heart Health
Thymoquinone is a compound found in the Nigella sativa seed that is known to have a protective effect on the heart. Paired with black seed oil’s ability to balance blood cholesterol levels as well as lower blood pressure– these seeds support heart health from many different angles.
9. Fights Candida and Fungus
Nigella sativa has strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Black seed oil has shown to reduce instances of candida, fungus, and parasites in the digestive tract when taken orally. It can also be used topically to fight persistent skin and nail infections including athlete’s foot, ringworm, and nail fungus.
10. Balances Cholesterol and Lower Blood Pressure
A study examining the impacts of black seed oil on diabetes found an unintended side-effect: a better cholesterol profile in the animal subjects. A six-week study followed diabetic animals given small doses of black seed oil and resulted in a lowering of the bad LDL cholesterol, and an increase of good HDL cholesterol.
A subsequent human study gave patients with mild hypertension varying doses of black seed oil. Results demonstrated that their systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure decrease relative to the dose of black seed oil they were given. It also caused a decrease in total cholesterol and in harmful LDL cholesterol levels.
11. Promotes Liver Health
Due to its roll filtering out toxins from the body, a properly working liver is crucial to whole-body health. The liver also plays a major role in digestion, since the bile excreted from it is what helps break down and digest fats.
Animal studies suggest that black seed oil helps heal and prevent future liver damage and diseases. Incorporating black seed oil is an easy way to support the liver’s regeneration in a world filled with liver-harming substances (like alcohol and pharmaceutical medications).
12: Reduce Symptoms of Asthma
The anti-inflammatory properties of black cumin seeds have shown to be beneficial as a natural relief for asthma. Many studies support the relaxation of the airway not only in asthmatic cases but also with bronchitis or due to allergies. Symptoms related to allergies including nasal congestion and itching, runny nose, and sneezing were also reduced after two weeks using black seed oil.
13. Reduce Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
As a powerful anti-inflammatory, black seed oil has shown promising results in healing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. A study on 43 women with rheumatoid arthritis showed significant positive outcomes for those given black seed oil compared to the placebo group. The women that were given black seed oil noticed a reduction in arthritis symptoms, blood levels of inflammatory markers, and the number of swollen joints.
14. Immune Health
Black seed oil gives the immune system a healthy boost. It does so through a wide spectrum of nutrients and phytochemicals, like B-vitamins, beneficial acids, and antioxidants. Unlike other natural immune-boosting plants like echinacea or elderberry, black seed oil can be used even by those with autoimmune issues. In fact, black seed oil is often used as a part of a natural remedy protocol to combat autoimmune conditions like thyroid disorders or HIV.
Can Black Seed Oil Regrow Hair?
Black seed oil can have a profound impact on the regrowth of hair, depending on the cause of hair loss. Due to its strong anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties, black seed oil can combat many of the root causes of premature hair loss. Infections in the hair follicles ranging from lice, mites, bacteria, or fungi can easily be addressed with topical use of black seed oil. In general, black seed oil can be useful to regrow hair if the hair follicle is still intact.
Can Black Seed Oil Reverse Grey Hair?
When it comes to greying of hair, prevention is ideal. Like hair loss, grey hair can be reversed depending on the cause. Black seed oil can play a role in reversing premature hair discoloration, by nourishing the hair cells responsible for the pigmentation of hair follicles. If the discoloration is premature or due to the death of the pigment cell, black seed oil can indeed help bring the color back.
Can Black Seed Oil Heal Scars?
Due to its ability to promote and inhibit melanin production, black seed oil has the ability to heal scars. Nigella sativa is packed with antioxidants that will not only heal scars but also speed up the recovery process. Black seed oil can be used on a wound to disinfect, thanks to its anti-bacterial properties, and will speed up the healing process as well as minimize the scaring. Win, win, win!
Black Seed Oil Dosage
There are no universally accepted dosage recommendations for the consumption of black seed oil. However, according to studies, the following suggested dosages have shown promising results:
- For diabetes: 1 gram of black seed powder taken twice a day for up to one year.
- To boost male fertility: 2.5 mL black seed oil twice a day for two months.
- For high blood pressure: 100–200 milligrams black seed oil twice a day for eight weeks.
- For asthma: 2 grams of ground black seed taken once a day for 12 weeks, or a single dose of 50–100 mg/kg.
For general health and maintenance, it is recommended to follow instructions on the label. This typically starts at a ½ teaspoon per day and increasing to up to 1 to 3 teaspoons per day.
Black Seed Oil Uses
Since black seed oil is indeed food, it can be used in many different ways in the kitchen. It has a strong, bitter, spicy taste that can take some getting used to. Popular ways to consume black seed oil include a couple of drops in a chai tea, drizzled in soups, curries, stir-fry’s or on salads. You can also include whole back cumin seeds in your diet by sprinkling them on your meals, like onto roasted vegetables or meat.
Since it has a very potent flavor, we recommend opting for black seed oil capsules if taking it for therapeutic purposes. That way, you ensure you will continue to take them daily (or according to your doctor’s recommendations), whether or not you enjoy the taste.
To use topically, simply dilute black seed oil in a high quality body oil like coconut, almond, or jojoba oil. One to two drops of black seed essential oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil. It can then be applied topically (or used for a massage!) on the skin, particularly in problem areas like due to inflammation from eczema.
Black seed essential oil can also be added to shampoo to enhance scalp and hair health. Add 1-2 drops before massaging shampoo into the scalp. You can also make a hair mask using 2:1 of carrier oil (like olive oil) to black seed oil. Make sure to avoid contact with eyes, as black seed oil can irritate sensitive areas.
Where Can I Find Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil can be found in health stores, pharmacies, and online. It can be purchased as a liquid or in capsule form. Since quality is of utmost importance, make sure to source black seed oil that is 100 percent pure, cold-pressed, therapeutic grade, and certified USDA organic. You can find high-quality black seed oil soft gels on the Revelation Health website.
Is Black Seed Oil Safe?
Black seed oil is generally considered safe, but like all things: the key is proper usage and dosage. More is not better when it comes to potent herbal medicines. Although it is a natural ingredient, it can cause unintended consequences when abused. Too much of any plant medicine can cause damage to the liver and kidneys.
Due to its potent nature, black seed oil should not be applied directly to the skin, but rather diluted in a carrier oil. Carrier oils include coconut, almond, or jojoba oil. You should always opt for the highest qualities of oil, whether consuming it orally or applying it topically to the skin. Your skin absorbs what you put on it! Opt for 100 percent pure, therapeutic grade, and certified USDA organic black seed oil. Since vegetable and seed fats can easily go rancid, make sure it is cold-pressed oil. Ideally, you want to purchase a liquid oil in a dark glass bottle and keep it stored away from direct light.
Before introducing any new oil to the skin, it is a good idea to perform a patch test on a small portion of the skin. Black seed essential oil is potent and can cause allergic reactions in certain people. Avoid getting it in the eyes!
Are There Side Effects?
Black seed oil can thin the blood. For this reason, it is not advised during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, or in conjunction with any ailments or medications that might be complicated by blood thinning.
Black seed oil might increase the effects of medicines that the body processes through a pathway called cytochrome P450. Common medications like beta-blockers and blood-thinners may indeed become more potent while taken with black seed oil, so consult with a doctor if you are taking any prescription medications.
Black seed oil, also known as black cumin oil, comes from the extraction of oil from the black cumin seed. This herbal medicine has been used since the Egyptian era for a wide range of benefits. It can be used topically or internally, both for therapeutic purposes and fragrant cooking. Black seed oil has been heavily studied in the scientific community and is known to have a positive impact on disease and ailments including combating drug-resistant superbugs, cancer, and diabetes, as well as balancing blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and boosting heart, liver, skin and hair health.
Black seed oil is generally considered safe when used in responsible quantities. Since it is a natural blood thinner and can heighten the potency of certain prescription medications, you should always consult with your doctor before taking black seed oil.
Black seed oil can be taken as a liquid or in capsule form, and should always be 100 percent pure, cold-pressed, therapeutic grade, and certified USDA organic. If you are taking it for therapeutic purposes, purchasing black seed oil in capsule form is a good way to ensure you take it regularly, since it has such a pungent, spicy flavor.