The Numerous Benefits of Black Seed
Nigella sativa, also known as black seed or black cumin seed, has been exalted. The seed has been found in the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb, which dates back 3,000 years [1, p. 204]. Mohammad also praised the seed as the cure for anything but death.
Occasionally, we will mention a black seed, but we have not even fully begun to investigate its numerous benefits. Published research has noted the seed’s many benefits, such as its effectiveness against MRSA, ability to stimulate the regeneration of dying beta cells within a diabetic pancreas, and ability to heal a body damaged by poisonous chemicals.
These are only three of black seed’s benefits.
In this article, we will examine sixteen benefits of black seed oil, as noted by published evidence. *
In a 2010 study, researchers investigated the effects black seed would have on the glycemic control of patients with type-2 diabetes . The researchers noted that 2 grams/day for twelve weeks improved beta-cell function, lowered insulin resistance significantly, and decreased HbA1C measurements, among other improved parameters .
Helicobacter Pylori Infection
H. Pylori is extremely harmful bacteria that can live in the digestive tract, and after many years, they can cause ulcers in the stomach or small intestine lining. This bacterium can also lead to stomach cancer.
In a 2010 study, researchers investigated the effects black seed would have on H. Pylori bacteria . Researchers noted, “N. sativa seeds possess clinically useful anti-H. Pylori activity, comparable to triple therapy [taking three types of antibiotics]. Further clinical studies combining N. sativa with antibiotics are suggested” .
In a 2007 double-blind, crossover clinical trial, researchers investigated the effects black seed would have on children with refractory epilepsy, also known as uncontrollable, drug-resistant epilepsy . The results showed the mean frequency of seizures reduced significantly during treatment, and the authors concluded, “The water extract of Nigella sativa L. has antiepileptic effects in children with refractory seizures” .
High Blood Pressure
In a 2006 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, researchers investigated the effects black seed would have on patients with mild hypertension (HT) . The researchers noted black seed significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure when compared to the placebo group. The researchers also found there was a dose-dependent function, meaning the higher the dosage, the greater the response. Patients in the black seed groups even experienced a significant decline in their LDL measurements. The scientists concluded, “The results suggest that the daily use of NS seed extract for 2 months may have a blood pressure-lowering effect in patients with mild HT” .
One of the main ingredients in black seed oil called thymoquinone is superior to the drug fluticasone in an animal model of asthma, as concluded by a 2010 study .
In a 2010 study, researchers investigated the effect black seed extract would have on the airways of patients with asthma . The researchers found that “the extract caused significant increases in all measured pulmonary function tests,” in most time intervals . The researchers concluded, “The results of the present study showed that Nigella sativa has a relatively potent antiasthmatic effect on asthmatic airways” .
Tonsillopharyngitis, also known as tonsillitis or strep throat, is an infection of the throat and/or tonsils and is common in children. Tonsillopharyngitis is usually caused by a virus but may be caused by bacteria such as streptococcal bacteria.
In a 2008 comparative, parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers investigated the effects that the combination of Nigella sativa (360 mg) and Phyllanthus niruri (50 mg) extracts would have on patients with tonsillopharyngitis over seven days .
From day 0-2, participants in the treatment group experienced significant alleviation of pain and needed significantly less paracetamol than those in the placebo group. Further, by the end of the study, a substantially higher proportion of patients in the treatment group were healed entirely than in the placebo group .
The researchers concluded, “NSPN extract was also found to be safe and well-tolerated in acute tonsillopharyngitis patients. This study proved significant benefits of NSPN extract in the treatment of acute tonsillopharyngitis as compared to placebo” .
Chemical Weapons Injury
In a 2008 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, researchers investigated the effects black seed extract would have on chemical war victim . The study lasted for two months and contained two groups: a treatment group (n=20) and a control group (n=20). The treatment group received a daily dose of black seed extract, and individuals in both groups visited the researchers three times during the study .
The researchers noted, “All respiratory symptoms, chest wheezing, and PFT [pulmonary function test) values in the study group significantly improved in the second and third visits compared to the first visit,” with improvements noted in the third visit over the second . Also, the results in the control group were much less significant than the results in the treatment group.
The researchers concluded, “The results of this study suggest a prophylactic [medicine used to prevent disease] effect of N. sativa on chemical war victims and warrant further research regarding this effect” .
In a 2006 study, researchers investigated the effects thymoquinone would have on colon cancer cells . The researchers found thymoquinone suppressed colon cancer growth similar to the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil but without any of the adverse side effects associated with such medications .
In a 2003 study, researchers investigated the effects black seed oil would have on rats with colon cancer . The researchers noted the extract has “significant antiproliferative activity in both initiation and postinitiation stages and especially in the latter,” noting that N. sativa can inhibit colon cancer carcinogenesis of rats in the postinitiation state, with no evident adverse side effects .
In a 2008 study, researchers investigated the effects black seed extract would have on MRSA [methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] . The researchers concluded, “The results indicated that N. sativa has an inhibitory effect on MRSA. This finding warrants the necessity of further investigation of this product of folk medicine” .
Additional studies have noted these results  .
Opiate Addiction and Withdraw
In a 2008 study, researchers investigated the effects black seed extract would have on the treatment of opioid dependence in thirty-five patients . The researchers concluded, “Non-opioid drug Nigella sativa is effective in the long-term treatment of opioid dependence. It not merely cures the opioid dependence but also cures the infections and weakness from which the majority of addicts suffer” .
In a 2013 study, researchers investigated the protective effects of black seed oil thymoquinone on radiation-induced nitrosative stress in brain tissue . After conducting the research, the researchers offered a frank conclusion: “Nigella sativa oil (NSO) and its active component, TQ, clearly protect brain tissue from radiation-induced nitrosative stress” .
Heart Attack Damage
In a 2013 animal study, researchers investigated the protective effects of thymoquinone on the experimental model of a heart attack . The researchers divided the rats into two groups, a treatment group and a placebo group. Then, the rats were injected with isoproterenol, a drug that simulates a heart attack. Then, their biochemical markets were analyzed for myocardial injury. The researchers concluded, “Results of our study revealed that thymoquinone protects the heart from injury induced by isoproterenol” .
Kidney Damage That is Associated with Diabetic Neuropathy
In a 2014 study, researchers investigated the effect of thymoquinone on chemically induced diabetic neuropathy . The researchers had three groups: a control group, an untreated diabetic group, and a diabetic treated group with thymoquinone. After chemically inducing diabetic neuropathy, the researchers concluded, “Thymoquinone has protective effects on experimental diabetic nephropathy. Both mesenchymal and epithelial markers serve as excellent predictors of early kidney damage and indicators of TQ responsiveness in STZ-induced diabetic nephropathy” .
Alzheimer’s Associated Neurotoxicity
In a 2013 study, researchers investigated the effects of thymoquinone on beta-amyloid plaques, which are associated with the pathology and progression of Alzheimer’s disease . The researchers concluded that their findings suggested that thymoquinone may be useful for preventing neurotoxicity and called for further research about its potential to reduce the risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease .
In a 2013 animal study, researchers investigated the effects of thymoquinone on breast cancer tumor growth . The scientists found that thymoquinone possessed anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic [inducing cell death] effects against these cancer cells .
In a 2013 study, researchers conducted a similar investigation and came to a complementary supplementary .
Glioblastoma Brain Cancer
In a 2013 in vitro study, researchers investigated the effects of thymoquinone on glioblastoma brain cancer cells . The researchers concluded thymoquinone induced apoptosis and stated, “In this vein, our results describe a novel mechanism of action for TQ as an autophagy inhibitor selectively targeting glioblastoma cells” .
As indicated by the above research, black seed oil and its main component, thymoquinone, possess numerous health-promoting qualities. This article does not even begin to examine the benefits of this compound thoroughly.
If you are interested in a black seed supplement, check out Healthmasters’ Black Seed Oil.
 Zohary, D., & Hopf, M. (2000). Domestication of plants in the old world (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
* This article is for informational purposes only. By providing the information herein, Healthmasters and its associates are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any disease or medical condition. Before beginning any natural, integrative, or conventional treatment or regime, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional