Black seed oil – also called “black seed oil”, and frequently referred to as “blessed seed” – is made from the seeds of the black cumin (Nigella sativa) plant that has been cultivated for thousands of years throughout Southwestern Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Its use dates back at least three millennia, with Nigella sativa seeds being found in several sites in ancient Egypt, including in King Tut’s tomb.
Black cumin seed has long been used as a culinary spice to liven up curries, meat dishes, breads, and salads, as well as for medicinal purposes as a cure-all. The prophet Mohammed himself proclaimed that “Black Seed heals every disease except death” over fourteen hundred years ago. The oil is pressed from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant and is today used both for medicinal and culinary purposes.
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What Benefits Does Black Cumin Seed Oil Offer?
Black cumin seed oil is used both internally as well as topically, and its health benefits are attributed to three unique phytonutrients: thymoquinone (TQ), thymohydroquinone (THQ), and thymol, that exhibit powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer properties. The most extensively studied active compound in black cumin seed oil is thymoquinone, which possesses potent antiviral properties against several viruses, including Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus, and other coronaviruses. In fact, black cumin seed oil was the subject of some very encouraging preliminary studies on its potential use in treating Covid-19. Of course, more research is needed to clarify this particular use.
So, are you curious about what black cumin seed can do for you? Read on.
Black Cumin Seed Oil Benefits For the Whole Body
Black cumin seed oil promotes healthy immunity, digestion, liver function, heart health, and blood sugar. It has been used extensively to prevent and treat age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, allergies, type 2 diabetes (and its complications), low immunity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, migraines, chronic pain, obesity, insulin resistance, and many others, which all have an important inflammatory and immunity component.
In addition, black cumin seed oil is effective at treating multi-drug-resistant bacteria (a growing problem worldwide), including influenza, staphylococcus, tuberculosis, candida, gonorrhea, and candida. In this same vein, black cumin seed oil has been shown to significantly improve lung functions and maintain oxidant-antioxidant balance, so is ideal for anyone dealing with chronic pulmonary disease.
Black cumin seed oil also protects against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, as well as Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, and other brain-related conditions.
Another popular use for black cumin seed oil is as a weight loss aid. While the exact mechanism of action isn’t fully understood, research suggests that black seed oil possesses anti-obesity properties, which can effectively affect glucose metabolism, decrease Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference, as well as improve metabolic syndrome and suppresses appetite. So, how exactly do you use black cumin seed oil for weight loss? Studies suggest that 3g daily, or 1g before each meal taken in a little juice, water or honey is the optimal dose to support weight loss.
Topical Use – Black Cumin Seed Oil For Hair & Skin
Black cumin seed is also wonderful for the health of skin, hair, and nails, and has been shown to quickly and effectively help clear symptoms of acne, eczema, rosacea, and even psoriasis (which can be notoriously hard to treat). It’s also ideal to hydrate and soften skin, and can rapidly resolve even the most stubborn case of cradle cap in infants.
Just as interestingly, black cumin seed oil can be used to speed up wound healing, diminish the appearance of scars and dark spots, as well as to help smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles, which is why it is often recommended as part of holistic beauty regimens.
Black cumin seed oil’s benefits do not stop there – it can be used to promote thick, lustrous hair by maintaining scalp hydration, addressing issues like dandruff and dry scalp, and nourishing hair follicles. Black cumin seed oil applied directly to the scalp can also help slow hair thinning and promote hair growth thanks to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Last but certainly not least, black cumin seed oil is ideally suited to improving nail health – most notably by conditioning nails and cuticles, and promoting strength, smoothness, health, and appearance.
How do I Use Black Cumin Seed Oil & What Dosage Should I Use?
Black cumin seed oil is easy to use and incorporate into your daily regimen. If you’re using it for cosmetic purposes, it should be diluted in a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil and massaged into the skin, hair, or nails. A few drops can also be added to massage oils, lotions, as well as shampoos, according to the intended use.
For internal use, black cumin seed oil is usually recommended in doses between 1 to 2 g daily in water. Because it has a strong flavor, some people prefer the pill form, but black cumin seed oil can also be diluted in a little juice or a teaspoon of honey which masks the taste.
Where can I buy Black Cumin Seed Oil… and What Should I Look for?
Black cumin seed supplements are widely available in stores, as well as online via Natural Health Retailers. They can be purchased as black cumin seed oil capsules, softgels, as well as in oil form which can be used both internally and topically (on skin, hair, and nails). Look for a product from a reputable brand that features organic Egyptian black cumin seed oil that’s been harvested appropriately and cold-pressed to preserve all of its active ingredients, as well as to ensure your product is 100% pure, and you’re getting the safest, most effective version of black cumin seed oil. Keep in mind, however, that black cumin seed oil has a shelf-life of approximately 2 year, after which time, like other oils, it can go rancid, giving off a putrid, strong, or sour smell. To extend the shelf-life as much as possible, you can refrigerate the product and/or keep it in a cool dark place.
Roos Jonsin is a Canadian naturopath and researcher dedicated to helping people live healthier lives through education about vitamins, herbs, and nutritional supplements. Roos also consults with suppliers and manufacturers with product development and marketing. National Nutrition is Canada’s leading health & nutritional supplements store, also voted as the Best Health Food Store in Canada by the experts at Canadian Health Food Association.