People have used black seed oil for its therapeutic benefits for thousands of years. So, we have to know the meaning of Black Seeds, how to use it and the Benefits of Black seeds.
What are black seeds?
Black seeds are known as black caraway, black cumin, kalonji, and black onion seeds. It's also referred to as nigella seed, black seed, roman coriander or kalonji. It has a broad flavour profile that is peppery but also a little sweet, slightly bitter, smoky, and nutty, with similarities to thyme and a touch of liquorice.
They come from Nigella sativa, a small plant with pale purple, blue, or white flowers that grows in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East.
People have used the black seeds as a natural remedy for thousands of years. The seeds can also flavour curries, pickles, and bread in a similar way to cumin or oregano.
The black seed oil contains thymoquinone, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that may also have tumour-reducing properties.
People can ingest black seed oil in the form of capsules or apply it topically to benefit the skin. It is also possible to add oil to massage oils, shampoos, homemade skin-care products, and fragrances.
High-quality black seed oil is also suitable for use in cooking, baking, and beverages.
How does it work?There is some scientific evidence to suggest that black seed might help boost the immune system, fight cancer, prevent pregnancy, reduce swelling, and lessen allergic reactions by acting as an antihistamine, but there isn't enough information in humans yet.
Asthma: Research shows that taking black seed by mouth along with asthma medicines can improve coughing, wheezing, and lung function in some people with asthma. But it seems to work only in people with very low lung function before treatment. And it does not seem to work as well as the drugs theophylline or salbutamol.
Diabetes: According to research, it shows that taking black seed can improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. But it doesn't seem to work as well as the diabetes drug metformin. Black seed might also improve levels of cholesterol in people with diabetes.
Cancer: Recent studies have shown that the thymoquinone in black seed oil can influence programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in several types of the cancer cell. These include brain cancer, leukaemia, and breast cancer cells.
However, much of the research on the effects of black seed oil on cancer uses cells rather than live humans, so researchers do not yet know how effective the oil may be to treat people with cancer.
Liver and kidney function: According to a 2013 study on rats, black seed oil may reduce liver and kidney disease complications and improve the organ structures. Researchers do not know if these effects would also occur in humans.
Infertility: A placebo-controlled clinical trial on men with abnormal sperm and infertility has found that black seed oil can improve sperm movement and increase sperm count and semen volume.
High blood pressure: Research shows that taking black seed by mouth might reduce blood pressure by a small amount.
Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility). Research shows that taking black seed oil increases the number of sperm and how quickly they move in men with infertility.
Breast pain (mastalgia): Research shows that applying a gel containing black seed oil to the breasts during the menstrual cycle reduces pain in women with breast pain.
Benefits for weight loss: Research has shown that black seed supplementation can help lower people's body mass index (BMI). The study participants did not report any severe side effects from taking this supplement.
A systematic review published in the Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders in 2013 found that black seed oil could be effective in tackling obesity.
Benefits for the skin: Black seed oil may be beneficial for people with the following skin conditions:
- Eczema: According to a small-scale 2013 study comparing the therapeutic benefits of Nigella sativa with those of prescription medications, black seed oil can reduce the severity of hand eczema.
- Acne: Research suggests that the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects of black seed oil can improve acne. In one study, 58 per cent of participants rated their response to this treatment as good, while 35 per cent felt their results were moderate.
- Psoriasis: A 2012 study on mice suggests that the oil may also have ant psoriatic benefits.
- Black seed oil may also hydrate hair, soften skin, and act as a moisturiser