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Side Effects of Black Seed Extract

Black Seed Is an Amazing Super Food But Not Without Some Side Effects 

When someone talks of superfoods, what comes into your mind? Dark green leafy vegetables (DGLV), berries, eggs, nuts? The truth is, while most of these foods, such as DGLVs are rich in nutrients with significant potential health benefits, only a few are worthy of the name.

However, Black Seed lives up to the hype, and we’re yet to identify a botanical that can hold a candle to this dietary supplement when it comes to therapeutic properties.

However, it’s not often when you get to have your cake and eat it as well. As such, different people might experience some unwanted effects of using Black Seed.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Using Black Seed?

Well, after using Black Seed oil or powder, some people have reported experiencing some issues, such as:

  • Dermatitis
  • Rash
  • Blistering
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Low blood pressure

According to some health specialists, black seed might cause some allergic reactions, normally hives or gastrointestinal symptoms. Also, this dietary supplement may affect the action of some medications. As such, if you’re on medication, you should consult with your physician before using black seed.

However, here’s the good news. When you consume Black Seed in small quantities, like for cooking/flavoring food, the chances of experiencing any adverse effects reduce significantly. However, scientific research on the long-term safety of using this supplement in large amounts is limited.

Here’s what we know about the possible side effects of using Black Seed.

1.    May cause nausea and bloating

Nausea is mostly associated with symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort. In a particular 2016 study, ingesting 5ml of black seed oil daily for eight weeks caused feelings of nausea in some participants. Other reports have indicated that it can cause constipation, vomiting, and general stomach upsets.

On the contrary, other studies have shown that black seed oil promotes gastrointestinal health in more ways than one.

Some of the gastrointestinal effects of black seed oil;

  • Inhibits the development of colon cancer cells
  • Protects the liver against various forms of damage (hepatic ischemia, Cholestatic liver injury, liver toxicity etc.)
  • Improves intestinal barrier function
  • Has anti-bacterial effects, which is excellent for patients with H. pyloric activity. It also reduces schistosomiasis infections

2. Drug interactions

Nigella Sativa, as Black Seed is also known might affect the activity of various medications, especially ones that are processed through the cytochrome P450 pathway.

Cytochrome P450 enzymes are found in the liver, gastrointestinal tract, blood-brain barrier, kidney, and other organs. They are the most crucial enzymes in the first phase of human metabolism and metabolize more than 90% of pharmaceutical drugs.

As such, if you’re on any prescription drugs, taking Black seed oil could render your medication ineffective or dangerous. As such, you must consult with your physician before using this dietary supplement.

3. Might harm your kidneys

Some concerns have been raised that using too much Black Seed could be bad for your kidneys. In one reported encounter, a woman with type 2 diabetes was admitted in the hospital for acute kidney failure. Apparently, she was taking 2.5 grams of Black Seed pills every day for six days.

However, subsequent studies on the effects of Black Seed on the kidneys have failed to substantiate these claims. Various studies have strongly implied that black seed oil promotes healthy kidney function.

4. Likely unsafe for pregnant and breastfeeding women

Black cumin is likely risky for pregnant women. According to specialists at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, expectant women should avoid ingesting this dietary supplement. One of the known side effects is that it can interfere with the uterine muscles, making it hard for contractions to occur.

But, this is not to say that you should refrain from taking your nigella seeds altogether. You can still sprinkle some cumin seeds on your morning porridge as there’s no evidence suggesting that small quantities would be harmful.

Don’t be disappointed. Even if you can’t use the oil in your smoothies or soups, you can still use Black Seed oil in other ways.

5. May cause allergic reactions


6. Could lower blood sugar levels

Black cumin seed oil reduces blood glucose levels by increasing the production of insulin, decreasing the insulin resistance, and reducing insulin absorption ion the intestines.

As such, if you have diabetes, and use Black Seed, you should monitor your blood sugar levels; watch out for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

7. Slows the blood clotting process

Thymoquinone, an active ingredient in Black Seed increases the time blood takes to thicken and form a clot. As such, taking this dietary supplement may slow blood clotting and increase your risk of bleeding.

If you have a bleeding disorder, ingesting black seed might worsen your condition.

8. Might lower blood pressure

Well, this is both a pro and a con. Studies show that taking black cumin seed extract reduces high blood pressure in people with elevated blood pressure levels.

With this in mind, taking black cumin seed extract might not be ideal for people with naturally low blood pressure levels.

9. Might interfere with surgical procedures

As mentioned above, ingesting black seed extracts might reduce blood sugar, and slow down blood coagulation. Also, it might increase sleepiness in some people.

That said, black seed might elevate the risk for bleeding, affect blood sugar control, and alter the effects of anaesthesia, during and after surgery. As such, it is prudent to avoid using black seed oil at least a fortnight before and after a booked surgery.

Summary of Black Seed Extract Side Effects

Using black seed for culinary purposes is safe for most people. Due to limited research on the long-term safety of using Black Seed in more copious amounts, it is best to stick to small quantities.

For topical application, black seed oil might cause an allergic rash in some people. As such, you might want to test it on a small area of your skin to see how it behaves.

Also, Black seed oil can lead to digestive issues such as nausea, constipation, and general stomach upsets.

Ultimately, the quality of the black seed oil or extract you use determines the range of effects you’ll experience. As such, always go for organic black seed products that are 100% pure and therapeutic grade.

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