Top Benefits of Black Seed Extract
Explore the Top Benefits of Black Seed Extract, the Divine Cure for All Ailments
What if there was a remedy to cure every illness known to man? That would be epic, right? Again, wouldn’t you like to have heard of it, even if it could live up to only half of the hype? Well, brace yourself, because you’re about to read something you don’t come across every day.
“In the black seed is a cure for every illness except death.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 7:71:592)
The above statement found in the Quran raised lots of eyebrows in the medical world. How could an unlettered man of the desert (Prophet Mohammed, SAW) make such bold statements without carrying out any laboratory research? Consequently, the global scientific community set out to conduct extensive phytochemical and biological surveys on the effects of Nigella sativa seeds.
About 500 plus scientific studies later, scientists around the globe concluded that Black Seed could cure more than 129 different types of ailments, including 17 types of cancer, diabetes, AIDS, and hypertension. These findings demonstrated the authenticity of the Prophet’s statement.
Despite the plethora of benefits it offers, we’ll only look at its top ten benefits.
What is Black Seed Extract?
First, you’ll come across the term Black Seed and black cumin seed used interchangeably. If you’ve used cumin seeds while cooking, this might be confusing; black cumin seed and cumin seeds aren’t the same. The black cumin seeds talked about in this article come from Nigella sativa, a flowering plant native to Asia, and the Middle East.
The plant belongs to the buttercup family and produces black, crescent-shaped seeds. Historical accounts of Black Seed use can be traced to the times of King Tut in ancient Egypt. Reportedly, Cleopatra used Black Seed extract for her flawless hair and skin, and Hippocrates frequently prescribed it for digestive issues.
Its active compounds, thymoquinone, crystalline nigellone, thymohydroquinone, and thymol are the most studied. However, it also contains;
- Myristic acid
- Palmitic acid
- Stearic acid
- Palmitoleic acid
- Oleic acid
- Linoleic acid
- Arachidonic acid
- Vitamins B1, B2, B3
1. Strengthens Immune Health
Black Seed is unique in its way of increasing the immune system. While it contains the natural antioxidants, valuable acids and B-vitamins you’d expect to find in a natural remedy, it also has an additional benefit.
Well, unlike herbs like echinacea or elderberry that necessitate caution for people with autoimmune disease, black seed extract seems to balance the immune system; it enhances the immune system without encouraging immune reactions against the body’s healthy tissue.
For ages, Nigella sativa seeds have been used in alternative HIV protocols and are often endorsed on various autoimmune disease forums (with testimonials from people who’ve benefited from it).
2. Helps Combat Cancer
Croatian scientists carried out a study to evaluate the antitumor activity of thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone. They found that these two phytochemicals found in Black Seed extract caused a 52% decrease in tumor cells.
Similarly, In-vitro research conducted recently revealed that thymoquinone, the most plentiful bioactive compound in Black Seed, helps to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukemia, brain tumor, and breast cancer cells.
That’s not all. Researchers from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center discovered that Nigella Sativa seeds not only kill cells causing pancreatic cancer but also appear to slow down its development. This ability to prevent malignancy is credited to thymoquinone and its anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Also, radiologists sometimes recommend cold-pressed Black Seed oil as natural protection against dangerous chemotherapy radiation; the oil is often used alongside conventional treatments.
3. Supports Digestive Health
Black cumin seeds are carminative, which means that they aid in digestion and may reduce gas, bloating, and stomach aches.
One of the earliest applications of Nigella sativa seeds was to enhance general digestive health, with its extracts being used often to treat indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, and loss of appetite.
According to researchers, thymoquinone has gastroprotective properties. It prevents the production of gastric acid in the gut. It upholds the mucus in the stomach lining, thus protecting it against damage and ulcers.
Nigella sativa seeds were studied for their potential to treat indigestion caused by Helicobacter pylori (H pylori), and the results were remarkable. Black seed helped destroy the bacteria and eradicate the symptoms in 88 people who had indigestion issues caused by H pylori.
Ultimately, Black seed supports gastrointestinal health in more ways than one, as it cleanses the digestive system holistically.
4. Effective against Respiratory Conditions
Various small scale studies and thousands of anecdotal reports suggest that Black Seed extract may help reduce allergic reactions, especially in individuals with breathing trouble.
Do you occasionally have to deal with hay fever, asthma symptoms, allergies, cough, flu, or emphysema? More so, are you battling with bronchitis?
In one study of 66 patients with allergic rhinitis, Black Seed oil reduced runny nose, itching, sneezing, and congestion.
Besides, some researchers believe that Black Seed may alleviate respiratory conditions that aren’t caused by allergies. In a study of 40 victims of chemical war, boiled black seed extract was shown to improve breathing and lung function, reducing the need for inhalers.
Traditionally, Black Seed powder was mixed in warm water and honey to alleviate breathing issues (asthma included) in children and grown-ups alike.
5. Helps to Fight Diabetes
In traditional medicine, Black Seed was used to reduce diabetes symptoms like high blood sugar and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, researchers from the Indian Council of Medical Research explained in a recent article circulated by the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism that Black Seed extract causes gradual partial restoration of pancreatic beta-cells.
What’s more, it boosts serum insulin levels, lowers the elevated serum glucose, and reduces blood lipids.
This is quite remarkable as Nigella sativa is one of the few substances that can help prevent both type one and type 2 diabetes.
Clinical studies show that black seed enhances glucose tolerance as efficiently as metformin (a commonly prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes).
Even better, Black Seed has zero toxicity and doesn’t pose significant side effects, unlike metformin which causes;
- Flushing of the skin
- Diarrhea/ constipation
- Muscle ache
- Stomach pain
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Changes in nail color
6. Aids in Weight Loss & Combats Obesity
Black seed is hailed because of its ability to melt the pounds away. Research shows that black cumin seeds can help maintain weight or reduce obesity risk factors. However, most of its effects would be indirect. For example, inflammation is a critical factor in obesity, so thymoquinone can support normal swelling and improve weight loss in the process.
A systematic review published in the Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders Journal 2013 found that black seed oils could be useful for the treatment of obesity.
7. Promotes Healthy Skin and Fights Acne
Legend has it that the secret to Cleopatra’s bright skin was black seed oil! Although this historical legend cannot be officially confirmed, one study found that the application of a 10% black seed lotion had a dramatic and positive effect on Acne after two months due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Other studies have found that the topical application of black seed extracts promotes wound healing, which can minimize dark spots and scarring. Black seed extracts may also be added to shampoos and rubbed onto the scalp to soothe and mitigate flakiness.
8. Promotes Liver & Kidney Health
The body processes almost all toxins through the liver and bile, produced by the liver, is crucial for digesting fats. It is also the largest internal organ, making its role in the body quite crucial.
Is your liver function compromised due to disease, drug side effects of excessive alcohol consumption? Well, you’ll love to know that taking Black Seed could significantly expedite the healing process.
Additionally, black cumin seeds have been used in traditional medicine to treat and prevent kidney stones.
9. Good for the Heart
Taking Black Seed promotes heart health by reducing blood lipids, in turn preventing the hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
According to findings from one review of clinical studies, supplementing with Black Seed may help reduce;
- LDL cholesterol
- Total cholesterol
According to the existing research, Black Seed promotes heart health by
- Lowering blood lipids
- Acting as an antioxidant
- Eliminating excess fluids from the body (diuretic)
- Reducing the sympathetic response (fight-or-flight)
- Increasing nitric oxide in the body, thus relaxing blood vessels
10. Fights Infections
Black seed has been researched for fighting all types of infections and found that it has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic properties.
However, of all the superbugs that black seed oil can destroy, MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is among the most critical.
MRSA plagues nursing homes and hospitals across the globe because ordinary staph infections have become resistant to generic antibiotics.
When it comes to treating staph infections, seniors are at risk as it is typically associated with invasive procedures such as invasive procedures, like intravenous tubing, surgeries, and artificial joints. The increasing population of senior citizens makes MRSA a global public health outcry, mainly due to weakened immunity.
Fortunately, Black Seed can arrest or stop MRSA from spreading further.
According to a study published in the Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, researchers tested the three phytochemicals found in Black Seed against 30 human pathogens. Subsequently, they found that fungus and molds cannot survive in the presence of thymoquinone and its counterparts.
No wonder researchers are out to try and solve the superbug problem with Black Seed extract!
The three phytochemicals and active constituents found in Black Seed bear the potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and therapeutic properties mentioned above.
However, the majority of its medical perks are largely attributed to the potent active compound thymoquinone, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, anti-cancer, and immune-boosting abilities (source).