Commonly referred to as black cumin or caraway, black seed is actually more of a description than a proper name, yet is preferred because it helps to distinguish it. Many health experts claim that it is, indeed, a true healer in many forms; able to help cure almost every illness known. People have used the seed to make medicine for over 2000 years and more than 600 peer-reviewed studies have validated most empirical evidence.
Besides black cumin and caraway, black seeds are also referred to as black sesame, onion seed and roman coriander.
Black Seed (Nigella Sativa) is capable of producing over 20 distinct pharmacological actions it expresses, such as:
- Analgesic (Pain-Killing)
- Gluconeogenesis Inhibitor (Anti-Diabetic)
- Hepatoprotective (Liver Protecting)
- Insulin Sensitizing
- Interferon Inducer
- Leukotriene Antagonist
- Renoprotective (Kidney Protecting)
- Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Inhibitor
Croatian scientists evaluated the antitumor activity of thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone in mice and discovered that the two phytochemicals in black seed oil can resulted in 52% decrease in tumor cells!
Researchers at Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson showed that Nigella sativa could cause cell death when used against pancreatic tumor cells. The results showed an 80 percent success rate. This study on pancreatic tumor cells was only the beginning to many future studies on the effect of Nigella sativa against cancer.
Chronic administration of Nigella sativa changes pro and anti-inflammatory proteins. Also it may act as a balancing factor on lymphocytes.
Studies have found that black seed extract compares favorably to the chemoagent 5-fluoruracil in the suppression of colon cancer growth, but with a far higher safety profile. Animal research has found that black seed oil has significant inhibitory effects against colon cancer in rats,without observable side effects.
Being rich in both chemicals, black seed is unique in that it can help prevent and treat cancer through a variety of mechanisms:
- Apoptosis induction
- Cell cycle arrest
- Reactive oxygen species generation
According to one study,
“The anti-tumor effects of thymoquinone have also been investigated in tumor xenograft mice models for colon, prostate, pancreatic and lung cancer. The combination of thymoquinone and conventional chemotherapeutic drugs could produce greater therapeutic effect as well as reduce the toxicity of the latter.”)
2. Liver Health
The liver is one of the most important organs in the body. Nearly every toxin gets processed through the liver, and the bile from the liver is the key to digesting fats and keeping your mind and body happy and healthy. For those that have struggled with poor liver function due to medication side effects, alcohol consumption, or disease, black seed oil could greatly speed the healing process. In a recent study scientists discovered that black seed oil benefits the function of the liver and helps prevent both damage and disease.
Explained in a recent article published by the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers from the Indian Council of Medical Research highlight that black seed oil “causes gradual partial regeneration of pancreatic beta-cells, increases the lowered serum insulin concentrations and decreases the elevated serum glucose.” This is actually quite profound because Nigella sativa is one of the few substances on the planet that is suggested to help prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Two grams of black seed a day resulted in reduced fasting glucose, decreased insulin resistance, increased beta-cell function, and reduced glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in human subjects.
In fact, according to the study, black seed “improves glucose tolerance as efficiently as metformin; yet it has not shown significant adverse effects and has very low toxicity!” This is HUGE because metformin, one of the most commonly prescribed type 2 diabetes drugs, can cause a wide slew of side effects including:
- Flushing of the skin
- Nail changes
- Metallic taste in mouth
- Muscle pain
- Stomach pain
4. Weight Loss
The Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders published a study last June systemically reviewing the literature for plants that have anti-obesity properties and discovered that black seed oil was amongst the most effective natural remedies on the planet.
Not traditionally believed to treat obesity, Nigella sativa is a marvelous anti-inflammatory agent that is known to help people lose weight in the same way that it helps diabetics. Specifically, by decreasing these weight gain triggers, black seed oil has helped millions shed excess weight:
- Glucose absorption in the intestine
- Liver gluconeogenesis
- Blood glucose levels
Probably one of the most unique black seed oil benefits is its uncanny ability to help restore hair loss. No one quite understands why it happens, but it’s not too hard to guess that it has something to do with its powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. By strengthening hair follicles, there is very good reason to see how black seed oil can help promote strengthened hair roots.
Produced in the retina, choroid and epidermis, melanin are pigments that protect the skin from damage. You probably are most family with it being the main chemical responsible for giving our eyes and skin their individual color. Known to promote and inhibit melanogenesis (melanin production), black seed oil benefits on the skin and other cells are profoundly healing.
For example, in a recent study conducted by Iranian researchers, Nigella saliva was found as effective as the skin cream Betamethasone in improving quality of life and decreasing severity of hand eczema. When you consider that black seed oil has virtually no side effects, the benefits of Nigella, in fact, far exceed medical intervention!
7. Infections (MRSA)
Of all the superbugs that black seed oil can kill, Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most important. MRSA is plaguing hospitals and nursing homes across the globe because ordinary staph infections are becoming resistant to generic antibiotics. The elderly population is especially at risk because it is generally associated with invasive procedures such as surgeries, intravenous tubing, and artificial joints. Primarily due to weakened immunity, the growing population of senior citizens has made MRSA a global public health risk.
Thankfully, one of the strongest black seed oil benefits comes to the rescue. Pakistan scientists took several strains of MRSA and discovered that each one was sensitive to N. Sativa, proving that black seed oil can help slow down or stop MRSA from spreading out of control.