Black seed oil, also known as black cumin seed oil, is an immensely beneficial and genuinely extraordinary essential oil.
Sprung out of the Nigella sativa—or black cumin— a plant of southwestern Asia, these seeds have been used for centuries as a spice as well as medicine.
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Nigella sativa can be identified as a small shrub with purple or white flowers with fruits that produce the powerful seeds.
The plant is also native to the Mediterranean and Africa, and it is rich in three natural chemicals that give it its potent benefits: thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, and thymol.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding the origins of the widespread use of Nigella sativa, but archeological evidence shows that black seed was found at several places in ancient Egypt, including Tutankhamun's tomb.
It was also found in the Canon of Medicine by Avicenna, a Persian physician, to be used as a treatment for dyspnea. It is also believed to have been used as a condiment to flavor food in Europe and Asia. (Source)
In order to better understand the power of this plant and its potent little seeds, it is best to look why it works and what it can really do.
My Top 5 Best Black Seed Oil Brands In 2019
*The companies chosen above are based upon my personal opinion based upon me giving them a try and testing their quality.
11 Ways to Bring Black Seed Oil into Your Life
Apply it Topically
This is one of the easiest ways to use black seed oil and it can be utilized for a variety of reasons.
In addition to serving as a great moisturizer after a healthy skin regimen, it can also be used to combat psoriasis, rosacea, acne, and eczema.
The only thing to be wary of is to dilute the oil before you use it. Try using a few teaspoons of an oil such as almond oil and then apply directly to the skin.
Mix It into Haircare
To get the most that you can out of your hair care routine, you can try adding in a couple of drops of black seed oil to your shampoo and conditioner.
This will boost hydration, soften hair, and help to lessen the effects of dandruff when massaged into the scalp.
Use It in a Hot Drink
Because black seed oil has such a spicy and robust flavor, it can be challenging to blend thoroughly into a regular beverage.
However, using a hot tea and something with equally strong flavor—such as honey or lemon—you can dilute the flavor while still getting the health benefits.
Take It as a Vitamin
There are going to be people who do not enjoy the taste of black seed oil but still want to benefit from its extraordinary properties.
For those people, there are black seed oil capsules that can be taken with other daily vitamins.
Incorporate It into Aromatherapy
Black seed oil can help to open up airways and alleviate breathing problems as well as relieve headaches.
As such, you can try incorporating it as an essential oil to your vaporizer or oil diffuser so that you can smell it throughout the day.
Sprinkle It on Top of a Warm Bread
Black seed, like many other seeds, can be toasted and used to provide an extra crunch to a warm piece of bread, whether this be a bagel or naan.
Consuming the seed like this allows you to get the health benefits that you have been looking for without having to swallow the oil.
Spice Up Your Soups or Curries
Black seed has a natural spicy and rich flavor. Because of this, it is perfect for a curry or a stir-fry, where spice is vital.
It can complement other flavorful spices such as cumin and turmeric very nicely.
Grind It into Other Seasonings
If you enjoy the effects of black seed but not the flavor, you can try grinding the seeds into other spices.
This reduces the impact of the flavor while still allowing you to bring a hint of it into your meats and other main entrees.
Take It as a Powder
If pills and oils are not to your liking, you can also take black seed as a powder.
Using it in this way every day can actually help those who are dealing with diabetes.
Use It as a Salve
Because black seed oil has anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial properties, it can be applied to bug bites and other skin irritations to lessen effects.
Dilute the oil first with warm water then use a cotton ball or pad to apply it to the irritated area.
Dress Your Salad with It
Black seed oil can substitute olive oil in dressing a salad. This way, you do not have to drink the oil directly, but you also get to consume it in its unheated, undiluted form.
The Benefits of Black Seed Oil & the Facts to Prove It
Benefits of black seed oil are not limited to beauty or health—they encompass both. Much research has been done to this extent, and a number of proven uses have been found for the Nigella sativa oil as well as black seed powder.
Merely glancing at this list shows a resource with powerful healing properties and an ability to withstand the test of time.
Black seed oil can be found in cosmetic and skincare products now more than ever because of the studies that have been conducted showing the capabilities that it can have.
In Treating Acne: A study was performed and published in the Journal of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery where researchers found that a lotion that contained 10% black seed oil was able to reduce the average amount of acne on the faces of the participants after two months of treatment.
67% of patients who participated in the study and received the black seed oil lotion reported satisfaction in the results. (source)
In Helping Psoriasis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition wherein the body produces skin cells rapidly, resulting in scaling skin in patches.
Black seed oil, when applied to these skin patches, has been shown to reduce the number of incidents of psoriasis plaques.
In Improving Skin Condition: In addition to abating issues of acne, black seed oil can also generally soften the skin and increase hydration when added to oils and moisturizers.
In Healing Wounds: Applying black seed oil to the skin where there is a wound present has actually been found to reduce the inflammation of the wound and lessen the presence of bacteria in order to help the area heal. It can also help stimulate growth so the body can create new skin.
In Hydrating Hair: Black seed oil has also been found to be a fantastic haircare aid because it has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with dandruff and dryness while also improving the health of your hair.
Beyond this, the oil can be applied to the hair to soften it while also promoting overall shine.
While it's superficial benefits are impressive, what is even more impressive is its healing abilities for the body and its ailments.
While there is still much research to be done with respect to other conditions, black seed has already more than proven its efficacy in helping the body feel better.
In Fighting Cancer: Because it has antioxidant properties, black seed oil can naturally fight cancer. There are studies that research this further, and it was discovered that the phytochemicals that are found in black seed oil resulted in a decrease of tumor cells by 52%. (source)
Additional research has also shown that thymoquinone, the chemical compound that is most abundant in black seed oil, can assist in inducing apoptosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells, breast cancer cells, and glioblastoma cells.(source)
The thymoquinone in black seed oil can also kill off pancreatic cancer cells, according to research performed by the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health. It even inhibits the development of pancreatic cancer altogether. (source)
In Promoting Liver Health: Black seed oil has been shown to help the healing process when recovering from poor liver function.
An animal model study was conducted, and it was found that the oil both assist the function of the liver as well as prevents disease. (source)
Dealing with Diabetes: An article published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism recently stated that black seed oil contains the power to decrease elevated serum glucose while increasing serum insulin concentrations.
What this means is that the oil from the Nigella sativa is capable of treating both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.(source)
In Reducing High Cholesterol: Because black seed oil is high in healthy fatty acids, it has been shown to help maintain more regular cholesterol levels.
While the oil itself is useful in helping those with high cholesterol, patients can also see results from consuming seeds that have been crushed as well.
In Decreasing Symptoms of Asthma: Black seed oil is known for being anti-inflammatory. This makes it ideal for a number of things, including treating asthma.
The way that it does this is by reducing inflammation in the airways, allowing the patient to breathe more freely. Because of this, it is also helpful for treating bronchitis.
In Helping an Upset Stomach: Consumption of black seeds has been associated with relieving stomach pain as well as cramps.
Taking the oil can also reduce gas and stomach bloating in addition to reducing the incidences of stomach ulcers.
In Killing Infection: Black seed oil can staunch an infection by killing MRSA. In a study conducted in 2008, researchers found that several different strains of MRSA were sensitive to Nigella sativa, which proves that this oil can slow MRSA from spreading. (source)
What is in Black Seed Oil?
Clearly black seed oil serves as an immensely excellent supplement to anyone's diet and self-care routine. However, what is in black seed oil?
What is it that makes it so unique? Black seed oil clearly offers a variety of benefits, but why is it capable of this? Where do these benefits come from?
The answer lies in the components that make up the black seed. Three of the main chemicals that are found in black seed oil are thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, and thymol.
Thymoquinone: This is a chemical that is known for its abilities to serve as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It can even combat cancer. It has been proven in research to help with diabetes, asthma, carcinogenesis, and encephalomyelitis.
Thymohydroquinone: This chemical is one of the single most potent AChE inhibitors on the planet, which means that it can be used to treat Alzheimer's, autism, glaucoma, dementia, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's.
Thymol: Thymol has a number of qualities that make it incredibly useful. It is a natural monoterpene that can be used to kill tuberculosis and other viruses. It is also used as a medical disinfectant as well as a pesticide that rapidly degrades.
Beyond these three main components, black seed oil also has iron, carotene, calcium, potassium, amino acids including oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids.
What Can Black Seed Oil Be Best Used For?
Black seed oil, as we have seen, can be used for so many things. It is almost limiting to say that there are "best" uses when nearly all its uses have been tested so thoroughly and so extensively.
However, there are some that have outshone and can provide real results to the bold patients who try them.
Currently, there is no standardized dosage for black seed oil. However, dosages have been researched to see which proved most effective.
The following doses are recommended for the corresponding purposes. That said, given the nature of black seed oil, usage can expand well beyond what is listed here.
For the treatment of diabetes: To help diabetes, take one gram of black seed powder twice a day for up to one year to see improvement.
For the treatment of high blood pressure: To help maintain a healthy blood pressure, try taking anywhere from half a gram to two grams of black seed powder every day for up to three months.
You can also try taking one hundred to two hundred milligrams of black seed oil twice a day for two months.
For the improvement of sperm function: Black seed oil may be used in order to help improve sperm function when it is taken in a dosage of two and a half milliliters twice daily for eight weeks.
For the symptoms of asthma: Reduction of asthma symptoms and prevention of asthma attacks can be done by taking two grams of ground black seed every day for three months.
You may also try fifteen milliliters of black seed extract for three months or a single dosage of fifty milligrams.
Research on Black Seed Oil & What Makes It Great
Research on the black seed and the Nigella sativa would be nowhere if they had not first thought to study the plant itself, and that research is just as fascinating as the various others.
This is because black seed oil all by itself has some incredible properties that set it apart from other common herbs.
One of the more prominent studies done researching black seed oil was one that was published by the Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in December 2010.
In the study, scientists tested the three main components of black seed oil against thirty distinct human pathogens.
The results showed that all three compounds exhibited 100% inhibition of the thirty pathogens that were evaluated.
It was also shown that the thymoquinone was the best antifungal used against dermatophytes and yeasts. Thymohydroquinone and thymol followed in that order.
However, thymol tested the best out of the three against molds with thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone following close behind.
Ultimately, this proves that fungus and molds are not able to exist in the presence of these chemicals and it is for this reason that they are so powerful in treating these pathogens.
Researchers are justifiably interested in continuing research to determine if black seed oil could be the key to treating these pathogens. (Source)
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Final Thoughts About Black Seed Oil
It can be hard not to be wowed by the sheer incredible power that black seed oil is capable of having in a person's life.
When you begin to think of how simple a solution black seed oil can be to resolve so many different issues, it is easy to think, "Why hadn't I tried this yet?" or "Why am I not taking this now?"
Black seed oil, with its humble origins as an herbal medicine and spice in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa, has since come a long way.
It is a resource for scientists seeking to expand the scope of treatment for a number of ailments and conditions.
Not only are new uses being researched every day, but techniques and remedies that have been used for centuries are constantly being proven to be scientifically backed, making Nigella sativa a potent plant.
Research has shown the properties of the seed itself are sound in providing real medical benefits. Beyond that, there have also been numerous studies looking at the individual effects that the seed is said to have.
Universally, black seed oil has been shown time and again to have positive effects in patients who and animals who took it as a means of dealing with a condition or ailment.
Even more impressively, black seed oil is rarely shown, if ever, to have negative side effects.
This means that there is minimal downside to trying black seed as a resolution to a physical ailment or a beauty concern.
So long as there is not an allergic reaction, trying black seed oil may become one of the best decisions you ever make.