Black seed oil happens to be one of the many invaluable gifts from nature; it offers a wide array of health benefits that humans tend to take for granted.
Due to its miraculous properties, it has been referred to as ‘panacea’, meaning ‘the universal healer’.
Belonging to the Ranunculaceae family, black seed (Nigella sativa) is a flowering plant native to southwest Asia and the Mediterranean lands.
The seeds of Nigella Sativa are small in size (1–5 mm), with corrugated integuments.
In English, they are commonly known as black seed or black cumin, and habbat ul sawda, or habbat el baraka in Arabic.
Black cumin seeds have been used in traditional foods such as bakery products, confectioneries, and drinks. In Asian countries, they are used as folk medicine to treat diseases and ailments.
These seeds have a bitter flavor, similar to that of oregano and cumin. Due to its strong, aromatic notes, I suggest you try combining it with honey and lemon (that’ll make it easier to ingest!).
Nigella Sativa has been widely used in therapeutic medicine for nearly a century.
Black seed oil has a high antioxidant content, therefore offers many health benefits. It helps treat asthma and reduces blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It also aids in weight loss, protects the neuronal system, and is a remedy for many skin conditions.
The oil from black cumin seeds is extracted using different extraction techniques.
Among these techniques, the cold pressing method is more popular since it preserves the potent nutrients without altering the properties of the oil, thus making it a more healthy choice for the consumers.
Black Seed Oil Quick Summary:
Also Known As:
Historical Significance of Black Seed Oil and It’s Medicinal Benefits
The Holy Prophet (PBUH), also known as Muhammad, had said that ‘there is healing in the black seed for all diseases except death’.
In his famous encyclopedic book “The Canon of Medicine”, Avicenna has referred to black seeds as ones that stimulate the body’s energy and aid recovery from fatigue and dispiritedness.
It has been so popular for medicinal reasons that archaeologists found black seed oil and seeds in the tomb of King Tut, emphasizing their importance in healing.
This was almost 3300 years ago.
To this day, black seed continues to surprise us with its incredible benefits! It significantly adds to the value of these seeds as they were among the highly treasured things that King Tut decided to take along with him to his next life!
Chemical Composition of Black Seeds:
Cold-pressed black cumin oils contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (~ 60% of total fatty acids), followed by monounsaturated fatty acids (~ 24% of total fatty acids).
The primary fatty acids in them are linoleic, oleic, and palmitic – accounting for 58%, 24%, and 12%, respectively.
Besides fatty acids, they also contain minor compounds such as sterols, tocopherols, phenolics, carotenoids, and essential aroma compounds.
However, much of the biological activity of the seeds has been attributed to its thymoquinone.
What Benefits Does The Black Seed Oil Offer?
The healing miracles of black seed oil are many and are vested mainly in its antioxidant properties, owing to thymoquinone being its principal constituent.
Antioxidants are plant compounds that help protect cells against damage caused by unstable molecules (free radicals).
Thymoquinone possesses potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, studies suggest that this may help protect brain health and treat several types of cancers.
In addition to protecting brain health, thymoquinone helps the human body in several other ways, such as treating asthma.
By reducing inflammation and relaxing the muscles in the airway, black seed oil can help relieve the distressing symptoms of asthma and restore the good health of your lungs.
That’s not all!
Black seed oil works in miraculous ways to bring about a reduction in blood glucose in diabetic patients, regulation of the lipid profile, and a decrease in blood pressure.
It also helps attenuate the frequency of epileptic events, functions as an antitumor agent, modulates the immune system and acts as an analgesic.
Nigella Sativa leads to a reduction of inflammatory cytokines and works as a spasmolytic bronchodilator.
Who doesn’t want flawless skin and shiny, healthy hair? I highly suggest adding it to your skincare regimen!
WHOA! There’s even more!
Black seed oil also helps with male infertility by increasing sperm count while speeding the metabolism for weight loss.
That’s a long, long list. And you can reap all these benefits just by incorporating one simple ingredient into your diet!
How Does Black Seed Oil Help with Learning and Memory?
If you’re looking for a bit of brain boost, black seed oil should be just the right pick for you!
Black seed oil has neuroprotective potential due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Owing to the ability of Nigella Sativa to reduce inflammation, specifically in the brain, it may prove to be beneficial for the prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The Mechanism of Action of Black Seed Oil:
In diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, there is a reduced release of acetylcholine, leading to memory impairment.
Black seed oil works to inhibit the degradation of acetylcholine by acetylcholinesterase, the principal enzyme involved in the hydrolysis of acetylcholine, and hence elevates its levels in the brain.
This invariably results in optimal brain functioning and the encoding of new memories.
Are There Any Side Effects of Consuming Black Seed Oil?
Even when it’s ingested in large amounts, it is considered safe for up to 3 months.
There is lack of research on the use of Nigella Sativa for the long term.
When applied to the skin, it is safe possibly safe for short-term use. However, it might cause allergic reactions in some people.
How to Use Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil is available in liquid form and in the form of pills.
If you choose to take it in a liquid form, go for a reputable brand that offers a cold-pressed oil with little to no preservatives (to ensure you get the most out of it!).
Also, make sure that it does not contain extra ingredients that could dampen its potency.
You can also use Nigella Sativa oil topically on skin and hair to reap its benefits.
What is the Proper Dosage of Black Seed Oil?
In no way is black seed oil to be taken as a replacement for your current medication.
1-2.5 grams of the black seed oil is considered safe to be taken by adults for 4-12 weeks.
If you’re taking it as black seed powder, 1-2 grams taken by mouth daily for 8-12 weeks is considered safe.
In order to preserve the nutrients, it should be consumed raw and unheated.
Are there any Drug Interactions that I Should Know Of?
It causes moderate interaction with the following drugs:
Black seed oil is known to lower blood sugar levels.
When taken in conjunction with sugar-lowering medicine, it might cause the blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low.
Be careful to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while taking black seed oil along with antidiabetic medication.
Black seed oil is known to boost the activity of your immune system. In most cases, this is beneficial for the body.
However, in specific scenarios, such as right after a transplant, you are given medications that decrease the activity of your immune system. Taking black seed oil along with these medications might decrease their efficacy.
Since black seed oil affects lowering the process of blood clotting, taking them along with anticoagulant drugs might pose a risk for bruising and bleeding.
Black seed oil helps to lower blood pressure. This might be a problem if taken with antihypertensive drugs.
Your blood pressure might drop too low.
Try not to take black seed oil if you take CNS depressant medications. Both work to induce sleepiness and slowed breathing.
Serotonin is a brain chemical—black seed oil and serotonergic drugs both function to increase serotonin levels.
Too much serotonin can cause serious complications, such as heart problems and seizures.
Black Seed Oil Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ Section)
Is it safe for pregnant or lactating women to use black seed oil?
Is Nigella sativa (Black seed) the same as Black Cumin Seed?
What is Nigella Sativa Good for?
- Respiratory health
- Digestive tract health
- Optimum kidney and liver function
- Optimum cardiovascular health
- Amplifying the immune barrier
What is the common name for Nigella Sativa?
Who should not take black seed oil?
Those on anti-diabetic or blood pressure medications should consult their physician before using the black seed oil or Nigella Sativa seeds.
The Miraculous Benefits of Black Seed Oil – Final Thoughts…
Given the fantastic properties of black seed oil, it’s almost impossible to resist reaching for it every time you require an energy or brain boost!
We set out to explore the nootropic effects of Nigella Sativa, and it turns out that it’s a total banger for memory and learning!
I recommend this nootropic to all those seeking a natural pathway to empower the brain.