In this article we’re going to talk about the super-healthy black cumin seed! I really think that you’ll be amazed when we tell you that more than 650 peer-reviewed studies have looked into the potential health benefits of “black seed,” which come from the flowering plant Nigella Sativa. YES, and black seed oil was even found in Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb. Take a look at the article below and find out more about this. Black seed (or also known as black cumin, black caraway, black sesame, onion seed and Roman coriander), has a long history of use in traditional systems of medicine, including Ayurveda and Siddha.
This amazing seed has more than 20 medicinal uses. According to a review on black seed’s therapeutic potential published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine:
“The seeds of N. sativa have been widely used in the treatment of different diseases and ailments. In Islamic literature, it is considered as one of the greatest forms of healing medicine. It has been recommended for using on regular basis in Tibb-e-Nabawi (Prophetic Medicine). It has been widely used as antihypertensive, liver tonics, diuretics, digestive, anti-diarrheal, appetite stimulant, analgesics, anti-bacterial and in skin disorders.”
Black cumin has a wide spectrum of pharmacological actions that have been supported by science:
- Renal protective
- Antioxidant properties
Some expert even calls this the “miracle herb,” and its name in old Latin, “Panacea,” means “cure all.” People used these seeds for immune-system support, well-being, digestive health, respiratory issues, kidney and liver support, and heart health. In Asia and the Middle East, black cumin seeds have long been used to treat asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and other inflammatory diseases. You should also know that a tincture of the seeds has traditionally been used to treat indigestion, loss of appetite, diarrhea, parasitic infections and skin problems. An external application of black cumin oil has even been used as an antiseptic and roasted seeds as a treatment to stop vomiting. Thymoquinone is the most powerful compound found in these seeds. Other bioactive compounds in the seed include α-hederin, alkaloids, flavonoids, antioxidants and fatty acids. Some of the most compelling research into black cumin’s health benefits is highlighted below.
As we said, the thymoquinone compound has powerful anti-cancer effects. Thymoquinone extract from black cumin appears to be effective against cancers in the blood, lung, kidney, liver, prostate, breast, cervix, colon and skin.
The experts warn that the oxidative stress may decrease the efficiency of pancreatic β cells, which control the production and release of insulin. As such, oxidative stress is thought to play a role in the development of diabetes. These seeds will help you decrease the oxidative stress and preserve the integrity of pancreatic β cells. Study confirms – when people with diabetes consumed two grams of black cumin per day for three months, it led to reductions in fasting blood sugar and HbA1c and increased the functionality of pancreatic β cells, which suggests black cumin may be a “beneficial adjuvant therapy in type 2 diabetes.”
- Heart Health
These seeds will also help you with elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Thymoquinone in black cumin also may benefit endothelial dysfunction, which is involved in many cardiovascular disorders.
You should also know that these seeds have powerful anti-obesity effects, including reductions in body weight and waist and hip circumferences. Study confirms – these seeds showed a significant weight loss and reduced waist circumference with a mild reduction in fasting blood sugar, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein levels.
- Respiratory Health
The experts also say that black cumin is also very helpful for asthmatics. A recent study has confirmed that these seeds have reduced two inflammatory mediators of asthma and other inflammatory processes. Another study confirmed the anti-asthmatic effect of black cumin extract, showing it acts as a bronchodilator. The thymoquinone in black cumin seeds was even found to be superior to the asthma drug fluticasone (a synthetic glucocorticoid).
People in China value black cumin seeds for their purported anti-aging benefits, and they are rich in B vitamins and iron, deficiencies of which have been linked to memory problems, hearing trouble and even gray hair.
According to Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition:
“RECENT PHARMACOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS SUGGESTED ITS [BLACK CUMIN’S] POTENTIAL ROLE, ESPECIALLY FOR THE AMELIORATION OF OXIDATIVE STRESS THROUGH FREE RADICAL SCAVENGING ACTIVITY, THE INDUCTION OF APOPTOSIS TO CURE VARIOUS CANCER LINES, THE REDUCTION OF BLOOD GLUCOSE, AND THE PREVENTION OF COMPLICATIONS FROM DIABETES.
IT REGULATES HEMATOLOGICAL AND SEROLOGICAL ASPECTS AND CAN BE EFFECTIVE IN DYSLIPIDEMIA AND RESPIRATORY DISORDERS. MOREOVER, ITS IMMUNOPOTENTIATING AND IMMUNOMODULATING ROLE BRINGS BALANCE IN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. EVIDENCE IS AVAILABLE SUPPORTING THE UTILIZATION OF NIGELLA SATIVA AND ITS BIOACTIVE COMPONENTS IN A DAILY DIETFOR HEALTH IMPROVEMENT.”
The BEST Way to Use These Seeds:
First of all, you should know that black cumin oil is available in supplement form, but you can easily add the seeds to your regular meals. Or, you can simply add the seeds to casseroles, stir fries, salad dressings (try them mixed with lemon, cilantroand tahini) and baked goods, sprinkle them on salads, or even add them to your coffee or tea. You can also make black cumin tea by pouring hot water over the seeds (about one tablespoon) and letting it steep for 10 minutes. Or, you can mix black cumin, honey and garlic to make a powerful tonic for soothing coughs and boosting immunity, especially during cold and flu season or if you feel like you’re coming down with an infection. Black cumin oil can even be used topically to treat psoriasis and eczema or mixed with facial cream to moisturize and soothe your skin.