15 Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil

Black seed oil has been extracted from the Nigella sative shrub. This shrub grows in southern Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa, and southwest Asia. Find out what the health benefits of black seed oil are.

This shrub produces fruits that have little black seeds. These black seeds are known by many names, such as black seeds, black cumin, black caraway, and Roman coriander.

Oil of these black seeds, known as black seed oil, has many therapeutic benefits and has been used in medicines for over 2,000 years.

Different studies (Aftab Ahmad, 2013) have shown the numerous benefits of this oil for health conditions and hair and skin.

In traditional medicines, black seed oil has been used to treat different health conditions. There are many health benefits that you can get by adding this oil into your routine. 

Where to buy black seed oil:

This is a rarer supplement, but it can be found in a few health food stores. If not, it can be easily bought online. Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve tried and loved:

Kiva Black Seed Oil Vegan Softgel capsules, 2000 mg (what I have currently)

Nature’s Way Black Seed Oil

Zhou Organic Black Seed Oil

1. High in antioxidants:

The black seed oil contains a large number of antioxidants; these antioxidants are the plant compounds that protect our body cells against the damage caused by free radicals.

Studies (Yu-Jie Zhang, 2015) have shown the importance of antioxidants on human health. They can help reduce inflammation and the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Research (M. Akram Khan, 2011) has also shown the rich amount of thymoquinone present in black seed oil.

Thymoquinone has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and this compound can also help in improving brain health and reduce the risk of several types of cancers.

2. Help in treating asthma:

Asthma is a medical condition in which swelling occurs within the lining of the airways. This constricts the muscles present around them, resulting in difficulty in breathing.

Many types of research have shown the positive effect of black seed oil in treating asthma due to the presence of thymoquinone. This compound can reduce inflammation and relax the muscles in the airway.

For example, one study (Abdulrahman Koshak, 2017) of adults suffering from asthma found that the patient who took 500mg of black seed oil capsules regularly for a whole month experienced significant improvement in asthma.   

Nigella sativa oil in vial, gravy boat and bottle, seeds in a spoon and black cumin flour in a bowl on a burlap napkin, kalingi twigs with blue flowers and leaves on wooden board background

3. Help in weight loss:

Black seed oil can also help in reducing weight in people suffering from obesity, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

In a study (Reza Mahdavi, 2015) of 90 obese women, half of the women were given 1 gram of black seed oil per meal every day with a low-calorie diet.

As a result, the women taking black seed oil lost more weight as compared to those who were only on a low-calorie diet and did not use black seed oil. The oil group of women also experienced an improvement in cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

4. Help in maintaining blood sugar levels:

Patients with diabetes who have consistently high blood sugar levels have been shown to increase their risk of future medical conditions like eye diseases, stroke, and kidney diseases. The black seed oil has been effective against high blood sugar and helps maintain blood sugar levels.

Different studies (Abdullah O Bamosa, 2010) of people suffering from type 2 diabetes show that 2 grams of crushed black seeds on a regular basis can reduce the fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c levels, which is the measurement of blood sugar levels over the last 2-3 months. 

Not only black seed powder and capsules are effective in blood sugar levels, but black seed oil is also very beneficial.

According to a study (Rachman, 2017) of 99 adults suffering from diabetes, 1.5 ml of black seed oil every day for 20 days can help in reducing HbA1c levels.

5. Helps in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels:

High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can increase the risk of many chronic diseases. They can cause strokes, heart attacks, and cancers as well. The black seed oil effectively reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Two different studies (Mahdavi, 2015) (JavadHeshmati, 2015), one in 90 women suffering from obesity and the other in 72 adults with diabetes, found that taking 2-3 grams of black seed oil on a regular basis for 3-4 months can reduce the significant level of high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Another study (Hafiz Moeen-ud-Din, 2016) was done on 90 people suffering from high cholesterol levels. It showed that consuming 2 tablespoons of black seed oil after eating breakfast for one and half months can reduce cholesterol levels.

By reducing the high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, black seed oil can helps in preventing the risk of many heart diseases as well.

6. Improve brain health:

Inflammation in brain tissues, known as neuro-inflammation, plays a significant role in the development of major diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Taking black seed oil can help in reducing this inflammation, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

According to a study (Farkhondeh, 2018), the compound thymoquinone in black seed oil can reduce neuroinflammation and the risk of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Another study of 40 healthy adults found out that taking 50mg of black seed oil capsules for 2 months can improve attention, memory, and cognition. In short, it can improve overall brain health and reduce the risk of brain disease.

7. Reduce inflammation:

Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil, it can be beneficial for many aspects of health. As inflammation can take part in the development of many health conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.

According to a review (Montazeri, 2021) of 10 different studies, taking black seed oil regularly can reduce inflammation markers and increase the antioxidant levels in the blood.

Not only this, but the review also found out that black seed oil can be more effective in reducing inflammation as compared to other forms of black seed.

Another review (Mohit, 2020) of 12 studies found that taking black seed supplements can decrease the blood level of malondialdehyde and C-reactive protein, which both are indicators of oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

Black cumin seeds in wooden bowl and black cumin oil in glass jar

8. Help in preventing metabolic syndrome:

Black seed oil can also help in reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, a condition that increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

According to a study (Shoaei-Hagh, 2021), 55 people with high blood pressure take 2.5 ml of black seed oil twice daily for 2 months.

After these months, they experienced a reduction in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and fasting blood sugar, which all are the components of metabolic syndrome.

According to another study(Namazi, 2018), black seed oil can also reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome as it reduces belly fat and improves cholesterol levels

However, keep in mind that the main thing to prevent metabolic syndrome is a whole food diet and an active lifestyle. Supplements like black seed oil can work best if added with a healthy lifestyle.

9. Can reduce acne:

The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil can be very beneficial for skin conditions like acne.

According to one review article (H.M.Aljabre, 2015), if a person suffers from acne, apply lotion made with black seed oil to the area affected. He will have fewer lesions after 2 months.

Similarly, in another study (Samaneh Soleymani, 2020), 60 people suffering from acne applied a gel made up of black seed oil on their skin for almost 2 months.

Those who applied that gel had a 70-80% reduction in the severity of acne and also faced improvement in the number of lesions as compared to those who didn’t have this treatment.

10. Can help in treating psoriasis:

Several studies have also shown the beneficial effect of black seed oil in the treatment of psoriasis, an inflammatory condition in which scaly, red patches appear on an affected person’s skin.

According to an animal study (Ebtsam F Okasha, 2018), applying black seed oil to the skin can reduce inflammation and symptoms of Psoriasis in rats.

In one small study (A. Michalsen, 2015) of 12 people found out that applying herbal cream with black seed oil and other ingredients like tea tree oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, and vitamins can be very effective in treating psoriasis and other diseases related to skin. This study found a reduction in psoriasis in 83% of participants after applying that cream for almost 3 months.

However, in all of the studies, the black seed oil is used in creams and lotions with other herbal ingredients. So it is hard to know how much black seed oil can be effective alone.

11. Can promote wound healing:

The black seed oil contains a compound known as thymoquinone. This compound has been studied to increase the growth of tissues and the healing process of wounds.

Several studies found the benefits of thymoquinone in treating burns, excisions, and diabetic wounds. And these all benefits are due to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects of black seed oil.

For example, one study animal (Elham Nourbar, 2019) found out that using black seed extract on the wounds increases the healing process in rats with diabetes compared to the control group of rats.  

Another study (Javadi, 2018) has shown that if black seed oil is combined with honey, it can increase the wound healing process more than black seed oil alone.

12. Increase hair growth:

Because of black seed oil’s antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, it is often used in hair care products like shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks.

These all hair products claim to provide shine, strength, and volume to the hair. And the research has also shown some benefits of black seed oil for hair health.

 According to one small study (Bakar, 2014), when black seed oil is mixed with coconut oil and applied to the scalp every day, it can result in a significant increase in hair growth.

Another study (Md. Shahinoor Rahaman Dulal*, 2014) of 90 people has found that hair oil consists of black seed oil with other herbal ingredients that can help in reducing hair loss.

All of these studies’ treatment combines black seed oil with other ingredients like olive oil, coconut oil, and many herbal ingredients. There are not many studies that can tell the effect of black seed oil on the hair on its own.

13. Can help in treating vitiligo:

Vitiligo is a condition that causes loss of pigmentation in the skin. Several studies show the benefits of black seed oil in treating this condition. For example, one study (Gulbahar Sarac, 2019) was done on 33 people suffering from vitiligo. This study found out that applying cream made up of black seed oil on the skin twice daily can improve the pigmentation of hands, face, and the genital region as well.

Another study (Alireza Ghorbanibirgani, 2014) of 52 people found that applying black seed oil for almost 6 months on the skin can reduce the size of vitiligo lesions, particularly on the neck, head, trunk, and arms. These benefits of black seed oil can be due to its ability to spread melanin in the skin, which is a natural pigment found in skin, hair, and eyes.

Nigella sativa oil in sauceboat and bottle, seeds in a spoon and black cumin flour in a bowl on burlap, kalingi twigs with blue flowers and green leaves on background of an old wooden board

14. Can reduce symptoms of eczema:

Eczema is a skin condition in which skin becomes dry and itchy. The use of black seed oil can reduce the symptoms of this condition. According to a study (M Yousefi, 2012), black seed oil can be as effective as betamethasone cream at improving the skin and reducing the severe symptoms of hand eczema when directly applied to hands twice a day for a month.

An animal study (Hina Aslam, 2018) showed that oral or topical use of thymoquinone, a compound present in black seed oil, can help decrease inflammation and improve the symptoms of eczema. Black seed oil can also help in wound healing and prevents harmful bacteria. This ability of black seed oil can prevent skin infections related to eczema.

15. Lessen risk of various diseases:

Black seed oil can possibly decrease the risk of having many diseases, including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis is a medical condition caused by inflammation within the joints. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil, it can help in reducing inflammation of joints.
  • Male infertility: there are few types of research(M Kolahdooz, 2014) which has also shown the improvement of semen quality in men by intake of black seed oil.
  • Cancer: the presence of thymoquinone in black seed oil reduces the growth of various cancer cells.
  • Fungal infection: the black seed has also been shown to have antifungal properties. Which gives it the ability to protect against Candida Albicans, a type of yeast that can lead to candidiasis.

Black seed oil can be very effective in preventing these diseases. Before adding it into your diet, consult your dietitian in case you are already on other medication.

Conclusion on the health benefits of black seed oil:

Black seed oil is a potent herbal ingredient with a lot of health and beauty benefits. It can reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. The black seed oil has also been shown to be beneficial for skin and hair as well.

Before taking black seed oil, consult your doctor. You will want to determine how much of this oil you should take. This will help you get the amazing benefits of this oil while staying healthy.

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