People have used medicinal plants to remedy ailments and cure diseases for thousands of years. Indigenous cultures prepared these medicinal plants in various ways to create herbal remedies, some of which are still used today. With an increased focus on using plants for their medicinal properties, many studies have been conducted to evaluate their abilities. One plant of focus is known as Nigella sativa, black seed.
In recent years, black seed has emerged as some sort of “miracle herb,” despite the fact that it has a rich history of pharmacological and religious use. Black seed is the most common name, but it also goes by fennel flower, black cumin, kalonji, black caraway, cumin noir, small fennel, or seed of blessing. The plant is native to southwest Asia and the Mediterranean, but it currently grows in Europe, the Middle East, and throughout India.
Traditional Uses Of Black Seed:
Black seed was used in folk medicine to treat a variety of disorders related to digestive, kidney, liver, cardiovascular, immune, and respiratory health. Black seed has a long history of use in Indian and Arabic civilizations as a food medicine, while southeast Asian and Middle Eastern countries used it for asthma, rheumatism, bronchitis, and other inflammatory conditions. Tinctures were made for internal use, while the oil was used topically as an antiseptic.
Research suggests that black seed has the potential to remedy numerous conditions. Scientists believe that the healing properties are attributed to thymoquinone, an active ingredient in black seed that has anti-tussive, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, antifungal, and anti-hypertensive properties. Continue reading to learn more about you can benefit from black seed’s many health properties.
For Immune Disorders:
Extensively studied for its biological activity, black seed has exhibited an ability to help people with autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, allergic asthma, eczema, sinusitis, and Hashimoto’s disease. In a 2018 placebo-controlled eight-week clinical trial, results indicated that patients who received two grams of black seed daily experienced a reduction of anti-TPO antibodies from an average of 295-148. Other studies also found that black seed can act as an immunosuppressive agent to reduce oxidative stress that results from ionizing radiation.
For Cardiovascular Diseases:
Research has shown that black seed possesses qualities that may be beneficial for patients with cardiovascular diseases. Black seed has shown that it can help reduce LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, plaque formation, and decrease inflammation. According to a 2013 study, the anti-hypertensive properties of black seed significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels in all 70 participants. Other studies suggest that taking one gram of black seed twice daily before meals for one month can reduce triglyceride and LDL levels in people with high cholesterol.
A 2013 review, which investigated the therapeutic properties of black seed extract, found that black seed extract has the potential to alleviate asthma symptoms. The reason it is able to do this is because it helps to widen the bronchioles, promoting better airflow to the lungs. Additionally, a month-long study in 2011 found that black seed helped reduce symptoms of rhinitis, including runny nose and sneezing, within the first two weeks of patients taking it.
For Skin Disorders:
Early research has found that the combination of black seed, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and biotin, admitted orally, may help suppress itchy or inflamed skin. This is especially beneficial for people with eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. The antifungal properties of black seed also exhibited strong defenses against fungal infections on the skin.
The antioxidant properties of black seed are well known, and they may be the reason for the anti-cancer properties. Both in vitro and animal studies have found that black seed helps to inhibit the growth and reduce tumor size in various types of cancer, including pancreatic, liver, skin, kidney, breast, blood, colon, and prostate. There has also been evidence that thymoquinone, the active ingredient in black seed, helps to sensitize brain cancer cells to chemotherapy, which can make treatment more effective.