Black seed oil is is extracted from the seeds of black cumin or Nigella sativa, which is a plant native to southwest Asia. Also known as nigella sativa oil, black cumin seed oil, or kalonji oil, this amber-hued oil is used in cooking, and is reported to offer various health benefits.
The key component of black seed oil is thymoquinone, which is a compound with antioxidant properties.
Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil
Preliminary research has suggested that black seed oil may offer benefits to individuals with asthma. A study that was published in Phytotherapy Research in 2017, reported that individuals with asthma, and who took black seed oil capsules reported a significant improvement in asthma control, as compared with the group who took a placebo.
2. Allergic Rhinitis
Black seed oil have shown potential in the treatment of allergies. In a 2011 study that was published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology, for instance, black seed oil was reported to reduce itching, the presence of nasal congestion runny nose, and sneezing after 2 weeks.
Current studies have reported that the thymoquinone content in black seed oil can influence programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in some types of cancer cell. These include
leukemia, brain cancer, and breast cancer cells.
But, more of the research on the effects of black seed oil on cancer uses cells rather than on live humans, therefore, researchers do not know how effective the oil may be in treating people with cancer.
As per an article in the Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, black seed oil may help improve blood sugar levels and contain antidiabetic properties.
But, this study used animal models, therefore, more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of the oil in people.
5. Kidney and Liver Function
As per a study 2013 on rats, black seed oil may help in reducing kidney and liver diasease complications, and help in improving the organ structures. Researchers do not know if the mentioned effects would also occur in humans.
A placebo-controlled clinical trial on men with infertility and abnormal sperm has reported that black seed oil can help increase sperm count, semen volume and improve sperm movement.
7. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Black seed oil may help in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, as per a small study that was published in Immunological Investigations in 2016. For the study, 43 women that have mild-to-moderate rheumatoid arthritis took a placebo or black seed oil capsules daily for one month.
The study results reported that treatment with black seed oil may led to a reduction in arthritis symptoms, (as assessed by the DAS-28 rating scale), number of swollen joints and blood levels of inflammatory markers.
Where to Purchase Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil is sold in many natural-foods stores, in stores specializing in dietary supplements and is widely available for purchase online.
Uses of Black Seed Oil:
You can incorporate black seeds into your dishes such as:
- Added to curries, soups, and stir-fries
- Mix and grind them with other seasonings such as fennel, mustard, and cumin seeds
- Sprinkled on flatbreads
- Sprinkled and toasted over biscuits or bagels
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