Black Cumin Oil is one of my favorite supplements.  It seems to help many people with a diverse array of issues.

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Contents

Introduction

Nigella sativa, commonly known as Black Cumin, Black Seed, or Black Cumin Seed is native to south Asia (R).

Black Cumin seed has been used in Middle Eastern folk medicine as a natural remedy for various diseases for over 2000 years (R).

“Use Black seed regularly, since it is a cure for every disease except death” (Prophet Muhammad) (R), and its many uses have earned Black Cumin the Arabic approbation “The Blessed Seed“ (R).

Raw seeds, seed oil, or seed extract have been used alone or in combination with other ingredients, as a traditional medicine in the treatment of various health conditions, such as eczema, cough, headache, diabetes, asthma, infection, and hypertension (R).

Due to its miraculous power of healing, Black Cumin has got the place among the top ranked evidence based herbal medicines (R).

Most of the therapeutic properties of Black Cumin seed are due to the presence of Thymoquinone which is a major bio active component (30%-48%) of the essential oil (R).

Traditional Uses

Black Seed Oil

Black Cumin “stimulates the body’s energy” and helps recover from fatigue and “disspiritedness” (R).

Its immune system boosting properties serve as a natural, safe way to  build resistance against illness (R).

My Own Experiments

I noticed Black Cumin oil was a potent anti-inflammatory the first time I took it a while back.  Ever since, I’ve always made sure to have it in stock.

The Black Cumin Seed Oil That I Use

Black Cumin Snapshot

  • Longevity8.0/10
  • Inflammation9.7/10
  • Mood7.5/10
  • Cognition7.5/10
  • Energy8.0/10

Pros

  • Highly effective against bacterial, fungal, and viral, and parasitic infections.
  • One of the best anti-histamines out there.
  • Shows anti-cancer activity.

Cons

  • Black cumin seed oil can lower blood sugar, so diabetics should consult with their physicians.
  • Black Cumin Seed oil is not to be taken during pregnancy as it can induce abortions.

1) Black Cumin Oil is an Anti-Oxidant

Black Cumin oil appears to have antioxidant properties (R) and inhibits Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) (R).

Black Cumin oil decreased the PTZ (Pentylenetetrazol) induced oxidative injury in the mouse brain tissue (R).

Black Cumin seeds restored the activity of red cell antioxidant enzymes in infected mice (with malarial parasite Plasmodium yoelli) (R).

2) Black Seed is an Anti-Inflammatory

Black Seeds

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) has anti-inflammatory properties and is good for both Th1 and Th2 dominance.

In mouse microglial cells, Thymoquinone significantly inhibited pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-6, IL-1β, IL-12 (Th1 cytokine), Growth Colony Stimulating Factor (G-CSF), and pro-inflammatory chemokine’s such as MCP-5, IP-10, and MCP-1 (R).

It suppresses the production of Nitric oxide by macrophages (R) and inhibits NF-κB (NF-kappa B) (R).

3) Black Cumin Oil is Anti-Anxiety and Anti-Depressant

Black Seed Oil

Black Cumin seeds have shown to stabilize mood, decrease anxiety and improve cognition in adolescent human males (R).

Black Cumin oil (Thymoquinone) exerts anti-anxiety properties in mice (R) and may be a useful choice for the treatment of anxiety (R).

It may also have an anti-depressant and anti-fatigue effect in mice models (R).

Black Cumin seed decreases the activity of the nervous system (R).

Anti-anxiety properties of Black cumin oil appear to be due to increasing GABA (R).

4) Black Seed Extract Enhances Memory

Black Cumin seed enhances memory, attention and cognition (R).

Black Cumin seed extract (500 mg) twice daily over the course of nine weeks in otherwise healthy elderly persons improved memory (R).

5) Black Seed Helps Digestion

Roasted Black seeds are given internally to stop vomiting (R).

A tincture prepared from the seeds is useful for indigestion, loss of appetite, diarrhea, dropsy, amenorrhoea and dysmenorrhoea (R).

6) Black Cumin Seed Causes Weight Loss

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Black Cumin seed is traditionally recommended as an anti-obesity agent (R).

Significant weight loss was seen in men with obesity.  They also experienced a reduction in appetite (R).

7) Black Seed Protects the Gut

Black Cumin seed appears to have anti-ulcer properties against Heliobacter pylori (R).

Black Cumin seed and Thymoquinone could partly protect stomach mucosa in rats (from acute alcohol induced mucosal injury) (R).

Black Cumin oil has significantly reduced the severity of intestinal damage in rats (with necrotizing colitis) (R).

8) Black Cumin Oil Potently Fights Infections

Antibacterial activity

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Black Cumin seed extract inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus (R).

Black Cumin seed was effective against clinical isolates of MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) (R).

Black Cumin seeds possess anti H. pylori activity (R).

Gram negative isolates were more affected than the Gram positive ones (R).

Black Cumin oil (Thymoquinone) prevented the formation of Biofilm(R).

Anti-fungal activity

Black Cumin seed (Thymohydroquinone and Thymoquinone) possessed significant anti-fungal activity (R).

Methanolic extracts of Black Cumin seed have the strongest anti-fungal effect against Candida albicans (R).

Water extracts showed no anti-fungal activity (R).

The defensins (Ns-D1 and Ns-D2) displayed strong anti-fungal activity towards a number of phytopathogenic fungi (R).

Black Cumin oil is effective in protection against mold (aflatoxicosis) in rats (R).  This may help people with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.

Antiviral

Black Cumin seed was able to reduce viral load in persons with Hepatitis C (R).

Black Cumin seed has shown antiviral properties against infectious laryngotracheitis virus (R).

It’s effective against cytomegalovirus virus (CMV) in mice (R).

Antiparasitic

Black Cumin seeds may be a good therapeutic agent against Plasmodium infection in malaria (R).

Black Cumin oil may play a role against the alterations caused by S. mansoni infection in mice (R).

Black Cumin seeds are effective against Schistosoma mansoni, miracidia, cercariae, and adult worms (R).

9) Black Seed Oil Fights Histamine Intolerance and CIRS

Black Cumin oil (Nigellone) has effective anti-histamine activity (R).

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) appears to inhibit the release of histamine from Mast cells (R).

Black Cumin oil is also effective in protection against mold (aflatoxicosis) in rats (R).  This may help people with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.

10) Black Seed Boosts the Immune System

Oral ingestion of Black Cumin seeds improves the ability of macrophages to destroy invaders (R).

Black Seed extract increased Natural Killer cell cytotoxicity to tumor cells (R).

Black Cumin seed was able to increase secretion of IL-3 from lymphocytes (R).

11) Anticancer Effects of Black Cumin Oil

Black Cumin oil exerts potent inhibitory effects on rat tumor development and cell proliferation (R).

Black Cumin seed and its constituents show a vital role in the control of cancer via inactivation and activation of phase I and II detox genes (R).

Liver Cancer

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) was effective in treating liver cancer in rats (R).

Black Cumin oil (Thymoquinone) may be a useful in treating cancer caused by chemicals and toxicity in liver cancer (R).

Bladder cancer

Black Cumin oil (Thymoquinone) has anti-tumor effects on bladder cancer (R).

Cervical cancer

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) appears to be toxic towards cervical squamous carcinoma cells (SiHA) (R).

Bone cancer

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) shows effective anti tumor and anti-angiogenic activity in osteosarcoma (R).

Breast cancer

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) may have potential implication in breast cancer prevention and treatment (R).

Black Cumin oil showed a protective role in mammary carcinoma (R).

Stomach cancer

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) induces killing of stomach cancer cells (R).

12) Black Seed Can Protect Against Heart Disease

Black Cumin seed given to rats was able to improve the recovery of heart tissue following injury (ischemia/reperfusion) (R).

The seeds may be beneficial in the treatment of high cholesterol (R).

Seed powder administered to people with high cholesterol was found to reduce the total cholesterol and triglycerides (R).

Daily use of seed extract for 2 months may lower blood pressure in patients with mild Hypertension (HT) (R).

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) reduced hardening of the arteries from high cholesterol (R).

13) Black Cumin Seed Increases Testosterone 

Black Cumin seed extract has been noted to increase testosterone concentrations following oral ingestion (R).

Rats given seed oil failed to significantly increase testosterone (R).

14) Black Cumin Helps Asthma, Rhinitis and Breathing

Boiled extract of the seeds was able to significantly improve all asthmatic symptoms (R).

Asthmatic symptoms have been improved in persons who suffer from allergic asthma (R).

Components of Black Cumin oil appear to have lung enhancing (bronchodilatory) properties (R).

Boiled extract of seeds was able to significantly improve respiratory function in chemical war victims with impaired respiratory function (R).

Black Cumin oil reduced symptoms of rhinitis (itching, running nose, sneezing and congestion) (R).

15) Black Seed is Anti-Diabetic

Black Cumin seed is highly recommended among practitioners of traditional medicine for treating diabetes.

The seed extract was able to increase insulin release in diabetic rodents (R).

Black Cumin oil has a significant activity in diabetic and high cholesterol patients (R).

Most of the anti-diabetic properties are due to the activation of AMPK (R).

16) Black Cumin Seed is Neuroprotective

Thymoquinone and other components of Black cumin seed may be neuroprotective (R).

An extract of Black Cumin seed displayed neuroprotective effects by decreasing the activity of the nervous system (R).

17) Black Cumin Seed is a Natural Pain Killer

Black Cumin seeds appear to have analgesic properties in mice (R).

18) Thymoquinone Helps Osteoporosis and Arthritis

Black Cumin oil (Thymoquinone) has shown potential anti-osteoporotic effects (R).

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) has been effective in rheumatoid arthritis (R).

Significant reductions in joint pain and swelling as well as morning stiffness in affected joints were noted (R).

19) Black Seed is Helpful For Eczema and Skin Conditions

Black Cumin oil  is effective in the treatment of worms and skin eruptions (R).

Black Cumin oil has been used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and boils (R).

20) Black Seed Protects the Kidneys and Prevents Kidney Stones

Black Cumin seeds have been traditionally used for the treatment and prevention of kidney stones (R).

Evidence in rats suggest quite potent anti-kidney stone properties (R).

Black Cumin oil was effective against gentamycin kidney toxicity (R).

Seed extract had protective action against kidney injury (ischemia) (R).

21) Black Cumin Oil is an Antiseptic

Externally the Black cumin oil can prevent the spread of infections on the skin and also relieve pain (R).

22) Black Cumin Oil For Male Fertility

Black Cumin oil increased sperm motility, morphology and sperm concentration in mice (R).

Daily intake of 5 ml (1 tsp) of oil for two months improves abnormal semen quality in infertile men without any adverse effects (R).

 23) Black Cumin Oil is Anti-Epileptic

Black Cumin oil (Thymoquinone) may have anti convulsant action in pediatric epilepsy (R).

Black Cumin oil (Thymoquinone) has anti-epileptic effects in children following oral ingestion (R).

The anti-epileptic properties of Black cumin seeds appear to be due to increasing GABA (R).

24) Black Cumin Oil is Radio-Protective

Black Cumin oil is radio protective against immunosuppressive and oxidative effects of ionizing radiation (R).

25) Black Seed is Effective in the Treatment of Opioid Dependence

Black Seed is effective in long term treatment of opioid dependence (R).

It not merely cures the Opioid dependence, but also helps with the infections and weaknesses from which majority of addicts suffer (R).

26) Black Cumin Helps Women Produce More Milk

Traditionally, it was used to help increase milk production during breastfeeding in nursing mothers (R).

It is scientifically proven that Black Cumin seeds stimulate milk production in rats (R).

27) Black Seed Suppresses Muscle Spasms

Black Seed has an antispasmodic effect (possibly due to calcium antagonistic activity) (R).

Black Cumin Oil Synergies

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) in combination with radiation was found to exert a synergistic cytotoxic effect against breast cancer cells (R).

Black Cumin seed (Thymoquinone) combined with gemcitabine reduced tumor weight to 85% (R).

Black Cumin seed extract (Thymoquinone) is known to reduce blood glucose when paired with Aloe vera (R).

Garlic Extract and Black cumin oil may be promising agents to complement schistosomiasis specific treatment (R).

Consumption of garlic extract and crude Black seeds may have a beneficial Antioxidant effect in healthy post menopausal women (R).

Black Cumin and Garlic together were effective in correction of high cholesterol (R).

The combination of Black Cumin oil and PYR (Pyrimethamine) had synergistic effect in treatment of toxoplasmosis (R).

2 gm/day of Black Cumin seed may be beneficial along with hypoglycemic agents in type 2 diabetic patients (R).

Dosage 

I use the oil and I recommend 1 tsp 2X daily for a 150 pound person.

Nutritional Value of Black Seed

Black Seed:

  • Contains monosaccharides in the form of glucose, rhamnose, xylose and arabinose (R).
  • Contains a non-starch polysaccharide component which is a useful source of dietary fiber (R).
  • Is rich in fatty acids particularly the unsaturated and essential fatty acids (Linolenic and Linoleic acid) (R).
  • Contains Arginine which is essential for infant growth (R).
  • Is also a source of Calcium, iron, sodium and potassium (R).
  • Contains Carotene (converted by the Liver into Vitamin A) (R).
  • Contains B-complex vitamins like Thiamin, Niacin and Folic acid (R).
  • Is a good source of Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) (R).

Side Effects

According to internet folklore, over 25 grams is toxic to humans.

Black Cumin oil and its constituents show vital effect in disease control without any toxic effect (R).

Treatment with Black Cumin oil (Thymoquinone) in  advanced malignant cancer patients showed tolerated drug dose of up to 2600 mg/day (R).

Precautions

Black Cumin seed extract is not to be taken during pregnancy (R), since it can cause abortion (R).

Black Cumin seed is said to lower blood sugar levels,  therefore a diabetic patient is advised to consult a physician before using (R).

Molecular Targets

Anti-inflammatory

  • Decreases LOX (Lysyl Oxidase) (R).
  • Inhibits iNOS (inducible Nitric oxide synthase) (R).
  • Inhibition of NF-κB (NF-kappa B) (R).

Anticancer property

  • Activates PPAR-γ (Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma) (R).
  • Increases PTEN (Phosphatase and tensin homolog) (R).
  • Increases BAK/BAX (R).
  • Decreases Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL (R).
  • Suppresses the expression of AR and E2F-1 (R).

Antioxidant activity

Antidiabetic activity

  • Inhibits both p44/42 (R).
  • Inhibits MAPKs (R).

Neuroprotective activity

  • Increases GABA (Gama Amino Butyric Acid) activity (R).

Activity in Lungs and trachea

  • Inhibits phosphodiesterase (PDE) (R).
  • Inhibits COX2 expression (R).

Buying Black Cumin Seed Oil

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

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20 COMMENTS

  • Trevor

    I’m severely underwight. 5’9″ male and around 110lbs, and really struggling to keep weight on….Should I be concerned about this product making my weight loss even worse? I’m looking to take it for the benefits it provides regarding histamine and gut issues etc?? Any answers greatly appreciated!

  • Jennifer

    I do not know much about black cumin seed but I have been using black seed oil for my pelvic pains and weight loss. It is also anti-inflammatory and helps reduce pain. The properties are quite similar too black cumin seeds so I was wondering if these two could be combined??

  • Kehinde Ayodele

    Thank you so very much for this info. I’m not fat and I don’t want to loose weight, infact I’m trying to increase to 55kg now bcos I am 50.7kg am 39years old. Hope taking the black seed wount make me lost more weight?

  • KaliK

    Thought folks here might also be interested in this research exploring role of black cumin in Hashimotos thyroiditis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5112739/

  • Simran

    Very interesting article,cumin seeds are always beneficial but the above tips gives more ideas to use these black cumin seeds.

  • maryjane

    It cures hot flashes,. I wasn’t taking it for hot flashes initially, I was taking it for allergies. But the hot flashes were just starting at the same time I began using BSO, I had prescriptions for two different treatment options but never got them filled because the hot flashes became milder and less frequent and then they stopped. I didn’t know it was BSO positively until I stopped taking it when I did a 10 day water fast. I didn’t restart it and within in 3-4 weeks the hot flashes were back and much stronger. So I’ve been taking it again for 4 weeks now and once again they slowly and steadily went away. I think every woman should try BSO before taking hormones for hot flashes. I saved over $200.00 a month (with insurance).

  • Paul

    Under antioxidant activity you wrote: “Reduced enzymes like Superoxide dismutase (SOD), Catalase and Gluthathione peroxidase (R).” Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what you want? I thought it was better to increase those three. the reference doesn’t seem to have anything to do with these three. Is this in error?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      I just corrected it and found the right reference. Thanks for this.

  • kathi

    what is the dosage recommendation for a child (10 yo; 55lbs). Can I assume the calculation based on what you wrote of 150b person 2tsp and divide accordingly, basically 1/3 of that dose? thanks!

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      ya

  • Marina

    The scientific references supporting every statement are EXACTLY what I need. A huge thanks for providing this information.

  • Ahmar Farooki

    If you’re taking seeds… you should take only 21 seeds a day

    1. Ahmar Farooki

      I have been giving Blackseed to my daughter every day. she used to get fungus on her tongue and she’s not getting that anymore.

    2. Alex B

      why is that?

  • Mark

    Should I take it with fish oil? Or other fats to enhance its absorption? Aren’t you concerned about the omega 6 content?

    1. Shan

      Black seeds or oil if taken with pure organic honey should also maximize the healing effect of this herb oil or seeds.

  • andrewh

    what is the basis for the 25g is toxic to humans claim. I’ve taken up to 35g in one day and have been fine. had decent effects at that dosage.

  • pamojja

    Thanks for the write up. I got a little confused about the different dosage recommendations. Here I read: 1 tsp (5ml) 2x daily for a 150 pound person. In the fatigue post: 1 tbsp (7.5ml) Black Cumin Seed Oil in the afternoon is recommended. Guess it doesn’t make much difference since both is still far from the allegedly toxic 25 g/d. But any specific reason for the afternoon recommendation?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      General vs specific.

      1 tsp is more cautious.

  • sam

    This series of posts you’ve been doing on comprehensive effects and uses of supplements has been fantastic.
    Thanks for collating and testing all this information for us!

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