Often we associate seeds, spices and oils with cooking. The black cumin seed is no different. It is commonly used in pickling and added to breads. The taste is mildly bitter and comparable to oregano and cumin. But research is showing that when the black cumin seed is cold pressed, an oil is derived that has incredible medicinal attributes. Let's dig a little deeper into the benefits of black cumin seed oil.
What Is Black Cumin Seed Oil?
Black cumin seed oil is obtained from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant, better known as the Fennel Flower. You may also come across names like Black Oil, Baraka, Fitch Oil, and Kalonji Oil. But not all oils are created equal. To ensure you are purchasing the purest black cumin seed oil, look for its Latin name Nigella sativa on the label.
The seed of the Nigella sativa plant has a rich history. In Latin, it is termed panacea which translates to "cure all." In Arabic, it is habbah sawda or habbat el baraka meaning "seeds of blessing." It is regarded as one of the greatest forms of healing medicine available throughout Asia, Greece, Egypt, and sub-Saharan Africa. The seeds were found in King Tut’s tomb, and are is believed to be one of Cleopatra's beauty secrets. Also, Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, both over 5,000 years old, have documented the use of black seed oil in their ancient texts.
Is There A Need For Black Cumin Seed Oil?
People are becoming more concerned about the side effects of harsh chemicals and drugs. Many consumers are now looking for natural remedies that are safe and effective in healing. With nearly a thousand studies showing black cumin seed oil’s abilities to heal minor ailments and chronic disease, the medicinal oil might be a good addition to your medicine chest. Here are 10 benefits of using the oil.
1. Treats Infections (MRSA)
The ability to fight MRSA may be one of the strongest benefits of black cumin seed oil. Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) once plagued hospitals and nursing homes across the globe. This superbug was becoming a common infection because of the overuse of antibiotics. Bacterins are becoming resistant to antibiotics, growing in strength. Because of the sick and elderly's weakened immune system, they are still at risk of contracting MRSA.
Pakistani scientists took several strains of MRSA and discovered that each one was sensitive to Nigella sativa, proving that black seed oil can help slow down or stop MRSA from spreading out of control. Because of its strong infection-fighting properties, having black cumin seed oil on hand is a smart way to treat cuts and wounds.
2. Helps Fight Cancer
Black cumin seed oil contains antioxidants that are beneficial in fighting against particular cancer cell growth. Studies from the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine show that thymoquinone (TQ), the most abundant bioactive component in this oil, helps kill leukemia, breast cancer, and brain tumors. Researchers from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health have published papers stating that black cumin seed will not only kill off pancreatic cancer cells, but prevent further development.
3. Liver Health
The thymoquinone in black cumin seed makes it a great choice for promoting liver health as it supports the production of glutathione. The liver is a key organ in detoxifying the body and it relies on the production of glutathione for proper functioning. If the liver is over-stressed from high exposure to alcohol, drugs, and other substances, it will need a glutathione boost. With the ingestion of black cumin seed oil, glutathoine levels will rise, protecting the liver from further damage.
4. Asthma And Allergies
The Institute for Transfusion Medicine in Berlin, Germany published a paper that examined the results of four studies done on the efficacy of black cumin seed oil in treating asthma and other allergy symptoms. They gave patients capsules of black seed oil at a dose of 40 to 80 mg a day and then asked them to score the severity of their symptoms over a period time. In all four studies, the asthma and allergy symptoms decreased with the use of black cumin seed oil.
5. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a serious autoimmune condition where the body attacks its own tissue, including joints. This causes painful swelling and over a long period may erode the bones. Due to the oil’s high anti-inflammatory properties, it has shown benefits in managing rheumatoid arthritis. According to a small study published in Immunological Investigations, 43 women with mild-to-moderate rheumatoid arthritis took either a black seed oil capsule or a placebo every day for one month. Based on the data collected from these women, the study showed that there was a significant reduction of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in the women who used the of black cumin seed oil.
6. Toothaches And Sore Gums
The most common causes of a toothache are tooth decay, gum disease, and infection. These will cause the gums to inflame and aggravate the nerves of the root. Pain can also occur after a tooth extraction.
Because of black cumin seed oil's anti-inflammatory nature and because it is safe to use orally, the oil is the perfect remedy for a toothache or sore gums. A simple solution to relieve the pain of a tooth ache and sore gums is to mix a teaspoon of black seed oil and ½ teaspoon vinegar. Heat on low and remove from burner. Leave a few minutes to allow the mixture to cool down. Rinse mouth for 60 seconds and spit. Repeat every 2 hours if needed.
7. Skin And Hair
We now know about the incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of black cumin seed oil, but did you know it has nutritional values too? The main chemical constituents of black cumin seed carrier oil are palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid (Omega 3) and linoleic acid. (Omega 6). These rich nutrients hydrate and nourish the skin and hair. This oil can be taken orally, or if you prefer, apply and massage the black cumin seed oil directly into the skin. Either way, you'll notice a difference. Hair grows in quicker and thicker, and have more volume and sheen.
The anti-bacterial properties of black seed oil will cleanse your hair and skin without drying and cracking. The anti-fungal properties ward off dandruff and fungal growth all while keeping skin, scalp and hair moistened. It works great on acne-prone skin too. Although black cumin seed oil is an “oil,” it won't clog the pores. It is absorbed into the skin quickly, fighting infection and bacteria under the surface.
8. Brain Function And Memory
Black cumin seed oil has been shown to protect against the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in memory, attention, focus, and sleep. As we age, acetylcholine activity declines. Researchers have associated too little acetylcholine with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Studies estimate that there is a 90% loss of acetylcholine in the brains of people who suffer from Alzheimer's disease.
The breakdown of acetylcholine is due to overexposure of many toxins including nicotine, pesticides, mercury, and other heavy metals. Using the oil will protect the neurotransmitters in the brain working to prevent memory loss and confusion. Acetylcholine arouses brain activity keeping it sharp and giving you an edge for decision making. Consuming black cumin seed daily will help maintain high acetylcholine activity.
9. Black Seed Oil Acts As A Energy Booster
“The Canon of Medicine,” a famous book written by Ibn Sina (980-1037) states black cumin seed can stimulate the body’s energy and assists in recovering from fatigue. The oil energizes the mind, body, and the immune system, preventing physical and mental ailments. Plus, the thymoquinone in black seed oil can prevent depression. Black cumin seed oil elevates your mood by raising serotonin level in the brain, making this oil an all-around energy booster.
Ancient tombs with bottles of seeds and oils were discovered in Egypt. At the time it was believed the dead took their most valuable possessions to the afterlife. Apparently the black cumin seeds were precious enough to be buried with them. Surely, they understood the power of these tiny seeds.
In our search we learned that the properties of black cumin seed oil are profound. The oil's anti-inflammatory qualities are strong enough to help pain and swelling of arthritis, tooth aches, and sore gums and even headaches.
Black cumin seed oil is strong enough to fight MRSA, a strain of bacteria resistant to conventional antibiotics. The germ-fighting qualities makes it a great choice for skin treatments such as severe acne, but will also combat scalp issues like dandruff. Although potent, the oil is gentle enough to apply topically, supplying nutrients that keep the complexion moist and smooth.
If you need a brain boost, black cumin seed oil can do that too. It will keep you sharp, helping you to keep important memories and facts. We want to age feeling good, looking good and staying smart. We want to be happy and healthy and full of energy. This oil appears to do it all.