The Versatile Black Seed
And Its Many Healing Applications
The Health Coach:
Black seed, also known as Nigella Sativa, is as versatile a healing agent as any other seed under the sun. One website has identified the “TOP 7 Black Seed Oil Benefits” as follows:
Top 7 Black Seed Oil Benefits
Of the many ways that black seed oil benefits the body, the 6 that stick out in the scientific literature its ability to help prevent cancer, diabetes, obesity, hair loss, skin disorders and infections like MRSA.
Croatian scientists evaluated the antitumor activity of thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone in mice and discovered that the two phytochemicals in black seed oil can resulted in 52% decrease in tumor cells! (10)
Being rich in both chemicals, black seed is unique in that it can help prevent and treat cancer through a variety of mechanisms:
Cell cycle arrest
Reactive oxygen species generation
According to one study,
“The anti-tumor effects of thymoquinone have also been investigated in tumor xenograft mice models for colon, prostate, pancreatic and lung cancer. The combination of thymoquinone and conventional chemotherapeutic drugs could produce greater therapeutic effect as well as reduce the toxicity of the latter.” (11)
2. Liver Health
The liver is one of the most important organs in the body. Nearly every toxin gets processed through the liver, and the bile from the liver is the key to digesting fats and keeping your mind and body happy and healthy. For those that have struggled with poor liver function due to medication side effects, alcohol consumption, or disease, black seed oil could greatly speed the healing process. In a recent study scientists discovered that black seed oil benefits the function of the liver and helps prevent both damage and disease. (12)
Explained in a recent article published by the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers from the Indian Council of Medical Research highlight that black seed oil “causes gradual partial regeneration of pancreatic beta-cells, increases the lowered serum insulin concentrations and decreases the elevated serum glucose.” (13) This is actually quite profound because Nigella sativa is one of the few substances on the planet that is suggested to help prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
In fact, according to the study, black seed “improves glucose tolerance as efficiently as metformin; yet it has not shown significant adverse effects and has very low toxicity!” (13) This is HUGE because metformin, one of the most commonly prescribed type 2 diabetes drugs, can cause a wide slew of side effects including: (14)
Flushing of the skin
Metallic taste in mouth
4. Weight Loss
The Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders published a study last June systemically reviewing the literature for plants that have anti-obesity properties and discovered that black seed oil was amongst the most effective natural remedies on the planet. (15)
Not traditionally believed to treat obesity, Nigella sativa is a marvelous anti-inflammatory agent that is known to help people lose weight in the same way that it helps diabetics. Specifically, by decreasing these weight gain triggers, black seed oil has helped millions shed excess weight: (16)
Glucose absorption in the intestine
Blood glucose levels
Probably one of the most unique black seed oil benefits is its uncanny ability to help restore hair loss. No one quite understands why it happens, but it’s not too hard to guess that it has something to do with its powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. By strengthening hair follicles, there is very good reason to see how black seed oil can help promote strengthened hair roots.
Produced in the retina, choroid and epidermis, melanin are pigments that protect the skin from damage. You probably are most family with it being the main chemical responsible for giving our eyes and skin their individual color. Known to promote and inhibit melanogenesis (melanin production), black seed oil benefits on the skin and other cells are profoundly healing. (17, 18)
For example, in a recent study conducted by Iranian researchers, Nigella saliva was found as effective as the skin cream Betamethasone in improving quality of life and decreasing severity of hand eczema. (19) When you consider that black seed oil has virtually no side effects, the benefits of Nigella, in fact, far exceed medical intervention!
7. Infections (MRSA)
Of all the superbugs that black seed oil can kill, Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most important. MRSA is plaguing hospitals and nursing homes across the globe because ordinary staph infections are becoming resistant to generic antibiotics. The elderly population is especially at risk because it is generally associated with invasive procedures such as surgeries, intravenous tubing, and artificial joints. (20) Primarily due to weakened immunity, the growing population of senior citizens has made MRSA a global public health risk.
Thankfully, one of the strongest black seed oil benefits comes to the rescue. Pakistan scientists took several strains of MRSA and discovered that each one was sensitive to N. Sativa, proving that black seed oil can help slow down or stop MRSA from spreading out of control. (21)7
(Source: Proven Black Seed Oil Benefits & Cures)
The entire article can be read at: Black Seed: A Powerful Curative Agent From Mother Nature’s Apothecary
Given these many health benefits it’s easy to see why the ancients had such reverence for the tiny black seed. They were quite purposeful is using the seeds in numerous ways that are only now beginning to be properly understood.
The article that follows offers some excellent scientific research which fully supports some of the aforementioned medical claims. We are providing this excellent GreenMedInfo.com article because it lends so much credence to the extraordinary curative powers of the amazing black seed.
Black Seed – ‘The Remedy For Everything But Death’
By Sayer Ji
This humble, but immensely powerful seed, kills MRSA, heals the chemical weapon poisoned body, stimulates regeneration of the dying beta cells within the diabetic’s pancreas, and yet too few even know it exists.
Benefits of Black Seed
The seeds of the annual flowering plant, Nigella Sativa, have been prized for their healing properties since time immemorial. While frequently referred to among English-speaking cultures as Roman coriander, black sesame, black cumin, black caraway and onion seed, it is known today primarily as black seed, which is at the very least an accurate description of its physical appearance. The earliest record of its cultivation and use come from ancient Egypt.
Black seed oil, in fact, was found in Egyptian pharoah Tutankhamun’s tomb, dating back to approximately 3,300 years ago.[i] In Arabic cultures, black cumin is known as Habbatul barakah, meaning the “seed of blessing.” It is also believed that the Islamic prophet Mohammed said of it that it is “a remedy for all diseases except death.”
Benefits of Black Seed
Many of black cumin’s traditionally ascribed health benefits have been thoroughly confirmed in the biomedical literature. In fact, since 1964, there have been 656 published, peer-reviewed studies referencing it.
We have indexed salient research, available to view on GreenMedInfo.com on our Black Seed (Nigella Sativa) page, on well over 40 health conditions that may be benefited from the use of the herb, including over 20 distinct pharmacological actions it expresses, such as:
- Analgesic (Pain-Killing)
- Gluconeogenesis Inhibitor (Anti-Diabetic)
- Hepatoprotective (Liver Protecting)
- Insulin Sensitizing
- Interferon Inducer
- Leukotriene Antagonist
- Renoprotective (Kidney Protecting)
- Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Inhibitor
These 30 pharmacological actions are only a subset of a far wider number of beneficial properties intrinsic to the black seed. While it is remarkable that this seed has the ability to positively modulate so many different biological pathways, this is actually a rather common occurrence among traditional plant medicines.
Our project has identified over 1600 natural compounds with a wide range of health benefits, and we are only in our first 5 years of casual indexing. There are tens of thousands of other substances that have already been researched, with hundreds of thousands of studies supporting their medicinal value (MEDLINE, whence our study abstracts come, has over 600,000 studies classified as related to Complementary and Alternative Medicine).
Take turmeric, for example. We have identified research indicating its value in over 600 health conditions, while also expressing over 160 different potentially beneficial pharmacological actions. You can view the quick summary of over 1500 studies we have summarized on ourTurmeric Research page, which includes an explorative video on turmeric. Professional database members are further empowered to manipulate the results according to their search criteria, i.e. pull up and print to PDF the 61 studies on turmeric and breast cancer. This, of course, should help folks realize how voluminous the supportive literature indicating the medicinal value of natural substances, such as turmeric and black seed, really is.
Black seed has been researched for very specific health conditions. Some of the most compelling applications include:
- Type 2 Diabetes: Two grams of black seed a day resulted in reduced fasting glucose, decreased insulin resistance, increased beta-cell function, and reduced glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in human subjects.[ii]
- Helicobacter Pylori Infection: Black seeds possess clinically useful anti-H. pylori activity, comparable to triple eradication therapy.[iii]
- Epilepsy: Black seeds were traditionally known to have anticonvulsive properties. A 2007 study with epileptic children, whose condition was refractory to conventional drug treatment, found that a water extract significantly reduced seizure activity.[iv]
- High Blood pressure: The daily use of 100 and 200 mg of black seed extract, twice daily, for 2 months, was found to have a blood pressure-lowering effect in patients with mild hypertension.[v]
- Asthma: Thymoquinone, one of the main active constituents within Nigella sativa (black cumin), is superior to the drug fluticasone in an animal model of asthma.[vi] Another study, this time in human subjects, found that boiled water extracts of black seed have relatively potent anti-asthmatic effect on asthmatic airways.[vii]
- Acute tonsillopharyngitis: characterized by tonsil or pharyngeal inflammation (i.e. sore throat), mostly viral in origin, black seed capsules (in combination with Phyllanthus niruri) have been found to significantly alleviate throat pain, and reduce the need for pain-killers, in human subjects.[viii]
- Chemical Weapons Injury: A randomized, placebo-controlled human study of chemical weapons injured patients found that boiled water extracts of black seed reduced respiratory symptoms, chest wheezing, and pulmonary function test values, as well as reduced the need for drug treatment.[ix]
- Colon Cancer: Cell studies have found that black seed extract compares favorably to the chemoagent 5-fluoruracil in the suppression of colon cancer growth, but with a far higher safety profile.[x] Animal research has found that black seed oil has significant inhibitory effects against colon cancer in rats, without observable side effects.[xi]
- MRSA: Black seed has anti-bacterial activity against clinical isolates of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.[xii]
- Opiate Addiction/Withdrawal: A study on 35 opiate addicts found black seed as an effective therapy in long-term treatment of opioid dependence.[xiii]
Sometimes the biblical reference to ‘faith the size of a mustard seed moving mountains’ comes to mind in connection with natural substances like black seeds. After all, do seeds not contain within them the very hope for continuance of the entire species that bore it? This super-saturated state of the seed, where life condenses itself down into an intensely miniaturized holographic fragment of itself, promising the formation of future worlds within itself, is the very emblem of life’s immense and immortal power.
If we understand the true nature of the seed, how much life (past, present and future) is contained within it, it will not seem so far-fetched that it is capable of conquering antibiotic resistant bacteria, healing the body from chemical weapons poisoning, or stimulate the regeneration of dying insulin-producing beta cells in the diabetic, to name but only a fraction of black seed’s experimentally-confirmed powers.
Moving the mountain of inertia and falsity associated with the conventional concept of disease, is a task well-suited for seeds and not chemicals. The greatest difference, of course, between a seed and a patented synthetic chemical (i.e. pharmaceutical drug), is that Nature (God) made the former, and men with profit-motives and a deranged understanding of the nature of the body made the latter.
The time, no doubt, has come for food, seeds, herbs, plants, sunlight, air, clean water, and yes, love, to assume once again their central place in medicine, which is to say, the art and science of facilitating self-healing within the human body. Failing this, the conventional medical system will crumble under the growing weight of its own corruption, ineptitude, and iatrogenic suffering (and subsequent financial liability) it causes. To the degree that it reforms itself, utilizing non-patented and non-patentable natural compounds with actual healing properties, a brighter future awaits on the horizon. To the degree that it fails, folks will learn to take back control over their health themselves, which is why black seed, and other food-medicines, hold the key to self-empowerment.
[i] Domestication of plants in the Old World (3 ed.). Oxford University Press. 2000. p. 206. ISBN 0-19-850356-3.
[ii] Abdullah O Bamosa, Huda Kaatabi, Fatma M Lebdaa, Abdul-Muhssen Al Elq, Ali Al-Sultanb.Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Oct-Dec;54(4):344-54. PMID: 21675032
[iii] Eyad M Salem, Talay Yar, Abdullah O Bamosa, Abdulaziz Al-Quorain, Mohamed I Yasawy, Raed M Alsulaiman, Muhammad A Randhawa. Comparative study of Nigella Sativa and triple therapy in eradication of Helicobacter Pylori in patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia.Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jul-Sep;16(3):207-14. PMID: 20616418
[iv] Javad Akhondian, Ali Parsa, Hassan Rakhshande. The effect of Nigella sativa L. (black cumin seed) on intractable pediatric seizures. Med Sci Monit. 2007 Dec;13(12):CR555-9. PMID: 18049435
[v] Farshad Roghani Dehkordi, Amir Farhad Kamkhah. Antihypertensive effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in patients with mild hypertension. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2006 Apr;39(4):421-9. Epub 2006 Apr 3. PMID: 18705755
[vi] Rana Keyhanmanesh, Mohammad Hossein Boskabady, Mohammad Javad Eslamizadeh, Saeed Khamneh, Mohammad Ali Ebrahimi. The effect of thymoquinone, the main constituent of Nigella sativa on tracheal responsiveness and white blood cell count in lung lavage of sensitized guinea pigs. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Oct 29;126(1):102-7. Epub 2009 Aug 8. PMID: 19711253
[vii] M H Boskabady, N Mohsenpoor, L Takaloo . Antiasthmatic effect of Nigella sativa in airways of asthmatic patients. Phytomedicine. 2010 Feb 8. Epub 2010 Feb 8. PMID: 20149611
[viii] M Dirjomuljono, I Kristyono, R R Tjandrawinata, D Nofiarny. Symptomatic treatment of acute tonsillo-pharyngitis patients with a combination of Nigella sativa and Phyllanthus niruri extract. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Jun;46(6):295-306. PMID: 18541126
[ix] Mohammad H Boskabady, Javad Farhadi. The possible prophylactic effect of Nigella sativa seed aqueous extract on respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function tests on chemical war victims: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Nov;14(9):1137-44. PMID: 18991514
[x] Elsayed I Salim, Shoji Fukushima. Chemopreventive potential of volatile oil from black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) seeds against rat colon carcinogenesis. Nutr Cancer. 2003;45(2):195-202. PMID: 12881014
[xi] Elsayed I Salim, Shoji Fukushima . Chemopreventive potential of volatile oil from black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) seeds against rat colon carcinogenesis. Nutr Cancer. 2003;45(2):195-202. PMID: 12881014
[xii] Abdul Hannan, Sidrah Saleem, Saadia Chaudhary, Muhammad Barkaat, Muhammad Usman Arshad. Anti bacterial activity of Nigella sativa against clinical isolates of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2008 Jul-Sep;20(3):72-4. PMID: 19610522
[xiii] Sibghatullah Sangi, Shahida P Ahmed, Muhammad Aslam Channa, Muhammad Ashfaq, Shah Murad Mastoi . A new and novel treatment of opioid dependence: Nigella sativa 500 mg. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2008 Apr-Jun;20(2):118-24. PMID: 19385474
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