Often referred to as black cumin, black seed oil is defined as an annual flowering plant of the Ranunculaceae family and is native to south and southwest Asia. Also known as nigella sativa or kalonji, this black caraway fruit is made up of three to seven united follicles that each contain many seeds that are used as a spice or as a replacement for black cumin.
The seeds – used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines – taste like a combination of oregano, onions and black pepper with a pungent smell and bitter taste. These seeds are used to flavor vegetables and curries or as a pepper in recipes that include vegetables, salads , poultry and pod fruit – and even bread products in some cultures.
In the summer of 2010, researchers at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, La., demonstrated that thymoquinone, a major component of black seed oil, can suppress the growth of several aggressive prostate cancer cell lines, in vitro. This study appeared in the June 2010 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine.
And just a few years before that, researchers found that thymoquinone blocked pancreatic cancer cell growth and killed cells by enhancing programmed cell death. The findings suggest that thymoquinone could eventually have use as a preventative in those who have had surgery and chemotherapy or who are at risk of developing cancer.
In April 2017, Anti-Age Naturally listed the many uses of black seed oil which include alleviating arthritis; killing skin fungus and infections such as MRSA, HIV and meningitis; promoting hair and healthy bone marrow growth, and healthy cholesterol; relieving toothaches and allergy symptoms; treating hemorrhoids, colds and flus; fighting cancer; supporting healthy blood pressure and digestive health including gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea; aiding in healthy lung function and chronic fatigue syndrome; soothing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis; reducing and possibly eliminating insomnia; and eliminating acne and dandruff.
More Black Seed Benefits
Diamond Herbs recently compiled a list of 101 black seed oil benefits, which added to the above list many more benefits. Black seed oil aids in weight loss, breast feeding and lactation; alleviates gum infections; boosts immunity, fertility, lethargy and general weakness; cleanses parasites; comforts back, joints and muscle pain; cures boils and carbuncles – which is a cluster of boils – rheumatic pains and facial paralysis; deep cleans pores; detoxifies body; is effective for vision and eye diseases; heals peeling lips, nasal congestion, and lead poisoning; helps with depression, toxicity, chest congestion, and morphine dependence; improves dry mouth, beard growth, sperm count; and inhibits breast cancer.
Black seed oil also kills brain cancer cells, colon cancer cells, oral cancer cells and leukemia cells; lowers anxiety; is a natural remedy for colic; prevents anemia, diabetes, radiation damage, muscle cramps and spasms, kidney damage associated with diabetes, and brain damage from Parkinson’s disease; promotes heart, kidney, and liver health; protects against damage from heart attack; reduces fevers, and need for pain killers; regulates menstrual cycles; rejuvenates burns; relieves stress, insect bites, tonsil inflammation, headaches and migraines, and nausea and upset stomach; remedies pancreatic cancer; removes gallstones and dizziness; repairs prostate problems; and stimulates urine production.
It also suppresses bronchitis, liver stones, bladder infections, liver cancer growth, and cervical cancer; and treats coughs, moles, asthma, earaches, heart burn, nose bleeds, seizures, ulcers, Alzheimer’s, lymphoma, obesity, schizophrenia, opiate addiction, bee and wasp stings, and bone and skin cancer.
Black seed is available as an oil and also comes in pill and capsule form at local pharmacies and herbal stores. You can also purchase black seed oil online from several companies at amazon.com.