Many natural products in use do not have scientific substantiation concerning their claims. Many of these products, used for centuries, have their alleged benefits carried down by word of mouth from one generation to the next. Black seed oil benefits, on the other hand, have seen much scientific research, with the alleged benefits proven as correct.
Black Seed Oil Explained
Black seed oil is an oil made from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant. This plant, with its typical blue, white, or pale purple flowers is a native of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Western Asia. The term ‘black seed oil’ is derived from the color of the seeds, which is black. These seeds are also, depending on the geographic location, referred to as kalonji, black cumin, black onion seeds, or black caraway seeds. These seeds, in the culinary world, are often used to flavor bread, curries, and pickles.
The most common method of processing black seeds into oil is via a cold-pressed method whereby the seeds, when put under immense pressure, release their oil. This oil could be taken as a medication but may often be put into capsules for oral use or applied topically. The oil is also used in various body products that include soaps, creams, massage oils, and even shampoos, to name but a few.
The Science Behind The Various Black Seed Oil Benefits
Black seed oil contains many different compounds. One of the most prolific of these, thymoquinone, has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These make the oil effective in fighting against many health disorders.
With improved farming methods and modern living practices, obesity is fast becoming a health threat. Heart disease, diabetes, liver and kidney disease, sleep disorders, osteoarthritis, and depression, for example, are all health issues linked to obesity. According to research, black seed oil benefits weight loss and may help address obesity. (1), (2)
According to research, black seed oil benefits people with diabetes. Diabetes, a complicated health issue, could negatively affect you in many different ways. If not properly managed, it could lead to cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, eye damage, nerve damage, and even damage to your fingers and feet. Studies show that black seed oil could improve pancreatic function, enhance your insulin production, and increase your glucose intolerance. It may also play a beneficial role in blood sugar control and the effect of oxidative stress. (3), (4), (5)
Adrenal fatigue is a condition whereby your adrenal glands, due to stress and various other issues, no longer produce the needed hormones for your body to function correctly. The diverse symptoms associated with this condition include anxiety, depression, hormonal imbalance, diabetes type-2, autoimmune disorders, heart issues, and many more. One of the means of treating this condition is by supplying adrenal support. According to research on mice, black seed oil benefits adrenal support. Although no human trials have yet been conducted, these findings are promising. (6)
Depression is one of the most common neurological disorders in the world and is the result of a hormonal imbalance in the brain. Research on black seed oil benefits for depression is promising and shows that certain compounds in the oil have anti-depressant qualities. (7)
Black seed oil benefits male fertility, according to a double-blind study. The men taking part in the study showed an increase in sperm motility, morphology, sperm count, and volume. (8)
According to studies, black seed oil benefits cancer patients due to its anti-cancer properties. The research suggests that the oil may have anti-proliferative, prop-apoptotic, antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, anti-metastatic, and NK cytotoxic activity that may “suppress tumor development, reduce tumor incidence, and ameliorate carcinogenesis”. (9)
Liver And Kidney Function
Animal research shows that black seed oil benefits your liver and kidneys by reducing signs of disease while improving the organs’ structure and function. This bodes well for humans, although no clinical trials on humans have thus far been conducted. (10)
Various studies strongly suggest that black seed oil benefits various skin issues. Amongst these are:
The antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory black seed oil benefits may help address, and help prevent acne. (11) Furthermore, a study shows that, when compared to prescription medications, black seed oil compares very favorably in reducing the incidence and severity of eczema (12), while a 2012 study shows that the oil has anti-psoriatic properties (13).
The most common gastrointestinal issues include heartburn, bloating, nausea, dyspepsia, constipation, and diarrhea. Conventional medications given to people for these issues often have their own set of complications and side effects. Amongst these side effects are intestinal flora disturbances, anemia, the formation of kidney stones, and even, in some cases, gastric cancer. According to clinical studies, the various properties of black seed oil may help with gastrointestinal issues without the potential side-effects commonly associated with conventional medicine. (14)
What Makes Black Seed Oil So Effective?
Black seed oil has many beneficial components. These include thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, thymol, dithymoquinone, nigellicine, and many others. According to various studies, these different components have many positive pharmacological effects. They stimulate the immune system, and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, anticancer, and hypoglycemic effects, to name but a few. This means that black seed oil benefits cover a wide range of diffuse health issues. (15)
While you can have a measure of skepticism with regards to traditional remedies, you cannot close yourself off to facts. Scientific evidence strongly suggests that the claims about black seed oil benefits are true. Furthermore, with ongoing research, other potential claims may also prove true. Black seed oil may indeed prove to be the ‘answer to all disease’, or, if not, at least one of the natural supplements that have a beneficial impact in addressing various health issues. From skin rashes to cancer to heart disease to stomach upsets and more, you cannot undermine black seed oil benefits.