Black cumin is identified by Black seeds, black caraway, kalonji, and black onion seeds. This seed comes from Nigella sativa, a small plant with pale purple, blue, or white flowers that grows in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East. People have used these small and tiny black seeds of the fruits of N. sativa as a natural remedy since thousands of years. The seeds are also used for flavouring curries, pickles, and bread in a similar way as cumin or oregano. Black seed has been also shown to have antioxidant properties which can help in relieving inflammation inside the body and on the skin.
Also read: Origin of Organic Black Cumin
There is a limited research on the health effects of black seed. While there is some evidence that it may offer certain benefits. Here's a look at several key findings from available studies:
Studies have shown that the thymoquinone in black seed can influence programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in several types of cancer cell which include brain cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer cells. While much of the research on the effects of black seed oil on cancer uses cells rather than live humans, so researchers do not yet know how effective the oil may be to treat people with cancer.
Black seed can be proved as a benefit to people with diabetes, according to a study. Researchers have analysed and published studies on the use of Nigella sativa for diabetes and have concluded that it could improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels in diabetic people but noted that clinical experiments are necessary to clarify the effects.
- Blood Pressure:
Consuming black cumin seed extract for two months or 8 weeks has been shown to reduce high blood pressure in people whose blood pressure is mildly elevated.
Early research suggests that black seed oil offer benefits to people with asthma. A study found that people with asthma who took black seed oil capsules had a significant improvement in asthma control compared with those who took inactive medicine or drug. Research also suggests that taking black seed extract by mouth improves coughing, wheezing, and lung function in people with asthma. However, black seed may not be as effective as the medicines like theophylline or salbutamol.
Black seed can reduce risk factors in women who are obese, according to a study. Women who consumed Nigella sativa oil or a placebo while following a low-calorie diet for eight weeks has decreased or reduced weight, waist circumference, and triglyceride levels by more in the group that took the Nigella sativa oil.
- Nasal Inflammation:
Black seed oil helps in the treatment of allergies. In a study, for instance, black seed oil was found to reduce the presence of nasal congestion and itching, runny nose, and sneezing after two weeks. One of the report also analyzed data to determine if black seed oil could help in the treatment of sinusitis. It has been concluded that the oil has therapeutic potential in the treatment of the condition due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihistaminic, immune-modulator, antimicrobial, and analgesic effects.
Black seed oil is also beneficial for people with the skin conditions like Eczema, Acne, Psoriasis etc. Black seed oil can also hydrate hair, soften skin, and act as a moisturizer, although there is a lack of scientific evidence to confirm these benefits.
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