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  • Writer's pictureJennifer

Black Cumin Seed (Nigella sativa)


Black seed, also known as Nigella sativa, and black cumin, is a plant that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. It has been used to help with digestion, respiratory issues, allergies, skin conditions, and more. It is native to South Asia.

The use of Nigella sativa dates back to ancient Egypt, where the seeds were found in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun and were believed to be used for medicinal purposes. Nigella sativa has also been used in traditional medicine in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa for a variety of purposes, including to treat digestive disorders, respiratory conditions, and skin conditions.

In recent years, Nigella sativa has gained popularity as a natural remedy for a variety of health conditions, and has been the subject of a number of scientific studies to evaluate its potential health benefits. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of Nigella sativa on human health.


One of the most commonly cited benefits of black seed in studies is its ability to aid in digestion. It has been used to help with digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation. Black seed is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may make it helpful for those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or other digestive conditions.

Black seed may also have respiratory benefits. It has been used to help with respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and allergies. Some people use black seed to help with coughing and congestion.

Some studies done on humans have found that Nigella sativa may:

  1. Help to lower blood pressure: Some studies have found that Nigella sativa may help to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.

  2. Improve blood sugar control: Nigella sativa may help to improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  3. Reduce inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of Nigella sativa may help to reduce inflammation in the body, which is thought to play a role in a number of diseases.

  4. Boost the immune system: Some studies have found that Nigella sativa may help to boost the immune system and may be effective at fighting off infections.

  5. Improve respiratory conditions: Nigella sativa may be effective at relieving symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergies.

In terms of skin health, black seed is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may make it helpful for conditions such as eczema and acne. It is also sometimes used to help with scarring and to promote healthy hair growth. This is likely due to the oils it contains. Black seed is also believed to have immune-boosting properties. It is thought to help stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are important for fighting off infections. Some people use black seed to help with the common cold, flu, and other illnesses.


Black seed has a long history in herbal medicine. It has been used in various cultures for centuries to help with a wide range of health issues. It is often used in the form of an oil, which can be taken orally or applied topically to the skin, but capsules are also becoming more popular. Black seed capsules have been noted recently as being on the watch list for adulterated products due to the benefits it offers, so be mindful of where you are purchasing from.

The seeds of the plant are commonly used in traditional medicine, and are believed to have a number of health benefits. Some of the active constituents of Nigella sativa include:

  1. Thymoquinone: a compound that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

  2. Nigellone: a compound that has antihistamine and bronchodilator effects

  3. Fixed oils: including linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid

  4. Plant sterols: including beta-sitosterol and campesterol

  5. Polysaccharides: including arabinose and xylose

It is worth noting that the specific constituents of Nigella sativa can vary based on factors such as the plant's growing conditions and the extraction process used to obtain the active compounds.


There are a few contraindications to consider when using Nigella sativa.

  1. Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Nigella sativa is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to a lack of sufficient evidence on its safety in these populations.

  2. Allergies: Some people may be allergic to Nigella sativa, in which case its use should be avoided.

  3. Surgery: Nigella sativa may affect blood sugar levels and may interfere with blood clotting. As a result, it is recommended to stop using Nigella sativa at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

  4. Drug interactions: Nigella sativa may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and diabetes medications. If you are taking any medications, it is important to discuss the use of Nigella sativa with a healthcare provider.

Additionally, black seed may interact with certain medications, so it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before using it if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications.


Overall, black seed is a plant that has a long history of use in traditional medicine and has been linked to a number of potential health benefits. While more research is needed to fully understand its effects, it is thought to be helpful for digestion, respiratory issues, skin conditions, and more. It is important to note that black seed is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment, and it is always important to consult with a healthcare provider before using it or any other complementary or alternative therapy.

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Jan 07, 2023

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