This common herbal remedy goes by many names; black seed, black cumin, fennel flower, Nigella Sativa… the list goes on. And while there’s some debate over what exactly to call it, there’s no denying its many health benefits.
Black seed has been celebrated for its medical properties in Middle East and Africa for thousands of years, but it’s just beginning to gain traction in the mainstream as a go-to daily supplement. I could not be more excited about its rising popularity–black seeds (and the oil derived from them) are powerful healing agents, and can be used to treat anything from skin conditions to allergies.
How black seed oil gets its benefits
- Thymoquinone – this phytochemical contributes to many of the benefits of the oil. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and has been found to have some cancer-fighting abilities.
- Thymohydroquinone – this other active component of black seed oil is a great AChE inhibitor, which helps to stop the breakdown of certain neurotransmitter. AChE inhibitors are used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.
There are so many ways that adding black seed oil to your regimen can improve your health, but here are five of the oil’s proven benefits:
1. Fights inflammation
With powerful antioxidant properties, black seed oil can aid in reducing inflammation in the body. This can help with so many issues, including preventing disease, reducing tumor growth and relieving allergy symptoms.
2. Lowers cholesterol
Black seed oil can help with lowering cholesterol, particularly LDL, the “bad” kind of cholesterol. LDL is what leads to fatty build ups in your arteries which can cause heart attacks or strokes. To get these cholesterol lowering benefits, take about half a teaspoon of black seed oil twice a day.
3. Can get rid of acne
Acne is an inflammatory condition––so that’s why, when applied topically, black seed oil’s anti-inflammatory benefits can help to get rid of those stubborn little pimples. One study showed that people who applied a lotion with 10% black seed oil for two months, saw a significant improvement in their acne.
4. Lowers blood sugar.
Black seed oil’s ability to bring down your blood sugar levels can help you kick those random cravings and sugar-induced crashes. There’s also some evidence to show that a daily regimen of black seed oil can help reduce BMI and overall body weight.
5. Kills bad bacteria
Because of its high thymoquinone and melanin content, black seed oil can be pretty effective at killing problematic bacteria. According to a 2010 study, it can help to stop the growth of staphylococcus bacteria in the body. That’s the same kind of bacteria that can cause skin lesions, toxic shock syndrome, food poisoning, and even UTIs.
For a high quality option, I recommend The Blessed Seed.
Black seed oil can interfere with some medications, so check with your doctor before supplementing.