From Dr. Mercola:
More than 650 peer-reviewed studies have looked into the potential health benefits of “black seed,” which come from the flowering plant Nigella Sativa. Revered since ancient times for its versatile medicinal qualities, black seed oil was found in Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb.1
Black seed, which is also known as black cumin, black caraway, black sesame, onion seed and Roman coriander, has a long history of use in traditional systems of medicine, including Ayurveda and Siddha.
According to a review on black seed’s therapeutic potential published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine:2
“The seeds of N. sativa have been widely used in the treatment of different diseases and ailments. In Islamic literature, it is considered as one of the greatest forms of healing medicine. It has been recommended for using on regular basis in Tibb-e-Nabawi (Prophetic Medicine).
It has been widely used as antihypertensive, liver tonics, diuretics, digestive, anti-diarrheal, appetite stimulant, analgesics, anti-bacterial and in skin disorders.”
Black Cumin Has at Least 20 Pharmacological Actions
Black cumin has a wide spectrum of pharmacological actions that have been supported by science. Among them:3
Anti-diabetic Anti-cancer Immunomodulator Analgesic Antimicrobial Anti-inflammatory Spasmolytic Bronchodilator Hepato-protective Renal protective Gastro-protective Antioxidant properties
Black cumin has even been described as a “miracle herb,” and its name in old Latin, “Panacea,” means “cure all.”4
Traditionally, black cumin has been used for immune-system support, well-being, digestive health, respiratory issues, kidney and liver support, and heart health. In Asia and the Middle East, black cumin seeds have long been used to treat asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and other inflammatory diseases.
A tincture of the seeds has traditionally been used to treat indigestion, loss of appetite, diarrhea, parasitic infections and skin problems. An external application of black cumin oil has even been used as an antiseptic and roasted seeds as a treatment to stop vomiting.5
The most abundant active plant chemical in black cumin is thymoquinone; other bioactive compounds in the seed include α-hederin, alkaloids, flavonoids, antioxidants and fatty acids. Some of the most compelling research into black cumin’s health benefits is highlighted below.
Thymoquinone is known to have anti-cancer effects.6 Research published in Drug Discovery Today concluded thymoquinone has a long history of battling cancer in vitro and in vivo (in “test tube” experiments and animal studies), and modulates 9 of the 10 hallmarks of cancer.7
Thymoquinone extract from black cumin appears to be effective against cancers in the blood, lung, kidney, liver, prostate, breast, cervix, colon and skin.8
Oxidative stress may decrease the efficiency of pancreatic β cells, which control the production and release of insulin. As such, oxidative stress is thought to play a role in the development of diabetes.
Black cumin decreases oxidative stress and may preserve the integrity of pancreatic β cells.9
When people with diabetes consumed two grams of black cumin per day for three months, it led to reductions in fasting blood sugar and HbA1c and increased the functionality of pancreatic β cells, which suggests black cumin may