Black seed oil, also called black cumin oil, has been used for millennia for its multiple health benefits. The oil is extracted from the seeds by cold pressing. These seeds, which strongly resemble those of the poppy, are located in the fruit capsules of the plant and are extremely rich in vitamins, amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals, and essential oils.
Used for millennia in India, Egypt, and the Middle East as a spice but also in herbal medicine and aromatherapy, black seed oil only started to make its mark on western medicine in the last century. Indeed, since the beginning of the 1960s, black seed oil has been the subject of more than 450 studies.
Active substances in black seed oil
Like all oils, black seed oil contains 100% fat. The fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins it contains may vary depending on its quality, so it is strongly recommended to favor quality oils, obtained by first cold pressing and preferably of organic origin.
The fatty acids in black seed oil are distributed as follows:
- Monounsaturated fatty acids: 18 to 29% (oleic acid Omega 9)
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 50 to 60% (Omega 3 linoleic acid)
- Saturated fatty acids: 13-19% (mainly palmitic and stearic acid)
Black seed oil is also rich in vitamins A (as carotene), vitamin E, and B vitamins. It contains many active ingredients as well such as thymoquinone and para-cymene, nigelline, and nigellone.
Black seed oil benefits
1. Promotes a health nervous system
Most of the B vitamins, and in particular vitamins B1, B3, B6, and B9, are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Black seed oil contains these vitamins in interesting quantities. Its actions on breathing make it possible in particular to stimulate the various functions of the brain such as concentration and memory, mainly through better oxygenation.
In addition, vitamin B1 is very important in the overall functioning of our body, whether muscular or cerebral. Indeed, it supports the transformation of carbohydrates into energy directly usable by the body as explained in this study. On the other hand, vitamin B3 serves to transfer oxygen to the blood, and thus promotes a process essential for the formation of white blood cells as well as for the proper circulation of the blood.
Finally, vitamins B6 and B9 both play a key role in the nervous system. They optimize the functioning of its functions (memory, concentration, etc.), making black seed oil is a real ally for our brain.
2. Promotes comfort and digestive well-being
Studies show that black seed oil has a considerable effect on digestion and digestive comfort. This vegetable oil provides great support for intestinal well-being, as well as for our flora. It helps reduce digestive discomfort such as bloating or heaviness.
But beyond that, black seed oil also helps prevent various gastrointestinal disorders, such as dysentery, gastritis, gastroenteritis, and all other forms of intestinal infections.
In addition, black seed oil also helps reduce the presence of harmful bacteria in the gut. The latter are also often the cause of digestive disorders. Black seed oil is a real natural solution to rebalance your intestinal flora.
3. Strengthens the immune system
The healing and preventive properties of black seed oil have been known for centuries. Indeed, black seed oil releases a series of substances known as histamines. These substances help strengthen the immune system. In particular, they reduce spasms of the smooth muscles of the bronchi, and consequently the risk of hay fever and sinusitis as well as asthma and other respiratory problems.
The vitamin C found in black seed oil also acts as part of the synthesis of red blood cells and collagen. It generates a significant energy gain in the body and contributes to the optimal functioning of the entire immune system. In addition, it plays an antioxidant role in our body with vitamin E. These two vitamins are useful in the fight against free radicals and toxins, as well as their effects on cells. They also help prevent cardiovascular pathologies caused by excess free radicals.
4. Good for the skin
Black seed oil is world-famous for its benefits on the skin, and on all skin types: dry, damaged, oily, combination, mature, etc. It helps fight skin infections, diseases, common and specific skin problems, as well as dryness. Thus, it can be used to treat acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, itching, and redness.
5. Detoxify the body
The vitamins and phenolic compounds contained in black seed oil help detoxify the body. They help fight effectively against the harmful effects of free radicals on the body. The natural antioxidants in this vegetable oil are essential to prevent oxidation of the body.
6. Prevents liver conditions
Black seed oil supports the liver in its daily functions. It prevents the development of diseases specific to this organ, especially in people with poor liver function. In addition, it promotes the elimination of toxins that tend to accumulate in the liver.
As a powerful anti-inflammatory, black seed oil is adorned with regenerating and healing properties. The vitamin B9 it contains is an essential vitamin in the production of our genetic material and our red blood cells.
8. Lowers blood pressure
Black Seed Oil has been shown to lower blood pressure. A 2013 study found that it significantly reduced upper (systolic) and lower (diastolic) blood pressure in 70 participants.
9. May help with weight loss
Thanks to its content in nigelline, a bitter active ingredient, black seed oil stimulates the digestive and intestinal systems, thus accelerating digestion. Results: less digestive discomfort, reduced bloating, and a flatter stomach.
Black seed oil is also beneficial to blood sugar levels: it regulates the level of glucose in the blood and allows greater sensitivity to insulin. This is why black seed oil is recommended for people with type 2 diabetes.
These hypoglycemic benefits also make it a great ally for those looking to lose weight since black seed oil can regulate food cravings.
10. Slows down aging
The beneficial properties of black seed oil make it a very effective natural anti-aging ingredient. Indeed, it is very often used to erase fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of skin aging. It can thus be used as an invigorating and rejuvenating massage oil on the entire surface of the body!
11. Prevent hair loss
Black seed oil is one of the most nourishing vegetable oils available for the scalp and hair. In recurring applications, it moisturizes the skin of the scalp. Scalp massages with black seed oil stimulate blood circulation and the arrival of nutrients in the hair bulbs.
How to use black seed oil
Black seed oil can be used internally or externally depending on the desired action.
- External application: In external application, it is generally used diluted in another, more neutral vegetable oil (jojoba oil for example). It is then used for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties to fight against acne, eczema, or muscle inflammation.
- Internal use: Black seed oil can be used in variety of dishes. You can add it to your meat dishes, your soups, or stews. You can even add a few drops of it to drinks like shakes and smoothies for a healthy boost. The correct dosage for black seed oil may vary by person and health status. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for a more personalized recommendation.
Precautions and possible side effects of black seed oil
- When consumed by mouth or applied to the skin, black seed oil might induce allergic rashes. It’s a good idea to undergo a patch test before using black seed oil to make sure you’re not allergic to it. Avoid putting the oil in contact with your eyes and mucous membranes.
- Black seed oil can cause stomach problems, vomiting, and constipation when taken internally.
- Talk to your doctor before taking black seed oil if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, currently taking medication or have a medical condition (in particular diabetes, low blood pressure or bleeding disorder). If you are taking black seed oil and have surgery planned, it is advisable to stop taking it at least two weeks prior to your operation date.
- As with all essential oils, you should keep your black seed oil out of the reach of children.
Video – Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil
As we have seen in this article, black seed oil is packed with health benefits. It’s an amazing antioxidant that can help you detoxify your body, enhance your immune system, and prevent certain diseases. In addition, it can help with skin problems and high blood pressure. It’s also a versatile oil that you can use both externally and internally, with very few sides to no effects.
All these benefits make black seed oil a definite health powerhouse.
A southern gentleman at heart, Stephan is a man you’ll find mudding, off-roading, and fishing on a typical weekend. However, a nutritionist by profession, he is also passionate about fitness and health through natural means. He writes mostly health-related content for the Scientific Origin.