It has been seen black seed in Indian pickles and morning snacks since the ages. When asked to many people they have been unknowingly adding black seed only to add taste nothing. So there has to be something why they have been using since long time. So we dig into this a little much and found magical benefits of black seed one can take.
It’s called by many names, black seed, black cumin seed etc. Whatever it is called, the scientific name for it is Nigella Sativa. Please don’t confuse it with cumin seed which is very different and belongs to a different family of herbs.The black cumin plant is native to southwestern Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa. It has been cultivated for centuries for its aromatic and flavorful seeds that can be used as a spice or as a herbal medicine. Nigella sativa is used in too many conditions and diseases but according to me the most promising research done on it is the one connecting Nigella sativa to multi-drug resistant bacteria. In my mind, it is a big deal since these are those very so-called super-bugs which are posing an enormous threat to public health and safety.
- Strains of bacteria and viruses that are antimicrobial-resistant are becoming virtually impossible to treat, including HIV, staphylococcal, tuberculosis, influenza, gonorrhea, candida and malaria.
- Between 5% to 10% of all hospital patients develop an infection from super-bugs.
- More than 90,000 of these patients die every year, up from 13,300 patient deaths in 1992.
- People infected with super-bugs typically have longer hospital stays, require more complicated treatment and don’t recover as well.
A study conducted by Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College researchers set out to determine just how potent organic black seed oil is against some of these super-bugs and paired it against several antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin, Gatifloxacin and Tetracycline. According to the study, “Out of 144 strains tested, most of which were resistant to a number of antibiotics, 97 were inhibited by the oil of black cumin.”Few things on this planet can boast of this kind of potency to microbes.The study uncovered that it was especially effective against multi-drug resistant strains of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus.The key to understanding why black seed oils benefit the body in this way is because it’s rich in three key natural chemicals: thymoquinone (TQ), thymohydroquinone (THQ) and thymol. Published in the Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, scientists tested thymol, TQ and THQ against 30 human pathogens and were surprised to discover that:
- Each compound showed 100% inhibition of the 30 pathogens evaluated.
- Thymoquinone was the best antifungal compound against all of the tested dermatophytes and yeasts, followed by thymohydroquinone and thymol.
- Thymol was the best antifungal against moulds followed by TQ and THQ.
- Thymoquinone: An active ingredient in black seed, researchers have been investigating TQ since the 1960s. It is well-known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties that have been reported to help with encephalomyelitis, diabetes, asthma and carcinogenesis.
These incredible phytochemicals lead to all kinds of amazing black seed oil magical benefits:
- Helps Fight Cancer: Thanks to its potent phytochemicals and antioxidant capabilities, black seed oil has been shown to help naturally treat cancer. Croatian scientists evaluated the antitumor activity of thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone using an animal model study and discovered that these two phytochemicals found in black seed oil resulted in a 52 % decrease in tumour cells.In vitro research in recent years also reveals that thymoquinone, the most abundant bioactive component in pure black seed oil, helps induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukaemia cells, breast cancer cells and brain tumour cells. Researchers from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health have shown that not only can black seed kill off pancreatic cancer cells, but it also appears to inhibit the development of pancreatic cancer. This cancer preventative ability is attributed to black seed’s thymoquinone and its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Promotes Liver Health: For those that have struggled with poor liver function due to medication side effects, alcohol consumption or disease, black cumin seed oil could greatly speed the healing process. In a recent animal model study, scientists discovered that cold pressed black seed oil benefits the function of the liver and helps prevent both damage and disease.
- Combats Diabetes: Explained in a recent article published by the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers from the Indian Council of Medical Research highlight that black seed oil “causes gradual partial regeneration of pancreatic beta-cells, increases the lowered serum insulin concentrations and decreases the elevated serum glucose.” This is actually quite profound because Nigella sativa is one of the few substances on the planet that is suggested to help prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.In fact, according to the study, black seed “improves glucose tolerance as efficiently as metformin; yet it has not shown significant adverse effects and has very low toxicity.” This is huge because metformin, one of the most commonly prescribed type 2 diabetes drugs, can cause a wide slew of side effects.
- Promotes Weight Loss: Black seed oil for weight loss claims actually do have some science behind them. The Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders published a study systemically reviewing the literature for plants that have anti-obesity properties and discovered that pure black seed oil was among the most effective natural remedies on the planet.
- Protects Skin: In a study conducted by Iranian researchers, Nigella sativa was found as effective as the skin cream Betamethasone in improving quality of life and decreasing the severity of hand eczema. As long as you don’t have an allergic reaction to black seed oil, it does not come with a laundry list of terrifying side effects like conventional creams.Betamethasone, for example, may cause swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, skin colour changes, dark freckles, easy bruising, muscle weakness, and severe attention. Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, face or waist is also in the realm of possibility.
- Stops Hair Loss : Since it contains nigellone, shown by research to be an impressive antihistamine, it may help with hair loss due to androgenic alopecia or alopecia areata. With its antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can also help the health of the scalp in general, discouraging dandruff and dryness, and improve hair health at the same time.
- Treats Infections: Of all the superbugs that black seed oil can kill, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most important. MRSA is plaguing hospitals and nursing homes across the globe because ordinary staph infections are becoming resistant to generic antibiotics. The elderly population is especially at risk because it is generally associated with invasive procedures, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing and artificial joints. Primarily due to weakened immunity, the growing population of senior citizens has made MRSA a global public health risk.
- Improves Fertility: A systematic review published in 2015 in the Journal of Herbal Medicine also looked at the effects of black seeds on male infertility. The researchers reviewed studies that took place between 2000 and 2014, and overall, they concluded that black seed can “positively influence sperm parameters, semen, Leydig cells, reproductive organs and sexual hormones.”
Did you know that there may even be black seed oil benefits for cholesterol? It’s true! A study using an animal model published in 2017 found that an aqueous extract of Nigella sativa not only had anti-diabetic effects on animal subjects but also helped with cholesterol. After six weeks of given the diabetic animal subjects, low doses of black seed, total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and glucose levels all came down while HDL (“good”) cholesterol increased.
There are innumerable benefits of this blessed seed, way too many to pack into an article. The best way to get the most of its benefits is to use black seeds in your food while cooking. You could also put a pinch of the black seeds in your morning tea or coffee, that way you would get the benefits of it and your caffeine-filled beverage would do you lesser harm.
Yes, there are many different ways to consume or apply this wonderful gift of nature depending upon the specific health condition.
But as a maintenance dose one could safely take half a teaspoon of black seed oil with warm water every day, first thing in the morning or before sleeping.
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