Native to Eastern Europe And Western Asia, Nigella sativa also known as Black caraway or Black cumin and “kalonji”, Black seed oil is been used for many years in Indian and Arabic civilization for food and medicinal purposes. Black Seed Oil is packed with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties it is associated with a wide range of health benefits when consumed. It is extracted from the seeds of the Nigella sativa Plant by using cold press technique.
The seeds of Nigella sativa have been used widely for centuries throughout the world. Black seed oil is an important herb in the Indian medicine traditional system like Ayurveda and Unani. It has been studied extensively for its biological characteristics and the therapeutic potential it carries. It possesses a wide spectrum of properties like anticancerous, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, broncholidator andbus popular for acting as gastro protective and antioxidant.
Below are the top 11 health benefits of black seed oil:
TREATMENT OF ASTHMA
Research shows that Black seed oil contains thymoquinone which may help in reducing inflammation in the lungs of people who have asthma or whooping cough. In asthma lining of the airways swell and the muscles around them constrict which makes it difficult for the person to breathe properly. Black seed oil helps in treating asthma as it reduces inflammation and relaxes muscles in the airway.
TREATS VARIOUS SKIN CONDITIONS
According to Research, Black seed oil contains anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties which help in treating few skin condition like eczema. Topical application of black seed oil on skin help in clearing out skin problems like acne and psoriasis. It also moisturizes skin and provides hydration to dry skin.
Its anti-bacterial properties helps in getting rid of the acne causing bacteria on our face and hence the appearance of acne stops slowly providing you with clear supple skin. Applying black seed oil lotion has said to have multiple cosmetic benefits as well.
LOWERS BLOOD SUGAR
Studies have shown that consuming black seed extract for two months continuously helps in reducing blood sugar levels in people who have mildly elevated blood sugar levels. Black seed oil over time reduces average blood glucose levels increases insulin production, decreases insulin resistance , stimulates cellular activity and decreases intestinal insulin absorption which is very beneficial for the health of people with diabetes.
LOWERS CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Black seed oil is high in healthy fatty acids which helps in maintaining healthier cholesterol levels. Black seed oil has the ability to decrease the amount of cholesterol which is forming in the body and it also helps in reducing high cholesterol levels. Some studies show that consuming black seed oil capsules per day for 8-12 weeks significantly reduced bad cholesterol and total cholesterol levels in obese people or people with type-2 diabetes.
PROMOTES GOOD HEALTH
Taking Black seed oil enhances liver health and improves glucose tolerance. It also decreases inflammation and regulates glucose levels. It also has anti oxidant properties which play a role in healthy weight maintenance. It also helps in clearing digestion and prevents bloating and it makes your bowel movement more frequent which helps you in getting rid of excess waste. All of these factors help in maintaining healthy weight and fight obesity.
HELPS IN IMPROVING RHEUMATOID ARTHIRITIS
Limited Research Suggests that taking oral supplements of black seed oil may help in reducing joint inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis as the oil contains anti-inflammatory properties. Black seed oil is also a good source of calcium and it has beneficial effects on oestoporosis and bone healing. This oil also increases bone formation which strengthens the bones.
PROMOTES HAIR GROWTH
Black seed oil has properties which maintain scalp health and addresses issues like dandruff while it keeps the scalp moisturized. It hydrates and nourishes the hair which makes the hair softer. According to a 2014 study it was indicated that black seed oil when mixed with coconut oil was effective enough in promoting hair growth.
MAY HAVE ANTI-CANCER EFFECT
Numerous preclinical studies show that the main bioactive component of black seed oil which is thymoquinone has been found to exhibit anti-cancer effects. Thymoquinone helps in controlling the growth and spread of several types of cancer cells. It improves body’s defence system and induces apoptosis and controls AKT pathway. It is effective against cancer of blood system, lung, kidney, liver, prostate, breast, cervix and skin.
SHOWS ANTI-FUNGAL ACTIVITY
Due to the presence of β-sitosterol and oleic acid as the main components in the black seed oil, shows anti fungal activity which acts in getting rid of pathogenic yeast like candida albicans by preventing it’s growth and protecting us from fungal infection like candidiasis.
Black seed oil is high in anti oxidants as it contains various plant compounds which protect the cells in our body from the damage caused by free radicals which are unstable molecules. Thymoquinone in black seed oil is potent in antioxidants which offer many health benefits.
PROTECTS BRAIN HEALTH
Brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are caused when inflammation of brain tissue known as neuroinflammation takes place. Some animal research and early test-tube research suggest that thymoquinone present in black seed oil may help in reducing this inflammation which in turn may help in protecting the brain from disorders like Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease.
Along with all of these multiple benefits, black seed oil is also used for cooking and medicinal purposes. It also helps in reducing effects of upset stomach. It is known for wound healing and helps to some extent in male infertility.
Black seed oil as a supplement can be ingested in a pill or liquid form. It can be topically applied or massaged to skin and hair.
Although it comes with various health benefits, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before consuming black seed oil in any way for optimal results. As professionals can advise on any potential side-effects the oil may have on your diet and lifestyle.