Black seed oil is a powerful natural medicine that is extracted from the seeds of the nigella sativa plant. It has a very pungent, strong and bitter flavour but is well known for its uses to treat many different health problems. In fact black seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, as they were used by the ancient Egyptians for their healing properties. The prophet Muhammad also described black seeds as “the cure for every illness but death” over around 1500 years ago.
Nowadays black seed oil can be purchased in small soft gel capsules or as a liquid , and is continually being studied by scientists for its healing potential. You can purchase these in health food stores and online all over the world, or you can simply grind and eat nigella seeds (black seeds) fresh. In this article we will explore the 10 most powerful health benefits of black seed oil and how it can be used to improve your health.
1. Brain Health
Taking 1/2 a teaspoon of black seed oil daily has been shown to improve memory, attention and problem solving skills. Black seed oil contains a powerful natural ingredient called thymoquinone, which makes up around 30% of the seeds. This helps to boost acetylcholine in the body, so that your brain cells and nerves can communicate more effectively. This can be very helpful for people suffering with autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s or other neurogenerative diseases, as it helps to protect neurons in the brain against free radical damage.
2. Anxiety & Stress
If you often feel anxious, stressed out or have brain fog, taking black seed oil may help to alleviate these problems. It helps to increase L-tryptophan and serotonin levels in the brain, which help you to feel calmer, happier and more focused. Studies show that it also supports neurogenesis, helping your brain and nervous system to build new neurons.
3. Weight Loss
Many people use black seed oil to support weight loss when they are following a diet plan and exercise regime, by mixing it with honey and consuming it daily. This works by improving the health of the beta-cells in your pancreas. The organ that makes insulin and keeps your blood sugars under control. By improving insulin sensitivity, your cells accept more fuel, making you feel less hungry, and this also helps your body to release and burn fat.
4. Lung Function (Asthma)
People who have asthma or difficulty breathing may also use black seed oil to help alleviate their symptoms. Studies show that taking black seed oil helps to lower inflammation in the lungs in order to open up the airways for better breathing. It’s also been shown to help fight off infections of the sinuses and lungs, and helps to relieve headaches, neck pain and toothache that’s caused by sinusitis.
There are actually over 500 peer reviewed studies which determined that black seed oil has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. So if you are feeling under the weather, try taking up to 1tsp of black seed oil per day to speed up the healing process, by introducing thymoquinone into your body.
5. Fights Seizures
People with epilepsy may also benefit from taking black seed oil on a regular basis, especially children who are resistant to medical treatments. The main ingredient thymoquinone is a natural anticonvulsant, helping to support the brain and reduce epileptic seizures. It works by lowering inflammation in the tissues of the brain. I also recommend using high doses of virgin cod liver oil, as the DHA in this oil also helps with seizures.
6. Liver Protective
Nowadays many people use more medication than ever such antibiotics and pain killers like acetaminophen (paracetamol/Tylenol) which can damage the liver over time. Black seed oil however has been shown to be hepatoprotective, meaning that it protects the cells of the liver, and lowers the risk of liver disease. Thymoquinone in black seeds has also been shown to help the liver heal itself from fibrosis and scar tissue, because it acts as a powerful antioxidant.
7. Fights Cancer
The power of thymoquinone also has been shown to cause cancer cells to commit suicide (apoptosis) throughout the body. It also helps to prevent the formation of cancerous tumours by blocking their ability to get fuel and energy and grow new blood vessels, effectively starving them.
8. Skin & Hair Health
Black seed oil can also be applied topically to the skin as it contains powerful antioxidant properties that support healthy skin. This was reportedly used by Queen Nefertiti of Ancient Egypt over 3000 years ago to help maintain youthful skin, and preventing dryness. Nowadays its commonly used to treat eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and other skin disorders.
It can also be applied directly to fungal nail infections daily for 2-3 months to kill the fungus and restore the nail. You can also mix a few drops of black seed oil with your regular shampoo and massage into your scalp to treat dandruff, and improve the hydration and quality of your hair.
9. Lower Blood Pressure
The antioxidants and volatile oils in black seeds also help to reduce blood pressure by holistically treating the underlying causes. This is likely owed to its ability to help control blood sugars by supporting the pancreas, which in turn helps to regulate cholesterol, support the liver and support weight loss.
10. Fertility (Men)
Studies also show that when men take black seed oil on a daily basis it can increase sperm count and semen volume, making this excellent to use if you are trying for baby. It works by improving the health of the reproductive organs, including the Leydig cells that help to boost testosterone levels in males.