Black cumin oil has traditionally been used in ancient medicine for the treatment and relief of many ailments. It certainly isn’t the first one to be explored currently for its medicinal purposes, particularly at a time when even modern medicine has grown skeptical of the long-term effects of synthetically formulated drugs. Traditional medicinal plants are either found to have no basis for therapeutic claims or, offer better options in delivering relief and treatment from diseases and ailments without the often-lifelong side effects linked to modern meds. It’s high time a case was made for black cumin.
Overview of Black Cumin Oil
Black cumin is known by many names, including Black Coriander, Black Caraway, and Black Sesame. Derived from the Nigella sativa plant which is native to Asia, it is widely cultivated as well in other regions, including Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa.
There are numerous historical, including anecdotal, accounts about the highly regarded medicinal uses of black cumin oil that go back to the ancient times. Reports tell that black cumin was found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen in Egypt, and that it was widely used in Muslim traditions for healing and relief from a long list of diseases and discomforts.
What is black cumin oil good for? Based on a study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, here are just a handful of the black cumin benefits that can be harnessed from the plant and its seed:
- Thymoquinone. This has been demonstrated to have anti-cancer effects.
- Alkaloids. Common in plants, these ingredients function as anti-inflammatory agents and have natural antibacterial properties.
- Saponin. This ingredient is being examined for its anti-cancer properties.
- Linoleic Acid and Oleic Acid. These essential, unsaturated fatty acids deliver a long list of health benefits, including: improving your cholesterol levels, heart health, blood pressure and circulation, as well as in revitalizing the optimal functioning of cells in your body.
- The seeds also contain protein, fiber, carbs, antioxidants including carotene, and minerals essential for promoting your general health and well-being, that includes copper, phosphorus, zinc, and iron.
The Top 7 Black Seed Oil Benefits
Owing to the rich content and bio-availability of the various components of black bean oil, listed below are 7 of the top health benefits of black cumin oil:
A Well-Known Beauty Secret
The high concentration of essential fatty acids in Black oil can help your skin better recover faster from damage, aging and injury. The deep penetrating and deeply soothing effects of cumin oil also supports relief from inflammation which causes chronically irritated skin to calm down and become more even toned.
There’s more! Using black cumin oil for skin don’t have to stop at topical applications. When ingested, black cumin also carries beta carotene which your liver is perfectly capable of transforming into Vitamin A — still the reigning royalty when it comes to defying multiple signs of aging.
Bet you didn’t always know that black cumin benefits for your skin also includes relieving acne and breakouts. A study conducted among people affected by acne showed this botanical medicine’s viability as an acne cure. Treatment subjects were made to undergo a two-month therapy wherein black cumin oil, at 10% concentration and in lotion preparation, was used. All subjects, including those in the control group were made to conduct a self-evaluation of satisfaction by the end of the therapy program. Majority of the treatment subjects were satisfied with the results. The researchers attributed the treatment protocol’s effectiveness in clearing up acne to the strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of black cumin.
Control Cancer Cell Growth
There are several components in black cumin oil that are being more closely examined for their anti-cancer effects, led by Thymoquinone and Saponins. Thymoquinone, or TQ, is also loaded with antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Combined, these functions help your body revitalize and sustain the healthy condition and functioning of cells.
In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Oncology in 2006, the researchers tested the anti-cancer effects of Thymoquinone and its associate, Thymohydroquinone (THQ), a compound which is also responsible for several black seed oil benefits. The study was able to demonstrate the antitumor activity of both TQ and THQ among mice. The researchers further concluded that increasing the dose of treatment containing these compounds also improves its healing effect on th ebody.
In another study done on the potential anti-cancer effects of TQ on mice, specifically for the treatment of colon, prostate, pancreatic and lung cancers. The researchers recommended that TQ be used to complement conventional chemotherapy. The study further identifies the specific black oil benefits concerning cancer: “ The anticancer effect(s) of thymoquinone are mediated through different modes of action, including anti-proliferation, apoptosis induction, cell cycle arrest, ROS generation and anti-metastasis/anti-angiogenesis”.
Grow Long And Strong hair
Have you ever considered using black cumin oil for hair? Like the widely touted hair health benefits that can be derived from, say, coconut oil, black seed oil benefits your scalp and strands by delivering fatty acids, most especially linolenic acid which is essential for promoting healthy hair and scalp.
What’s more? The strong antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of black seed oil also promotes healthier bulbs, as well as follicles, hair shaft and hair strands that are more resilient to dryness and damage. The results? Longer, thicker, stronger hair.
Regulate High Blood Pressure
The rich amounts of essential fatty acids in black cumin oil and even in black cumin powder helps lower the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood. This improves your blood, fluid and oxygen circulation which all have a positive impact on your heart health. Improvement in your blood circulation and lowered blood pressure also helps remove plaques in your arteries, effectively decreasing your risk for stroke and heart attack.
In a study published in the Journal of Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology, the researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that involved treatment of subjects who have a mild case of hypertension. Three groups were formed: one control, and two test groups. One test group was given an oral serving of 100 mg of Nigella sativa (NS) extract while the other test group was given 200 mg. At the end of the two-month study period, the researchers observed that “NS extract caused a significant decline in the level of total and low-density-lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol relative to baseline data”. The conclusion was that the oral intake of NS can help lower cholesterol levels among people diagnosed with mild hypertension.
Facilitate Safe And Rapid Weight Loss
Two other potential black seed oil benefits for men and women alike is its positive effect on improving conditions associated with diabetes and weight loss. Yes, based on available research, black cumin used for weight loss may, in fact, help you slim down in time to fit your “itsy bitsy, teeny weeny” bikinis! The best part is that there’s plenty of evidence that supports this alleged benefit that can be derived from black cumin.
Another study specifically conducted among obese Indonesian men between 30 and 45 years old demonstrated:
In the treatment group, complaints related to central obesity disappear in first week, very significant reduction of body weight, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure, insignificant reduction in serum free testosterone, diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, triglyceride and cholesterol-HDL, uric acid, hs-CRP, and insignificant increase of adiponectin.
The study recommended to prolong therapy with NS to obtain bolder, more significant weight loss.
A cross sectional study published in 2011 in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, several studies support the centuries-old belief that N. sativa can improve diabetes. The research concluded:
N. sativa may be beneficial in diabetic individuals and those with glucose intolerance as it reduces appetite, glucose absorption in intestine, hepatic gluconeogenesis, blood glucose level, cholesterol, triglycerides, body weight and simulates glucose induced secretion of insulin from beta-cells in pancreas; improves glucose tolerance as efficiently as metformin; yet it has not shown significant adverse effects and has very low toxicity.
Enhance Digestive Functions
If Nigella sativa can help facilitate weight loss, it follows that it can also help improve digestion. It appears, based on both long-term experience in using black cumin oil and the available scientific evidence that it can also have a therapeutic effect on digestive functions.
A cross-sectional study published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine reveals this link between N. Sativa and improved digestion:
N. sativa and its main constituent, TQ showed anti-cancer, hepatoprotective, anti-bacterial, anti-schistosomiasis, gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in animal models of gastrointestinal disorders including cancers, hepatotoxicity, ischemia/reperfusion injury, cholestatic liver, non-ulcer dyspepsia, schistosomiasis infection, colitis and panceratitis.
Improve The Body’s Immune Functions
Nigella sativa’s high level of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories can already account for its beneficial effect to the immune system. Enhanced immunity can also be attributed to the additional nutrition provided by key minerals essential for normal functioning of organs.
Several studies have linked N. sativa to cytokines, protein molecules that affect cell signaling and coordination. Cytokines can aid immune response in two ways. It may neutralize the attacking free radical directly or, send specific cells to either fight the free radicals or, to produce more cytokines to boost immunity.
Evidence from research remains inconclusive, however. In a study published in the Journal, Fish and Shellfish Immunology, the researchers observed the effect of N. sativa on the immune system of rainbow trout. The study concluded that N. sativa stimulated several immune response mechanisms, “but it is ineffective for cytokine-related gene trancriptions in rainbow trout”.
On the contrary, a study on deliberately stressed rats due to exercise, the researchers noted changes in the pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines profiles of subjects that were administered with N. sativa. Measures were taken before the rats were subjected to exercise under two treatment groups: moderate trained and overtrained. A sedentary group was used for control. Results were based on baseline cytokines profile and changes noted 24 hours after the rats were subjected to exercise. For observation purposes, blood samples were taken.
h2>How to Use Black Cumin Oil
The results are in: clearly, using black cumin oil as a medication or as a topical treatment redounds to medical and therapeutic benefits. According to both the traditional uses of this oil as well as a summary, of its observed benefits, black cumin oil possesses the following beneficial properties:
- Blood pressure regulating
- Immune boosting
- Mood boosting
That’s not all — and, that’s not even counting the beauty benefits that you can derive from this oil. While black cumin is available in supplement form, there are many ways to incorporate it in your diet and beauty regimen. Here are just some ways by which you can take advantage of the natural healing benefits of black cumin:
1. Make black cumin into a face mask by combining it with honey. Spread over freshly cleansed skin. Leave on for at least 15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water. Lemon juice is optional and will provide added astringent properties to tone, tighten pores, and lighten your skin.
2. Mix black cumin seeds with yogurt or milk for a scrub. Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl. Scrub on your face. Massage gently for five minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
3. Cook with it. Black cumin is commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. Try this one at home. Pan grill a trout or salmon treated to a tasty mixture of black cumin, sea salt and your favorite herbs.
You may also just take the a tablespoon or two of black cumin oil to take advantage of its therapeutic benefits for various organs of your body, immunity, and even to improve your circulation.
Looking for a way to spice up your dishes or to make your skin care routine more upbeat? It seems like there’s so much more to black cumin than just mild spice. Now that you know how well it works for both your health and your skin, wouldn’t it be worth your time and effort to try?