A small shrub, known as Nigella Sativa, produces fruit that has black seeds. It blooms purple, white-ish flowers and grows in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East. The black seeds have been used for thousands of years and are known for their healing properties.
Black seeds have a strong taste similar to cumin or oregano and are also known as black caraway, black cumin, black onion seed, and kalonji. In modern times, the oil is commonly extracted from the seeds to ingest or apply topically for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
When ingesting black seed oil, some benefits include:
- Lower blood pressure – Ingestion for two months lowers slightly elevated blood pressure.
- Lower cholesterol – A high content of fatty acids makes the oil beneficial for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
- Reducing rheumatoid arthritis inflammation – Ingestion reduces inflammation, which is one of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Aiding in asthma relief – The anti-inflammatory properties decrease symptoms of asthma and inflammation in the airways.
- Relief from stomach-related problems – Helps relieve stomach pain, gas, and bloating.
Black seed oil is also known to have anti-cancer effects, and when applied topically, it can help fight skin cancer. However, it’s not a substitute for conventional cancer treatment.
Some skin and hair benefits of black seed oil include:
- Heals wounds – The oil reduces inflammation and bacteria to create new skin.
- Helps reduce acne – Lotions that contain 10% black seed oil can significantly reduce acne within a couple of months.
- Moisturizes hair – When applied to hair, the oil hydrates, nourishes, and softens.
- Softens skin – Similar to hair, the oil moisturizes and softens skin, and works on the face and body.
Here’s my take on black seed oil.
Black seed oil has many health benefits but does not replace all medications. Furthermore, if you’re taking multiple medications, please consult a physician before adding the oil to your daily regime.
Black seed oil is safe to use and can even improve liver function. However, overconsumption can be harmful to your liver and kidneys, so follow the printed instructions for use. Furthermore, some people experience an allergic reaction from topical application. Make sure that you do a patch test before applying it to large areas.