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Black Cumin Seed Oil: Benefits and Side Effects

Black Seed Oil Benefits
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – GOKALP ISCAN

Black cumin seed oil aka black seed oil benefits are myriad, and the healing effects can relieve a wide range of symptoms. We’ll show you how this natural remedy can be used, and what side effects to look out for. 

In India and the Middle East, the use of black cumin seed oil is an ancient tradition. It has been used for centuries to strengthen and give energy to the whole body. Recently, the benefits of black cumin seed oil are becoming more popular in the West. It is now being used more and more often as a natural and less side-effect intense alternative to pharmaceuticals. 

Black cumin seed oil is made by pressing seeds of the fennel flower or nigella sativa. Ideally, the black cumin seed oil is cold-pressed, as many of the chemical constituents are sensitive to heat. 

Black cumin seed oil contains:

  • Thymoquinone is the main bioactive constituent of black cumin seed oil and is said to have powerful pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects. 
  • Linoleic acid, is an essential fatty acid that the human body cannot synthesize on its own, and must therefore be ingested. 
  • Other fatty acids like oleic acid and palmitic acid are reported to have rejuvenating effects on hair and skin as well as boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. 
  • Vitamins A, B, and C, as well as minerals like zinc, calcium and potassium, iron, magnesium, and selenium, nourish your body and promote overall health. 

Black Cumin Seed Oil Health Benefits and Uses

benefits of black seed oil flower
The flower of the nigella sativa plant of which black cumin seed oil is derived. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – i_hoernchen)

The potential benefits of black cumin seed oil are many: 

  • Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Taking black cumin seed extract may help against high blood pressure. Taking the oil itself may help against high cholesterol, according to some studies.
  • It’s also considered a remedy against stomach pain.
  • Anti-Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory effect of black cumin seed oil is well documented, and largely attributed to the high amount of thymoquinone present. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many major diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis depression, and Alzheimer’s.
  • Anti-Cancer: Thymoquinone also has profound anti-cancer properties, and has even been shown to increase the effectiveness of cancer treatments while simultaneously relieving their side effects.
  • Skin Conditions: Black seed oil may benefit your skin. According to a meta-analysis published in the Journey of Tropical Medicine, it can help with treating skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.
  • Cosmetic: Black cumin seed oil benefits your body on the outside as well as the inside. Thanks to the fatty acid it contains, black cumin seed oil has a softening effect on the hair and skin and is used in many moisturizing creams, shampoos, and conditioners. It is also reported to promote the growth of thicker, stronger hair and can be used to remedy hair loss. 

Black Cumin Seed Oil Side Effects 

black cumin seed oil nigella sativa flower
The side effects of black cumin seed oil are far less intense than typical pharmaceuticals. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Celia05)

Generally, black cumin seed oil is easily digestible and has far fewer side effects than pharmaceutical products. However, you should not take black cumin seed oil on an empty stomach, and it is advisable to allow your body to slowly get accustomed: start by taking a small amount and then slowly increase your dosage until you reach the recommended amount (see below). 

  • Buying high-quality oil reduces the chance of side effects: lower-quality oil may be cheaper, but the less pure the oil is, the higher chance you have of getting a stomachache. 
  • Even if you are ingesting the purest oil, it is still possible that you will experience side effects such as nausea and itchiness. 
  • Allergic reactions are also possible. If you are uncertain whether you are allergic, ask your doctor before using black seed oil.
  • Pregnant women should avoid black cumin seed oil, as it could have an inducing effect. 

WARNING: Black cumin seed oil is poisonous for cats because their livers can not break down the terpenes that it contains. Dogs, however, do not have this problem and stand to gain many of the same black cumin seed oil benefits as humans do. 

How to Use Black Cumin Seed Oil 

black seed oil side effects
Black cumin seed oil can be used to relieve a wide variety of symptoms. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Gokalpiscan)

When buying black cumin seed oil, pay very close attention to the quality: be sure to purchase only the highest quality, organic and cold-pressed oil. 

  • To boost the immune system, taking one teaspoon of black cumin seed oil daily is recommended. If you don’t like the taste, you can mix it with honey or chase it with a glass of juice.
  • The benefits of black cumin seed oil can also be gained through inhalation. Add two tablespoons of black seed oil to eight cups of boiling water. Lay a towel over your head, lean over the water, and breathe deeply for ten minutes. 
  • To alleviate skin problems, apply a small amount of black seed oil on the affected area, and massage in until absorbed. 
  • To soften and repair dry or damaged hair, work the oil into your scalp and into your hair down to the tips. Allow the oil to stay in for about twenty to thirty minutes, and then wash your hair normally. This treatment should be used up to once a week. If you don’t want such an intense treatment, simply rub a small amount of oil into the tips of your hair after each shower, to repair and prevent split ends. 

Read more: No Poo Shampoo”: The Natural Alternative to Conventional Shampoos

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