“Black seed oil is an anti-inflammatory wonder worker,” says MD. After seeing the science, we think you’ll agree


It’s not every day that reputed medical experts consider a humble herb a miraclebut that’s how researchers at the University of Kashmir describe it Nigella sativa, also known as black seed. Ancient herbalists referred to the black seed as sky grass, and the Greek physician Galen recommended it to relieve respiratory problems in the second century. Most intriguingly, legend has it that Cleopatra used black seed oil, otherwise known as black seed oilto maintain its famous beauty.

Over the last few centuries in the Western world, black seed oil has fallen off the radar. It’s only recently that scientists have rediscovered the surprising benefits of this little oil that could. Here’s how it could help your health.

What is Black Seed Oil?

Black seed oil comes from a plant native to Eastern Europe, parts of Asia and the Middle East, and its oil has a rich history as a healing remedy, notes Taz Bhatia, MD, author of The hormonal change.

It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which is why it is beneficial for so many different health conditions. Indeed, its anti-inflammatory abilities lower blood sugar, tame high blood pressure, relieve joint pain, and more. And Dr. Taz has seen her benefits firsthand in her patients. Black seed oil is available as an oil that you can take by the spoonful and also as capsules, which some people prefer to avoid due to the taste.

What Makes Black Seed Oil Capsules So Potent?

Black seed oil is a source of beneficial omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids, potassium, iron, copper, B vitamins and vitamin E, notes Dr. Taz. But it also contains a unique compound called thymoquinone this is credited with many of its study-backed benefits.

According to experts from the University of Salzburg, the thymoquinone in black seed oil has proven abilities to fight inflammation and reduce the cell damage process known as oxidative stress.

Meanwhile, researchers reporting in the Newspaper of Pharmacopuncture point out that thymoquinone also has antimicrobial effects against bacteria, viruses and parasites. It also helps keep the immune system in balance.

And these are just some of the healing secrets of black seed oils!

Are black seed oil capsules safe?

A review of clinical trials concluded that black seed and its oil were generally safe, although side effects such as rashes, nausea, and swelling were reported. And while Dr. Taz notes that black seed oil can be taken daily, he adds that dosages can vary from person to person. It’s best to start slowly to minimize side effects. (For more guidance on study-backed dosages, keep scrolling.)

Finally, black seed oil can interact with prescription medications such as blood thinners and blood pressure medications. For these reasons, it is best to consult your doctor before supplementing.

What are the benefits of black seed oil capsules over liquid?

Black seed oil comes in liquid form, and some people take it straight by the spoonful. But its taste can be off-putting: In one study, the authors described it as bitter, spicy, metallic and pungent.

Social media comments are less diplomatic: Chirping users say black seed oil tastes like gasoline, jet fuel, and wood oil.

Fortunately, black seed oil capsules bypass the taste buds. And as Dr. Taz notes, they contain the therapeutic doses that offer substantial health benefits.

What are the benefits of black seed oil capsules?

Faster weight loss

Results in the diary Complementary therapies in medicine reveal that taking black seed oil capsules tames the appetite. Women in the study who supplemented with 1,000 mg. of black seed oil before lunch and dinner felt 20 percent fuller for two hours afterward than women who took a placebo. As a result, they lost significantly more weight and body fat in eight weeks.

A separate study in the journal Food and function Slimming Abilities of Black Seed Oils Underlined: Dieters who took 1,000 mg. black seed oil 3 times a day for 2 months lost 67% more weight and reduced 103% more inches from waistline than those who took sunflower oil capsules.

Low blood pressure

We’ve seen great results with black seed oil when it comes to lowering blood pressure, especially in people who don’t respond to things like magnesium and low-salt diets, says Dr. Taz.

What makes it such an effective remedy? Thymoquinone black seed oils help blood vessels relax and widen to tame high blood pressure, according to a report from the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

In fact, a study published in Food science and nutritional research found that subjects who took 500 mg. black seed oil capsules daily experienced dramatic reductions in blood pressure within two days. And after 6 weeks, their systolic blood pressure (top number) dropped 16 points while their diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) dropped 11 points.

Fewer allergy symptoms

An immune system substance called IgE plays an important role in triggering seasonal allergy symptoms. Fortunately, the search in The American Journal of Otolaryngology Medicine and Surgery of the Head and Neck suggests taking 500 mg. of black seed oil each day lowers allergy sufferers’ IgE levels by 89% in 15 days. Additionally, taking the oil for 6 weeks produced marked improvements in the severity of symptoms such as nasal itching, congestion, sneezing and runny nose.

Joints without pain

Thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory action, black seed oil is a convenient option to soothe stiff and swollen joints. So say the investigators who report Phytotherapy Research, who studied the effects of black seed oil capsules on arthritis patients. The results: Subjects who took 500 mg. twice daily noticed significant improvements in pain within a month. Additionally, their morning stiffness decreased by 42% and joint swelling decreased by 46%.

A happier state of mind

As if the above benefits of black seed oil capsules weren’t enough to put a smile on your face, black seed oil also lifts the blue mood. A study in Journal of Research in Medicine and Science determined subjects who took 1,000 mg. dailytested a whopping 2.192% better on depression scores than those who didn’t receive the supplement. Additionally, those who took black seed oil experienced superior improvements in stress and anxiety levels.

A healthier gut

The antimicrobial action of black seeds makes it an effective treatment for H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for 70% of gastric ulcers and 90% of intestinal ulcers. Experts reporting in Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology found supplementation with H. pylori eradicated black seed as effectively as prescription drugs.

To reap the benefits, Rosario Ligresti, MD, chief of the division of gastroenterology at Hackensack University Medical Center, recommends supplementing with 1,000 mg. of black seed oil twice daily after meals.

A more active thyroid

Taking 1,000 mg. of black seeds twice a day improves measurements of thyroid function by 36% in 8 weeks, according to a study in BMC Complementary medicine. Research conducted on patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis found that black seed increased levels of T3, the active thyroid hormone. Additionally, it lowered levels of immune system antibodies that can make thyroid function falter.

What are the benefits of topically applied black seed oil?

While black seed oil capsules are your best bet for treating health concerns, they provide a concentrated dose of the herb to heal your body from the inside out, you can also use liquid black seed oil topically to relieve skin and hair problems. Here’s how the oil can help:

Soothes irritated skin

Researchers reporting in theJournal of Tropical Medicinenote that black seed oil helps treat acne, psoriasis and eczema when applied to the skin daily. The credit goes to its soothing fatty acids and its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. Taz not only recommends the oil to patients for these purposes, but uses it herself with success.

I developed some psoriasis on my arm and started using black seed oil, she says. She really helps so much that I got a bottle for my mom to help her skin condition too!

Stimulates hair growth

You can rub black seed oil into your scalp, and there have been studies showing that it helps reverse hair loss, Dr. Taz reveals.

In one such study published in Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatologic Sciences and Applications, the strategy increased hair density for 90 percent of participants in three months by taming inflammation that can stunt growth. Also, massaging black seed oil into the scalp daily increases the thickness of the hair strands by 100%.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your doctor before pursuing any treatment plan.

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