Black seed oil is obtained from the seeds of Nigella sativa, an annual flowering plant, found abundantly in the eastern Mediterranean, northern Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, and West Asia. The black seeds are slightly bitter in taste and are often used as a flavoring or spice in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. The amber colored oil is also used in cooking and is said to offer a range of medicinal benefits. One of the key components of black seed oil is thymoquinone, a compound that possesses antioxidant properties.
Black seed is also known as black cumin, nigella, kalonji or kalanji is. Its plant grows to about 20–30 cm tall, with thin, linear leaves with delicate flowers, and usually pale blue and white in color, with five to ten petals. The fruit is a large and bulbous capsule containing numerous seeds which are used as spice, sometimes as a replacement for black cumin.
Black Seed might have been used as a condiment of the Old World to flavor food. The Persian physician Avicenna in his Canon of Medicine described N. sativa as a treatment for dyspnea. N. sativa was used in the Middle East as a traditional medicine. Today the oil is used by many in the treatment of conditions such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension and weight loss among others.
Here are some of Nigella Sativa's amazing properties that make it useful for medicinal purposes:
Anti-inflammatory: For rheumatoid arthritis. Researches in Jordan and the US have found the black seed oil to be anti-leukemic.
Analgesic: As a pain reliever for headaches and tooth aches
Anti-hypertensive: Lowers cholesterol
Hypoglycemic: Regulates blood sugar in diabetic patients
Anti-carcinogenic: prevents proliferation of cancer cells and promotes apoptosis or death of cancer cells
Antioxidant: Boosts immune system
Histamine release inhibitor: For treating asthma and respiratory problems as well as skin allergies.
USES OF BLACK SEED OIL
- Black Cumin oil has also been known to support the liver, help diabetes, ease infections and aid in weight loss.
- Black Cumin oil is very beneficial for the skin and hair. This oil has a unique ability to help restore hair loss. This may be due to the powerful antioxidant content and antimicrobial properties. Black Cumin seed oil is known to promote melanin production in the skin, which is known for protecting the skin from damage.
- There is an active ingredient in Black Cumin called Thymoquinone, which researchers have been looking into since the 1960’s. This ingredient is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties! Thymoquinone in Nigella Sativa seeds have also been shown to have a protective effect on the heart, promote healthy cholesterol levels and help normalize blood pressure.
- Thymoquinone is also known to help the liver process toxins. The liver is one of the most important organs in our body as almost every toxin gets processed there, and bile from the liver is the key to digesting fats and keeping you healthy. Black Cumin oil can greatly help with problems with the liver such as disease, alcohol consumption or the side effects of medication.
- Black Cumin oil is used for a variety of complaints and has also been used for anorexia and several nervous system disorders.