The black seed plant (Nigella Sativa) is indigenous to the south and southwest Asia. For hundreds of years, this plant has been used for medicinal purposes by both Muslims and non-Muslims. Black cumin was first mentioned in the book of Isaiah, within the Old Testament, where Isaiah speaks of harvesting the black seed. But, it was not until the rise of Islam, when this plant really came into prominence.
- A Cure For Many Things
In the Arab-Islamic culture, the black seeds were widely used for the treatment of numerous health problems, including asthma, fever, back pain, and chronic headaches.
These amazing seeds are a fantastic source of proteins, fatty acids, and many essential vitamins and minerals. Some studies conducted in recent years have shown that black cumin seeds possess potent anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties. In addition to this, they can also help regulate the immune system, destroy harmful microorganisms, and even open the tiny air passages in the lungs. The pretty high antioxidant content of black seed oil helps protect the liver and the kidneys.
The following paragraphs offer useful information from recent studies in which it was thoroughly investigated how to use black cumin seed oil for reducing weight and inflammation, balancing blood chemistry, supporting healthy immune system functioning, and alleviating nasal dryness and discomfort.
- Black Cumin Seeds are Highly Ranked as a Powerful Herbal Medicine
One recent study has shown that the active ingredients of black seed oil, such as thymoquinone, have very potent anti-inflammatory effects on several models of inflammation. These include: encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord after infection), edema (the swelling of soft tissues which occurs as a result of excess fluid accumulation), colitis (inflammation of the colon), peritonitis (inflammation of the membrane which lines the inside of the abdomen and all of the internal organs), and arthritis.
Also, the active ingredients in black seed oil were found to help regulate the immune system. Moreover, it was also discovered that they have strong antibacterial, antifungal, and even anti-tumor properties.
- Black Seed are Useful for Treating Obesity!
People who are overweight are at much higher risk of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, immune dysfunction, and all types of cancers. For that reason, it is of utmost importance that obesity-mitigation strategies are also focused on these secondary pathologies in addition to promoting weight loss.
Luckily for us, we have black cumin to help us deal with all these issues. Its antioxidant, anti-diabetic, cardio-protective, immune-modulatory, and anti-cancer properties can help us to get rid of excess weight while significantly reducing the risk of the aforementioned health problems.
A great example of the healing effects of black seeds is one Iranian study in which the researchers examined the effects of long-term Nigella sativa supplementation, as well as the use of aerobic training on the lipid profile and oxygen consumption of sedentary overweight women.
This was a randomized double-blind controlled trial, in which 20 sedentary overweight women were divided into two groups and assigned to black seed supplementation or a placebo for the 8 weeks of the study. Both groups also had 3 aerobic training sessions per week. Blood lipids and VO2 max were determined before the start of the trial and at the end of 8 weeks. To understand better, it is important to know that VO2 max is a measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that a person can use during exercising (higher levels of oxygen consumption are associated with higher levels of physical fitness). The women who combined the placebo and aerobic training experienced an increased VO2 max, and reductions total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol. On the other hand, the women who used Nigella sativa supplementation and aerobic training experienced an increased VO2 max, and reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and body mass index (ratio of fat to muscle). These women lost body fat and increased their muscle mass.
At the end of the study, the Iranian researchers concluded that the women who combined black seed and aerobic training had experienced greater health benefits.
- Black Seed are Also Useful in the Treatment of Nasal Dryness and Nasal Discomfort
Recently, Turkish researchers conducted an interesting experiment on elderly patients with nasal dryness and similar symptoms. Their aim was to compare the effects of utilizing black seed oil in the nasal pathways of the nose to the usage of a salt water solution. The results have shown that obstruction, dryness, and crusting had improved more quickly with the use of black seed oil than with the salt water treatment. The researchers have also detected that there wasn’t any notable difference between the effects of salt water and black cumin seed oil on nasal itching and burning. At the end, their conclusion was that black seed oil is more useful in the treatment of nasal dryness and nasal discomfort.
The ever growing interest in the use of highly functional foods like black cumin seeds, as well as the increase in obesity and chronic diseases everywhere around the world, clearly indicates that there is a need for further research into the therapeutic/preventive effects of plants, herbs, fruits, and veggies.
Sources and References:
 Ahmad A1, Husain A, Mujeeb M, Khan SA, Najmi AK, Siddique NA, Damanhouri ZA, Anwar F, Kishore K.; “A review on the therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb,” Asian Pac J Trop Biomed., 2013 May, PMID: 23646296.
 Salem ML.; “Immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties of the Nigella sativa L. seed,” IntImmunopharmacol. 2005 Dec, PMID: 16275613.
 Entok E1, Ustuner MC, Ozbayer C, Tekin N, Akyuz F, Yangi B, Kurt H, Degirmenci I, Gunes HV.; “Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects of Nigella sativa L.: 18FDG-PET imaging of inflammation,” MolBiol Rep. 2014 May, PMID: 24474661.
 Vanamala J1, Kester AC, Heuberger AL, Reddivari L.; “Mitigation of obesity-promoted diseases by Nigella sativa and thymoquinone,” Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2012 Jun, PMID: 22477645.
 Hasani-Ranjbar S1, Jouyandeh Z, Abdollahi M.; “A systematic review of anti-obesity medicinal plants – an update,” J Diabetes MetabDisord., 2013 June 19, PMID: 23777875.
 Farzaneh E1, Nia FR2, Mehrtash M2, Mirmoeini FS3, Jalilvand M1.; “The Effects of 8-week Nigella sativa Supplementation and Aerobic Training on Lipid Profile and VO2 max in Sedentary Overweight Females,” Int J Prev Med., 2014 February, PMID: 24627749.
 Oysu C1, Tosun A1, Yilmaz HB2, Sahin-Yilmaz A3, Korkmaz D1, Karaaslan A1.; “Topical Nigella Sativa for nasal symptoms in elderly,” AurisNasus Larynx. 2014 Jun, PMID: 24398317