Black Seed Oil: Medical and Skin Benefits
Black seed oil is obtained from the plant Nigella sativa, which is native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
Black seed oil, known for its potent therapeutic effects, is a natural medicine that people use to treat a variety of ailments, including:
- Back pain
- Inflammation caused by elevated blood pressure
It also has a long number of scientifically proven health and cosmetic benefits due to its high concentration of antioxidants and other bioactive substances.
This post will look at ten of the most compelling evidence-based benefits of black seed oil.
What Is Black Seed Oil?
Black caraway, black cumin, kalonji, and black onion seeds are all names for black seeds.
They are derived from Nigella sativa, a tiny plant native to Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East with pale purple, blue, or white blooms.
For thousands of years, people have employed the small black seeds of N. sativa fruits as natural medicine. Similar to cumin or oregano, the seeds can be used to flavor curries, pickles, and bread.
Thymoquinone, found in black seed oil, is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory chemical that may also have tumor-fighting abilities.
To help the skin, people can take black seed oil in capsule form or apply it topically.
It is also feasible to include the oil in massage oils, shampoos, handmade skincare items, and scents.
High-quality black seed oil can also be used in cooking, baking, and drinks.
How To Use Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil can be used as a supplement in pill or liquid form. The oil can also be applied to the skin and hair topically.
When purchasing black seed oil in liquid form, it is best to choose a high-quality product with no added substances.
Furthermore, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not test supplements for safety and effectiveness, it is critical to select a renowned brand.
Look for items that have been approved by ConsumerLabs, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, or NSF International, as these organizations all test for quality.
The flavor of the black seed oil is robust, slightly bitter, and spicy. It is frequently comparable to cumin or oregano.
As a result, if you wish to consume black seed oil as a liquid, combine it with another highly flavored substance, such as honey or lemon juice.
Black seed oil can be used topically on the skin.
Benefits Of Black Seed Oil
Scientists from various disciplines have investigated the potential benefits of black seed oil.
It is crucial to note, however, that many studies to date have employed cells or animals as models, and there is limited study on the effects of black seed oil in humans.
1. Acne May Be Reduced
According to certain studies, black seed oil may be effective for skin disorders such as acne.
This could be related to black seed oil's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
According to one review paper, when patients were administered a lotion containing black seed oil to an acne-prone skin area for two months, they had significantly fewer acne lesions.
Similarly, in one 60-person trial, participants applied a topical gel containing black seed oil to their skin twice daily for 60 days.
When compared to a control group, those who received this treatment experienced a 78% reduction in acne severity and a substantial improvement in the number of acne lesions.
2. Psoriasis Treatment
Interestingly, some research suggests that black seed oil may help with the treatment of psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory disorder marked by scaly red spots on the skin.
In one animal study, adding black seed oil to the skin reduced inflammation and psoriasis symptoms in rats.
There is currently little study on the benefits of black seed oil on psoriasis in humans.
However, a tiny 12-person trial looked at the effects of a herbal cream that included black seed oil as well as olive oil, tea tree oil, cocoa butter, and vitamins A and B12.
They discovered that after applying the herbal cream to the affected area daily for 12 weeks, 83% of individuals had at least a 75% reduction in the severity of their psoriasis.
It's worth noting that this study mixed black seed oil with other components, so there's no way of knowing whether black seed oil was responsible for the good results.
More research is needed to determine how black seed oil affects psoriasis in humans.
3. Encourages Wound Healing
Thymoquinone, a chemical found in black seed oil, has been examined for its capacity to stimulate tissue growth and promote wound healing.
Because of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties, thymoquinone has been shown in animal studies to help cure burns, excisions, and diabetic wounds.
One animal study, for example, discovered that black seed extract greatly improved wound healing in diabetic rats when compared to a control group.
Another animal study found that using black seed oil alone or in combination with honey aided and accelerated wound healing in rats.
More research is needed to determine whether black seed oil and thymoquinone can enhance wound healing in humans.
4. Hair Health May Be Improved
Because of its antibacterial and antioxidant characteristics, the black seed oil is frequently used in hair care products such as hair masks and shampoos.
Despite the fact that many of these products claim to boost hair luster, strength, volume, and texture, there has been little study on the advantages of black seed oil for hair health.
However, a tiny 2014 study indicated that combining coconut oil and black seed oil enhanced hair growth when applied to the scalp three times per day.
Similarly, a 90-person trial found that a hair oil containing a blend of black seed oil and other herbal substances reduced hair loss considerably after 90 days.
It's worth noting that these study treatments included black seed oil as well as other components, so we can't be certain that black seed oil was the cause of the improvements in these situations.
Despite these encouraging findings, further big, high-quality research is needed to understand how black seed oil may benefit hair health when administered alone.
5. Reduces Inflammation
According to studies, black seed oil has potent anti-inflammatory qualities. Some research suggests that inflammation may lead to the development of several chronic illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
According to an analysis of ten research, eating black seed oil may reduce numerous markers of inflammation while also raising blood antioxidant levels.
Not only that, but the review determined that black seed oil may be more effective at lowering inflammation than other kinds of black seed.
Another evaluation of 12 trials found that black seed supplements could lower blood levels of C-reactive protein and malondialdehyde, both of which are indications of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
6. Aid In The Treatment Of Vitiligo
Some research suggests that black seed oil may be useful in the treatment of vitiligo, a condition that causes skin pigmentation loss.
In one research of 33 persons with vitiligo, applying a lotion containing black seed oil to the skin twice daily for 6 months increased pigmentation in the hands, face, and genital region.
Another research of 52 persons found that applying black seed oil topically for 6 months reduced the number of vitiligo lesions, especially on the arms, trunk, head, and neck.
According to researchers, the benefits of black seed oil may be attributed to its capacity to distribute melanin into the skin. Melanin is a natural pigment that can be found in your hair, skin, and eyes.
- Supports Weight Loss
Though the exact mechanism is unknown, black seed oil appears to assist in weight loss and reduce body fat.
One study examined the effects of black seed oil on 84 obese women.
Those who ingested 3 grams of black seed oil per day and followed a low-calorie diet for 8 weeks lost more body weight and abdominal fat than those who only followed a low-calorie diet.
Another study in 45 overweight or obese women found that ingesting 2,000 mg of black seed oil daily for 8 weeks reduced hunger as well as body mass index, weight, waist circumference, and body fat.
Furthermore, a meta-analysis of 11 trials showed that black seed supplements could moderately reduce body weight, BMI, and belly fat, but cautioned that more high-quality research is needed.
8. Enhances Blood Sugar Management
According to certain studies, black seed oil may help to keep blood sugar levels stable.
In fact, a meta-analysis of seven research found that black seed could help improve numerous blood sugar control parameters, including insulin levels and blood sugar levels while fasting and after a meal.
Another evaluation of 23 research found that black seed was beneficial at lowering fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C levels, a measure of long-term blood sugar control.
In addition, a meta-analysis of 17 trials found that black seed oil was more effective than black seed powder for lowering fasting blood sugar levels.
9. Could Reduce Symptoms Of Eczema
Several studies have revealed that black seed oil can help with eczema symptoms, which include dry, itchy skin.
When used topically twice daily for four weeks, black seed oil was equally effective as betamethasone cream, a form of corticosteroid, at enhancing the quality of life and reducing the severity of hand eczema.
In a separate study, oral and topical application of thymoquinone, a component found in black seed oil, reduced inflammation and alleviated eczema symptoms in mice.
Black seed oil can also help to heal wounds and guard against hazardous microorganisms. This could potentially help avoid eczema-related skin infections.
However, additional recent, high-quality human investigations are still required.
10. Prevent Metabolic Syndrome
According to research, black seed oil may help prevent metabolic syndrome, a group of diseases that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
In one trial, 55 persons with high blood pressure were given 2.5 mL of black seed oil twice a day for 8 weeks. Those who received this treatment experienced various beneficial results at the end of the research.
They had lower levels of diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and fasting blood sugar, all of which are metabolic syndrome components.
Several other studies have demonstrated that black seed oil may reduce metabolic syndrome risk factors by lowering belly fat, lowering blood sugar, and improving cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
However, keep in mind that the best prevention against metabolic syndrome is a well-balanced, whole-food diet and an active lifestyle. Supplements like black seed oil are most effective when used with a healthy lifestyle.
Medical Benefits Of Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil may also be good for the following health conditions:
According to studies, thymoquinone in black seed oil can impact programmed cell death in certain types of cancer cells. These include cells from brain tumors, leukemia, and breast cancer.
However, because much of the study on the effects of black seed oil on cancer has been conducted on cells rather than living individuals, scientists do not yet know how successful the oil may be in treating cancer in humans.
2. Kidney and Liver Function
According to research, the antioxidant qualities of black seed oil can protect both the liver and the kidneys.
This is accomplished by a variety of techniques. Thymoquinone appears to reduce the degree of oxidative stress, which is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, in one of the essential processes.
Oxidative stress has been linked to a number of liver issues, including alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver damage caused by kidney problems like chronic kidney disease and renal toxicity.
A 2019 study also found that black seed oil can help reduce the size of kidney stones and eliminate them from the body.
3. Gastrointestinal issues
Black seed oil's anti-inflammatory effects may also help relieve symptoms such as indigestion, nausea, abdominal distention, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
According to certain clinical investigations, the oil may even have a preventative effect on colitis, pancreatitis, and other gastrointestinal illnesses. More research is needed, however, to determine the precise benefits of black seed oil in this area.
According to a reliable source, black seed oil can help lower hypertension (high blood pressure).
In this meta-analysis of ten randomized controlled trials, participants had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure after taking the supplement.