I sometimes joke with friends and tell them if my husband wanted to kill me it would be so easy for him to do it. Nashid is a health nut. Me? Not even close. I care deeply about my health but in a theoretical type of way. I read a lot about how to stay healthy, but I don’t actually do what I know I need to do for better health. (Don’t judge me.) I buy supplements and take them for a few days, then I get tired of consuming pills, so I stop taking them for weeks or even months, at a time. (Currently I have been off all my supplements [with the exception for black seed oil] for about a month.)
Nashid gives me various oils to take, and I just take them and trust that he is not poisoning me. One thing that he often nags me to take (and yes, he nags me about my health) is black seed oil. Nashid can down a teaspoon of black seed oil in one gulp, but I put mine in a bit of juice. I would add sugar, but I know Nashid would completely lose it if I did that. It’s a bit bitter and I need something to mask the taste. I take it three or four times a week.
Until I decided to write about black seed oil for today’s blog, I never even researched the benefits. I have been taking it for years; Nashid initially convinced me to start taking it by saying it would help lower my blood pressure. I never checked what it was for; he doles it out and I take it. Thankfully (knock on wood) my blood pressure has been well-controlled for years so there just may be something to this black seed poison, uh, black seed oil.
The following information is taken from the Healthline site (https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/black-seed-oil-benefits):
“Black seed oil is an herbal ingredient derived from the plant Nigella sativa, which is native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia:
Known for its powerful medicinal properties, black seed oil is a natural remedy that people use to treat a wide range of conditions, including:
high blood pressure
It also offers a long list of science-backed health and beauty benefits, thanks to its content of antioxidants and other bioactive compounds.
Black seed oil:
May reduce acne
Some research shows that black seed oil could be beneficial for skin conditions, such as acne. This may be due to the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties associated with black seed oil. According to one review article, when people applied a lotion made with black seed oil to a skin area with acne, they had significantly fewer acne lesions after 2 months.
Could help treat psoriasis
Interestingly, some studies have found that black seed oil could aid in the treatment of psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by scaly red patches on the skill. One animal study found that applying black seed oil to the skin decreased inflammation and reduced symptoms of psoriasis in rats. There’s not much research currently available about the effects of black seed oil on psoriasis in people. More research is needed to investigate how black seed oil may affect psoriasis in people.
Promotes wound healing
Black seed oil contains a compound called thymoquinone, which has been studied for its ability to stimulate tissue growth and promote wound healing.
Studies in animals have found that thymoquinone may help treat burns, excisions, and diabetic wounds due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects.
May support hair health
Thanks to its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, black seed oil is often added to hair care products, including hair masks and shampoo. One very small study from 2014 found that mixing coconut oil with black seed oil increased hair growth when people applied it to their scalp three times per day. It’s important to note that these study treatments combined black seed oil with other ingredients, so we can’t know for sure whether black seed oil was causing the improvements in these cases.
Could aid in the treatment of vitiligo
Some research suggests that black seed oil could be beneficial for the treatment of vitiligo, a disorder that causes loss of pigmentation in the skin. One study in 33 people with vitiligo found that applying a cream made with black seed oil to the skin twice daily improved pigmentation in the hands, face, and genital region after 6 months.
Studies have shown that black seed oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This could be beneficial for multiple aspects of health, as some research suggests that inflammation could contribute to the development of many chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. According to a review of 10 studies, consuming black seed oil may reduce multiple markers of inflammation while also increasing blood levels of antioxidants.
Supports weight loss
Though the exact way it works is unclear, black seed oil appears to promote weight loss and decrease body fat. One study looked at the effects of black seed oil in 84 women with obesity. Those who consumed 3 grams of black seed oil per day for 8 weeks and followed a low calorie diet experienced greater reductions in body weight and belly fat than those who followed a low calorie diet alone. Black seed oil may help reduce appetite and decrease body weight and body fat, but more research is needed.
Improves blood sugar control
Some research shows that black seed oil could be beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar levels. In fact, one review of 7 studies showed that black seed could help improve multiple markers of blood sugar control, including insulin levels and blood sugar levels during fasting and after a meal. Another review of 23 studies had similar findings, noting that black seed was effective at reducing fasting blood sugar and decreasing levels of hemoglobin A1C, a measure of long-term blood sugar control.
Could reduce symptoms of eczema
Several studies have found that black seed oil could alleviate symptoms of eczema, a skin condition characterized by dry, itchy skin. One small 2012 study found that black seed oil was as effective as betamethasone cream, a type of corticosteroid, at improving quality of life and reducing the severity of hand eczema when applied topically twice daily for 4 weeks. Black seed oil can also promote wound healing and protect against harmful bacteria. This could potentially help prevent skin infections associated with eczema.
Can help prevent metabolic syndrome
Research suggests that black seed oil could help prevent metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. One study in 55 people with high blood pressure had participants take 2.5 mL of black seed oil twice daily for 8 weeks. At the end of the study, those who received this treatment had several positive outcomes. They experienced reduced levels of diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and fasting blood sugar, all of which are components of metabolic syndrome. Multiple other studies have found that black seed oil may reduce risk factors for metabolic syndrome by decreasing belly fat, lowering blood sugar, and improving cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
However, keep in mind that a well-rounded, whole food diet and an active lifestyle are the best prevention against metabolic syndrome. Supplements like black seed oil work best as an addition to a healthy lifestyle.
The bottom line
Black seed oil is a powerful herbal ingredient associated with a variety of health and beauty benefits. In particular, it may ease inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, improve skin and hair health, and help you manage your weight. It’s also versatile, affordable, and widely available at most pharmacies and health stores, making it a great ingredient to have on hand.”
I am not a physician; all I can tell you is what I know: this oil has helped me better control my blood pressure. Before I started using it, my blood pressure readings would fluctuate. In this society, so many people have high blood pressure that those of us who have it, sometimes just accept it and believe going on stronger (and more toxic meds) is an inevitable part of our journey with this diagnosis. I emphatically do not accept that. My physician may never take me off the medication (although that is my desire); however, I will use whatever I can to safely prevent me from taking even stronger meds (which are probably more toxic) into my body. For me, black seed oil is part of my arsenal.
Please talk to your physician before taking black seed oil or any supplement in the event they may not be a good option for you.