Long before allopathic medicine was a thing, herbs and plants were used in traditional medicine to improve health and treat various diseases. Blackseed comes from a flowering shrub that bears white and paxle blue flowers. It is scientifically known as Nigella sativa and has multiple medicinal properties.
How Does Blackseed Work?
Blackseed contains several active ingredients such as thymoquinone, carvacrol, and alkaloids like nigellicimine, etc. Because of the presence of these compounds, they exert multiple effects when consumed. These effects range from combating pathogens and external agents such as bacteria and fungi, fighting inflammation, and controlling blood sugar. Regular intake will not only prevent the occurrence of many diseases, but also help in treating them.
What Are The Health Benefits of Blackseed?
- Antibiotic: Blackseed and black seed oil possess antibiotic activity against many bacterial agents. These include Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus Epidermidis are common causes of various infections, including those of the respiratory and genitourinary tract. Incorporating blackseed into your diet can help prevent such diseases.
- Antifungal: Blackseed has antifungal activity because it contains Ns-D1 and Ns-D2, which inhibit fungal activity. It is particularly effective against Candida infections of the oral cavity and genitals and fungal skin infections caused by Trichophyton and Epidermophyton species, which are relatively common. (1)
- Antidiabetic: Blackseed exerts an antidiabetogenic effect by improving the insulin sensitivity of cells and increasing the uptake of glucose, particularly in the liver and the muscle. This helps to normalize blood sugar levels.
- Antioxidant: The antioxidant effect of black seeds is primarily because they potentiate enzymes like myeloperoxidase which are responsible for eliminating free radicals. This helps in decreasing oxidative stress and lowering the chances of developing cancers.
- Anti-inflammatory: Blackseed and black seed oil can help reduce inflammation that causes symptoms such as congestion of sinuses, runny nose, and sneezing, which are common in both allergic reactions and respiratory tract infections. This is also why it is beneficial in conditions such as asthma and arthritis. (2)
- Effect on the cardiovascular system: Blackseed helps normalize blood pressure and maintain it at a stable and healthy level. It does this by decreasing LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels and increasing the levels of HDL, which is good cholesterol.
- Effect on kidneys and gut: It has a protective effect on both kidneys and gut. In the kidneys, it protects against damage induced by a variety of toxins and oxidative damage. Its actions in the gut are anti-inflammatory and help heal stomach ulcers and inflammatory conditions of the large intestine. (1)
- Dermatological benefits: Topical application of lotions containing black seed oil significantly reduces the occurrence of acne and keeps the skin glowing. The use of black seed oil for the hair and scalp helps in keeping the hair hydrated and gives them a healthy shine. (3)
Blackseed and black seed oil may have a bitter taste, but their health benefits are definitely sweet! Incorporating it into your daily routine will definitely improve health and prevent many diseases.
- Ahmad A, Husain A, Mujeeb M, Khan SA, Najmi AK, Siddique NA, et al. A review on the therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013 May;3(5):337.
- Black Seed: Are There Health Benefits? [Internet]. [cited 2021 Sep 15]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/diet/black-seed-health-benefits
- Nall R, MSN, CRNA. Black Seed Oil Benefits: For Health [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2021 Sep 15]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/black-seed-oil-benefits