11 Incredible Benefits of Black Cumin Seed Oil

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The benefits of black cumin seed oil are incredibly diverse, including reducing inflammation, boosting skin health, and lowering blood sugar. It also aids in weight loss, strengthening the immune system, lowering allergic reactions, optimizing the respiratory system, and preventing hair loss, among others.

What is Black Cumin Seed Oil?

Black cumin seed oil is derived from the Nigella sativa plant and is also commonly known as black oil or black coriander oil. As a member of the buttercup family, this plant produces small black seeds that can be pressed to extract the valuable oil, which has been used in culinary and medicinal uses for thousands of years, dating all the way back to ancient Egypt.

As one of the oldest and most potent health oils available, there is a good reason why it has become a cure-all for a huge range of conditions. The benefits of this seed oil are attributed to its numerous fatty acids, including palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and myristic acids, as well as thymoquinone, crystalline nigellone, various minerals, vitamins, active ingredients, and antioxidants.

Benefits Of Black Cumin Seed Oil

Let us look at the most important health benefits of this oil in detail.

Treats Stomach Issues

If you are struggling with indigestion, bloating, excess flatulence or any other stomach problem, black cumin seed oil can help, due to its function as a carminative. It has also been linked to more efficient digestion and reduced constipation.

A wooden bowl and spoon of black cumin seeds with a bottle of black cumin oil on a jute cloth

Reduces Inflammation

The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in black cumin seed oil are directly linked to lubricating the joints, soothing pain, and reducing inflammation throughout the body. Arthritic patients, as well as those suffering from respiratory issues and stomach tissue irritation, can benefit from the moderate use of this beneficial oil.

Prevents Asthma Attacks

Many studies have linked a reduction in asthma attacks with regular use or inhalation of black cumin seed oil. By using nose drops – one of the many forms of this oil – you can lower the severity and frequency of asthma attacks, which can be potentially life-saving.

Prevents Allergies

For people without asthma, the same anti-inflammatory effects can help the immune system respond more accurately to allergens. In other words, regular use of this seed oil can help prevent allergic reactions, such as skin inflammation, hives, rashes, stomach upset, chest tightness, and other common allergic responses.

Skin Care

The fatty acids and antioxidants found in black cumin seed oil are able to benefit skin health in many ways. It moisturizes the skin by providing a shield that locks in hydration, eliminates bacterial infections, prevents environmental stress, stimulates the growth of healthy new cells, and even improves the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes.

Boosts Immune System

Owing to its antibacterial properties, black cumin seed oil has been used to prevent infections like MRSA and autoimmune diseases. Its unique ability to protect the immune system without increasing the system’s attacks on the body is highly unusual, making it very exciting for people with autoimmune conditions.

Helps Manage Diabetes

Black cumin seeds find a variety of uses in traditional medicine across Asia, Africa, as well as Europe, and have been used to address a wide range of conditions, including diabetes. Various animal and human studies over the past few years have corroborated this ancient knowledge. A study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology concludes that a 2mg dose of these seeds might be supplementary to oral hypoglycemic agents in cases of type 2 diabetes.

Lowers Hypertension

The major presence of fatty acids, particularly myristic acid, oleic, linoleic, and palmitic acids, can help balance cholesterol levels in the body and improve circulation. This can lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart, and stroke.

Hair Care

For thousands of years, black cumin seed oil has been used to stimulate hair growth and improve the appearance of dry or unhealthy skin. It can be massaged into the scalp, mixed in with shampoos, or simply consumed to boost overall antioxidant levels in the body. Topical application is better for preventing dandruff and other skin infections, due to the moisturizing and antibacterial properties of the oil, respectively.

Prevents Obesity

By adding healthy fats to your system, such as linoleic and oleic acids in black cumin seed oil, you are able to stimulate the metabolism, access usable energy more quickly, and reduce fat deposition. This can increase passive fat burning and boost energy levels, helping you be more active and shave off even more pounds!

Anticancer Potential

In a study titled “Anticancer Activities of Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin)” by Md Asaduzzaman Khan et al., it is stated that the black cumin seeds have pharmacologically active compounds such as thymoquinone. These compounds are considered to have strong anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-mutagenic properties (Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2010). However, further studies are needed as the research found potential anticancer agent properties. 

Side Effects of Black Cumin Seed Oil

Use of black cumin seed oil does come along with some side effects, such as hypotension, allergic reactions, complications with pregnancy, and gastrointestinal distress. Proper administration of this oil, in combination with speaking to your doctor about any particular health concerns, should be enough to prevent the majority of these side effects.

  • Pregnancy: One of the effects of the black cumin seed oil is its ability to stimulate smooth muscle contraction, including in the uterus, which can be very dangerous for pregnant women. As this can stimulate premature labor or increase the risk of miscarriage, pregnant women are not recommended to use this oil.
  • Blood Pressure: The blood pressure-lowering properties of black cumin seed oil can be beneficial for heart health unless you are already taking medication for hypertension. If you have existing heart conditions, it is best to speak with your doctor before adding this oil to your health regimen.
  • Allergic Reactions: Allergies to cumin or coriander are not uncommon, so the use of this oil for people allergic to those plants, or those with highly sensitive skin, may experience skin itchiness, redness or swelling in topical areas, as well as in the lips, tongue, gums, throat, and face. If you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue use immediately and seek medical attention.
  • Stomach Upset: As with many potent oils, internal use can irritate the stomach and cause nausea, vomiting, bloating, cramping and other gastrointestinal issues. While not typically serious, if you experience these side effects, it may be a better choice to seek other nutrient-dense oils for your natural health treatments.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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