BLACK SEED Overview Information
Black seed is a plant. People have used the seed to make medicine for over 2000 years. It was even discovered in the tomb of King Tut.
Historically, black seed has been used for headache, toothache, nasal congestion, asthma, arthritis, and intestinal worms. It has also been used for "pink eye" (conjunctivitis), pockets of infection (abscesses), and parasites.
Today, black seed is most commonly used for asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and many other conditions.
How does it work?
There is some scientific evidence to suggest that black seed might help boost the immune system, fight cancer, prevent pregnancy, reduce swelling, and lessen allergic reactions by acting as an antihistamine, but there isn't enough information in humans yet.
Possibly Effective for:
- Asthma. Research suggests that taking black seed extract by mouth improves coughing, wheezing, and lung function in people with asthma. However, black seed may not be as effective as the drugs theophylline or salbutamol.
- Diabetes. Early research shows that taking black seed powder can improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Black seed might also improve levels of cholesterol in people with diabetes. Doses of 2 grams daily seem to be needed for any benefit.
- High blood pressure. Research shows that taking black seed by mouth might reduce blood pressure by a small amount.
- To improve sperm function. Research shows that taking black seed oil increases the number of sperm and how quickly they move in men with infertility.
- Breast pain (mastalgia). Research shows that applying a gel containing black seed oil to the breasts during the menstrual cycle reduces pain in women with breast pain.
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing black seed oil, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and biotin (Immerfit by Phyt-Immun) by mouth daily might improve allergy symptoms in people with hay fever.
- Itchy and inflamed skin (eczema). Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing black seed oil, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and biotin (Immerfit by Phyt-Immun) by mouth daily might improve symptoms in people with itchy and inflamed skin. However, applying 15% black seed oil ointment to the skin for 4 weeks does not appear to improve itching or disease severity in similar patients.
- A disease that attacks the thyroid (autoimmune thyroiditis). . Taking black seed powder might improve some but not all measures of thyroid function in people with a disease called Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
- Indigestion. Research suggests that taking a product containing black seed oil, honey, and water reduces symptoms of indigestion.
- Seizures (epilepsy). Early research shows that taking black seed extract by mouth every 8 hours for 4 weeks reduces the number of seizures in children with epilepsy. However, black seed oil does not seem to work.
- High cholesterol. Some early research shows that taking crushed black seed reduces total cholesterol, "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood fats called triglycerides in people with borderline high cholesterol. However, not all research agrees.
- Metabolic syndrome. Early research suggests that taking a specific black seed oil product twice daily for 6 weeks might reduce total cholesterol, "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood sugar levels in people with metabolic syndrome.
- Relieving symptoms related to opioid withdrawal. Early research shows that taking black seed extract by mouth three times daily for 12 days might reduce symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Early research shows that taking black seed oil improves pain and stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis who are already taking methotrexate.
- Sore throat and swollen tonsils (tonsillopharyngitis). Early research suggests that taking a combination of chanca piedra and black seed by mouth for 7 days relieves pain in people with sore throat and swollen tonsils.
- Birth control.
- Boosting the immune system.
- Cancer prevention.
- Digestive problems including intestinal gas and diarrhea.
- Increasing breast-milk flow.
- Menstrual disorders.
- Other conditions.
BLACK SEED Side Effects & Safety
Black seed, when taken by mouth in small quantities, such as a flavoring for foods, is LIKELY SAFE for most people. Black seed oil and black seed powder are POSSIBLY SAFE when medical amounts are used short-term. There isn't enough information to know if larger, medicinal quantities are safe. Black seed can cause allergic rashes when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. When taken by mouth it might cause stomach upset, vomiting, or constipation. It might increase the risk of seizures in some people.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Black seed seems to be safe in food amounts during pregnancy. But taking larger medicinal amounts is LIKELY UNSAFE. Black seed can slow down or stop the uterus from contracting.
Not much is known about the safety of using black seed during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Black seed oil is POSSIBLY SAFE for children when taken by mouth short-term and in recommended amounts.
Bleeding disorders: Black seed might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. In theory, black seed might make bleeding disorders worse.
Diabetes:Black seed might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use black seed.
Low blood pressure: Black seed might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking black seed might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.
Surgery: Black seed might slow blood clotting, reduce blood sugar, and increase sleepiness in some people. In theory, black seed might increase the risk for bleeding and interfere with blood sugar control and anesthesia during and after surgical procedures. Stop using black seed at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
BLACK SEED Dosing
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For asthma: 2 grams of ground black seed has been used daily for 12 weeks. Also, 15 mL/kg of black seed extract has been used daily for 3 months. A single dose of 50-100 mg/kg has also been used.
- For diabetes: Black seed powder 1 gram twice daily for up to 12 months has been used.
- For high blood pressure: Black seed powder 0.5-2 grams daily for up to 12 weeks has been used. Black seed oil 100-200 mg twice daily for 8 weeks has been used.
- To improve sperm function: Black seed oil 2.5 mL twice daily for 2 months has been used.
- For breast pain: A gel containing 30% black seed oil has been applied to breasts every day for two menstrual cycles.