BLACK SEED

OTHER NAME(S):

Ajenuz, Aranuel, Baraka, Black Cumin, Black Caraway, Charnuska, Cheveux de Vénus, Cominho Negro, Comino Negro, Cumin Noir, Cyah Dane, Fennel Flower, Fitch, Graine de Nigelle, Graine Noire, Habatul Sauda, Kalajaji, Kalajira, Kalonji, La Grainer Noire, Love in a Mist, Mugrela, Nielle, Nigella sativa, Nigelle de Crête, Nigelle Cultivée, Nutmeg Flower, Poivrette, Roman-Coriander, Schwarzkummel, Siyah Dane, Shoniz, Small Fennel, Toute Épice, Upakuncika.<br/><br/>

Overview

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.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

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.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • 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.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Cancer prevention.
  • Congestion.
  • Cough.
  • Digestive problems including intestinal gas and diarrhea.
  • Flu.
  • Headache.
  • Increasing breast-milk flow.
  • Menstrual disorders.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of black seed for these uses.

Side Effects

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.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for BLACK SEED Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • 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.
ON THE SKIN:
  • For breast pain: A gel containing 30% black seed oil has been applied to breasts every day for two menstrual cycles.

View References

REFERENCES:

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  • Meral, I., Yener, Z., Kahraman, T., and Mert, N. Effect of Nigella sativa on glucose concentration, lipid peroxidation, anti-oxidant defence system and liver damage in experimentally-induced diabetic rabbits. J Vet.Med A Physiol Pathol.Clin Med 2001;48(10):593-599. View abstract.
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  • Najmi, A., Nasiruddin, M., Khan, R. A., and Haque, S. F. Effect of Nigella sativa oil on various clinical and biochemical parameters of insulin resistance syndrome. Int J Diabetes Dev.Ctries. 2008;28(1):11-14. View abstract.
  • Parvardeh S and et al. Effects of thymoquinone, the major constituent of Nigella sativa seeds, on the contractile responses of rat vas deferens. Pharmaceutical Biology (Netherlands). 2003;41:616-621.
  • Perveen, T., Haider, S., Kanwal, S., and Haleem, D. J. Repeated administration of Nigella sativa decreases 5-HT turnover and produces anxiolytic effects in rats. Pak.J Pharm.Sci 2009;22(2):139-144. View abstract.
  • Qidwai, W., Hamza, H. B., Qureshi, R., and Gilani, A. Effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of powdered Nigella sativa (kalonji) seed in capsules on serum lipid levels, blood sugar, blood pressure, and body weight in adults: results of a randomized, double-blind controlled trial. J Altern.Complement Med 2009;15(6):639-644. View abstract.
  • Reiter, M. and Brandt, W. Relaxant effects on tracheal and ileal smooth muscles of the guinea pig. Arzneimittelforschung. 1985;35(1A):408-414. View abstract.
  • Sangi, S., Ahmed, S. P., Channa, M. A., Ashfaq, M., and Mastoi, S. M. A new and novel treatment of opioid dependence: Nigella sativa 500 mg. J Ayub.Med Coll.Abbottabad. 2008;20(2):118-124. View abstract.
  • Shoieb, A. M., Elgayyar, M., Dudrick, P. S., Bell, J. L., and Tithof, P. K. In vitro inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in cancer cell lines by thymoquinone. Int J Oncol. 2003;22(1):107-113. View abstract.
  • Singh, B. B., Khorsan, R., Vinjamury, S. P., Der-Martirosian, C., Kizhakkeveettil, A., and Anderson, T. M. Herbal treatments of asthma: a systematic review. J Asthma 2007;44(9):685-698. View abstract.
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  • Zaoui, A., Cherrah, Y., Mahassini, N., Alaoui, K., Amarouch, H., and Hassar, M. Acute and chronic toxicity of Nigella sativa fixed oil. Phytomedicine 2002;9(1):69-74. View abstract.
  • Akhtar MS, Riffat S. Field trial of Saussurea lappa roots against nematodes and Nigella sativa seeds against cestodes in children. J Pak Med Assoc 1991;41:185-7. View abstract.
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  • Aqel M, Shaheen R. Effects of the volatile oil of black seed seeds on the uterine smooth muscle of rat and guinea pig. J Ethnopharmacol 1996;52:23-6. View abstract.
  • Arslan E, Sayin S, Demirbas S, et al. A case study report of acute renal failure associated with Nigella sativa in a diabetic patient. J Integr Med 2013;11:64-6. View abstract.
  • Badar A, Kaatabi H, Bamosa A, et al. Effect of Nigella sativa supplementation over a one-year period on lipid levels, blood pressure and heart rate in type-2 diabetic patients receiving oral hypoglycemic agents: nonrandomized clinical trial. Ann Saudi Med 2017;37:56-63. View abstract.
  • Badary OA, Al-Shabanah OA, Nagi MN, et al. Inhibition of benzo(a)pyrene-induced forestomach carcinogenesis in mice by thymoquinone. Eur J Cancer Prev 1999;8:435-40. View abstract.
  • Bamosa AO, Kaatabi H, Lebdaa FM, et al. Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2010;54:344-54. View abstract.
  • Bonhomme A, Poreaux C, Jouen F, et al. Bullous drug eruption to Nigella sativa oil: Consideration of the use of a herbal medicine - clinical report and review of the literature. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2017;31:e217-e219. View abstract.
  • Chakravarty N. Inhibition of histamine release from mast cells by nigellone. Ann Allergy 1993;70:237-42. View abstract.
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  • Farhangi MA, Dehghan P, Tajmiri S, Abbasi MM. The effects of Nigella sativa on thyroid function, serum Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) - 1, Nesfatin-1 and anthropometric features in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Complement Altern Med 2016;16:471. View abstract.
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  • Houghton PJ, Zarka R, de las Heras B, Hoult JR. Fixed oil of Black seed and derived thymoquinone inhibit eicosanoid generation in leukocytes and membrane lipid peroxidation. Planta Med 1995;61:33-6. View abstract.
  • Huseini HF, Kianbakht S, Mirshamsi MH, Zarch AB. Effectiveness of topical Nigella sativa seed oil in the treatment of cyclic mastalgia: A randomized, triple-blind, active, and placebo-controlled clinical trial. Planta Med 2016;82:285-8. View abstract.
  • Ibrahim RM, Hamdan NS, Mahmud R, et al. ff LA, Ismail M. A randomised controlled trial on hypolipidemic effects of Nigella Sativa seeds powder in menopausal women. J Transl Med 2014;12:82. View abstract.
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  • Medenica RD. Use of Black seed to increase immune function. U.S. Patent 5,482,711, issued January 9, 1996. Obtained from US Patent and Trademark Ofc on April 12, 2000. www.uspto.gov/patft/index.htm.
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  • Perveen T, Haider S, Zuberi NA, et al. Increased 5-HT levels following repeated administration of Nigella sativa L. (Black Seed) oil produce antidepressant effects in rats. Sci Pharm 2013;82:161-70. View abstract.
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