Black seed might have effects in the body that help boost the immune system, fight cancer, prevent pregnancy, reduce swelling, and lessen allergic reactions by acting as an antihistamine.
People commonly use black seed for asthma, hay fever, diabetes, high blood pressure, eczema, weight loss, menstrual cramps, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses. There is also no good evidence to support using black seed for COVID-19.
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- Acne. Applying a gel containing black seed extract to the skin might help to improve acne.
- Hay fever. Taking black seed oil by mouth daily might improve allergy symptoms in people with hay fever.
- Asthma. Taking black seed by mouth along with asthma medicines can improve coughing, wheezing, and lung function in some people with asthma. But it seems to work only in people with very low lung function before treatment.
- A lung disease that makes it harder to breathe (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). Taking black seed oil by mouth helps to improve lung function in people with COPD who are also using prescribed inhalers.
- Diabetes. Taking black seed powder or black seed oil by mouth daily seems to improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
- A digestive tract infection that can lead to ulcers (Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori). Taking black seed powder along with standard therapies might help to get rid of this infection.
- High blood pressure. Taking black seed powder or black seed oil by mouth might reduce blood pressure by a small amount in healthy adults. But it's not clear if it helps people with high blood pressure.
- Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility). Taking black seed oil by mouth increases sperm count and how quickly sperm can move. It's not clear if it improves pregnancy rates.
- Breast pain (mastalgia). Applying a gel containing black seed oil to the breasts during the menstrual cycle seems to reduce pain.
When applied to the skin: Black seed oil or gel is possibly safe when used short-term. It can cause allergic rashes in some people.
Special Precautions and Warnings
When applied to the skin: Black seed oil or gel is possibly safe when used short-term. It can cause allergic rashes in some people. Pregnancy: Black seed is commonly consumed in foods. But taking amounts greater than those found in foods while pregnant is likely unsafe. Black seed can slow down or stop the uterus from contracting.
Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if black seed is safe to use when 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 by weight.
Bleeding disorders: Black seed might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Black seed might make bleeding disorders worse.
Surgery: Black seed might slow blood clotting, reduce blood sugar, and increase sleepiness in some people. This can interfere with drugs used during and after surgical procedures and cause severe side effects. Stop using black seed at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with BLACK SEED
Black seed might lower blood sugar levels. Taking black seed along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with BLACK SEED
Black seed can increase the activity of the immune system. Some medications, such as those used after a transplant, decrease the activity of the immune system. Taking black seed along with these medications might decrease the effects of these medications.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with BLACK SEED
Black seed might slow blood clotting. Taking black seed along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with BLACK SEED
Black seed might lower blood pressure. Taking black seed along with medications that lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to go too low. Monitor your blood pressure closely.
Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with BLACK SEED
Black seed might cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Some medications, called sedatives, can also cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Taking black seed with sedative medications might cause breathing problems and/or too much sleepiness.
Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) interacts with BLACK SEED
Black seed might decrease levels of cyclosporine in the blood. This might reduce how well cyclosporine is able to work.
Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with BLACK SEED
Black seed can decrease potassium levels. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium levels. Taking black seed along with "water pills" might make potassium levels drop too low.
Amlodipine (Norvasc) interacts with BLACK SEED
Amlodipine lowers blood pressure. Black seed also lowers blood pressure. Taking black seed with amlodipine might lower blood pressure too much. People taking black seed along with amlodipine should monitor their blood pressure.
Medications that increase serotonin levels in the brain (Serotonergic Drugs) interacts with BLACK SEED
Black seed might increase a brain chemical called serotonin. Some medications also have this effect. Taking black seed along with these medications might increase serotonin too much. This might cause serious side effects including heart problems, seizures, and vomiting.
Be cautious with this combination
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Behnamfar N, Parsa Yekta Z, Mojab F, Kazem Naeini SM. The effect of nigella sativa oil on the prevention of phlebitis induced by chemotherapy: a clinical trial. Biomedicine (Taipei) 2019;9(3):20. Erratum in: Biomedicine (Taipei) 2019;9(4):30. View abstract.
Bin Sayeed MS, Asaduzzaman M, Morshed H, Hossain MM, Kadir MF, Rahman MR. The effect of Nigella sativa Linn. seed on memory, attention and cognition in healthy human volunteers. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013;148(3):780-6. View abstract.
Bin Sayeed MS, Shams T, Fahim Hossain S, et al. Nigella sativa L. seeds modulate mood, anxiety and cognition in healthy adolescent males. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;152(1):156-62. View abstract.
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Busari AA, Adejare AA, Shodipe AF, Oduniyi OA, Ismail-Badmus KB, Oreagba IA. Protective but Non-Synergistic Effects of Nigella Sativa and Vitamin E against Cisplatin-Induced Renal Toxicity and Oxidative Stress in Wistar Rats. Drug Res (Stuttg). 2018 Dec;68(12):696-703. 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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Dehkordi FR, Kamkhah AF. Antihypertensive effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in patients with mild hypertension. Fundam Clin Pharmacol 2008;22:447-52. 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.
Farzaneh E, Nia FR, Mehrtash M, Mirmoeini FS, Jalilvand M. The effects of 8-week nigella sativa supplementation and aerobic training on lipid profile and VO2 max in sedentary overweight females. Int J Prev Med. 2014 Feb;5(2):210-16. View abstract.
Gheita TA, Kenawy SA. Effectiveness of Nigella sativa oil in the management of rheumatoid arthritis patients: a placebo controlled study. Phytother Res 2012;26:1246-8. View abstract.
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Hagag AA, Badraia IM, El-Shehaby WA, Mabrouk MM. Protective role of black seed oil in doxorubicin-induced cardiac toxicity in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2020;26(6):1397-1406. View abstract.
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Kaatabi H, Bamosa AO, Badar A, et al. Nigella sativa improves glycemic control and ameliorates oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: placebo controlled participant blinded clinical trial. PLoS One 2015;10:e0113486. View abstract.
Keshri G, Singh MM, Lakshmi V, Kamboj VP. Post-coital contraceptive efficacy of the seeds of Black seed in rats. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1995;39:59-62. View abstract.
Khonche A, Huseini HF, Gholamian M, Mohtashami R, Nabati F, Kianbakht S. Standardized Nigella sativa seed oil ameliorates hepatic steatosis, aminotransferase and lipid levels in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2019 Apr 24;234:106-111. View abstract.
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Mohtashami R, Huseini HF, Heydari M, et al. Efficacy and safety of honey based formulation of Nigella sativa seed oil in functional dyspepsia: A double blind randomized controlled clinical trial. J Ethnopharmacol 2015;175:147-52. View abstract.
Molaie M, Darvishi B, Jafari Azar Z, Shirazi M, Amin G, Afshar S. Effects of a combination of Nigella sativa and Vitex agnus-castus with citalopram on healthy menopausal women with hot flashes: results from a subpopulation analysis. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2019 Jan;35(1):58-61. View abstract.
Mousa HFM, Abd-El-Fatah NK, Darwish OA, Shehata SF, Fadel SH. Effect of Nigella sativa seed administration on prevention of febrile neutropenia during chemotherapy among children with brain tumors. Childs Nerv Syst. 2017;33(5):793-800. View abstract.
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Nikkhah-Bodaghi M, Darabi Z, Agah S, Hekmatdoost A. The effects of Nigella sativa on quality of life, disease activity index, and some of inflammatory and oxidative stress factors in patients with ulcerative colitis. Phytother Res. 2019 Apr;33(4):1027-1032. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6296. Epub 2019 Jan 22. View abstract.
Onifade AA, Jewell AP, Adedeji WA. Nigella sativa concoction induced sustained seroreversion in HIV patient. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2013;10(5):332-5. View abstract.
Oysu C, Tosun A, Yilmaz HB, Sahin-Yilmaz A, Korkmaz D, Karaaslan A. Topical nigella sativa for nasal symptoms in elderly. Auris Nasus Larynx. 2014 Jun;41(3):269-72. View abstract.
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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Sahebkar A, Soranna D, Liu X, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of supplementation with Nigella sativa (black seed) on blood pressure. J Hypertens 2016;34:2127-35. View abstract.
Salem AM, Bamosa AO, Qutub HO, et al. Effect of Nigella sativa supplementation on lung function and inflammatory mediatorsin partly controlled asthma: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Saudi Med 2017;37:64-71. View abstract.
Salem EM, Yar T, Bamosa AO, et al. Comparative study of nigella sativa and triple therapy in eradication of helicobacter pylori in patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia. Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jul-Sep;16(3):207-14. View abstract.
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Shawki M, El Wakeel L, Shatla R, et al. The clinical outcome of adjuvant therapy with black seed oil on intractable paediatric seizures: a pilot study. Epileptic Disord 2013;15:295-301. View abstract.
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