Ajenuz, Aranuel, Baraka, Black Cumin, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Black Caraway, Charnuska, Cheveux de Vénus, Cominho Negro, Comino Negro, Cumin Noir, Cyah Dane, Fennel Flower, Fitch, Graine de Nigelle, Graine Noire, Habatul Sauda, Habbatul Baraka, Kalajaji, Kalajira, Kalonji, Ketsah, La Grainer Noire, Love in a Mist, Mugrela, Nielle, Nigella sativa, Nigelle de Crête, Nigelle Cultivée, Nutmeg Flower, Poivrette, Roman-Coriander, Schwarzkummel, Seed of Blessing, Siyah Dane, Shoniz, Small Fennel, Toute Épice, Upakuncika.<br/><br/>
Overview InformationBlack 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, weight loss, 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 & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Asthma. Research shows that 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. And it does not seem to work as well 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 black seed oil by mouth daily might improve allergy symptoms in people with hay fever.
- Itchy and inflamed skin (eczema). Early research suggests that taking black seed oil by mouth might improve symptoms in people with itchy and inflamed skin. But applying black seed oil ointment to the skin does not seem to help.
- A disease that attacks the thyroid (autoimmune thyroiditis). Taking black seed might improve some but not all measures of thyroid function in people with a disease called Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
- Damage to the immune system during cancer treatment. Early research shows that taking black seed ass part of the diet while undergoing cancer drug treatment might prevent fever episodes due to low white blood cell counts (neutropenia) in children.
- Mental performance. Early research shows that black seed helps with some but not all measures of memory and attention in boys and men. It's unknown if black seed improves memory and thinking skills in girls and women.
- Dry nose. Early research shows that using a nasal spray containing black seed oil can reduce dryness, blockage, and crusting of the nostrils in elderly patients with nasal irritation.
- Indigestion. Taking a product containing black seed oil, honey, and water seems to reduce symptoms of indigestion. It's unclear if this improvement is due to black seed or other ingredients.
- Seizures (epilepsy). Early research shows that taking black seed extract by mouth reduces the number of seizures in children with epilepsy. But taking black seed oil does not seem to work.
- Stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H pylori infection). Some research shows that taking black seed powder along with the drug omeprazole might help eliminate a certain bacterium (H. pylori) in the stomach that can cause stomach ulcers. But not all doses seem to work.
- Hepatitis C. Early research shows that taking black seed oil daily for 3 months reduces viral load in people with hepatitis C. It also seems to reduce lower limb swelling. But it doesn't seem to improve liver function.
- High cholesterol. Some early research shows that taking crushed black seed increases "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and reduces total cholesterol, "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood fats called triglycerides in people with borderline high cholesterol. Other research shows that taking both crushed black seed and garlic oil in addition to other products that lower cholesterol, such as simvastatin, can lead to larger improvements in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels than simvastatin alone. However, not all research agrees.
- Leukemia. Taking black seed while being treated for a type of leukemia called acute lymphoblastic leukemia might increase the chances of staying cancer-free once treatment ends. But it doesn't improve overall survival.
- 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.
- Reducing harmful effects of a medicine called methotrexate. Early research shows that taking black seed might reduce liver damage caused by a certain drug used to treat cancer in children with a type of leukemia.
- Obesity. Some research shows that taking black seed oil or powder might improve weight loss by a small amount in people who are obese or overweight. But other research shows no benefit. Studies are generally small and low-quality, so more research is needed.
- 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.
- Osteoarthritis. Early research shows that applying black seed oil to the knee for 3-4 weeks can help relieve knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.
- 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.
Side Effects & SafetyBlack 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.
We currently have no information for BLACK SEED Interactions.
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, 500 mg of black seed oil has been taken twice daily for 4 weeks. In addition, 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: 1 gram of black seed powder has been used twice daily for up to 12 months.
- For high blood pressure: 0.5-2 grams of black seed powder has been taken daily for up to 12 weeks. Also, 100-200 mg or 2.5 mL of black seed oil has been used twice daily for 8 weeks.
- To improve sperm function: 2.5 mL of black seed oil has been used twice daily for 2 months.
- For breast pain: A gel containing 30% black seed oil has been applied to breasts every day for two menstrual cycles.
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- Abbas, A. T., Abdel-Aziz, M. M., Zalata, K. R., and Tel, Abd Al-Galel. Effect of dexamethasone and Nigella sativa on peripheral blood eosinophil count, IgG1 and IgG2a, cytokine profiles and lung inflammation in murine model of allergic asthma. Egypt J Immunol. 2005;12(1):95-102. View abstract.
- Abdel-Fattah, A. M., Matsumoto, K., and Watanabe, H. Antinociceptive effects of Nigella sativa oil and its major component, thymoquinone, in mice. Eur.J Pharmacol. 7-14-2000;400(1):89-97. View abstract.
- Akhondian JAV and et al. A pilot study on the effects of Nigella sativa seeds aqueous extract on paediatric intractable seizures. Epilepsia 2005;46(6):3-415.
- Akhondian, J., Parsa, A., and Rakhshande, H. The effect of Nigella sativa L. (black cumin seed) on intractable pediatric seizures. Med Sci Monit. 2007;13(12):CR555-CR559. View abstract.
- Al Ghamdi, M. S. The anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activity of Nigella sativa. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001;76(1):45-48. View abstract.
- Al Jishi, S. A. and Abuo, Hozaifa B. Effect of Nigella sativa on blood hemostatic function in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003;85(1):7-14. View abstract.
- Al Majed, A. A., Daba, M. H., Asiri, Y. A., Al Shabanah, O. A., Mostafa, A. A., and El Kashef, H. A. Thymoquinone-induced relaxation of guinea-pig isolated trachea. Res Commun.Mol.Pathol.Pharmacol. 2001;110(5-6):333-345. View abstract.
- Al Naggar, T. B., Gomez-Serranillos, M. P., Carretero, M. E., and Villar, A. M. Neuropharmacological activity of Nigella sativa L. extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003;88(1):63-68. View abstract.
- Al Naqeep, G., Ismail, M., and Allaudin, Z. Regulation of Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor and 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl Coenzyme A Reductase Gene Expression by Thymoquinone-Rich Fraction and Thymoquinone in HepG2 Cells. J Nutrigenet.Nutrigenomics. 10-30-2009;2(4-5):163-172. View abstract.
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- Ali, B. H. The effect of Nigella sativa oil on gentamicin nephrotoxicity in rats. Am.J Chin Med 2004;32(1):49-55. View abstract.
- Asgari S and et al. The effects of Nigella sativa on atherosclerosis and its new risk factors in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Iranian Journal of Diabetes & Lipid Disorders (IRANIAN J DIABETES LIPID DISORD) 2007;6(3):E29.
- Awad, E. M. and Binder, B. R. In vitro induction of endothelial cell fibrinolytic alterations by Nigella sativa. Phytomedicine 2005;12(3):194-202. View abstract.
- Ayaz, E., Yilmaz, H., Ozbek, H., Tas, Z., and Orunc, O. The effect of Nigella sativa oil against Aspiculuris tetraptera and Hymenolepis nana in naturally infected mice. Saudi Med J 2007;28(11):1654-1657. View abstract.
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- Badary, O. A. Thymoquinone attenuates ifosfamide-induced Fanconi syndrome in rats and enhances its antitumor activity in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 11-1-1999;67(2):135-142. View abstract.
- Badary, O. A., Abdel-Naim, A. B., Abdel-Wahab, M. H., and Hamada, F. M. The influence of thymoquinone on doxorubicin-induced hyperlipidemic nephropathy in rats. Toxicology 3-7-2000;143(3):219-226. View abstract.
- Badary, O. A., Nagi, M. N., Al Shabanah, O. A., Al Sawaf, H. A., Al Sohaibani, M. O., and Al Bekairi, A. M. Thymoquinone ameliorates the nephrotoxicity induced by cisplatin in rodents and potentiates its antitumor activity. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1997;75(12):1356-1361. View abstract.
- Bamosa, A. O., Ali, B. A., and al Hawsawi, Z. A. The effect of thymoquinone on blood lipids in rats. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2002;46(2):195-201. View abstract.
- Bayrak, O., Bavbek, N., Karatas, O. F., Bayrak, R., Catal, F., Cimentepe, E., Akbas, A., Yildirim, E., Unal, D., and Akcay, A. Nigella sativa protects against ischaemia/reperfusion injury in rat kidneys. Nephrol.Dial.Transplant. 2008;23(7):2206-2212. View abstract.
- Benhaddou-Andaloussi A and et al. Antidiabetic activity of Nigella sativa seed extract in cultured pancreatic beta-cells, skeletal muscle cells, and adipocytes. Pharmaceutical Biology (Netherlands) 2010;(46):96-104.
- Boskabady MH and et al. Inhibitory effect of Nigella sativa on histamine receptors of isolated guinea pig tracheal chains. Pharmaceutical Biology (Netherlands). 2002;40:596-602.
- Boskabady, M. H. and Farhadi, J. The possible prophylactic effect of Nigella sativa seed aqueous extract on respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function tests on chemical war victims: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Altern.Complement Med 2008;14(9):1137-1144. View abstract.
- Boskabady, M. H., Javan, H., Sajady, M., and Rakhshandeh, H. The possible prophylactic effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in asthmatic patients. Fundam.Clin Pharmacol. 2007;21(5):559-566. View abstract.
- Boskabady, M. H., Keyhanmanesh, R., and Saadatloo, M. A. Relaxant effects of different fractions from Nigella sativa L. on guinea pig tracheal chains and its possible mechanism(s). Indian J Exp.Biol. 2008;46(12):805-810. View abstract.
- Boskabady, M. H., Mohsenpoor, N., and Takaloo, L. Antiasthmatic effect of Nigella sativa in airways of asthmatic patients. Phytomedicine 2-8-2010; View abstract.
- Dahri, A. H., Chandiol, A. M., Rahoo, A. A., and Memon, R. A. Effect of Nigella sativa (kalonji) on serum cholesterol of albino rats. J Ayub.Med Coll.Abbottabad. 2005;17(2):72-74. View abstract.
- Dirjomuljono, M., Kristyono, I., Tjandrawinata, R. R., and Nofiarny, D. Symptomatic treatment of acute tonsillo-pharyngitis patients with a combination of Nigella sativa and Phyllanthus niruri extract. Int J Clin Pharmacol.Ther 2008;46(6):295-306. View abstract.
- Edris, A. E. Anti-cancer properties of Nigella spp. essential oils and their major constituents, thymoquinone and beta-elemene. Curr.Clin Pharmacol. 2009;4(1):43-46. View abstract.
- el Dakhakhny, M., Mady, N. I., and Halim, M. A. Nigella sativa L. oil protects against induced hepatotoxicity and improves serum lipid profile in rats. Arzneimittelforschung. 2000;50(9):832-836. View abstract.
- el Dakhakhny, M., Mady, N., Lembert, N., and Ammon, H. P. The hypoglycemic effect of Nigella sativa oil is mediated by extrapancreatic actions. Planta Med 2002;68(5):465-466. View abstract.
- El Gazzar, M. A. Thymoquinone suppressses in vitro production of IL-5 and IL-13 by mast cells in response to lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Inflamm.Res 2007;56(8):345-351. View abstract.
- El Mahmoudy, A., Shimizu, Y., Shiina, T., Matsuyama, H., Nikami, H., and Takewaki, T. Macrophage-derived cytokine and nitric oxide profiles in type I and type II diabetes mellitus: effect of thymoquinone. Acta Diabetol. 2005;42(1):23-30. View abstract.
- El Obeid, A., Al Harbi, S., Al Jomah, N., and Hassib, A. Herbal melanin modulates tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production. Phytomedicine. 2006;13(5):324-333. View abstract.
- El Saleh, S. C., Al Sagair, O. A., and Al Khalaf, M. I. Thymoquinone and Nigella sativa oil protection against methionine-induced hyperhomocysteinemia in rats. Int J Cardiol. 2004;93(1):19-23. View abstract.
- el Tahir, K. E., Ashour, M. M., and al Harbi, M. M. The cardiovascular actions of the volatile oil of the black seed (Nigella sativa) in rats: elucidation of the mechanism of action. Gen.Pharmacol. 1993;24(5):1123-1131. View abstract.
- El Wakil, S. S. Evaluation of the in vitro effect of Nigella sativa aqueous extract on Blastocystis hominis isolates. J Egypt Soc.Parasitol. 2007;37(3):801-813. View abstract.
- El-Gharieb MA and et al. Potential hepatoprotective effects of vitamin E and Nigella sativa oil on hepatotoxicity induced by chronic exposure to malathion in human and male albino rats. Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry. 2010;92(2):395-412.
- Enomoto, S., Asano, R., Iwahori, Y., Narui, T., Okada, Y., Singab, A. N., and Okuyama, T. Hematological studies on black cumin oil from the seeds of Nigella sativa L. Biol.Pharm.Bull 2001;24(3):307-310. View abstract.
- Fararh, K. M., Atoji, Y., Shimizu, Y., Shiina, T., Nikami, H., and Takewaki, T. Mechanisms of the hypoglycaemic and immunopotentiating effects of Nigella sativa L. oil in streptozotocin-induced diabetic hamsters. Res Vet.Sci 2004;77(2):123-129. View abstract.
- Fararh, K. M., Ibrahim, A. K., and Elsonosy, Y. A. Thymoquinone enhances the activities of enzymes related to energy metabolism in peripheral leukocytes of diabetic rats. Res Vet.Sci 2010;88(3):400-404. View abstract.
- Fararh, K. M., Shimizu, Y., Shiina, T., Nikami, H., Ghanem, M. M., and Takewaki, T. Thymoquinone reduces hepatic glucose production in diabetic hamsters. Res Vet.Sci 2005;79(3):219-223. View abstract.
- Fouda, A. M., Daba, M. H., Dahab, G. M., and Sharaf El-Din, O. A. Thymoquinone ameliorates renal oxidative damage and proliferative response induced by mercuric chloride in rats. Basic Clin Pharmacol.Toxicol. 2008;103(2):109-118. View abstract.
- Gali-Muhtasib, H., Diab-Assaf, M., Boltze, C., Al Hmaira, J., Hartig, R., Roessner, A., and Schneider-Stock, R. Thymoquinone extracted from black seed triggers apoptotic cell death in human colorectal cancer cells via a p53-dependent mechanism. Int J Oncol. 2004;25(4):857-866. View abstract.
- Gali-Muhtasib, H., Roessner, A., and Schneider-Stock, R. Thymoquinone: a promising anti-cancer drug from natural sources. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2006;38(8):1249-1253. View abstract.
- Ghannadi, A., Hajhashemi, V., and Jafarabadi, H. An investigation of the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of Nigella sativa seed polyphenols. J Med Food 2005;8(4):488-493. View abstract.
- Hansen, J. T., Benghuzzi, H., Tucci, M., and Cason, Z. The role of black seed in the proliferation and biochemical marker levels of Hep-2 cells. Biomed.Sci.Instrum. 2003;39:371-376. View abstract.
- Hawsawi, Z. A., Ali, B. A., and Bamosa, A. O. Effect of Nigella sativa (Black Seed) and thymoquinone on blood glucose in albino rats. Ann.Saudi Med 2001;21(3-4):242-244. View abstract.
- Hosseinzadeh, H. and Parvardeh, S. Anticonvulsant effects of thymoquinone, the major constituent of Nigella sativa seeds, in mice. Phytomedicine 2004;11(1):56-64. View abstract.
- Hosseinzadeh, H., Parvardeh, S., Nassiri-Asl, M., and Mansouri, M. T. Intracerebroventricular administration of thymoquinone, the major constituent of Nigella sativa seeds, suppresses epileptic seizures in rats. Med Sci Monit. 2005;11(4):BR106-BR110. View abstract.
- Ilhan, A., Gurel, A., Armutcu, F., Kamisli, S., and Iraz, M. Antiepileptogenic and antioxidant effects of Nigella sativa oil against pentylenetetrazol-induced kindling in mice. Neuropharmacology 2005;49(4):456-464. View abstract.
- Islam, S. N., Begum, P., Ahsan, T., Huque, S., and Ahsan, M. Immunosuppressive and cytotoxic properties of Nigella sativa. Phytother.Res. 2004;18(5):395-398. View abstract.
- Jadayil, S. A., Tukan, S. K., and Takruri, H. R. Bioavailability of iron from four different local food plants in Jordan. Plant Foods Hum.Nutr. 1999;54(4):285-294. View abstract.
- Kaleem, M., Kirmani, D., Asif, M., Ahmed, Q., and Bano, B. Biochemical effects of Nigella sativa L seeds in diabetic rats. Indian J Exp.Biol. 2006;44(9):745-748. View abstract.
- Kalus, U., Pruss, A., Bystron, J., Jurecka, M., Smekalova, A., Lichius, J. J., and Kiesewetter, H. Effect of Nigella sativa (black seed) on subjective feeling in patients with allergic diseases. Phytother.Res. 2003;17(10):1209-1214. View abstract.
- Kamal EH and et al. Some cardiovascular effects of the dethymoquinonated Nigella sativa volatile oil and its major components alpha-pinene and p-cymene in rats. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal (Saudi Arabia). 2003;11:104-110.
- Kanter, M. Effects of Nigella sativa and its major constituent, thymoquinone on sciatic nerves in experimental diabetic neuropathy. Neurochem.Res 2008;33(1):87-96. View abstract.
- Kanter, M. Effects of Nigella sativa seed extract on ameliorating lung tissue damage in rats after experimental pulmonary aspirations. Acta Histochem. 2009;111(5):393-403. View abstract.
- Kanter, M. Protective effects of thymoquinone on streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy. J Mol.Histol. 2009;40(2):107-115. View abstract.
- Kanter, M., Coskun, O., and Uysal, H. The antioxidative and antihistaminic effect of Nigella sativa and its major constituent, thymoquinone on ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage. Arch Toxicol. 2006;80(4):217-224. View abstract.
- Kanter, M., Coskun, O., Korkmaz, A., and Oter, S. Effects of Nigella sativa on oxidative stress and beta-cell damage in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Anat.Rec.A Discov.Mol.Cell Evol.Biol. 2004;279(1):685-691. View abstract.
- Kanter, M., Demir, H., Karakaya, C., and Ozbek, H. Gastroprotective activity of Nigella sativa L oil and its constituent, thymoquinone against acute alcohol-induced gastric mucosal injury in rats. World J Gastroenterol. 11-14-2005;11(42):6662-6666. View abstract.
- Kanter, M., Meral, I., Yener, Z., Ozbek, H., and Demir, H. Partial regeneration/proliferation of the beta-cells in the islets of Langerhans by Nigella sativa L. in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Tohoku J Exp.Med 2003;201(4):213-219. View abstract.
- Keyhanmanesh, R., Boskabady, M. H., Eslamizadeh, M. J., Khamneh, S., and Ebrahimi, M. A. The effect of thymoquinone, the main constituent of Nigella sativa on tracheal responsiveness and white blood cell count in lung lavage of sensitized guinea pigs. Planta Med 2010;76(3):218-222. View abstract.
- Kocyigit, Y., Atamer, Y., and Uysal, E. The effect of dietary supplementation of Nigella sativa L. on serum lipid profile in rats. Saudi Med J 2009;30(7):893-896. View abstract.
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