Black seed oil, derived from the Nigella sativa plant, has a long list of science-backed health and beauty benefits. Its phytochemicals—notably thymoquinone—have been shown to help fight against several conditions.
Avoid black seed oil if you take diabetes or blood pressure medications or are taking an immunosuppressant. It may interfere with your medication.
Black seed oil has direct antimicrobial effects against viruses, bacteria, and fungi. In one human trial, it was found to more than halve the viral load in people with hepatitis C and improve clinical outcomes.
In addition to its direct anti-inflammatory properties, it boosts the immune system. Studies show that black seed oil is effective in reducing symptoms of hay fever, asthma and itchy skin, such as eczema.
A premium quality black seed oil should be 100% pure, therapeutic-grade and organic. Since it interacts with some medications, be sure to check with a qualified health professional before adding it to your diet. Also, avoid ingesting large amounts for long periods of time if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Black seed oil might cause uterus contractions in some women, especially if taken for more than two weeks.
The antioxidant thymoquinone in black seed oil may be responsible for the supplement’s anti-inflammatory, allergy-relieving, lung-healing and blood-sugar balancing benefits. It also acts as a free radical scavenger and supports normal liver function, according to animal and human studies.
People with vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder that causes patches of pigment loss on the skin, can benefit from topical application of black seed oil, according to one small study. This treatment improved the appearance of vitiligo by repigmenting the affected areas of skin.
Talk to your doctor before adding black seed oil to your routine, especially if you take medications such as blood thinners or those that lower blood pressure. In addition, it is important to choose a high-quality supplement that has been third-party tested for quality.
Several studies have shown that nigella sativa seed oil enhances the immune system’s ability to attack invaders. It also has antifungal properties and improves symptoms of atopic dermatitis and asthma.
The thymoquinone component of black seed is a powerful free-radical scavenger that reduces oxidative stress, which can lead to liver disease. It also boosts natural killer cells, which help the body destroy cancerous or abnormal cells.
While it might not have its own superhero comic book, black seed oil fights real-life “villains” in the most immune-supporting, allergy-relieving, lung-healing, inflammatory-modulating and blood-sugar balancing of ways. It’s a powerhouse addition to any wellness ritual. Free of pesticides, solvents and gluten, it can be consumed in capsule form or drizzled over foods. It can also be used in skin and hair care.
Studies have shown that black seed oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer and liver- and kidney-protective properties. These qualities are attributed to its primary active ingredient, thymoquinone.
It can be ingested or applied to the skin, and may relieve pain from arthritis or headaches. It can also help protect a minor cut from scarring. It’s a great alternative to ibuprofen and other common painkillers, which can cause stomach, liver or kidney damage.
It might interfere with medications that suppress the immune system, such as immunosuppressants used after organ transplants. It can also increase the amount of iron absorbed from other supplements, so be sure to take it with caution. Talk to your doctor before taking any new supplement, especially if you have preexisting conditions. Black seed oil isn’t FDA-approved, but it has a wide range of health benefits.
A compound in black seed called thymoquinone has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties that may help ease asthma symptoms. It may also boost immune function, improve skin health and heal wounds.
In one study, people who put black seed oil drops into their noses had less sneezing and other allergy symptoms than those who took a placebo. Researchers think it’s because thymoquinone reduces inflammation in the nose and sinuses.
Studies show that Nigella sativa may also lower blood pressure. This is likely due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and calcium channel blockade effects.