You’ve probably heard of cumin, but how about black cumin? Black seed oil is made from an Asian plant that’s also known as black cumin. It is used for a wide range of symptoms ranging from headaches and high blood pressure to diabetes and arthritis. The plant’s seed has a chemical in it that’s believed to provide several health benefits. Today many people are looking for natural remedies that can treat various health conditions. That’s because these holistic (whole-body) treatments don’t contain the strong chemicals of prescription meds. In turn, that means you won’t have to experience unwanted side-effects that can be tough to deal with.
As with other natural remedies, there’s some debate about whether or not oil from so-called black seeds is effective. Supporters claim they can help with various health problems like high blood pressure. However, the studies are mixed about how effective the oil is for treating several health problems. When using natural treatments, there’s always a possibility of mild side-effects due to allergic reactions. There are some possible side-effects like skin rashes, although the extract is generally considered to be very safe.
What Is Black Seed Oil?
It is also known as black cumin oil and is made from black cumin seeds. It’s made in a process known as cold pressing. The oil from black seeds is frequently used as a kind of herbal remedy. It can be consumed as a supplement or applied to the skin. It’s believed both of these methods can provide major health improvements.
It’s possible to eat the seeds from the plant. Nearly one-third of the seeds is made of oil. The oil is black but isn’t very heavy in terms of weight.
It’s been reported that black seeds were found in the ancient Egyptian pharaoh King Tut. It seems possible since many healthy seeds grow in the Middle Eastern country. For thousands of years, people have claimed the seeds have healing power. The seeds are often used in the Islam religion.
The seed’s chemical structure is very complex. Scientists are learning about the 100+ chemical parts that make up the seed. Scientists have already found many fatty acids in the black seed. These are “healthy fats” that can provide various health benefits like fatty fish and olive oil.
Fatty acids are important for building human cells. That might explain why the black seeds are often considered a useful product. That includes ones for cosmetic and health problems. It’s sometimes mixed with other stuff like shea butter and creams to treat various health problems like joint pain and wounds.
The black seeds also contain many other nutrients like the minerals niacin and calcium. Scientists think all these nutrients team up to make the black seed and its oil a powerful treatment for several kinds of illnesses. They include ones like toothaches, headaches, and even immune system diseases.
Black Seed Oil: Possible Benefits
More research is needed, but some studies show that the oil from black seeds seems to provide various health benefits including the following:
The oil from black seeds shows some positive results for treating allergies. One 2011 study showed that the oil can reduce various allergy symptoms participants had after 2 weeks. They include:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
The oil from black cumin might lower the risk of health conditions among obese women based on a recent study.
The study required women to consume oil from the black seed or fake oil. They were also required during the 8 weeks to stay on a low-calorie diet.
Then after the study, was over various factors decreased among women who took the oil supplement. They included waist size, weight, and other factors. However, more research is needed to figure out if the results are correct.
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
The oil might help to treat this kind of arthritis due to a small 2016 study. In the study, 40+ women with mild/moderate “rheumatoid” arthritis consumed capsules of black cumin oil. The oil seemed to reduce arthritis symptoms.
Early research shows that oil might provide benefits for people who suffer from asthma. One 2017 study showed that asthma patients who took capsules containing the seed’s oil had better asthma control versus those who took a fake pill.
This health condition is related to high blood sugar levels. There are two types: 1 and 2. The oil extracted from black seed might help to lower the blood sugar of diabetes patients.
One review showed that the treatment seemed to improve glucose (blood sugar) levels and bad cholesterol in diabetes patients. However, the scientists report that study trials are needed to clear up the oil’s effects.
Possible Side-effects and Risks
As always, it’s important to talk to your doctor before you start using black seed supplements like capsules or oil. You should also inform him/her of any over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription meds you’re taking now.
The reason is there might be interactions caused by the black seed and medications. These could be mild or severe.
Scientists need to do more research about the side-effects of taking supplements with black cumin oil. That is especially true when the amount is higher, than found when eating the seed itself.
Here are some side-effects and risk factors:
1. Blood effects
There’s some research that oil from black seeds might slow down blood clotting and boost the chance of bleeding. It’s recommended that people with a bleeding issue or are taking medicines that affect blood clotting do not use this oil.
Some medical experts recommend that pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding should avoid using black seed-extracted oil. It’s better to be on the safe side and avoid this product if you’re pregnant/breastfeeding.
3. Skin reactions
It seems that applying the oil directly to the skin might cause a skin rash. That doesn’t mean that everyone who uses the oil on their skin will experience the rash. However, it’s possible.
One study showed that if you use the oil in high amounts it might cause skin blisters. This happens after applying the oil directly to a person’s skin. Scientists aren’t sure why this side-effect happens but it might be the effect on various systems.
4. Kidneys and Liver
It is another concern that health experts have. The oil from black seeds might cause a negative effect when combined with some popular medications. They include ones known as “beta-blockers.”
Experts suggest that if you’re going to have surgery then 2 weeks before the procedure stop taking black seed oil.