Cumin Black Seed Oil:
Today, Cumin black seed is most commonly used for asthma, diabetes, hypertension, weight loss, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
To date, there is a lack of clinical trials testing Nigella sativa's health effects. However, some research suggests that the seed holds promise for the treatment and/or prevention of asthma, blood pressure, and certain cancers, thanks to thymoquinone, an active ingredient in Nigella sativa oil extract that has anti-inflammatory, anti-tussive, anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, and anti-cancer properties.
Asthma: According to a 2013 review investigating the therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa in boiled extract form, authors concluded that the natural substance has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of asthma by widening the bronchioles to allow airflow to the lungs.
Similarly, a month-long 2011 study looked at Nigella sativa's impact on allergic rhinitis. In a sample of 66 men and women who experienced nasal congestion, runny and itchy nose, and sneezing, Nigella sativa reduced symptoms during the first two weeks.
High Blood Pressure: Nigella sativa is widely reported to have anti-hypertensive properties, which aid in reducing blood pressure. A 2013 study found that Nigella sativa oil significantly decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure among 70 participants.
However, a more recent study from 2017 wanted to test Nigella sativa's diuretic properties and the ability to curb overactivity in the sympathetic nervous system to gauge whether it positively impacted blood pressure. After administering Nigella sativa seed extract twice per day for 28 days, the result was lower blood pressure, but not to a significant degree.
Further studies on humans are needed to confirm this benefit.
Cancer: While most research has focused on animal studies thus far, a 2019 review cited past studies in which human breast, bladder, cervical, prostate, and renal cancer cells found that Nigella sativa has the potential to fight cancer. Studies showed that thymoquinone inhibited cancer cell multiplication and in some cases, killed cancer cells.
Other Illnesses and Ailments: Some limited studies have suggested that Nigella sativa may have potential in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and high cholesterol. Other popular uses include:
Improved mental performance
Boosting the immune system
Increasing breast-milk flow
That said, there is not enough scientific evidence to know for sure if Nigella sativa can aid in the treatment of these conditions.
Possible Side Effects: When the black seed is used in food or medicinally in small amounts for a short time, it is possibly safe. But there isn't enough information to know for sure if it is safe in higher amounts or for longer periods.
Taking Nigella sativa during chemotherapy may hamper the effects of chemotherapy drugs. Tests on animals indicate that high doses of Nigella sativa may damage the kidney and/or liver.
There is no standardized dose of Nigella sativa, but different amounts have been studied in research. For example, when studying black seed's effect on asthma, two grams of ground Nigella sativa has been used daily for 12 weeks. Also, 500 milligrams of black seed oil has been taken twice daily for four weeks. When studying its effect on blood pressure, one half to two grams of black seed powder has been taken daily for up to 12 weeks.
Certain people should exercise caution and speak to their healthcare provider before taking or using Nigella sativa, including those with low blood pressure. Although studies analyzing any effect Nigella sativa might have on pregnancy and breastfeeding have focused on animals, women are advised to talk to their doctor before consumption.
Lastly, Nigella sativa may cause an allergic reaction when applied topically.
Selection, Preparation, and Storage: Nigella sativa is found in some specialty grocery stores because the ingredient is used in Indian, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines. The seeds are known to have a strong aroma with notes of onion, oregano, and black pepper. You'll find them used in curries and lentil dishes.