Nigella sativa benefits

Nigella sativa is a small black seed that comes from a flowering plant in the Ranunculacea family. Native to southwest Asia and the Mediterranean, it now grows throughout India, the Middle East, and Europe. Nigella sativa has been used for centuries in herbal medicine to treat certain health conditions including asthma, bronchitis, and inflammation. It has also long been used as a spice and food preservative.

While research on Nigella sativa’s health effects is limited, findings from in vitro, animal, and a small number of human studies show that it may offer immune-boosting and antioxidant benefits.

Health Benefits

To date, there is a lack of clinical trials testing Nigella sativa’s health effects. Because of this, it’s simply too soon to recommend it as a principal standard treatment for any condition.

Some of the research that does exist suggests that the seed holds promise for the treatment and/or prevention of asthma, blood pressure, and certain cancers. This is believed to be owed 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 and Allergies

According to a 2013 review investigating the therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa in boiled extract form, authors concluded that the natural substance has 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 study from 2017 sought to test Nigella sativa’s diuretic properties and 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, blood pressure was lowered, but not to a significant degree.

Further studies on humans are needed to confirm this benefit.

** Cancer

While most Nigella sativa research has been done on animals, a 2019 review cited past studies on human breast, bladder, cervical, prostate, and renal cancer cells that 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.7 Other popular uses include:

• Inflammation

• Congestion

• Cough

• Digestive problems

• Migraine

• Rheumatoid arthritis

• Hayfever

• Improved mental performance

• Eczema

• Stomach ulcers

• Metabolic syndrome

• Hepatitis C

• Seizures

• Birth control

• Increasing breastmilk flow

• Menstrual disorders

That said, there is not enough scientific evidence to know for sure if Nigella sativa can aid in the treatment of these conditions.

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 black seed is used in food or medicinally in small amounts for a short period of time, it is possibly safe.6 But there isn’t enough information to know for sure if it is safe in higher amounts or when taken for longer periods of time.

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 (mg) of black seed oil has been taken twice daily for four weeks. When studying its effect on blood pressure, a half to two grams of black seed powder has been taken daily for up to 12 weeks.

While anyone should consult with their doctor before starting any herb or supplement, caution and consult are especially important for particular individuals due to concerns such as the following:

Tests on animals indicate that high doses of Nigella sativa may damage the kidney and/or liver. Use may be considered carefully in individuals with existing kidney or liver problems or risks.

Taking Nigella sativa during chemotherapy may hamper the effects of chemotherapy drugs.

Because Nigella sativa may further reduce blood pressure, it poses risk for those with hypotension.

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.

References… ( The Health Benefits of Nigella Sativa )

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