Studies suggest that this oil may offer many health and cosmetic benefits, such as aiding weight loss, improving skin conditions, and even treating cancer and diabetes.
In this article, we look at the science behind black seed oil’s benefits and explore the possible side effects and risks.
What is black seed oil?
Black seeds are also known as black caraway, black cumin, kalonji, and black onion seeds.
They come from Nigella sativa, a small plant with pale purple, blue, or white flowers that grows in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East.
People have used the tiny black seeds of the fruits of N. sativa as a natural remedy for thousands of years. The seeds can also flavor curries, pickles, and bread in a similar way to cumin or oregano.
Black seed oil contains thymoquinone, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that may also have tumor-reducing properties.
People can ingest black seed oil in the form of capsules or apply it topically to benefit the skin. It is also possible to add the oil to massage oils, shampoos, homemade skin-care products, and fragrances.
High-quality black seed oil is also suitable for use in cooking, baking, and beverages.
Although black seed oil seems to offer certain health benefits, this supplement does not replace medication.
People taking medication should talk to their doctor before using herbal supplements, such as black seed oil.
The doctor can advise on possible interactions with the medication and also discuss the potential benefits and side effects of the supplement. It is essential never to stop taking medication without a doctor’s advice.
As with any supplement, pregnant or breastfeeding women should talk to their doctor to see if black seed oil is right for them before using it.
With topical use, black seed oil can cause an allergic rash in some people. Therefore, it is vital to test it on a small patch of skin first to ensure that it does not trigger a reaction.
People must also take care to keep the oil away from the eyes, nostrils, and other sensitive body parts.
Swallowing black seed oil can sometimes lead to digestive problems, such as stomach upset, constipation, and vomiting.
To get the safest and most beneficial black seed oil, always choose high-quality, organic black seed oil that is 100-percent pure, therapeutic grade, and USDA certified.
People have used black seed oil for its therapeutic benefits for thousands of years.
Many studies have shown that it may have health and cosmetic benefits for various medical and skin conditions, although these studies often use animal or cell models rather than humans.
More research into the effects of N. sativa in humans is necessary to confirm its benefits.
Always talk to a doctor before taking black seed oil, and choose 100-percent pure, therapeutic-grade, USDA-certified organic black seed oil. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not monitor herbs and supplements for quality and purity, so it is vital to be selective when purchasing these products.
Many health stores sell black seed oil, and it is available in both liquid and capsule form online.
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