The many virtues of Black Cumin Seeds (Nigella Sativa)

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods


Amirhossein Sahebkar, Guglielmo Beccuti, Luis E Simental-Mendía, Valerio Nobili, Simona Bo.  Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) Effects on Plasma Lipid Concentrations in Humans: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials.  Pharmacol Res. 2016 Feb 10. Epub 2016 Feb 10. PMID: 26875640

This study looked at 17 randomized control trials done on humans.  It was found that the consumption of black seed oil and black seed powder both reduced total cholesterol as well as LDL cholesterol.  Only consumption of the powder increased HDL, the good cholesterol. 

 Amirhossein Sahebkar, Davide Soranna, Xiaoqiu Liu, Costas Thomopoulos, Luis E Simental-Mendia, Giuseppe Derosa, Pamela Maffioli, Gianfranco Parati.  A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of supplementation with Nigella sativa (black seed) on blood pressure.  J Hypertens. 2016 Aug 10. Epub 2016 Aug 10. PMID: 27512971.


This study did a systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with a total number of 860 individuals. It showed that even in a relatively short period (8 weeks), consumption of black seed powder will lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.






Danijela Ristic-Medic, Gordana Perunicic-Pekovic, Zorica Rasic-Milutinovic, Marija Takic, Tamara Popovic, Aleksandra Arsic, Marija Glibetic.  Effects of dietary milled seed mixture on fatty acid status and inflammatory markers in patients on hemodialysis.  ScientificWorldJournal. 2014 ;2014:563576. Epub 2014 Jan 22. PMID: 24578648


This study only enrolled people with a healthy diet and elevated markers for inflammation as well as insulin.  Results of this study indicated that dietary milled sesame/pumpkin/flax seed mixture added to a healthy diet, decreases inflammatory markers, blood glucose and insulin.  It also showed an increase in fatty acids supporting health benefits such as anti-clotting, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. 



Mohammad H Boskabady, Javad Farhadi.  The possible prophylactic effect of Nigella sativa seed aqueous extract on respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function tests on chemical war victims: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.  J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Nov;14(9):1137-44. PMID: 18991514

A group of chemical war victims were given boiled extract of Nigella sativa and compared with  a group of victims who only received standard care after insult.  The results of this study suggested that the respiratory symptoms cleared up faster and that less medication was needed than that of the control group.





Soheila Nikakhlagh, Fakher Rahim, Faezeh Hossein Nejad Aryani, Amir Syahpoush, Mehri Ghafouryan Brougerdnya, Nader Saki.  Herbal treatment of allergic rhinitis: the use of Nigella sativa.  Am J Otolaryngol. 2010 Oct 12. Epub 2010 Oct 12. PMID: 20947211


66 patients with allergic rhinitis were exposed to N. Sativa oil.  The results showed that N. sativa could reduce the presence of the nasal mucosal congestion, nasal itching, runny nose, sneezing attacks, turbinate hypertrophy, and mucosal pallor during the first 2 weeks (day 15). The present findings are consistent with evidence that the antiallergic effects of N. sativa components could be attributed to allergic rhinitis. Especially, N. sativa should be considered for treating allergic rhinitis when the effects of other antiallergic drugs need to be avoided.




Eyad M Salem, Talay Yar, Abdullah O Bamosa, Abdulaziz Al-Quorain, Mohamed I Yasawy, Raed M Alsulaiman, Muhammad A Randhawa.  Comparative study of Nigella Sativa and triple therapy in eradication of Helicobacter Pylori in patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia.  Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jul-Sep;16(3):207-14. PMID: 20616418


The  Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is associated with active gastritis, peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of NS in eradication of H. pylori infection in 88 non-ulcer dyspeptic patients. It was found that N. sativa seeds combined with proton pump inhibitors has clinically useful anti-H. pylori activity.  This was comparable to standard therapy.




Adel A Hagag, Ahmed M Abd Elaal, Mohamed S Elfaragy, Samir M Hassan, Enas A Elzamarany.  Therapeutic value of Black seed oil in Methotrexate Hepatotoxicity in Egyptian Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  Infect Disord Drug Targets. 2015 Mar 20. Epub 2015 Mar 20. PMID: 25809628


Black cumin seeds decreased Methotrexate hepatotoxicity and improved survival in children with 'Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and can be recommended as adjuvant drug in patients with ALL under methotrexate therapy.




Abdullah O Bamosa, Huda Kaatabi, Fatma M Lebdaa, Abdul-Muhssen Al Elq, Ali Al-Sultanb.  Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.  Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Oct-Dec;54(4):344-54. PMID: 21675032


This randomized controlled trial was done on patients with type II diabetes.  The results of this study indicate that a dose of 2 gm/ day of Nigella sativa might be a beneficial adjuvant to oral hypoglycemic agents in type 2 diabetic patients.  Improvements were seen in fasting blood glucose, blood glucose level 2 hours postprandially and glycosylated hemoglobin.  There was also lowered insulin resistance as well as improved function of the pancreas.



Vahid Hadi, Sorayya Kheirouri, Mohammad Alizadeh, Alireza Khabbazi, Hossein Hosseini.  Effects of Nigella sativa oil extract on inflammatory cytokine response and oxidative stress status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.  Avicenna J Phytomed. 2016 Jan-Feb;6(1):34-43. PMID: 27247920

Forty-two patients with rheumetoid rthritis were assigned into two groups in this randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. This study indicates that Nigella sativa could improve inflammation and reduce oxidative stress in patients with the disease. It is suggested that Nigella sativa may be a beneficial adjunct therapy in this population of patients.



Sibghatullah Sangi, Shahida P Ahmed, Muhammad Aslam Channa, Muhammad Ashfaq, Shah Murad Mastoi.  A new and novel treatment of opioid dependence: Nigella sativa 500 mg.  J  Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2008 Apr-Jun;20(2):118-24. PMID: 19385474


Opioid dependence is one of the major social and psychiatric problems of modern society. Unfortunately, there is no non-opiate treatment available. For this study a total of 35 known addicts of opiates were included. It demonstrated that non-opioid treatment for opioid addiction decreases the withdrawal effects significantly and that it is effective in long-term treatment of opioid dependence. It not only improves the opioid dependence but also the infections and weakness from which majority of addicts suffer.




Muhammad Shahdaat Bin Sayeed, Md Asaduzzaman, Helal Morshed, Md Monir Hossain, Mohammad Fahim Kadir, Md Rezowanur Rahman.  The effect of Nigella sativa Linn. seed on memory, attention and cognition in healthy human volunteers.  J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jul 30 ;148(3):780-6. Epub 2013 May 21. PMID: 23707331


Forty elderly volunteers were recruited for this study and was randomly assigned to a group receiving Nigella Sativa or a placebo.  The study demonstrated the role of NS in enhancing memory, attention and cognition.




Ramlah Mohamad Ibrahim, Nurul Syima Hamdan, Maznah Ismail, Suraini Mohd Saini, Saiful Nizam Abd Rashid, Latiffah Abd Latiff, Rozi Mahmud.  Protective Effects of Nigella sativa on Metabolic Syndrome in Menopausal Women.   Adv Pharm Bull. 2014 ;4(1):29-33. Epub 2013 Dec 23. PMID: 24409406


This study was conducted in menopausal women to determine the metabolic impact of Nigella sativa. These results suggested that treatment with N. sativa exert a protective effect by improving lipid profile and blood glucose.  These two parameters are more likely to be elevated during menopausal period.