With the consumption of black seed oil comes many benefits. From lowering blood sugar levels to protecting your brain health, there are quite a few reasons you might want to start adding it into your daily diet.
Before doing so, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of black seed oil, which is why we’ve rounded up all of its health benefits, side effects, and the dosing information below.
What is Black Seed Oil?
Nigella sativa is a flowering shrub that’s said to have cancer-fighting powers because of its main component, thymoquinone. When the seeds of this plant are pressed, black seed oil is produced.
Although this plant is most commonly referred to as black seed, these seeds also have many other names, including black caraway, nigella, black cumin, Roman coriander, and fennel flower.
Used in traditional medicine for over 2,000 years, there are many therapeutic benefits of black seed oil that have been found by numerous studies.
Lowering Blood Sugar Levels
While most studies done over the benefits of black seed address its powder found in capsules, other studies have found that black seed oil aids in lowering blood sugar levels.
For individuals with diabetes, this can be crucial in preventing the risk of future complications like kidney disease, stroke, and eye disease.
Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
When it comes to heart disease, having high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are two of its main risk factors. With the consumption of black seed oil, it has been shown that it has potential effectiveness in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Although the studies on this are limited and there’s more research to be done, this benefit alone is a good reason to look into using black seed oil.
High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are an important substance within your body, as they work to protect you from free radicals, which can lead to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other diseases.
Black seed oil is packed with antioxidants. In particular, it’s rich in thymoquinone, which protects your brain health and aids in treating several types of cancer.
May Be Good for Skin and Hair
While black seed oil can be used in a beneficial way medically, it can also be used topically to help with skin conditions and hair health.
Because black seed oil has several antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, some of the skin conditions it helps with include:
There have also been claims that the oil can help hydrate hair and reduce dandruff, but no studies or research has been done to support these claims.
Black seed oil has been linked to several other health benefits, these including:
- Anti-cancer effects
- Helps with male infertility
- Reduces symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
As with anything, there are a few side effects that you should be aware of when consuming black seed oil. These include:
- Nausea and bloating
- Harm to kidneys
- Pregnancy complications
That being said, there is a large amount of research needed on these side effects. Culinary use of black seed oil is likely safe for most individuals.
How to Use Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil can have quite a bitter taste, which can make it difficult to consume. Luckily, there are a few ways to cut the bitter flavor when you take the black seed oil. These methods include:
- Mixing with honey
- Washing it down with water
- Take it with lemon
Black seed oil can also be ingested in pill form, a liquid form, or topically on the skin or hair.
How much black seed oil to take daily? Currently, there’s insufficient evidence to establish a recommended dosage. That being said, it’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before using black seed oil.
Black seed oil has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years for its surplus of benefits. From lowering blood sugar to treating asthma, there are many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that are protective for brain health.
More research is needed in order to determine the long-term safety and effectiveness of black seed oil, so it’s important to speak to a healthcare provider before you start daily use.