Nigella seeds are also known as kalonji, black onion seeds, black cumin, a small funnel, and black seeds. The seed comes from a flowering plant.
Nigella seeds are widely used as a spice Middle Indian and Eastern cuisine, providing flavors to vegetables, curries, beans, and other dishes.
Health Benefits of Nigella Seeds
Nigella sativa seeds have been in use as a natural remedy for over 4000 years in various parts of the world. These seeds are reported to benefit almost every system of the body. It is used to treat certain health conditions such as asthma, inflammation, and bronchitis, weight loss, and cancer. It contains thymoquinone, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that may also have antitumor properties.
Following are the health benefits of black seeds:
Nigella seeds may prevent Cancer
Cancer is an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells. It is the leading cause of death in the world. Some studies found that nigella seeds have the potential to fight cancer. Research shows that thymoquinone present in the black seed can influence programmed cell death or apoptosis. Thymoquinone is considered a potent anti-oxidant, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic agent.
Nigella seeds are rich in antioxidants
Free radicals cause oxidative stress and damage to cells. Antioxidants are substances that protect your body cells from oxidative damage. Research shows that antioxidants can have a powerful effect on health and disease.
Some studies found that antioxidants may protect against chronic conditions, including heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes. Black seeds contain thymoquinone, carvacrol, t-anethole, and 4-terpineol, which are antioxidant compounds.
Some studies have shown that the high antioxidant content of nigella seeds may help protect against many chronic diseases. However, further research is needed to determine how the antioxidants found in black seeds may affect human health.
High Blood Pressure
Nigella sativa is widely reported to have anti-hypertensive properties, which aid in reducing blood pressure. A study found that seed oil significantly decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure among some participants.
Nigella seed contains antioxidants and acts as calcium channel blockade and diuretic which may contribute to reducing blood pressure. Black seed might decrease blood pressure in some people. Taking black seed along with medications used for lowering high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Do not take too much black seed if you are taking medications for high blood pressure.
May prevent Acne
Nigella seeds contain Vitamin A and amino acids. Black seed oil helps to reduce acne scars on the skin. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of the oil reduce the appearance of acne scars and spot-on skin by reducing the redness and inflammation.
Nigella seeds treat Infertility in Men
Nigella seed oil can improve sperm movement and increase sperm count and help sperm swim faster. The black seed oil contains antioxidants that help protect sperm from damage. Black seed can positively influence sperm parameters, reproductive organs, and sexual hormones. Moreover, when infertile men are treated with 2.5 mL black seed oil for 2 months, significantly improved abnormal semen quality without producing any adverse effect.
May Lower Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found throughout your body. While you need some cholesterol, a high amount of cholesterol can build up in your blood and increase your risk of heart disease. Black seeds contain healthy fatty acids that can help you maintain cholesterol levels. Healthy fatty acids are linoleic acids and oleic acid.
Black seed is high in the thymoquinone and antioxidant, as well as polyunsaturated fats, phytosterols, and fiber all of which are thought to contribute to the lipid-lowering effect. Because of its high antioxidant content, black seed can also help prevent LDL from being oxidized.
Black seed may be able to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine. Nigella seed has also been noted to increase the number of LDL receptors in the liver which can help remove LDL from the blood.
Black seed oil had a greater effect than black seed powder. However, only black seed powder increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Some studies showed that supplementing people with black seed for one year decreased LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol.
Nigella seeds may prevent Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are painful and open sores that develop on the inside lining of the stomach. It is formed when stomach acids eat away at the inner surface of the stomach.
Some research shows that black could help protect the inner lining of the stomach and prevent the formation of ulcers.
Some studies found that nigella seeds and their active components protected the stomach lining and prevented ulcer development against the effects of alcohol.
One of the best uses of black seeds is the use of black seed or black seed oil for regulating blood sugar levels in diabetics. Some studies have shown that adding nigella seed or its oil to a diabetic diet may improve fasting and average levels of blood sugar.
High blood sugar can cause many negative symptoms such as frequent urination, increased thirst, weight loss, fatigue, and shortness of breath. If high blood sugar goes untreated, it can cause nerve damage, slow wound healing, and vision changes.
Some evidence shows that black seed could help keep blood sugar steady and thus prevent these dangerous adverse side effects. Some studies have shown that black seed improves average blood sugar and levels of fasting.
Nigella seeds come from a flowering plant. It contains thymoquinone, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that may also have antitumor properties. It is used to treat many health problems such as cancer, diabetes, infertility, and weight loss.