We keep reading in professional journals and on the Internet about the almost unbelievably strong healing powers of black cumin oil, a substance that has been used in medicine for two millennia. It is said to be effective against bacteria, viruses, tumors, diabetes, chronic inflammations and many others.
An old Arabic saying goes: ‘in black cumin there is healing for every disease, with the exception of death’.
This smells of hyperbole, some people may say. Or does it?
On closer inspection, there really seems to be something to it. Black cumin (in scientific circles, it goes by ‘Nigella sativa’) is almost unknown outside the Arab countries, but we found plenty of clinical trials and publications dealing with its effects. Black cumin has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihypertensive, liver and kidney protective, as well as anti-virus and antibacterial. It can also in some cases support the body in its fight against certain types of cancer.
Salim EI, Fukushima S. “Chemopreventive potential of volatile oil from black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) seeds against rat colon carcinogenesis.” Nutr Cancer. 2003;45(2):195-202.
Salem ML, Hossain MS. “Protective effect of black seed oil from Nigella sativa against murine cytomegalovirus infection.” Int J Immunopharmacol. 2000 Sep;22(9):729-40.
Boskabady MH et al., “The possible prophylactic effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in asthmatic patients.” Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2007 Oct;21(5):559-66.
Dehkordi FR, Kamkhah AF. “Antihypertensive effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in patients with mild hypertension.” Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2008 Aug;22(4):447-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-8206.2008.00607.x.
Khan MA et al., “The in vivo antifungal activity of the aqueous extract from Nigella sativa seeds.” Phytother Res. 2003 Feb;17(2):183-6.
Hajhashemi V et al., “Black cumin seed essential oil, as a potent analgesic and antiinflammatory drug.” Phytother Res. 2004 Mar;18(3):195-9.