Nigella sativa, also called black cumin or black seeds, is a medicinal herb native to the jap Mediterranean, northern Africa, southwest Asia, and the Indian subcontinent (1).

Whereas you need to use it in cooking, it’s maybe higher recognized for its centuries-long use in conventional drugs. It’s touted as providing so many well being advantages that some think about it a panacea, or common healer.

For instance, it’s stated to profit the immune system, improve mind perform, and defend the physique from varied continual ailments, together with sort 2 diabetes and coronary heart illness (1).

This text evaluations all the pieces it’s essential to find out about Nigella sativa, together with its vitamins, its widespread kinds, and whether or not science backs its purported well being advantages.

Nigella sativa is a medicinal plant that’s a part of the Ranunculaceae household. It’s additionally known as black cumin as a result of its seeds resemble the spice cumin (1).

Whereas it may be used within the kitchen, Nigella sativa could also be higher recognized for the wide selection of well being advantages it’s believed to offer.

Conventional makes use of

Nigella sativa has such a variety of makes use of that some herbalists discuss with it as “the herb from heaven” (1).

It has a wealthy historical past of use in conventional drugs methods similar to Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Tibb. It has been present in Egyptian pharaoh tombs, suggesting that it was used way back to historic Egypt (1).

Specialists consider that again then, Nigella sativa’s antibacterial propertiesmight have led to its use as a preservative within the mummification course of (1).

These days, this medicinal herb is used throughout many Arab nations, Asia, Africa, and components of Europe to forestall or deal with a wide range of illnesses (1).

These vary from swollen joints to respiratory issues similar to bronchial asthma and bronchitis. Nigella sativa can also be stated to supply some safety in opposition to continual circumstances like sort 2 diabetes and coronary heart illness (1).

Types of Nigella sativa

You should purchase Nigella sativa as seeds or a paste, both of which can be utilized so as to add taste to meals.

You too can buy it within the type of important oil, extract, powder, or capsules, all of that are widespread choices for these wishing to make use of the herb for its medicinal properties (1).

The perfect kind to take usually depends upon which well being profit you want to reap. As an illustration, oils and pastes will be utilized topically to deal with pores and skin circumstances or present aid from irritation or ache.

In the meantime, powders, capsules, and extracts are usually advisable for individuals who want to forestall or deal with inside irritation or continual illness (1).


Nigella sativa is an herb generally utilized in conventional drugs. It’s out there in important oil, paste, powder, capsule, or extract kind. Immediately, it’s used all over the world to forestall or deal with a variety of illnesses.

Thus far, there’s been little analysis into the precise nutrient composition of Nigella sativa.

Furthermore, its nutrient content material seems to range relying on the place it’s grown, the plant’s maturity at harvest, and the strategies used to reap it (1).

One examine means that N. sativa seeds from Bangladesh are made up of round 45% fats, 20% carbs, and 20% protein. In addition they seem to offer some potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium, though particular quantities aren’t described (2).

One other examine means that Nigella sativa may present small quantities of nutritional vitamins A, C, and E, in addition to sure B nutritional vitamins. Nevertheless, the exact varieties and quantities it accommodates aren’t effectively described (1).

In distinction, extra is understood concerning the plant’s antioxidants and different helpful compounds.

Antioxidants are helpful plant compounds that assist defend your physique from cell harm and illness. Nigella sativa seems to be particularly wealthy in antioxidants from the polyphenol, tocopherol, terpenoid, and terpene households.

Of all these antioxidants, thymoquinone — an antioxidant of the terpene and terpenoid household — is by far probably the most plentiful. Specialists counsel that this energetic compound is probably going behind most of Nigella sativa’s purported well being advantages (1).

Nigella sativa additionally seems to comprise alkaloids and phytosterols, two varieties of helpful plant compounds with pure cholesterol-lowering properties (1).


Nigella sativa accommodates quantity of protein and fats, in addition to smaller quantities of nutritional vitamins and minerals. It’s additionally wealthy in thymoquinone, alkaloids, and phytosterols.

Nigella sativa is assumed to supply such a variety of well being advantages that it’s sometimes called a panacea, or common healer (3).

That stated, not all of its purported advantages have been confirmed scientifically. Beneath, you’ll discover those which have probably the most analysis to again them.

Wealthy in antioxidants

Antioxidants are plant compounds that assist defend your cells from harm brought on by unstable molecules often known as free radicals.

When free radicals accumulate in your physique, they will trigger oxidative stress, which can improve your threat of creating sure well being circumstances, similar to most cancers and coronary heart illness (4, 5).

As talked about, Nigella sativa is especially wealthy within the potent antioxidant thymoquinone, which boasts anti-inflammatory properties. Specialists consider that a lot of the well being advantages linked to this medicinal plant need to do with this compound (1).

One evaluate of 5 research means that Nigella sativa has a robust antioxidant impact in people. Nevertheless, extra analysis is required to discover which actual well being advantages this may increasingly contribute to (1, 6).

Helps scale back irritation

Inflammation is your physique’s pure response to damage or an infection. It’s usually short-lived and helps defend the physique from illness or additional harm.

Irritation that lasts for longer intervals is referred to continual irritation. This situation is believed to be the reason for varied ailments, together with sort 2 diabetes, most cancers, and coronary heart illness (7).

Animal analysis means that Nigella sativa might scale back markers of irritation within the physique after an damage (8).

Related outcomes have been reported in ladies with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune illness that causes irritation within the joints.

In a single small examine, ladies with RA who took 1 gram of Nigella sativa oil per day for two months had decrease blood markers of irritation and reported fewer swollen joints than those that took a placebo (9).

Specialists consider that thymoquinone is the important thing compound liable for the herb’s anti-inflammatory results (1).

Though this appears promising, needless to say research on this matter are restricted. Extra analysis, particularly in people, is required earlier than sturdy conclusions will be made.

Might strengthen your immunity

Nigella sativa may assist strengthen your immune system.

Take a look at-tube and animal research counsel that extracts created from this herb might stimulate the exercise of white blood cells, the sort that fights infections and illness (1).

One small examine in kids with an inherited blood dysfunction discovered comparable outcomes. Mixing 2 grams of Nigella sativa powder with the youngsters’s meals every day for 3 months considerably improved white blood cell counts and diminished markers of oxidative stress (10).

Nevertheless, this examine had no management placebo group, which makes it tough to substantiate whether or not these results have been actually a results of the complement.

Within the beforehand talked about small examine in ladies with RA, those that took 1 gram of Nigella sativa oil per day had considerably increased ranges of white blood cells after 2 months than the placebo group. In addition they had decrease markers of irritation and fewer swollen joints (9).

Though these outcomes appear promising, it stays unclear what real-life enhancements in immunity, if any, would outcome from the upper white blood cell counts proven in these small research. Due to this fact, extra analysis is required.

Might defend your mind

Irritation of the mind is believed to play a serious position within the improvement of ailments similar to Alzheimer’s illness and Parkinson’s disease (11).

Take a look at-tube and animal analysis means that thymoquinone might assist scale back irritation within the mind (1).

Specialists consider this may increasingly forestall or gradual the development of inflammation-related neurological circumstances similar to Alzheimer’s illness, encephalomyelitis, epilepsy, despair, and Parkinson’s illness (1, 12).

One small, older examine helps this concept. Older adults obtained both 500 mg of N. sativa or a placebo every day for 9 weeks. The N. sativa group examined considerably increased in measures of consideration, reminiscence, and total cognition than the placebo group (13).

At first look, this examine might counsel that Nigella sativa might delay the development of age-related reminiscence loss. Nevertheless, needless to say it’s small and dates from virtually 10 years in the past.

Thus, extra analysis is required to substantiate these findings and to discover which doable results the herb might have on different brain-inflammation-related neurological circumstances.

Might decrease your ldl cholesterol and blood strain

High blood pressure and levels of cholesterol are vital threat components for coronary heart illness. It seems that Nigella sativa might assist scale back each (14).

Research in ladies with weight problems and adults with sort 2 diabetes counsel that taking 2–3 grams of Nigella sativa every day for 8–12 weeks might considerably scale back whole and LDL (dangerous) levels of cholesterol (15, 16, 17).

Furthermore, evaluations report common drops of 16–23 mg/dL in whole ldl cholesterol, 14–22 mg/dL in LDL (dangerous) ldl cholesterol, and seven–21 mg/dL in triglycerides after supplementing with the herb (18, 19).

Some research additional counsel that supplementing with this medicinal herb might improve HDL (good) levels of cholesterol, though others have discovered no such impact (18, 19, 20).

On the subject of blood strain, a evaluate of 11 randomized management research — the gold customary in analysis — notes that Nigella sativa may barely scale back blood strain ranges.

Individuals who took N. sativa for a mean of 8 weeks noticed their systolic blood strain — the highest quantity — drop by an extra 3.3 mmHg and their diastolic blood strain — the underside quantity — drop by an extra 2.8 mmHg in contrast with these given a placebo (21).

Nonetheless, different research report no impact on blood strain. Due to this fact, extra analysis is required earlier than clear conclusions and proposals will be made (22).

Might enhance blood sugar ranges

Nigella sativa may assist regulate blood sugar ranges.

In a current examine, adults with sort 2 diabetes who took 1 gram of N. sativa per day for 8 weeks noticed a big drop in fasting blood sugar ranges (17).

As well as, 2 evaluations counsel that supplementing with N. sativa might decrease fasting blood sugar ranges by a mean of 17.8 mg/dL (19, 22).

The identical evaluations additionally report a drop of round 0.7% in hemoglobin A1C, which suggests improved blood sugar management (19, 22).

Specialists consider that Nigella sativa could possibly improve the secretion of insulin, the hormone liable for transporting sugar out of your blood into your cells.

Furthermore, they counsel that this medicinal herb might enhance cells’ sensitivity to insulin and improve their sugar uptake (23).

Different potential advantages

Nigella sativa might supply the next extra advantages:

  • Might kill most cancers cells. Older test-tube and animal research counsel that Nigella sativa might assist forestall cancerous cells from rising and spreading. Nevertheless, human analysis is required to substantiate this (1, 24).
  • Might improve male fertility. Restricted animal analysis means that N. sativa could also be helpful in instances of male infertility brought on by weight problems, although extra analysis is required (25).
  • Might enhance bronchial asthma. A small evaluate studies that N. sativa might assist scale back symptoms of asthma, though extra research are wanted to substantiate this discovering (26).
  • Fights micro organism, viruses, fungi, and yeasts. N. sativa might have some antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It appears to be notably efficient in opposition to Candida albicans, the yeast that causes Candida infections (27, 28, 29).
  • Might defend in opposition to liver harm. A number of research counsel that N. sativa might assist defend your liver from harm. Nevertheless, extra analysis is required (30, 31).
  • Might improve kidney perform. N. sativa might improve kidney perform in folks with continual kidney illness. It could additionally assist dissolve kidney stones. Nonetheless, extra analysis is critical (32, 33).
  • Might deal with abdomen ulcers. Animal research counsel that N. sativa might affect the abdomen’s setting in a manner that may assist reduce or deal with abdomen ulcers. Nevertheless, human research are wanted (29).

Though these research seem promising, extra analysis is required on all of those purported advantages earlier than sturdy conclusions will be made.


Nigella sativa might present an array of well being advantages. Probably the most well-researched advantages embrace safety in opposition to cell harm and irritation, improved blood sugar management, a stronger immune system, and a more healthy coronary heart and mind.

Nigella sativa has been used as a part of conventional drugs methods for hundreds of years, with minimal studies of adverse effects. Some cultures additionally generally use it in cooking.

Based mostly on this, N. sativa is probably going secure, particularly when ingested occasionally or in small quantities.

That stated, solely restricted research have regarded into its total security and doable negative effects, and these have been solely in animals.

As an illustration, in a single examine, mice that got giant oral doses of 0.9–1.4 grams per pound (2–3 grams per kg) of physique weight skilled issue respiratory and multi-organ failure (1).

What’s extra, giving giant doses to pregnant rats was proven to trigger being pregnant loss or developmental issues of their offspring (1).

Intakes of such giant quantities are arguably unusual in people, aside from doubtlessly in instances of complement overdoses.

Nonetheless, extra analysis is required earlier than evidence-based security and dosage suggestions will be made.


Nigella sativa is probably going secure if ingested occasionally or in small quantities. Nevertheless, evidence-based security and dosage suggestions are at present missing, so extra analysis is required.

Nigella sativa is a medicinal herb widespread for its culinary makes use of and its position as a conventional drugs treatment.

Of its many purported well being advantages, just a few are at present backed by sturdy analysis.

These embrace its capability to combat cell harm and irritation, enhance blood sugar ranges, strengthen the immune system, and scale back heart disease risk factors.

Understand that there at present isn’t sufficient analysis out there to make any evidence-based security or dosage suggestions.

In case you’re serious about making an attempt Nigella sativa, you can begin by incorporating its seeds or paste into your meals, taking care to make use of small quantities. This may reduce your threat of experiencing any potential disagreeable negative effects.

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