3 Health benefits of black cumin seed oil By Zoey Sky for Super Foods
Black cumin seed oil might not be as popular as other superfoods like olive oil, but it also offers many impressive health benefits.
According to research, black cumin seed oil contains powerful antioxidants and other therapeutic compounds.
One study has revealed that black seed oil promotes joint health and eases joint pain. Recent reports also suggest the oil has anti-allergy effects and offers heart benefits.
What is black seed oil?
The use of black cumin seed oil, also called black seed oil, dates back over 3,500 years. It was revered by ancient Egyptians as a remedy for various health issues like colds, coughs, digestive problems and even the bubonic plague.
Hippocrates, a Greek physician dubbed the “Father of Modern Medicine,” recommended black cumin seed oil for its anti-aging and health-promoting benefits.
Black cumin seed oil is comes from the seeds of the Nigella sativa shrub. Black cumin seeds are also called black caraway, black cumin, black onion seeds and kalonji.
Black cumin seeds can be used to flavor curries, pickles and bread the same way you would use cumin or oregano.
Black cumin seed oil contains thymoquinone, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that may also have tumor-reducing properties.
You can take black cumin seed oil in the form of capsules or apply it topically for skin issues. The oil can also be added to massage oils, homemade skincare products, shampoos and fragrances.
High-quality black seed oil can be used for cooking, baking and beverages.
Black cumin seed oil reduces inflammation
According to a study published in Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, thymoquinone from black cumin seed oil decreases the expression of toll-like receptors in the body. This helps suppress the release of inflammatory substances like interleukin-1.
The researchers said thymoquinone also inhibits bone erosion and reduces pain and swelling in volunteers with rheumatoid arthritis, all without harming the liver and kidneys.
In a placebo-controlled study, 42 patients who had arthritis were given 1,000 mg a day of powdered black cumin seeds for eight weeks. Results showed that the volunteers experienced reduced inflammation and oxidative stress. (Related: Black cumin seed oil can help reduce disease-causing inflammation.)
Black cumin seed oil helps widen the airways
Black cumin seed oil also has bronchodilatory effects — that is, it helps widen your airways so you can breathe more easily.
A study published in the Journal of Pharmacopuncture found that black cumin seed oil benefits those with hay fever. Four weeks of supplementation reduced nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing among volunteers.
Black cumin seed oil nasal drops have also been shown to relieve hay fever symptoms and improve a person’s ability to tolerate exposure to allergens.
In a review, researchers reported that thymoquinone in black cumin seed oil significantly improved symptoms in volunteers with asthma.
If you’re struggling because of seasonal allergy symptoms, try using black cumin seed oil as a remedy.
Black cumin seed oil boosts heart health
Black cumin seed oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids, such as oleic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids can boost heart health.
Many studies have confirmed that taking black cumin seed oil for eight to 12 weeks significantly reduces total cholesterol levels and unhealthy low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, levels.
Research suggests that black cumin seed oil supports normal blood pressure levels. In one study, researchers found that taking half a teaspoon of the oil twice daily for eight weeks helps reduce blood pressure. Black cumin seed oil also supports healthy blood sugar levels.
When buying black cumin seed oil, always check the label to see if the product is made from N. sativa seeds. Buy only high-quality products from a reputable vendor.
Natural healers usually recommend taking half a teaspoon to one teaspoon of black cumin seed oil daily.
Before supplementing with black cumin seed oil, consult your integrative doctor. The oil is generally safe to use, but some people have experienced digestive problems such as bloating and nausea.
According to research, black cumin seed oil also supports kidney and liver function, protects cognition and memory, softens and moisturizes the skin, and helps promote weight loss.
Black cumin seed oil recipes to try
If you’re not sure what to do with black cumin seed oil, add it to curries, sauces and salad dressings.
Here are some tasty black cumin seed oil recipes to try at home:
Black cumin seed oil salad
Try this recipe if you’re craving a tasty salad with flavorful ingredients like black cumin seed oil, Brussel sprouts and kimchi.
Ingredients for two servings of salad:
- 1 Cup carrot strips
- 1 Cup rocket salad
- 1/2 Cup shredded red cabbage
- 4-5 Raw Brussel sprouts, cut in quarters
- 6 Tablespoons cooked chickpeas
- 2-3 Tablespoons kimchi
- 2-4 Tablespoons pure black cumin oil
Ingredients for the dressing:
- 4 Tablespoons agave nectar
- 4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
- Combine the apple cider vinegar, agave and sea salt in a mixing bowl. Set the bowl aside.
- Separate the rocket salad into two medium-sized bowls.
- Place the carrot strips, red cabbage, Brussel sprouts and chickpeas in the bowls.
- Place the kimchi in the center of the bowl, then drizzle some black seed oil.
- Serve with the dressing.
Green smoothie with black cumin seed oil
Give your green smoothie a superfood boost with black cumin seed oil.
- 1 Cup spinach
- 1/4 Cup regular milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
- 1 Apple
- 1 Banana
- 1/2 Avocado
- 1 Teaspoon black seed oil
- 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon flaxseed
- 1 Teaspoon ginger (freshly grated or powdered)
- 1 Teaspoon turmeric
- Blend all the ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth.
- Add more or less water to reach your desired texture. Serve.
Nut butter and black cumin seed oil bars
Instead of getting store-bought desserts with added sugar and preservatives, make tasty treats like nut butter and black cumin seed oil bars.
- 340 g Honey
- 320 g Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
- 240 g Smooth almond or peanut butter
- 180 g Rolled oats
- 150 g Mixed nuts, seeds and dry fruits
- 1 Teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/8 Teaspoon black seed cumin oil
- A pinch of salt
- Bring the dates, peanut butter and honey to a boil in a saucepan.
- Take the pan off the heat and mix in the oats, mixed nuts, seeds, dry fruits, cinnamon powder, black cumin seed oil and salt.
- Pour the mixture into a lined square tin and chill for three to four hours, or until fully set.
- Cut the chilled mixture into bars before serving.