What is Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil (BSO) seems to be all the rage these days and when you read this article you will see exactly why that is so...
Not only is it high in antioxidants but it's also rich in EFAs (essential fatty acids) that your body cannot produce in its own and needs to consume them from foods and certain supplements.
It comes from the black nigella satvia seed (also known as black cumin) and has a plethora of benefits for wellbeing. Actually, it has so many benefits, it's almost hard to believe! The benefits are both anecdotal and also many studies have been conducted to prove that BSO is one of the most powerful seed oils on the planet!
It is one of the seed oils that are safe to consume (unlike cooking oils like sunflower etc., they are just plain bad). Read our vegetable oil blog here but be sure to finish this blog first!
Potential Benefits (the list is quite impressive)
- Antimicrobial Effects (antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic)
- Blood sugar balance
- Blood pressure
- Candida Overgrowth (helpful here)
- Fertility improvement
- Helpful for alopecia
- Healthy hair
- May help oxidative stress
- May help wound-healing
- May help SIBO
- Promotes a healthy liver
- Skin-protective (help for eczema, psoriasis, skin pigmentation)
- Treats infections (known to help with 'spicy flu')
- Weight loss aid
What we are referring to when we say 'anti-ageing' is the other various processes in the body that may slow down down/not function as they should as we are getting older.
Things like metabolic function (which can be affected by sugar and a high carbohydrate diet), collagen production, energy production, oxidative stress and inflammation.
Black seed oil can help with a number of things to do with ageing such as;
Helping to Quell Chronic Inflammation
Also known as 'Inflammaging" because of the effect that inflammation has on ageing. Taking a high-quality black seed oil such as this one, is known to help reduce this chronic type of inflammation and this can greatly slow down the ageing process!
Helping Reduce Oxidative Stress
It has been shown in studies that nigella satvia (including TQ compound) can work on oxidative stress by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines and affecting positively lipid peroxidation.
One of the most important things to note on black seed oil, is how well it can help modulate the immune system and several studies can back this up.
It may have a powerful effect on health on the gut too (which is the house of the immune system) and this can positively impact allergies, asthma, atopic eczema and allergic rhinitis.
In obese patients, it has been observed that consuming black seed oil has seen a reduction in body weight but not only that, an improvement in metabolic syndrome too!
The Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders published a review stating that BSO was shown to be one of the most effective natural substances on planet earth for its anti-obesity properties.
In another review, the data revealed BSO's ability to help reduce body weight, decrease BMI and also reduce waist circumference!
Diabetics may find BSO useful as it has been shown to treat diabetes in the way that it helps blood sugar levels, postprandial blood glucose levels, haemoglobin-A1c levels and lipid profiles.
These beneficial effects have been known to help prevent diabetic complications such as atherosclerosis and heart disease.
The humble black seed oil also shows great promise as an antimicrobial agent - especially antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic.
Studies have shown BSO can help those who have an overgrowth of candida (also known as 'yeast infection' or 'thrush').
Black seed oil (BSO) also shows great promise for slowing down MRSA (super bug) spread and also SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
Note: if you are increasing antimicrobial (such as black seed oil) you should be replenishing the good microbes with a quality probiotic.
- Numerous studies will show beneficial results when it comes to black seed oil and its anti-cancer activity. This is most likely due to its potent and powerful antioxidants, phytochemicals and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Many studies show that TQ (thymoquinone) has therapeutic effects in the form of cancer prevention. TQ is just one compound found in BSO, there are many more, such as flavonoids, alkaloids, proteins and many nutrients as well.
- Phytochemicals in BSO (as discovered by Croatian scientists) were shown to decrease tumour cells by a whopping 54%!
- Research shows that TQ compound in BSO helps to induce apoptosis (cell death) in certain cancer cells (leukemia, breast and brain cells)
- BSO may also promise in cancers such as bladder, colon, lung, pancreatic and skin.
This oil has been found to be found to be very safe in general but there are certain potential side effects that should be mentioned.
There's a chance that taking black seed oil may increase the effects of drugs that the body processes through a certain pathway, known as the p450 pathway.
As an example of a medication that would be contraindicated would be beta-blockers and blood thinners.
Side Note: We mentioned earlier, that black seed oil can promote a healthy liver but it's advised to stick to the recommended dose or it may actually be harmful to both the liver and also the kidneys.
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Disclaimer: this article is for informational purposes only and not to be taken as advice. It is always recommended to seek professional medical advice from your trusted health practitioner.