8 Health Benefits Of Black Seeds (Nigella Sativa)

There’s a saying that goes “tiny yet mighty.” Nigella sativa, otherwise known as black seeds, fits this saying to the dot! Dating back to ancient history, these black seeds were even found in King Tutankhamen’s tomb. The Assyrians called black seeds “tin-tir,” which roughly means ‘tree of life’ or ‘sacred plant.’ The most ancient name for Babylon was “tin-tir-ki,” meaning ‘the place of the tree of life.’ The Arabs referred to the black seeds as ‘seeds of abundance and blessing.’ In Islamic culture, people believe that these black seeds can ‘cure everything except death.’

All these facts emphasizes their importance in history for healing and protection.


What Is Nigella Sativa

Nigella sativa is more commonly known as black seeds. It also goes by other names like black caraway, onion seeds, Roman coriander, black sesame, and kalonji. Black seeds are usually used as a cooking ingredient to add flavor to breads, curries, and pickles. Occasionally confused with chia, cumin, or cilantro seeds, nigella sativa has a bitter, peppery flavor, and smells similar to oregano. Black seeds are a common part of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines. Besides cooking, black seeds are known to possess multiple healing properties and don’t cause any side-effects. These seeds are packed with anti-ulcer, carminative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-fungal, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antispasmodic compounds.

Health Benefits Of Black Seeds

Since ancient times, people have used black seeds and its oil to treat a multitude of ailments. Most of these health benefits can be attributed to 3 natural chemicals in nigella sativa – thymoquinone (TQ), thymohydroquinone (THQ) and thymol. Black seeds also contain calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, protein, healthy fat, and carbohydrates. With virtually no known side-effects, black seeds are your go-to option to treat a number of health conditions.


1. Enhances Brain Health

Helps in cognition enhancements and also boosts the probability of increased neural activity

Black seeds possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuron-protecting properties, making it an ideal choice to boost your brain health and improve your memory. According to a 2013 study, people who took 500 mg capsules containing pure ground black seed powder were found to show improved attention, cognition, and memory when compared to those who took a placebo. For better brain health, all you need to do is to eat half a teaspoon of ground black seeds twice in a day or take a supplement after consulting your doctor.1


2. Promotes Liver Health

Black seeds help enhance the fight for toxins by the liver and by also increasing the levels of the toxin fighting enzymes in the liver

A properly functioning liver can help you remove harmful toxins from your body successfully. Black seeds enhance the hepato-renal protection mechanism, reduce disease complications, and eventually delay its progression. The best way that you can adopt to improve your liver function and to prevent liver damage or diseases is to include black seeds in your daily diet.


3. Controls Type-2 Diabetes

Helps in controlling the blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy diabetic body

Black seeds have been found to have a positive effect on glycemic control. If you’re diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, black seeds can be of great help when you need to manage your blood sugar levels. A regular intake of nigella sativa can help you reduce insulin resistance and increase beta-cell function in your pancreas, thereby proving effective in controlling and preventing diabetes.2


4. Treats Asthma

Helps in clearing the airways and decreasing the problems of asthma by controlling the air levels in the lungs

Black seeds are known to have a considerably potent anti-asthmatic effect on asthmatic airways. It reduces the intensity of asthma symptoms and promotes recovery. Thymoquinone in black seeds can also reduce inflammation in your airways and inhibit excess secretion of mucus. Black seeds can also effectively treat sore throats, acute sinusitis, and tonsillitis. For best results, add a few drops of black seed oil to a pot of hot water. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the vapors for about 5 minutes. Repeat the process until you feel a difference. You could also try inhaling aroma of black seed oil if you use a few drops on your handkerchief.3


5. Reduces The Risk Of Having Cancer

Helps to suppress the cancerous cells and also aids in shrinking the tumor cells in any part of the body

Black seeds are highly effective in reducing the risk of you having most types of cancers like cervical, breast, colon, oral, and brain cancer. Thymohydroquinone and thymoquinone, two phytochemicals in nigella sativa, have the amazing potential to reduce tumor cells, cure a number of inflammatory disorders and several types of cancers. These phytochemicals act as free radicals and scavenge superoxide radicals.4


6. Fights MRSA

A disease that has resistance to most antibiotics MRSA, black seeds have been seen to fight MRSA at an effective rate

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA, is a deadly disease that is resistant to the action of antibiotics. MRSA is considered to be a global public health risk as it weakens your immune system significantly. Where no generic antibiotics have had any positive effect, black seeds have shown potential to slow down and even stop the spread of this condition.5

7. Lowers High Blood Pressure

Helps to keep the blood pressure in check by controlling the hypertensive properties

Black seeds possess anti hypertensive properties making it a much sought-after solution if you need to deal with hypertension. With the daily use of black seed extracts for a couple of months, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your blood pressure levels. Additionally, black seeds help decrease low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol levels, thereby boosting your overall heart health.6

8. Aids Weight Loss

Does not directly involve in aiding obesity, but can help in assisting in weight loss by managing the bad cholesterol levels in the body

Though it doesn’t really treat obesity, black seeds are anti-inflammatory agents that can help you lose weight effectively. Besides helping you manage your blood sugar levels and reducing bad cholesterol in your body, black seeds act on other weight-gain triggers like your appetite, liver gluconeogenesis, and cholesterol levels to help you lose weight.

Apart from these important health benefits, black seeds have been found to be an effective analgesic making it useful to reduce pain in your body. It also possesses excellent anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties and can therefore inhibit the growth of a wide variety of pathogens and help you detoxify.