Many of us are familiar with black cumin seeds sprinkled on naan bread or used to flavor curries, but did you know that the lightweight oil extracted from these seeds has a myriad of health benefits? This under-the-radar ingredient has been used to treat everything from indigestion to heart disease to skin and hair issues. In this article, we explore the science behind black seed oil and uncover some of the reasons why it should be a part of your daily routine.
One of the most popular claims about black seed oil is that it can aid in weight loss. In an 8-week study of overweight women, those who took black seed oil experienced a greater reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as improved cholesterol levels when compared to a placebo group. In addition, black seed oil may help to sooth irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In one study, it eradicated Helicobacter pylori bacteria in IBS patients, while also helping to prevent stomach ulcers.
Another potential black seed oil benefit is that it can help to reduce allergy symptoms. In a small-scale study, black seed oil was found to improve the severity of symptoms for those suffering from eczema and psoriasis.
Black seed oil contains an active compound called thymoquinone, which has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been found to be effective in improving skin conditions, supporting healthy wounds, and even treating cancer and diabetes. It can be taken orally in capsule form, or applied topically to the skin. If you decide to try it topically, make sure to perform a patch test first, as it can cause an allergic reaction in some people.black cumin seed oil