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Black Seed: A True Panacea – Health Benefits

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Asmau Mohammed
I am a medical student and I love discussing all things health related. I also love being a health or lifestyle coach.

Few people know what a real fortune having black seed or black seed oil is. Very few know why it’s such. Black seed has been around for ages, dating far back before the medieval times.

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Apparently, a bottle of black seed oil was found in the tomb that allegedly belonged to king Tut and it’s said that he wished to carry the miracle oil with him to the afterlife. The Muslim Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said that black seed can ‘cure anything except death itself’.

Different studies and researched that have taken place since then proves that that statement is not to be argued with. Black seed (Nigella sativa), is mainly found in the southwest of Asia. It is also known by other names such as:

  1. Black sesame
  2. Onion seed
  3. Roman Conanda
  4. Black Cumin
  5. Black caraway

‘Black seed’ is more of a descriptive name than an actual name but it is preferred to distinguish it from some other herbs. The general properties of black seed that contribute to its health benefits are:

  1. Anti-inflammatory
  2. Anti-oxidant
  3. Anti-viral
  4. Anti-bacterial
  5. Anti-histamine
  6. Anti-coagulant

There are 3 key natural chemicals in black seed that have been studied individually to determine the extent of the magic of black seed. These chemicals are thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone and thymol.

Thymoquinone

Thymoquinone has been under study since 1960 by different scientists and research teams. It has been found to exhibit anti-oxidant capabilities, anti-inflammatory capabilities as well as anti-cancer.

It has helped with the treatment of encephalomyelitis, diabetes, carcinogenesis and asthma. It has also been shown to preserve anti-oxidant enzymes which help protect the liver from toxins that damage it.

Thymohydroquinone

Thymohrydroquinone has been found to be a possible treatment so many diseases and illnesses because it has been found to be a natural acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor. That is it inhibits the enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of acetyl choline in nerve endings, making acetyl choline last longer.

Common acetyl- cholinesterase inhibitor drugs are used in the treatment of diseases such as apathy, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, myasthenia gravis, and neurodegenerative diseases among others.

Thymol

It is a natural monoterpene and also a good disinfectant, domestically and clinically. It has also been used in food flavoring, perfumes, mouthwash and some cosmetics. Black seed has been defined by some as a true panacea, treating everything from allergies to hypertension.

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Studies tested all three chemicals against 30 human pathogens and it resulted in 100% inhibition of these pathogens. Of all the health benefits of black seed, 6 sticks out to scientific literature and they are prevention of cancer, diabetes, hair loss, obesity, skin disorder, infections like MRSA.

Few of the health benefits of black seed are:

Black Seed

Cancer

Hymoquinone and thymohydroquinone have been found to kill tumor cells as well as prevent their growth. When a test was carried out on mice, there was a 52% decrease of tumor cells.

Tumor cells are associated with cancer and the ability of these chemicals found in black seed make black seed capable of preventing cancer and likely cure, to an extent, some stages of cancer in patients.

Liver health

Black seed has a wonderful healing effect on the liver. It speeds the healing process of damaged liver as a result from side effects of medications, excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco usage, disease and other things that may cause liver damage. The black seed oil also benefits liver function and prevents damage.

Acne treatment

The occurrence of acne has been linked to inflammation of the regenerative skin cells. Because of the anti-inflammative property of black seed and its oil, it clears up the skin, getting rid of acne while making the skin soft and giving it a luminous healthy glow.

It can also be used to prevent acne and is therefore advised for those with acne prone skins.

Skin

Like for the acne treatment, black seed’s anti-inflammatory property prevents and heals skin problems caused by inflammation of the epidermal cells and the deeper layers of the skin keeping the skin healthy.

It contains some fatty acids that keep the skin moisturized as well as anti-oxidant properties. It therefore nourishes the skin and takes care of the look of the skin from the tone of the skin to the texture of the skin. It decreases the occurrence of eczemas.

Diabetes

Diabetes is as a condition characterized by excess amount of sugar in the blood.

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It is due to physiological in capabilities of the body to get rid of excess blood sugar and this may be due to reduced insulin production in the body caused by damage of pancreatic beta cells where insulin is produced.

Black seed has been found to cause gradual regeneration of damaged pancreatic beta cells, causing increased production of insulin which could reduce blood sugar level, which is beneficial to diabetic patients.

Unlike the prescribed diabetic drug metformin which causes sides effects such as bloating, skin flushing, headache, heartburn, muscle pain or stomach pain, black seed has no side effects.

Weight loss

Following the same mechanism as that of treatment for diabetes, black seed reduces blood sugar and decreases weight gain triggers such as appetite, cholesterol appetite and it also increases the absorption of glucose in the intestine.

Hair growth

The role of black seed in promoting hair growth is not completely understood but it may be as a result of its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammative properties which strengthen hair follicles which prevents hair breakage and loss of hair.

It also provides the body with essential fatty acids that are generally good for the skin and the hair.

Epilepsy

Black seed has been found to have anti-convulsive properties, reducing seizures in patients suffering from epilepsy.

Fertility

People that consume black seed have been found to be more fertile than those that do not. It also acts as an aphrodisiac. It increases blood and oxygen circulation and flow to the sex organs which may increase sexual vigilance and strength therefore improving sex drive and sex life.

The benefits of black seed can be enjoyed by forming a habit and diet of consuming black seed or its oil.

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