Almost all of us have faced either acute or chronic illness or injury at some point in our lives. Think of a sprained ankle or more serious issues like diabetes and strokes.
For people with chronic illnesses and conditions, it can be incredibly frustrating trying to find a treatment that works. Many people live with pain and inflammation on a daily basis, and those seriously impact someone’s quality of life.
What if we told you that Black Cumin could help alleviate many of the symptoms caused by chronic disorders?
In this article, we’ll be talking about 8 conditions you probably didn’t know that Black Cumin can help and why Black Cumin is such a powerful healing agent.
But first, let’s take a look at…
A Short History of Black Cumin as Medicine
Black Cumin Seed (Nigella sativa) comes from the Fennel Flower, and it’s also commonly called kalonji, black seed, and Roman coriander. It has been used in herbal medicine and cooking for millennia in such places as Egypt, India, and the Middle East. It’s even mentioned in historical texts like the work of Hippocrates, a famous Ancient Greek physician from the 5th century B.C., and the Bible, where a healing cake made with it is called a ketzah (Source). By the time the famous Roman Pliny the Elder came around in the 1st century A.D., he recorded its use for treating things like indigestion, snake bites, rashes, and even tumors. It is still being used for many of these same ailments, with scientific studies confirming its beneficial use.
Today, you can usually find Black Cumin in either powder form, for cooking, or oil form, generally as an oral supplement.
What Healing Properties Does Black Cumin Have?
Black Cumin’s healing power largely comes from its main component, Thymoquinone, which demonstrates anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it helps reduce swelling and treats immune responses. It’s also known to be antinociceptive (i.e., “analgesic), meaning it can help with pain management. Some other well-known benefits are that it’s antipyretic, meaning it reduces fevers (sort of like a natural Tylenol), antimicrobial, meaning it kills bad microorganisms, and antihypertensive, meaning that it can help treat high blood pressure.
All of these benefits are great, but what sort of illnesses and ailments can Black Cumin actually help treat? In this article, we’ll lay out 8 different common (but sometimes deadly) conditions that Nigella sativa can help heal.
8 Conditions Can Black Cumin Help Treat:
Black Cumin is important in the treatment of diabetes not just because it can help maintain healthy insulin levels but also because its multifaceted healing nature has the potential to protect against diabetic complications, like nephropathy, a type of kidney disease, neuropathy, nerve damage, and atherosclerosis, a build of cholesterol plaque (Source 1) (2) (3). How amazing is that?
One study from January 2020 found that Nigella sativa and Thymoquinone help treat endothelial dysfunction, a condition in which the inner lining of small arteries do not perform correctly, in patients with diabetes.
But why does it actually work that way? The researchers in that study found that Black Cumin helps heal endothelial dysfunction in various ways, including through its anti-inflammatory effects (Source).
That’s not all!
Black Cumin also helps diabetic patients by killing bacteria that can be disproportionately found in their wounds (Source). This is particularly useful for people who get frequent infections since bacteria can grow resistant to many antibiotics.
For this same reason, Black Cumin has been found on multiple occasions to be useful in treating somewhat well-known bacterial infections like MRSA (Source).
Another added benefit from Black Cumin’s antibacterial properties is its ability to fight indigestion, particularly for people whose indigestion is directly caused by bacterial infections. One study found that it helped eliminate Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can cause indigestion and upset stomach, in infected patients when compared with a placebo (Source).
But wait, there’s more!
Not only does Nigella sativa’s antibacterial properties come in handy when faced with indigestion, but its antimicrobial effects help treat indigestion and upset stomachs from non-bacterial causes, like viruses, parasites, and fungi (Source).
Black Cumin’s anti-inflammatory properties seem to be able to positively affect those with asthma.
Well, asthma is a condition where someone’s airways narrow and swell and produce a bunch of extra mucus. This, of course, makes it hard to breathe, and some people with asthma describe it as their lungs being on fire.
Since Nigella sativa has anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces this swelling/narrowing and helps return the airways to normal. It also helps reduce the lungs. Since the lungs become more relaxed and one’s airways become less swollen, that helps a person affected by asthma to be able to breathe more easily after taking Black Cumin. For that reason, Black Cumin is said to be bronchodilatory (Source). There have been multiple studies done on the intersection of Black Cumin and asthma, with one study being a review of the results of all the other studies, so you can see just how effective Black Cumin is for treating asthma across the board. Read that review here: Source.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
NAFLD is a long term for something that’s pretty self-explanatory. Basically, NAFLD is an umbrella term for a bunch of different liver issues caused by a build-up of fat in cases where this build-up is not due to alcohol.
If the fat build up in the liver isn’t due to alcohol, what is it due to? Well, a variety of factors, including diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol.
So, how does Black Cumin help treat NAFLD?
Once again, we have Nigella sativa’s anti-inflammatory property to thank for its healing power. People who take Black Cumin Seed Oil can decrease the liver enzymes and lipids (fats) that cause NAFLD in the first place (it’s called “hypolipidemic” for this reason.) In doing so, Black Cumin Seed Oil helps reduce inflammation for patients with NAFLD (Source).
Black Cumin is sort of nature’s Tylenol: it’s anti-inflammatory, analgesic (i.e., reduces pain), and anti-fever (Source). Multiple studies have done examining the mechanisms that allow Black Cumin to be such an effective pain fighter (Source). One of the most in-depth studies found Nigella sativa to be effective in helping to treat knee pain in geriatric patients (Source).
If you suffer from chronic pain, chances are Black Cumin’s natural anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties can help you.
Before we talk about how Nigella sativa can help fight cancer, let’s back up a second and remind ourselves what cancer actually is.
Likely everyone reading this knows approximately what cancer is, but, just in case, it’s important to remember that cancer is caused by “bad” cells reproducing themselves. Researchers tend to refer to this as “abnormal cell growth.”
Okay, so how do different substances actually help fight cancer?
Cancer-fighting agents tend to either protect cells from becoming “bad” (altered) in the first place or kill the “bad” cells once they are altered and have become cancer cells. Black Cumin works in the second way. Black Cumin and its active ingredient Thymoquinone directly act on cancer cells, killing them (Source 1) (2).
Now that you know how Black Cumin fights cancer, let’s look at what cancers it actually fights:
Black Cumin has been found to be an effective supplemental treatment for various types of cancer, including myeloblastic leukemia, which is a type of blood cancer that starts in one’s bone marrow (Source), breast cancer (Source), and other types of common cancers like colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, hepatic cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, and skin cancer (Source). Considering that these are some of the most common cancers, Black Cumin seems like a very promising avenue for most people.
How awesome, right?
Part of the reason Black Cumin seems to be so effective against different cancers is that it’s an antioxidant. In fact, “many studies showed that N. sativa oil…increases the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) glutathione peroxidase (GPx) etc. And research has found that these antioxidant enzymes are related to cancer and that “their increased activities are beneficial against different types of cancer (Khan et al., 2010)” (via Asgary et al., 2015).
What’s the key take-away from this?
Basically, Black Cumin and Thymoquinone’s antioxidant properties lead to a whole lot of cancer-fighting power in one substance.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune condition in which someone’s immune system attacks one’s own tissue and joint. It is a chronic condition with no cure, and it often affects older patients. It won’t be surprising to you to learn that rheumatoid arthritis causes the inflammation of joints.
Why is that not surprising?
Well, we’ve seen time and time again that Black Cumin is anti-inflammatory, and since rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling and pain in one’s joint (i.e. “inflammation”), it makes sense that Black Cumin can help treat it. And, sure enough, Nigella sativa is an effective treatment for inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (Source) (2).
Not only does Black Cumin help treat the joint issues caused by RA, but it can also help treat RA’s associated side effects like lung and cardiovascular diseases (Source).
How is that for a superfood?
You know how we talked about Black Cumin healing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease because it’s hypolipidemic?
Well, that comes into play for another type of lipid build-up: dyslipidemia. Instead of fat building up in the liver, like with NAFLD, dyslipidemia is fat building up in the blood. This can increase a patient’s chances of having a heart attack or stroke (yikes!).
Who’s generally affected by dyslipidemia? You may ask.
Dyslipidemia is usually related to an unhealthy lifestyle for adults. That means that it’s usually related to an unhealthy diet, a lack of exercise, and obesity.
But, never fear, Nigella sativa may help. One study concluded that “the evidence from experimental and a clinical study suggest that Nigella Sativa seeds are a promising natural therapy for dyslipidemic patients” (Source).
So if you’re worried about a fat build up in your body’s most important places (like your arteries!), then consider taking Black Cumin as a daily supplement.
The Key Take-Aways
Overall, Black Cumin seeds show a lot of promise as a natural, holistic healing agent for a wide range of health issues. The plant can be used to treat conditions like cancer, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, chronic inflammation, bronchitis, painful headaches, fevers, eczema, IBD, fat build-up, and more (Source)! It truly is a jack-of-all-trades supplement.
While at-risk groups like pregnant and breastfeeding women should be careful when taking Black Cumin or any supplement, there appear to be little adverse effects and no serious toxicity for most people (Source). As with any supplement, check with your doctor before taking, so they can make a recommendation based on your individual case.
It’s best to take a Black Cumin supplement that uses liposomal technology. “Liposomal Technology” means that a supplement uses protected liposomal micro-spheres to deliver an ingredient. This helps the supplement bypass the digestive system and go straight to cells, which is perfect for patients with chronic inflammation and digestive disorders (both of which Black Cumin can help with).
If you suffer from any of the conditions or even issues like chronic pain and swelling, consider adding Black Cumin Oil to your routine.
Does this new information make you want to add Black Cumin to your daily wellness routine? Let us know in the comments!