Used as a spice in ancient civilizations, Black Cumin hides one of the richest compounds in health benefits known today. Thymoquinone.
Since those times it began to be used for its medicinal properties and today it does not stop surprising the scientific community, the vast amount of properties that this compound presents.
In this article, we will learn about Thymoquinone, where we can find it and the benefits that its consumption brings to health.
Thymoquinone is a phytochemical derived from the seeds of a plant called Nigella Sativa, native to West Asia (Iraq, Turkey, India). This plant, also known as Black Cumin, has been used for more than 2000 years as a medicinal herb and as part of the diet of ancient eastern cultures.
Nigella Sativa seed extract has been used over the years to treat diseases such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, inflammations, and many others.
The seed of Nigella Sativa, contains several natural phytochemicals with beneficial health effects. In addition to Thymoquinone (TQ), it also contains dithymoquinone, thymo hydroquinone (THQ), Omega fatty acids and thymol.
The responsible for most of the pharmacological properties of black cumin is Thymoquinone, which is the major active constituent of Nigella Sativa Seed Oil or Black Cumin Seed Oil.
Thymoquinone is considered a powerful antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory substance. Scientists and researchers remain interested in understanding even more about the multiple benefits of this substance.
Black Seed Oil (BSO) is extracted from Nigella Sativa seeds and contains large amounts of Thymoquinone. When seeds are ready to harvest, they are collected and pressed to release a concentrated amount of BSO.
We already know that it has been used for many years for its medicinal properties. But more exactly, what is Thymoquinone good for? We will mention 9 health benefits of using Black Seed Oil (source of Thymoquinone).
Studies have been done on the properties of this compound to treat and thwart the growth of colon, pancreas, and prostate cancer cells.
"Test-tube studies have shown thymoquinone in black seed oil to help control the growth and spread of several types of cancer cells" - Healthline
A study by the Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia determined that TQ can prevent the development and kill pancreatic cancer cells. Research also reveals that TQ helps induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukemia cells, breast cancer cells, and brain tumor cells.
Due to the presence of various antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids and polyphenols, black seed oil possesses antioxidant properties. As a consequence, it helps combat oxidative stress and cell damage caused by free radicals.
The damage generated by free radicals causes several progressive pathological conditions, including neurological disorder, cancer, aging, and endocrine illness
This antioxidant activity also delays the effects of aging and the appearance of age-related diseases.
Several studies have shown that using Black Seed can lower blood sugar levels. It is one of the few substances in the world that can be recommended to prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
According to an article in the Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, black seed oil improves glucose tolerance as efficiently as metformin, but without the side effects of the latter substance.
Although there is not much research on this, there are studies that make us think that Black Seed oil can help reduce body mass index (BMI). Another Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders publication on plants that have anti-obesity properties found that black seed oil could be effective in combating obesity.
Additionally, it has benefits for digestive transit and detoxification of the body, helping to:
Strengthens the immune system by acting as a natural anti-infective. It helps in defending the body against harmful microorganisms.
“Different extracts of N. sativa as well as TQ, have a broad antimicrobial spectrum including Gram-negative, Gram-positive bacteria, viruses, parasites, Schistosoma and fungi” - Fatemeh Forouzanfar
Some studies show that Black Seed Oil naturally enhance male fertility, improving sperm movement and increasing sperm count.
High blood pressure and high total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels are important risk factors for heart disease.
Studies link TQ consumption to a significant reduction in bad cholesterol (LDL), total cholesterol and blood pressure, both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
Thymoquinone is best known for its anti-inflammatory benefits that are helpful in treating chronic diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia, IBS, colitis, peritonitis, allergies and asthma. Inflammation is the common denominator in all these diseases.
There are studies that have shown anti-asthmatic effects of TQ, as it can help by reducing inflammation and relaxing the muscles of the airways.
Drugs currently used as anti-inflammatory agents produce severe side effects, unlike TQ that does not.
Black seed oil also has properties that make it an ideal complement for hair and skin care.
Research in this regard shows that, due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects and its fatty acid content, this oil helps treat some skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dry skin and psoriasis.
It fights wrinkles, by deeply moisturizing the skin, gives it flexibility and shine.
It may help with hair loss due to androgenic alopecia, in addition to helping to hydrate the hair.
Black seed oil is usually found in pill or liquid presentations. The usual dosage for oral use is between 1000mg to 2000mg a day.
"If buying the liquid form of black seed oil, it's recommended to choose a high quality product that doesn't have any added ingredients" - Healthline
There are studies in which asthma patients have taken 1mg a day up to studies using BSO for weight loss where 2000mg to 3000mg a day were consumed.
BSO has a strong bitter and spicy flavor, so you may want to use it in salads, smoothies, on cooked foods, or mixed with other ingredients such as honey or lemon juice.
When it comes to external use, 2 to 3 drops are recommended by massaging on the skin or applied to the hair.
To date, no significant contraindications on BSO have been found. When used in small amounts and following the recommended doses, it is safe for most people.
However, in topical use it could cause an allergic rash in some people. It is important to test it on a small patch of skin first to ensure that it does not trigger a reaction.
People taking medication, pregnant and breastfeeding women, should consult their doctor before taking any supplement.
Mother Nature Organics, aiming their commitment to helping you achieve your health and wellness goals, offers you the benefits of Thymoquinone in its liquid form, through the Indian Black Seed Oil and Turkish Black Seed Oil products.
This Bottled Oils is great for adding to smoothies and shakes, salad dressings, sauces, and just swallowing from the spoon!
Mother Nature Organics also offers it in the form of capsules, great way to make sure you get black seed oil with your daily vitamins and minerals. They are in measured doses, easy to digest, and convenient to take along to work or for travel.
Now that we know about the benefits of Black Seed Oil, we understand why it is a natural product that has been used for so long. And now you can see for yourself, that it was not myths, but a true gift of nature.