Way back in January 2017 I wrote a blog about the magical, medicinal powers of black (cumin) seed oil. Since then I have used it personally on a very regular basis as well as recommending it to many of the people I work with who have poor health. Since covid 19 struck, it has become more widely known in the integrative health world due to its potent anti-viral and immune supporting properties. One of black seed’s oil most researched and potent compounds, Thymoquinone has even being likened to hydroxychloroquine in it’s anti-covid effects.
Good quality black seed oil used to be quite hard to get hold of, which is why I was importing it for a while from a specialist in Austria. These days many supplement providers are selling it, both as loose oil and in capsules, but buy with caution – cold pressed, organic, ideally unfiltered is what you should be looking for and preferably not capsulated. It should be challenging to the taste – bitter and peppery, a sign of high polyphenol content and general potency.
I researched black seed oil thoroughly when I co-authored a book on superfoods with biochemist Dr James Di Nicolantonio (yet to be published). I pushed for this momentous oil to be included because I knew it was really remarkable in its broad range of known health benefits, and since then, I have continued to be awestruck by its capacity to improve so many and varied systems in the body. I am regularly recommending it to my metabolically challenged patients for help with blood glucose regulation, insulin sensitivity and blood lipid levels, but truly, I wish everyone would take it at least now and again to have a little boost. It helps to feed the beneficial gut microbes yet can help rid the digestive tract of pathogenic and parasitic overgrowth; it can help with systemic inflammation and seems to be helpful with many respiratory issues. It is unsuitable for very few. It can have a blood thinning effect, as do omega 3 fish oils by the way, so people with clotting issues or those on blood thinners should use with caution.
Below you will find my first celebration of the mighty oil. Take it off the spoon like a medicine hide in in a salad dressing or smoothie, but get it in to you. Enjoy folks!
The magical powers of black seed oil
- 14 January 2017
My current favourite health tip is Black Seed Oil. I was recently given some freshly cold pressed, organic oil from this magical seed so I spent some time looking in to the active properties of Nigella Sativa.
Black seed oil has been very extensively studied. Scientific data and professionally conducted trials are often lacking when it comes to natural remedies, but this ancient panacea is backed up by literally hundreds of studies.
There is such a broad range of health benefits associated with black seed oil that it makes sense to take it as a preventative and health tonic. The main proven benefits I have listed below, but it makes me think, if this natural product does all that the studies say it does, then what about all the things it might help with that haven?t yet been established.
What is essential, is quality, true of all oils we ingest and use topically, as many oils are negatively affected by light, heat and oxygen and however good an oil might be in theory, once it has become oxidized through exposure to heat, light and / or oxygen, the oil is rancid and will be harmful. So use the same criteria as a really good olive oil or coconut oil – cold pressed, organic with a pressing date and in a dark bottle. Keep in a cool dark place and take as a supplement at a dose of about 1 teaspoon a day.
The health benefits of black seed oil:
- Incredibly, some studies suggest that it can partially regenerate cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, hence both type 1 and type 2 diabetics might benefit. It also acts in the same way as the most readily prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes, Metformin. I am not suggesting for a moment that you stop your Metformin if you are currently taking it, but good trials have shown that it increases insulin sensitivity.
- There is a compound in black seed oil that has been shown effective against the hospital bug MRSA. This highly aggressive and resistant bug is notoriously for infecting people who are already vulnerable due to having hospital procedures. Black seed oil has been tested against multiple strains of MRSA and proven effective against all of them.
- This oil has multiple anti-cancer properties, which is staggering. From restricting the increase in the growth of new blood vessels to a tumour (anti-angiogenesis) to preventing metastasis, or the spreading of cancer to other areas; triggering cell death in cancer (something that all other cells know to do if they are damaged or malfunctioning, but cancer cells are not able to turn themselves off); this oil’s properties also appear to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy while reducing side effects, how incredible is that.
- Black seed oil offers protection and detoxification support to the liver.This is why I love using natural foods – they are so complex and multi-functional targeting many systems and offering protection to multiple functions within the body. Show me a pharmaceutical that comes even close!