Benefits and Uses of Black Seed Oil
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We've all heard of olive oil, coconut oil, and maybe even jojoba oil. However, one oil that we don't hear about as much is black seed oil. It's actually unfortunate that this oil is not more popular, because it has many promising benefits.
Read on to learn more about how black seed oil is already the next big thing that you simply haven't heard about yet.
What is Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil, also referred to as black cumin, is made from the seeds of the black cumin plant. (1) This plant, also known as Nigella sativa, is native to Africa, the Mediterranean, and southwestern Asia.
Even though it is not particularly popular, it has been used for more than 3000 years as both a spice and an herbal medicine. In fact, it is rated as one of the top evidence based herbal medicines to date. (2)
The presence of Thymoquinone, which makes up almost 50% of the oil, is what gives black seed oil its outstanding therapeutic abilities. This phytochemical compound is said to have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant properties.
The Other Phytochemical Compounds
There are two other important phytochemical compounds in black seed oil other than Thymoquinone. These are Thymol and Thymohydroquinone.
Thymol is a biocide with strong antimicrobial properties. It is used as a medical disinfectant and non-persistent pesticide.
Thymohydroquinone is considered one of the most potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitors on earth.
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, also known as AChE inhibitors, actually stops enzyme activity. By ceasing activity, it prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine in the body, which is essentially the brain's messenger.
The History of Black Seed Oil
It is said that black seed oil is mentioned in the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible. During this time, it was used often as a spice for cakes and breads. In the Bible, black seed oil is referred to as "ketzah". (3)
The Prophet Muhammad also believed strongly in the healing powers of black seed oil, stating that "it has a remedy for every disease except death". (4)
In addition, Cleopatra and Queen Nefertiti used black seed oil for its health and beautifying qualities. (5) Physicians during that time also used black seed oil to heal their patients from colds, toothaches, headaches, digestive disorders, infections, and allergies.
In the 5th century B.C., Hippocrates even mentioned in his literature that black seed oil is a valuable remedy in hepatic and digestive disorders. (6)
Given its significant positive history, it's very surprising that more people don't know about its amazing benefits.
The Benefits of Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil is increasingly being researched as certain conditions become not only more prevalent, but also more resistant to drugs. For example, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, influenza, and even HIV have become very difficult to treat.
Because these conditions are resisting current treatment methods, hospitalized patients are increasingly at risk of developing an infection from superbugs. In 1991, 13,300 patients died from superbugs in the United States. (7)
Today, that number has risen and is closer to 90,000 per year. Researchers say it's possible that superbugs will kill more people than cancer by 2050. (8)
A recent study tested how black seed oil works against certain superbugs and compared it with various antibiotics. They found that most of the 144 strains tested were resistant to at least some antibiotics.
On the other hand, 97 of the strains were repressed by black seed oil. This is a very promising result.
It Has Super Powers Outside of Treating Superbugs
Although black seed oil has shown promise in treating different strains of infection, it also boasts other benefits. Some of these benefits are explained below.
It is currently estimated that approximately 415 million people are living with diabetes around the world. (9) This is an alarming number. It accounts for 1 in 11 people. In some countries, the numbers are even higher. But, there is hope.
A study published by the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that black seed oil causes partial reconstruction of pancreatic beta-cells and raises the lowered serum insulin concentrations. (10)
It also improves glucose intolerance in the same way that Metformin would. (11) Metformin is a frequently prescribed drug for Type 2 Diabetes. By using black seed oil instead, one can avoid the side effects that come along with Metformin.
Black seed oil is much more affordable than most prescription drugs.
Because of the phytochemical properties found in black seed oil, it has natural cancer fighting effects. Preliminary animal studies show that using black seed oil significantly reduces the number of tumor cells in mice.
Both thymol and thymohydroquinone have demonstrated anticancer properties. Other research shows that black seed oil is most effective in fighting leukemia, breast cancer, and brain cancer. More research still needs to be conducted on this issue.
Enhances Liver Health
The liver is key to the body's health. It processes and removes a large number of toxins from the bloodstream.
Many people suffer from liver disease. These illnesses, like cirrhosis, can be difficult to treat. Preliminary studies suggest that black seed oil may help treat liver disease.
Protects The Gut
One study found that black seed oil has anti-ulcer properties against Helicobacter pylori. (12) Another study discovered that it had significantly reduced the severity of intestinal damage in rats with ulcerative colitis. (13) It may also help with other digestive challenges.
Protects Against Heart Disease
Heart disease affects a staggering number of people worldwide. This number includes a large number of Americans. Many doctors suggest modifying diet and increasing exercise to lower risk.
These are important steps. But, more needs to be done. Black seed oil may be one of these additional steps. Studies suggest that black seed oil can reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.
Enhances Cognitive Performance
Black seed oil is rich in many chemicals. These chemicals have been shown to protect against the breakdown of acetylcholine. This in turn protects brain tissue.
This oil has been shown to improve cognitive functioning across indicators. Also, try to purchase organic black seed oil for maximum health benefits.
What To Look For In Seed Oils
Black seed oil can go bad quickly. Spoiled seed oil may make you sick. It will also reduce its health benefits. Look for pure black seed oil. Many products on the market unfortunately contain additives or are diluted.
Avoid these products if possible! Take care when you store your oil. It should not be stored in hot places or in direct sunlight.
Also Take Caution
The benefits of black seed oil outweigh the potential risks for most people. But, there are certain risks. It may cause nausea for some people. Black seed oil has also been linked to skin rashes.
In a small number of people, it has caused seizures. (14) You may want to discuss these risks with your medical provider before you start using it. They can offer advice. You can also do research on the Internet.
Black seed oil has a long history of protecting people from numerous illnesses and diseases. It has proven benefits including: fighting cancer, improving cardiovascular health, and fighting severe antibiotic resistant infections.
There are many more medical uses for it. More people should be encouraged to capitalize on these benefits. Many people simply do not know about the product and its benefits. But, there may be some slight risks to think about before taking black seed oil.
Don't be afraid to ask questions and do research!
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