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The Mighty Healing 
Power of Black Seed


Published in Detodo/La Optimista, Ibiza’s good news only newspaper.

Nigella Sativa, fennel flower, nutmeg flower, Roman coriander, black sesame, black cumin, black caraway, onion seed, black seed… Call it what you will, this plant holds mighty healing powers in the form of the seeds that lie within it.

Black seed oil was found in Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb; dating earliest known uses back to approximately 3,300 years ago. In Arabic cultures, black seed is known as “Habbatul barakah”, meaning the “seed of blessing.”

It is also believed that the Islamic prophet Mohammed said of it that it is “a remedy for all diseases except death.”

Since 1964, there have been 458 published, peer-reviewed studies referencing it.

Its reported healing buzzwords include: analgesic, anti-bacterial, antiinflammatory, anti-ulcer,

anti-cholinergic, anti-fungal, anti-hypertensive, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antiviral, bronchodilator,

anti-diabetic, liver protecting, hypertensive, insulin sensitising, Interferon inducing,

leukotriene antagonising, kidney protecting, tumour necrosis factor, and alpha inhibiting.

However, these already hugely extensive pharmacological actions point to an even wider number of beneficial properties. In fact, black seed has been researched for very specific health conditions;

with some of the most compelling applications including:

Type 2 Diabetes: Two grams of black seed a day resulted in reduced fasting glucose, decreased insulin resistance, increased beta-cell function, and reduced glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in human subjects.

Helicobacter Pylori Infection: Black seeds possess clinically useful anti-H. Pylori activity,

comparable to triple eradication therapy.

Epilepsy: Black seeds were traditionally known to have anticonvulsive properties.

A 2007 study with epileptic children, whose condition was refractory to conventional drug treatment,

found that a water extract significantly reduced seizure activity.

High Blood pressure: The daily use of 100 and 200 mg of black seed extract, twice daily, for 2 months,

was found to have a blood pressure-lowering effect in patients with mild hypertension.

Asthma: Thymoquinone, one of the main active constituents within Nigella sativa (black cumin),

is superior to the drug fluticasone in an animal model of asthma. Another study, this time in human subjects,

found that boiled water extracts of black seed have relatively potent antiasthmatic effect on asthmatic airways.

Acute tonsillopharyngitis: characterised by tonsil or pharyngeal inflammation (i.e. sore throat), mostly viral in origin, black seed capsules (in combination with Phyllanthus niruri) have been found to significantly alleviate throat pain,

and reduce the need for painkillers, in human subjects.

Chemical Weapons Injury: A randomised, placebo-controlled human study of chemical weapons injured patients found that boiled water extracts of black seed reduced respiratory symptoms, chest wheezing, and

pulmonary function test values, as well as reduced the need for drug treatment.

Colon Cancer: Cell studies have found that black seed extract compares favourably to the chemoagent 5-fluoruracil

in the suppression of colon cancer growth, but with a far higher safety profile. Animal research has found that

black seed oil has significant inhibitory effects against colon cancer in rats, without observable side effects.

MRSA: Black seed has anti-bacterial activity against clinical isolates of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Opiate Addiction/Withdrawal: A study on 35 opiate addicts found black seed as an effective therapy

in long-term treatment of opioid dependence.

“The time, no doubt, has come for food, seeds, herbs, plants, sunlight, air, clean water, and yes, love, to assume once again their central place in medicine, which is to say, the art and science of facilitating self-healing within the human body.”

(Edited highlights from

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