Image by Malgorzata Haggu from Pixabay

Black seed oil comes from a cold pressed extraction of the Nigella sativa plant. While it shares some of the broad-spectrum benefits common to many botanicals, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer, black seed oil stands out for the breadth of its additional medicinal effects. Likely this is at least in part because there are so many medicinally active constituents within this one plant.

Black Seed Oil for Acute Infections

While many botanicals have some anti-microbial activity, black seed oil shows promise at least in petri dish studies against MRSA.

It also has been shown to have comparable efficacy against H pylori to the standard conventional treatment of two antibiotics and a PPI.

This study involving black seed oil capsules showed that it is an effective treatment for acute pharyngitis as well.

Black Seed Oil for Immune Modulation

One of my favorite things about herbal antimicrobials is that many of them also exert an immune modulating effect, too. Sometimes immune stimulation is called for, and in other areas, immunosuppression is preferred. An immune modulator is capable of exerting either effect when called for. Black seed oil has this capability as well.

Black Seed Oil for Dermatological Conditions

Black Seed Oil really shines for various skin conditions.

This study shows that it is useful for psoriasis, topically.

This study shows a topical benefit for eczema, particularly of the hands.

This study shows that black seed oil exerts antifungal properties against dermatophytes, or fungal infections of the skin.

This study shows impressive efficacy of black seed oil in the form of a hydrogel against acne.

This study shows that black seed oil is useful for wound healing, as it stimulates tissue growth in addition to its many other properties. In this animal study, it’s specifically shown to promote wound healing of diabetic ulcers. This study shows that it’s even more effective when combined with honey.

More uniquely, black seed oil has also been shown to be effective topically in vitiligo lesions, here on the arms, trunk, head, and neck, and in this study to the face, hands, and genital region.

A combination of oils including coconut oil and black seed oil was also shown to be significantly effective in combatting hair loss, with up to a 76% decrease in hair loss over a 90 day period.

Black Seed Oil for Respiratory Health

Black seed oil has also been shown to improve asthma, decreasing subjects’ reliance upon inhaled steroids and beta-agonist inhalers.

Black Seed Oil for Blood Sugar Control and Blood Pressure

There aren’t too many significant natural hypoglycemic agents – most have a mild effect at best. However, black seed oil drops fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, and insulin resistance substantially over up to a 12 week period, according to this study, and this one as well.

Another symptom of metabolic syndrome is hypertension, and black seed oil has been shown to drop blood pressure too, over an 8 week period.

Black Seed Oil for Opiate Withdrawal

Curiously enough, black seed oil can even be an adjunctive aid in opiate withdrawal. This study shows that it not only aids in weakening dependence upon opiates, but helps with other ancillary symptoms associated with opiate addiction including frequent infections.

The Upshot

It seems hard to believe that one plant can do so many different things, but that’s the beauty of botanical medicine: they never have only a single mechanism of action. Many constituents within the same plant can have synergistic effects, offering a myriad of different potential health benefits.