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Health Research

5 Health Benefits of Black Seed [Infographic]

Black Seed
Black seed has been used since the time of ancient Egypt and remains in use today as both a culinary and a medicinal herb. Scientists have so far demonstrated that it promotes joint health, enhances memory and attention, reduces cholesterol and blood pressure, and may also assist with weight loss. With a mild peppery flavor, black seed is a savory addition to tea blends.
Black Seed Infographic
What is black seed?
The use of black cumin dates back to the ancient Egyptian times with traces of the plant found in the tomb of Tutankhamun purportedly for his journey into the afterlife. The herb was also mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, as well as by the prophet Mohammed. Black seed, which is found in the fruit of black cumin, is often used as a flavoring or spice in cooking, particularly in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. It also has a long history of medicinal use dating back to ancient Greece where the seeds were used for headaches, nasal congestion, and other conditions. Today, it is often used to treat gastrointestinal and respiratory conditions.
Botanical name: Nigella sativa
Other names: Nigella, black cumin
Description: An annual plant that grows to 1 feet tall with delicate leaves and pale gray-blue flowers
Habitat: Native to western Asia but grows prolifically in many areas of the world
Properties*: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, antihypertensive, antioxidant, antiviral, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective
The health benefits of black seed according to research
1. Bone & Joint Health
Black seeds may improve inflammation and reduce oxidative stress (cell damage caused by oxidation) in people with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting joints. According to a study published in the academic journal Phytotherapy Research, black seed extract has been shown to protect bone marrow in animal studies. Another study published in the journal concluded that supplementation with black seed could have therapeutic benefits for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
2. Energy & Brain Support
Black seeds may enhance memory, attention, and cognition, according to some early animal and human studies. One particular animal study conducted in 2015 showed that the consumption of black seed during newborn and juvenile growth may improve learning and memory due to the positive roles of antioxidants on brain development.
Black seed has been found to exhibit beneficial effects in various central nervous system disorders such as memory impairment and epilepsy. Researchers believe this is mainly due to the presence of certain compounds in black seed such as thymoquinone.
3. Heart and Circulatory Health
Consumption of black seeds may be beneficial for those with high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Preliminary research suggests that black seeds help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides (fats found in blood) and blood pressure. In one study, consumption of black seeds helped reduce total cholesterol of healthy adults by 5%, LDL cholesterol by 8%, and triglycerides by 17% after four weeks.
Because of its numerous effects, researchers believe that black seeds may be useful against type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (a condition with raised cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes). In an article published by the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, black seed is one of the few substances that is suggested to help prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
4. Immunity and Overall Health
Black seed is believed to have hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) and anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) properties. According to preliminary scientific studies, black seeds appear to inhibit both stomach cancer and prostate cancer. Researchers have demonstrated that thymoquinone, a major component of black seed, suppresses the growth of different types of cancers. Studies have also found black seed to have antimicrobial effects against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
5. Weight Loss and Metabolism
According to a review published in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, the volatile oils of black seed is believed to have anti-obesity properties. Black seed has anti-inflammatory properties that may assist in weight loss by decreasing various weight gain triggers, such as appetite, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides.


* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.


Abdullah O Bamosa, Huda Kaatabi, Fatma M Lebdaa, Abdul-Muhssen Al Elq, Ali Al-Sultanb. “Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. October 2010;54(4):34454.
Amirhossein Sahebkar, Guglielmo Beccuti, Luis E Simental-Mendía, Valerio Nobili, Simona Bo. “Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) Effects on Plasma Lipid Concentrations in Humans: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials.” Pharmacol Res. February 10, 2016. Epub February 10, 2016.
B. H. Ali and Gerald Blunden. “Pharmacological and toxicological properties of Nigella sativa”. Phytotherapy Research. April 14, 2003;17(3):299-305.
Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. New York, NY: DK Publishing, 2016. Print.
Duke J. A. Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Natural Agricultural Library. United States Department of Agriculture. Web. June 26, 2016.
Farimah Beheshti, Mahmoud Hosseini, Farzaneh Vafaee, Mohammad Naser Shafei, Mohammad Soukhtanloo. “Feeding of Nigella sativa during neonatal and juvenile growth improves learning and memory of rats.” J Tradit Complement Med. April 2016;6(2):146-52. Epub January 17, 2015.
Farshad Roghani Dehkordi, Amir Farhad Kamkhah. “Antihypertensive effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in patients with mild hypertension.” Braz J Med Biol Res. April 2006;39(4):4219. Epub April 3, 2016.
Farzaneh Shakeri, Zahra Gholamnezhad, Bruno Mégarbane, Ramin Rezaee, Mohammad Hosein Boskabady. “Gastrointestinal effects of Nigella sativa and its main constituent, thymoquinone: a review.” Avicenna J Phytomed. January 2016;6(1):920.
Fatemeh Forouzanfar, Bibi Sedigheh Fazly Bazzaz, Hossein Hosseinzadeh. “Black cumin (Nigella sativa) and its constituent (thymoquinone): a review on antimicrobial effects.” Iran J Basic Med Sci. December 2014;17(12):92938.
Mohammad Reza Khazdair. “The Protective Effects of Nigella sativa and Its Constituents on Induced
Neurotoxicity.” J Toxicol. 2015;2015:841823. Epub October 29, 2015.
Muhammad Shahdaat Bin Sayeed, Md Asaduzzaman, Helal Morshed, Md Monir Hossain, Mohammad Fahim Kadir, Md Rezowanur Rahman. “The effect of Nigella sativa Linn. seed on memory, attention and cognition in healthy human volunteers.” J Ethnopharmacol. July 30, 2013;148(3):7806. Epub May 21, 2013.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Therapeutic Research Center. Web. June 22, 2016.
Padma Sandeep Koka, Debasis Mondal, Michelle Schultz, Asim B Abdel-Mageed, and Krishna C Agrawal
“Studies on molecular mechanisms of growth inhibitory effects of thymoquinone against prostate cancer cells: role of reactive oxygen species.” Exp Biol Med (Maywood) June 2010 235: 751-760.
Tamer A. Gheita and Sanaa A. Kenawy. “Effectiveness of Nigella sativa Oil in the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Placebo Controlled Study”. Phytotherapy Research. August 2012;26(8):1246-1248.
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). November 28, 2015, Web. June 26, 2016.
Vahid Hadi, Sorayya Kheirouri, Mohammad Alizadeh, Alireza Khabbazi, Hossein Hosseini. “Effects of Nigella sativa oil extract on inflammatory cytokine response and oxidative stress status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.” Avicenna J Phytomed. January 2016;6(1):3443.
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