Black cumin oil - controversial panacea

Black cumin oil is considered an old remedy that was used thousands of years ago for a variety of complaints. So the oil, which is won from the genuine black cumin (Nigella sativa), among other things to help beautiful skin and hair as well as against ticks, hay fever and other allergies help. But the effect of the traditional medicinal plant is controversial. Here you will find information about the application, effects and side effects of black cumin oil.

Medicinal plant with tradition

Black cumin oil looks back on a long history as a medicinal plant. So it was not only found as a grave gift of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, but also has a very special meaning in Islam. For even the Prophet Muhammad is said to have been helping black seed against every disease except death.

As a salutary spice, black cumin, which incidentally has nothing to do with cumin or cumin, was popular more than 2, 000 years ago. Black cumin seed (Nigella sativa seeds) should aid the digestion and digestibility of various foods and prolong the shelf life of pickled vegetables. A black cumin tea is believed to have a diuretic effect and alleviate flatulence.

The seeds are still sprinkled on flatbread and are a component of curry. In India, black cumin oil is used as cooking oil. But the oil is not only suitable for cooking, but also has many different effects on health.

Two oils - many effects

A distinction is made between two types of black cumin oil: a fatty oil obtained by pressing or chemically extracting the seeds, and an essential oil preceded by an evaporation process. Both oils are said to have many beneficial effects on health.

For example, black cumin oil should have the following properties, among others:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • soothing
  • anticonvulsant
  • antibacterial
  • antifungal (fungicidal)
  • lowers blood pressure
  • antioxidant

Black cumin oil as a natural remedy

Especially in Egyptian folk medicine and Ayurveda, but also in the local naturopathy black cumin oil is often used. Due to its healing properties, it is said to relieve a variety of ailments. These include:

  • Flatulence and other digestive complaints
  • urinary tract
  • High blood pressure and high blood lipid levels
  • Cold and other diseases of the respiratory tract
  • Headache and toothache
  • Joint pain and rheumatism
  • Skin problems like psoriasis, acne, dry skin or athlete's foot
  • period pain
  • hair loss
  • Sleep disorders and ADHD
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • low milk production in nursing mothers

In facial masks, lotions, soap, bath products and as a hair treatment, the oil should also promote beauty and help to healthy skin and shiny hair.

Black cumin oil for prevention and treatment

Even the onset of cancer, especially colon cancer, is supposed to prevent black cumin oil and also mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy.

The oil is also used to support the treatment of asthma, atopic dermatitis, hay fever and other allergies. Black cumin oil contains various ingredients that have an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulate the production of various prostaglandins (tissue hormones). Among other things, the latter can inhibit the secretion of the messenger substance histamine, which causes allergic symptoms in the body.

Incidentally, black cumin oil is also used in veterinary medicine. For example, horses are rubbed with oil to repel mosquitoes, flies and parasites. Black cumin oil in dog food has been shown to help keep ticks, mites and other vermin away.

What is in black cumin oil?

There are no standardized quality criteria for the production of black cumin oil. The exact composition of over 100 ingredients of the oil may therefore vary depending on the manufacturer and growing area.

Fat black cumin oil is yellowish or reddish to brownish in color and has an aromatic, peppery odor. It consists of different fats and fatty acids. With appropriate gentle production, it contains about 55 to 60 percent linoleic acid, which belongs to the diunsaturated fatty acids and is considered to be very healthy. In particular, gamma-linoleic acid is responsible for the manifold health-promoting effects of black cumin oil.

The volatile blackcurrant essential oil is responsible for smell and taste. It is light yellow, but becomes reddish due to storage. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation from the seeds of black cumin, but is also in the fat obtained by squeezing the seeds.

Ingredients with health benefits

Both types of black cumin oil contain - in varying amounts - the germicidal and anti-inflammatory substance thymoquinone, which can regulate allergic symptoms, as well as tannins and various saponins, which, for example, help alleviate the symptoms of asthma.

In addition, the mineral nutrients selenium, zinc, magnesium and copper as well as almost all essential amino acids are in black cumin oil. In addition, there are several vitamins in the oil: beta-carotene, various B vitamins - including B1, folic acid and biotin - as well as vitamin C and vitamin E.

Application and dosage

Black cumin oil can be used in several ways. So it can not only be used for cooking and baking, but also be taken as a dietary supplement.

For example, hayfever allergies are advised to take one tablespoon of the oil daily before or during the meal over several months. If the taste is too strong, you can also mix black cumin oil with honey or juice or buy it in the form of capsules.

An external application is also possible, for example by rubbing in (for example in atopic dermatitis) or spotting, for example on the skin around the nose in the case of hay fever. To inhale, one to two tablespoons of fat black cumin oil are added to one liter of hot water. Also for Ölziehungskuren ("slush oil") is often used black seed oil.

When used as a dietary supplement, please observe the instructions for use and dosage of the manufacturer or consult your doctor or the pharmacy. In particular, if you have a disease, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking Black Cumin Oil. Black cumin oil is a home remedy that can at most support, not replace, the treatment of a disease.

Side effects of black cumin oil

Black cumin oil should not be taken on an empty stomach so as not to irritate the gastric mucosa too much. It is therefore advisable to start with a small dosage and slowly increase it.

Cold-pressed oil has fewer side effects than oil produced by chemical distillation, as this process produces terpenes that can cause stomach pain.

The possible side effects of black seed oil include increased regurgitation, especially at the beginning of the intake. Overdose resulted in animal experiments to liver and kidney damage. An allergy, especially a contact allergy, is possible.

Care should be taken during the course of pregnancy when using essential oils, as some of these oils may cause premature labor or miscarriage.

Buy black cumin oil

Black cumin oil is available in the pharmacy, health food store, drugstore, health food store or on the Internet - often called Nigella sativa oil. Buy only cold-pressed black cumin oil from controlled organic quality that is free of flavoring, coloring and preservatives.

Whether you buy the black cumin oil filtered or unfiltered, is up to you: Unfiltered black cumin oil contains more suspended and turbid matter and small remnants of black cumin seed. Thus, the oil in this form is natural and contains more phytochemicals compared to filtered black cumin oil. It is also darker and sharper and a little tart in the taste. In contrast, filtered black cumin oil tastes a bit milder and is therefore preferred by many people.

Also pay attention to the origin: Syrian or Egyptian black cumin oil of the "Kara siva" variety is considered to be of a particularly high quality. However, due to high demand, oil is sometimes falsified, especially in the Middle East, by being stretched with cheaper oils.

For a long shelf life of healthy ingredients, store the oil cool and dark.

Scientific proof of effectiveness

The efficacy of black cumin oil is highly controversial, as scientific studies on the many acclaimed effects of black cumin oil are still pending. In recent years, however, was increasingly researched and there were first evidence for some of the effects:

  • Scientifically proven is the antibacterial effect, especially of the essential oil.
  • One study provided evidence of a fungicidal effect of black cumin oil.
  • Already in 1986, El-Kadi and Kandil reported at a conference on a stimulating influence on the helper T-cells in the blood and thus on a component of the immune system.
  • Also, studies on the improvement of the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis as well as the lowering of blood sugar levels in diabetes and hypertension by black cumin were the first evidence.

In the laboratory, the oil was also effective against worm parasites. In animal studies, an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant and possibly even anticancer effect of black cumin oil has been observed - but widespread medical studies with human patients are still pending.

Conclusion: Only a dietary supplement

If one believes the various sales promises, black cumin oil should almost help as a panacea for various diseases. For this purpose, it is offered as - sometimes very expensive - dietary supplements, including in the form of capsules.

However, the fact that black cumin oil is actually an effective remedy is controversial. Even though initial studies have been able to provide information on the effectiveness of black cumin or black cumin oil with regard to certain aspects, the scientific evidence regarding many of the promised effects is still lacking.

The special advantage of the oil, the linoleic acid, is also found in other, usually cheaper edible fats, for example in sunflower oil or safflower oil. In addition, the capsules usually contain too low an amount of nutrients, that their effect would really matter.

If you would like to use black seed oil, you should be aware that it is not approved as a medicine and can only support the treatment of a disease, but can never replace it. Black cumin oil is therefore no more than a dietary supplement.

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