According to scientific research, black seed oil benefits are plentiful. Is the oil a miracle treatment for skincare, weight loss and hair?
The oil from black seeds is also called black fennel or fennel flower oil. It’s also known by its botanical classification, Nigella Sativa.
Some people consider it a miracle herb. But does research support the traditional uses? And, do black seed oil benefits outweigh black seed oil side effects?
Coconut oil is virtually a household name for its healthy fat profile and its ability to help the skin and hair.
But black seed oil isn’t nearly as well-known as coconut oil. This despite the fact that black seed oil benefits are as numerous, if not more so than coconut oil.
Black seed oil benefits
Though black seed oil isn’t widely known in the west, it’s very popular in traditional societies around the world.
Like coconut oil, black seed oil is used as both a medicine and food.
According to a review of black seed oil in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, the benefits of black seed oil include:
- Lowering blood pressure and hypertension
- Tonifying (strengthening) the liver
- Aiding in elimination (as a diuretic)
- Improving digestion
- Stopping diarrhea
- Stimulating appetite
- Relieves pain
- Lowers blood sugar
- Improves Skin and Hair
Black seed oil contains the chemical compound, thymoquinone (TQ). TQ is the major active chemical component of black seed essential oil.
According to one study published in the Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, TQ demonstrated clinical proof in protecting the liver.
Black seed oil also was proven to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer effects.
The researchers of the study concluded, “These beneficial effects of thymoquinone support the use of this natural compound as a drug with a wide range of medical applications.”
Black seed oil has been traditionally used for thousands of years in Southeast Asian and the Middle East countries.
In Arabic, black seed oil is known as “the seed of blessing.”
Black seed oil for hair
Chronic inflammation is a stressor to the body. One physical symptom of stress is thinning hair or balding.
Because of its antiinflammatory properties, black seed oil may be effective for hair.
Though TQ is the most studied compound in black seed oil, it contains dozens of other compounds and that may contribute to healthy hair.
A blog devoted to black seed oil usage for hair suggests placing black seed oil directly on a bald spot.
The author recommends leaving the oil in for a half hour before washing it out. An alternative, suggests the author, is mixing olive oil with black cumin oil in equal amounts.
The mixture is rubbed directly on the bald spot.
There’s also a Middle Eastern folk remedy the blog author discusses. It involves another equal mixture, this time using henna and black seed oil.
Adding vinegar to the oily mix supposedly makes a paste that can also be used to place on thin or bald spots.
One more black seed oil for hair option: heat in a skillet until the color is neutral. Then grind the seeds finely in a coffee grinder. Mix with olive oil and rub on the bald spots.
For graying hair, black seed oil is supported by some clinical research like this study. Black seed oil can help protect melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives hair its color.
Black seed oil for weight loss
When your blood sugar levels are low, you have a better chance of losing weight.
As mentioned above, black seed oil has been clinically-proven to have anti inflammatory properties. It’s easier to lose weight when your body isn’t in a state of chronic inflammation.
Black seed oil demonstrated the ability to significantly reduce elevated blood glucose levels, according to one research study.
Researchers suggest that its chemical properties can improve carbohydrate metabolism.
So if you’re prone to eating heaping dishes of pasta or rice, black seed oil can help break down those heavy carbs.
Black seed oil can also help you become less resistant to insulin. That means that your body won’t require as much insulin to control blood sugar.
You’ll have an easier time losing weight if your body avoids weight gain triggers.
Black seed oil can help prevent those body fat triggers from occurring.
Helping break down glucose and preventing it from accumulating in the abdominal area is a major way black seed oil helps with weight loss.
Black seed oil for skin
One of the black seed oil benefits is it’s protective effects on melanin. this is what makes it beneficial for your skin.
One research study concluded TQ, the primary compound in black seed oil decreases cellular oxidative stress. It is believed to do this by inducing glutathione.
Glutathione is called the master antioxidant in the body. When your body undergoes oxidative stress, it can result in wrinkles, sunspots, and other signs of aging on the skin.
Another study showed that black seed oil and TQ can help protect the mucosa of the GI tract. That’s the lining that, among other things, prevents nutrients from leaking into the bloodstream before they are fully digested.
If you’re wondering what this has to do with skin care, the health of your gut has lots to do with your skin.
Healthy gut, healthy skin. If you have leaky gut or too much harmful bacteria in your gut, you very likely could have skin problems.
The autoimmune skin disorder, psoriasis, can even be helped with black seed oil, according to this online psoriasis management resource.
And another online resource for natural healing provides references to studies which demonstrate black seed oil can treat eczema and even skin cancer.
Modern research studies help validate traditional uses. It’s easy to see why black seed oil, which has virtually no side effects and is high in many vitamins and minerals, has been used for millennia by many traditional societies.