Black cumin seed oil, which comes from the Nigella sativa plant, has been used anecdotally for centuries to treat a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Its many health benefits include the ability to reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, help with asthma, promote skin health, aid in weight loss and prevent cancer. The oil also has beauty and hair care benefits that can improve skin and scalp issues like dandruff and psoriasis.
This natural oil contains many medicinal compounds, such as thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, longifolene sesquiterpene and carvacrol. It also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and antitumorous properties. Its antidiabetic effects can be partly attributed to its high levels of essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid and eicosadienoic acid.
Some studies suggest that black seed oil can help with diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels and improving lipid profiles. In a study of 114 people with insulin resistance, black seed oil supplementation improved fasting blood sugar and lipids when given as an add-on to oral anti-diabetes drugs.
A meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials suggests that black seed oil may help with hypertension (high blood pressure). In the studies, black seed oil reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressures in a dose-dependent manner.
When purchasing black seed oil, it is important to look for a quality product that doesn’t contain any added ingredients. It should be 100% black cumin seed oil and come in a dark amber bottle, which will help protect the product from light and oxygen that can cause rancidity. It is also important to choose a brand that has been independently tested for safety and potency by a third party certification body, such as ConsumerLabs or the U.S Pharmacopeial Convention, or a quality seal from NSF International.