Health Benefits of Nigella sativa (Black seed)

Nigella Sativa is known by many names including black seed, black cumin and black cumin seed.  Black cumin belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. The plant matures in one year and grows between one and two feet in height. The seed looks similar to a black sesame seed or anise seed and has a very strong and aromatic taste. They seeds are used in culinary dishes; the extract can be used in medicines. Black Cumin is available in many forms such as oil, seeds, capsules.

If you struggle with diabetes, bacterial infections, viral infections, blood sugar issues, or chronic inflammation you may consider talking with your healthcare provider about adding black cumin to your diet. Black Cumin Seed has the ability to stabilize and strengthen the immune system; which allows it to be used in a wide range of illnesses with effective results. This plant is held in extremely high regard in the Middle East due to its prolific healing characteristics. This plant has been used in the Middle East for thousands of years to treat a wide range of illnesses such as intestinal problems, respiratory illness, and immune system dysfunction and as tonic for overall well being.  In fact, since 1964 there have been 656 peer reviewed studies that have referenced this amazing plant.


According to the seed has been scientifically proven to have the following qualities:



•Anti inflammatory

•Anti ulcer


•Anti-diabetic (Gluconeogenesis inhibitor)

•Anti –fungal

•Anti hypertensive





•Hepatoprotective (protects liver)


•Insulin sensitizing

•Interferon inducer

•Renoprotective (protects kidney)

•Tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitor


Weakened Immune Systems

We pay a high price to live in a modern world. Picture perfect green, weed free lawns mean the use of herbicides and pesticides on a consistent basis.  Store bought products for personal care and cleaning products are loaded with toxins. Our foods are full of preservatives and GMOs. We surround ourselves with these products 24/7. We give our bodies’ inadequate nutrition, and create a body that is overloaded and overwhelmed by fighting off microorganisms, pathogens and toxins. The result is a weakened immune system. We become more susceptible to colds, flu, chronic exhaustion, migraines, digestive issues, respiratory problems and other health issues. Without a strong immune system, you are opening yourself up to a host of health problems.

According to Dr. Gary Null of the Progressive Radio Network, “Black cumin oil is probably the single most important oil you can put in your system. Every time you take black cumin you are stimulating your immune system to fight on your behalf and increase natural killer cells.” Null was referring to its ability to improve the immune system, treat cancer and HIV successfully.


In addition to adding Black Cumin to your diet, there are several ways to strengthen your immune system and prevent disease:

Buy organic foods

Eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet

Drink filtered water

Use non toxic cleaning products in your home

Use non toxic personal products

Take probiotics daily

Take digestive enzymes with meals

Add immune boosting herbs and foods to your diet

Take whole food supplements to fill the nutritional gaps in your diet


 Essential Fatty Acids

Black cumin is an excellent source for essential fatty acids. EFAs are critical for cell maintenance and the stabilization of blood cells. They help the body to heal wounds quickly, help metabolize cholesterol and fat in the blood as well as playing a role in smooth functioning of the nervous system and the brain. It is also one of the best sources of linolenic acid and gamma linolenic acid. Other good sources are oils of borage, hemp and evening primrose.  The body uses linolenic acid and GLA acid to produce prostaglandins which are important hormone like substances that regulate numerous body processes, such as muscle contraction and stabilizing blood pressure. Prostaglandin E1 regulates T-cell counts, which boosts immunity and helps to relieve inflammation and allergies in people with over active immune systems. Clinical studies have also shown GLA is beneficial in treating diabetes, combating heart disease, asthma, promoting weight loss, rheumatoid arthritis and has also been shown to kill cancer cells.


Cancer Cells

Pancreatic Cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death, taking 34,000 lives a year. Unfortunately this disease is usually only found after it is wide spread and a mere 2.5%-4% of individuals with this cancer survive for five years after diagnosis.  In regards to pancreatic cancer, Dr. Jonathon Brody Ph.D. and Hwyda Arafat, M.D., Ph.D. are at the forefront of research today.  Dr. Arafat has conducted several studies regarding the use of black cumin in the treatment of pancreatic cancer patients, with astounding results of 80% cancer cell death. According to Dr. Arafat, associate professor of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, “Nigella sativa helps treat a broad array of diseases, including some immune and inflammatory disorders. Previous studies also have shown anticancer activity in prostate and colon cancers, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.”


Purchasing Black Cumin

Always look for organic, cold pressed oil, free of additives. According to recent research, the Egyptian black cumin has the highest level of therapeutic effectiveness.  The concentration levels of black cumin are determined not only by their growing conditions, but their harvesting process as well.


Culinary Use

The seeds can also be added to casseroles or breads, used in canning, or extracted in wine or vinegar. Some people grind the seeds and mix them with honey or sprinkle them on salads. They make a nice addition to salad dressings and even stir fry dishes, especially when combined with lemon, cilantro, and tahini.



Black cumin seeds should not be used during pregnancy.

Before using black cumin for medicinal purposes, please consult with your healthcare practitioner.



References: -Gary Null Audio

black-cumin-seed                                                                          Black Cumin Seeds
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My Health Maven offers information on a wholistic approach to healthy lifestyle choices.