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February 1, 2017

8 Nigella Seeds Benefits and What They’re Good for

nigella seeds
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Nigella seeds come from the nigella sativa plant and are also called black cumin, Roman coriander, black caraway, and black seeds. They are a common spice in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine that come with many amazing health benefits. Below we will cover the eight most important benefits of these seeds, so you can determine whether or not they should be added to your diet.

These remedies are not definitive. For more serious cases of ailment, please seek advice from your health care provider.


8 Most Important Nigella Seeds Uses

1. Fights Cancer

Several cancer studies have found that black cumin fights cancer without observable side effects. A study on colon cancer reported that nigella seeds inhibited the growth of cancer colon cells in rats. Other studies used thymoquinone extract from Roman coriander to treat breast cancer cells with successful results. It worked by causing cancer cells to kill themselves and decreasing breast cancer tumor growth. In another study, thymoquinone was found to treat oral cancer by also causing cancer cells to self-destruct.

Nigella seeds and honey are a powerful combination. An Egtpyian study gave one group of rats just nigella seeds and the other group black seeds and honey. They measured the impact this had on the rats’ cancerous cells. Black cumin delivered an 80% protection rate against oxidative stress and the formation of cancer. The rats that ate nigella seeds and honey had a 100% protection rate against cancer formation, oxidative stress, and inflammatory responses.

2. Treats Type 2 Diabetes

Black cumin is good for type 2 diabetes. A study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found that ingesting two grams of nigella seeds each day decreased insulin resistance, increased beta-cell function in the pancreas, and minimized fasting blood sugar levels.

94 patients were part of the study and were randomly put into three groups. The researchers gave the patients a daily dose of nigella sativa for three months via a capsule in varying doses of 1, 2, and 3 grams depending on which group they were in. Nigella seeds were an adjuvant therapy in this study, so keep in mind that black caraway on its own may not be all you need to manage your type 2 diabetes. An adjuvant therapy is supplemental to another treatment method.

3. Heals MRSA Infections

MRSA infections form because of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, a deadly bacteria that’s resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is a concern in hospitals and nursing homes. Elderly people are more at risk because many of them have had surgeries, artificial joints, and intravenous tubing.

Researches from Pakistan conducted a study on the effect black seed oil has on MRSA and found that the bacteria is sensitive to nigella sativa. They tested several strains of methicllin resistant staphylococcus aureus and each strain showed this sensitivity. What this means is black seed oil can decrease how fast MRSA grows and prevent it from spreading too much.

4. Treats Leukemia

Another health condition that nigella seeds are beneficial for is leukemia, a type of blood cancer. Leukemia affects the blood-forming tissues and bone marrow. There are several variations of leukemia, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia.

Patients who have a slow-growing type of leukemia usually don’t experience symptoms. Those with a fast-growing type of leukemia, however, suffer from easy bleeding or bruising, frequent infections, weight loss, and fatigue. Black cumin seeds treat leukemia by leading the mitochondria in cancerous cells to dysfunction, resulting in the cells self-destructing.

5. Protects Against Heart Attack Damage and Improves Heart Health

Nigella seeds are also good for your heart. They protect against heart attack damage and improve heart health. A study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences examined the effect thymoquinone had on Wistar albino rats with isoproterenol induced myocardial injury. Researchers also say it was good their heart health.

6. Treats the Brain Tumor Glioblastoma

Black cumin his also effective in treating glioblastoma, a brain tumor that stems from cells that make up the supportive tissue of the brain. The tumors are cancerous because they consist of a large network of blood vessels and fast cell reproduction. It’s very painful, commonly causing symptoms of headaches, blurred vision, nausea, seizures, and personality changes.

7. Reverses Brain Damage Caused by Lead

According to a study in Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology, nigella seeds reverse brain damage due to lead. The scientists had the 40 Sprague-Dawley rats into four groups, in which one was the control group. For the other three groups, they gave the rats lead acetate, thymoquinone, or lead acetate and thymoquinone. The rats who received both lead acetate and thymoquinone didn’t have as many lesions as the rats who were only ingesting lead acetate.

Lead can occur in water, food, air, and tissues. It interferes with healthy function of the heart, nervous system, reproductive system, intestines, bones, and kidneys. Therefore, eating nigella seeds is one way of protecting yourself against the heavy metals you come into contact with in daily life. That’s before they can do more significant damage to your body.

8. Relieves High Blood Pressure

Nigella seeds are a natural way to relieve high blood pressure. In the Fundamentals of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers discovered that extract from nigella seeds decreased levels of bad cholesterol in the body and reduced blood pressure. They concluded that nigella seeds can be used as a natural treatment for mild cases of hypertension. According to the researchers behind this study, you must take black seed extract for at least two months to reap the benefits.


Nigella seeds have a wide array of health benefits that have been revealed and supported by several scientific studies on this seed. They are an effective treatment for cancer, killing cancerous cells. Black seeds often work well in conjunction with other cancer treatments to curb its harmful effects and even cure it altogether.

They have even been found effective against MRSA, a bacteria that’s immune to many antibiotics. Nigella seeds are also good for the heart, high blood pressure reduction, and type 2 diabetes treatment. While they offer many excellent health benefits, it’s important to always consult with your doctor before using them as a treatment method.

Have you ever used nigella seeds as a home remedy? Let us know in the comments below what you used them for and what your results were.

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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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