Black seed oil is one of the most popular oils in the world. It’s been used for centuries to treat a variety of health problems. But does black seed oil work? What does it do and how do you use it?
We fell down the black seed oil rabbit hole to find out.
What does black seed do to the body?
As mentioned, black seed oil is a natural remedy with a long history of use dating back to ancient Egypt. The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is said to have referred to black seed oil as a cure for every disease but death. Its health benefits are numerous, and it’s been used to treat a variety of ailments, including asthma, allergies, headaches, and digestive issues. But is it legit?
According to WebMD, black seed might have the following effects on the body:
- boost the immune system
- fight cancer
- prevent pregnancy
- reduce swelling
- act as an antihistamine
Keep in mind, they said, “might have effects.” That’s not a full-throated endorsement of black seed as an actual medical treatment for any of these things (nor should it be).
Black seed oil contains thymoquinone, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the body against free radical damage. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes Its purported health benefits include boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and helping to fight off infections.
There is some scientific evidence to support these claims, though more research is needed. Nevertheless, black seed oil is generally considered safe to use and can be found in many health food stores.
If you’re interested in the top-rated black seed oils, we’ve tracked those down for you.
What are the side effects of black seed oil?
Black seed oil is generally safe to use. However, there are a few potential side effects to be aware of.
First, black seed oil can cause an allergic reaction in some people. If you experience any itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing after using black seed oil, stop using it and see your doctor immediately.
Second, black seed oil may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and diabetes medication. Black seed oil may help lower blood sugar levels, but you definitely need to talk to your doctor before trying it while taking diabetes medication.
If you take any medication, talk to your doctor before using black seed oil.
Third, black seed oil can cause gastrointestinal upset in some people. If you experience any nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea after taking black seed oil, stop using it and see your doctor.
Who should NOT take black seed oil?
Black seed oil is generally considered safe for most people. However, there are a few groups of people who should not take black seed oil.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers should not take black seed oil as there is not enough scientific evidence to determine its safety during pregnancy and lactation.
People with bleeding disorders or taking blood thinners should not take black seed oil as it may increase the risk of bleeding.
Black seed oil may have negative interactions with immunosuppressant medications and SSRIs, so if you’re taking either, it is best to steer clear of black seed oil unless approved by your doctor.
If you’re on any medications or have any safety concerns, we strongly advise asking your doctor about using black seed oil before trying it on your own.
What does black seed oil cure?
“Cure” is a strong word. We don’t have any evidence that black seed oil cures disease, but we do know that is potentially effective for helping treat certain conditions.
Why the wishy-washy language?
Because black seed oil is a supplement that is not regulated or subject to testing by the FDA in order to be sold. Therefore, you have to consider the type of black seed oil and then rely on third-party studies to make a definitive call on its efficacy.
That’s why we can only say that black seed oil is possibly effective for treating some ailments. Possibly effective means there is reputable scientific evidence, including at least one trial in humans, that shows it could be effective.
Black seed oil is possibly effective for treating:
- Acne when applied topically
- Hay fever
- Asthma – when used in conjunction with asthma medications, it might improve coughing, wheezing, and lung function. It proved most effective for people with low lung function.
- Lung disease by improving lung function
- Diabetes – taking black seed oil in liquid or powder form orally might improve blood-sugar levels.
- Digestive tract infections that can lead to ulcers
- Increased sperm count in men with infertility struggles
- Breast pain during the menstrual cycle when used topically
How long does it take for black seed oil to work?
There is no definitive answer to this question as everyone’s body reacts differently to black seed oil. Some people may see results within a few days, while others may need to use it for several weeks or longer before noticing any changes.
It also depends on what you’re using it for. For example, if you’re using black seed oil topically to help with hair growth, it may take several months to see results.
If you’re taking black seed oil internally for its purported health benefits, start with a small dose and increase slowly as needed. It’s also important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking black seed oil to make sure it’s safe for you and won’t interact with any medications you’re taking.
Please note, most medical claims regarding the safety and efficacy of black seed oil are limited to 3 months of use. There’s no evidence of its efficacy or safety for long-term use.
How to take black seed oil
There are a few different ways to take black seed oil.
You can take it orally by adding it to food or drinks, or by taking it in capsules, tablets, or liquids.
If you’re using black seed oil topically, you can apply it directly to the skin or add it to lotions, creams, or oils.
When taking black seed oil internally, start with a small dose and increase slowly as needed. For internal use, it’s best to consult with your doctor and not to exceed dosage recommendations from the manufacturer.
Secondly, you want to be sure you purchase black seed oil from a reputable company. Look for brands that use cold-pressed methods to extract the oil, as this preserves its nutrient content.
The FDA doesn’t do any quality control over herbs and supplements, so it’s critically important to do your due diligence when researching brands.
How does black seed oil taste?
When discussing how to take black seed oil, it’s important to note that the taste of pure black seed oil is not for the faint of heart. Let’s just say, it’s an acquired taste.
Some people have described the smell as akin to motor oil. Others say black seed oil tastes like a cross between oregano and garlic.
If the taste is too strong for you, there are a few ways to make it more palatable. You can mix black seed oil with honey or add it to food or drinks.
You can also purchase flavored black seed oil, which typically contains other oils or spices to help mask the taste, but for the purists, that might not be appealing.
The key thing to remember here is that black seed oil is potent. It is potent in effect, smell, and taste.
How to make black seed oil taste better:
Mixing your black seed oil with sugar and honey is a good way to mask that strong taste. Additionally, you can try adding it to food or salad dressings. (Although we can’t imagine this oil enhances the taste of a fruit smoothie but to each their own!)
What you don’t want to do is heat this oil. In order to get to the benefits of black seed oil, it is best to consume it raw.
If you want to get adventurous with your salad dressing by incorporating black seed oil, here are some recipes worth checking out:
- Black Seed Magic Dressing by Side Chef
- Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing with Black Seed Oil by Kouzounas Kitchen
What is the best time to take black seed oil?
There is no definitive answer as to the best time of day to take black seed oil. Some people prefer to take it in the morning, while others find it helpful to take it at night before bed.
If you discover that black seed oil is upsetting on your stomach, you might want to take it with a meal.
You may also want to experiment with taking it at different times of day to see what works best for you. If you’re taking black seed oil internally, start with a small dose and increase slowly as needed.
When using black seed oil topically, you can apply it whenever you like. If you find that it irritates your skin, try applying it less frequently or diluting it with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil.
To get the most benefit from black seed oil, it’s important to use a high-quality product and to take it as directed. Cheaper is not better! You do not want adverse reactions from products that are not manufactured properly or contain additives that interact with your body negatively.
Black Seed Oil Wrap Up
Whereas there is modern-day scientific evidence that black seed oil can treat a variety of ailments, there’s still a lot to know. That being said, it’s a natural treatment that has been around for centuries, so it’s definitely worthy of more research.
If you’re interested in it, check with your doctor before starting and choose a reputable brand. Let us know if it’s helped you!