Tetitne, http://www.flickr.com/photos/83331954@N00/1374377040/

Black seed oil is scientifically known as Nigella Sativa Linn. Also called black cumin and Kalonji, the centuries-old tradition of using black seed oil as a health aid is found in many cultures. Amazingly, the seeds of black cumin were found in King Tutankhamen's tomb. Black seed oil is now used for medicinal purposes all over the world.


Black seed oil comes from the seeds of the Nigella Sativa Linn plant. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region; however, it is now cultivated in other areas including Asia and Africa. Black seed oil is named in both the Bible and the Quran as a cure all, yet modern medicine has only studied it in the past 40 years.


Scientific studies describe numerous benefits of black seed oil. It protects against kidney and liver toxicity. It is also reported to have anti-inflammatory, fever reducing, pain relieving, germ fighting and tumor fighting properties. In addition, daily supplements of black seed oil have been found to reduce cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose levels in rats.

Possible Uses

Known as a panacea, black seed oil is an immunomodulator. Black seed oil helps to balance the immune system so that it works at maximum efficiency. Since black seed oil has many beneficial properties, it is useful for many different purposes. Among these are treatments for cough and asthma, diabetes, diarrhea, flu and nasal congestion. It is protective against free radicals and is considered a plant to be studied for its possible effectiveness in treating breast cancer tumors.

Side Effects

There are no known serious side effects from black seed oil, which is low in toxicity. When used as a topical salve, reports of mild dermatitis by some who are sensitive to topical treatments have been noted. Black seed oil is useful in stimulating uterine contractions and when used in large doses can induce abortions, so pregnant women should not use it.


Because black seed oil lowers blood sugar levels, diabetics should use it only under the supervision of a doctor. Because there is no formal recommended daily allowance (RDA), consumers should adhere to the recommended dosage advised by an herbalist or medical doctor. There are no known drug interactions, but anyone on medication should seek the opinion of a doctor or pharmacist.

Side Notes

There are five different U.S. patents for preparations containing Nigella Sativa. There is one U.K. patent for an asthma therapy containing Nigella Sativa. There is current ongoing research into the use of preparations made from black seed oil for treatment of critical life-threatening diseases such as cancer and diabetes.