Nigella sativa Review
Nigella sativa is a plant that has been used in varaious recipes as well as for the treatment of certain diseases. Historically, Nigella sativa has been used for headaches, toothaches, nasal congestion, and intesttinal worms. At the present, it is being used for treating conditions of the digestive tract such as colic, diarrhea, constipation, and hemorrhoids. It has also been used to treat asthma, allergies, cough, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions. Nigella sativa contains a potent bioactive known as thymoquinone which maybe used in treating epilepsy and in boosting the immune system. However, further researches and clinical studies conducted in humans should still be conducted regarding Nigella sativa.
It is also known as Nigella cretica, Black cumin, Black seeds, Roman coriander, Nutmeg flower, Fennel flower, Ajaji.
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Benefits and Effectiveness
- Attention - Increased 
- Blood Pressure - Decrease 
- Cognition - Increased 
- Fecal Weight - Decrease 
- Free Testosterone - Neutral 
- HDL-C - Neutral 
- Heart Rate - Neutral 
- LDL-C - Decrease 
- Liver Enzymes - Neutral 
- Memory - Increased 
- Pain - Decrease 
- Total Cholesterol - Decrease 
- Triglycerides - Decrease 
- Working Memory - Neutral 
What is Nigella sativa?
Nigella sativa is flowering plant in the family of Renunculaceae that is abundant in the Middle Esat, Western Europe, and southwest Asian regions. It grows up to 7.9-11.8 inches or 20-30 cm tall. The flower has five to ten petals which are delicate, and usually has white and pale blue color. The black caraway fruit is used as spice and is often used as a replacement for black cumin or Bunium bulbocastanum.
Nigella sativa has been widely used for many years by the Egyptians. It grows under good conditions in Oases where the Egyptians watered it until the seed pods form. It was known to be the most revered therapeutic seeds in history. There are no enough evidences to support the function of this herb; however, black cumin was mentioned in the Bible and the Prophet Mohammed claims that it has numerous advantages.
Today, Nigella sativa supplements are accessible online and in health stores under the name dark seed and more often sold in soft gels of dark seed oil or capsules of crushed dark seed. The supplements are showcased to bolster general well-being and to treat specific diseases like allergies, asthma, flu, gastrointestinal problems, as well as joint pain.
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How to take?
Supplementation of Nigella sativa does not need a large degree of processing. You can take the seed oil or a crushed powder of the seeds without undergoing any processing since the medicinal dosage is close to the product’s natural state.
Supplementation of black seed oil should be three to four times lower than the recommended range, which is 250 to 1,000 mg daily, since the seeds are about a quarter to one third fatty acids.
While 1 gram of the seed tends to fail to meet the expectations in respect to 2-3 grams, there is not adequate proof to propose which of those two higher dosages is "better" and thus something within that range is suggested.
What benefits does Nigella sativa give?
- Colon Cancer: In a study conducted on animals, black seeds were found to fight against colon cancer in mice without having some adverse effects. According to cell studies, black seeds have anti-cancer properties; it specifically inhibits the growth of colon cancer cells.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Experts claim that taking 2 grams of black seed daily could result to decreased blood glucose levels, increased beta-cell function in the pancreas, and decreased resistance to insulin.
- Cognitive Function: One research study of forty healthy adult individuals revealed that taking one gram of Nigella sativa a day could help enhance cognitive performance, memory, and attention without having any side effects. Animal studies also show that there’s a possible link between Nigella sativa and enhanced brain function. Based on these findings, experts suggest the need for further studies regarding the effectiveness of Nigella sativa in preventing and slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Epilepsy: A study published in Medical Science Monitor reported that black seed has anti-convulsive properties; it is effective in reducing the incidence of seizures in children who are resistant in conventional treatment.
- Allergies: Results in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial revealed that Nigella sativa is beneficial for individuals who are suffering from allergic rhinitis since it reduces nasal congestion and itching, sneezing, and runny nose. Experts also claim that Nigella sativa is a good remedy for allergic rhinitis when the negative effects of common allergy drugs must be avoided.
- Cardiac Protection: Black seeds are known to enhance overall heart condition; it has heart-protective qualities that prevents damage to the heart associated with heart attacks.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: A study using 40 female participants suffering from rheumatoid arthritis took 500-mg dose of Nigella sativa oil capsules two times per day. Results revealed that Nigella sativa has powerful immune-modulating effects; it reduces joint swelling, and decreases symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Breats Cancer Some studies show that thymoquinone extract from Nigella Sativa is beneficial for those people who are suffering from breast cancer since it could increase apoptosis or cell death in breast cancer cells and decrease the incidence of tumor growth on breasts.
- Brain Cancer: Glioblastoma is one of the most fatal brain tumors. One study shows that thymoquinone extract from Nigella Sativa can cause cell death in glioblastoma cells.
- Oral Cancer: Thymoquinone’s ability to induce apoptosis in oral cancer cells has been proved by some studies.
- Leukemia: As it’s been appeared to do with different sorts of cancer, dark seed compound thymoquinone has likewise been shown to cause apoptosis in leukemia cells.
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA): A study conducted in the University of Health Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan revealed that black seeds can treat MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a bacteria that causes infections in different parts of the body
- Brain Damage caused by Lead toxicity: Black seeds were reported to have the ability to reverse and dampen brain damage caused by lead toxicity by a study published in Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology.
Mechanism of Action
Thymoquinone extract from Nigella sativa was known to have antioxidant effects, and has hepatoprotective effects since it has the ability to restore the levels of glutathione, lactate dehydrogenase, and SOD. A study in rats suggest that nigellone, a constituent of crude extract of Nigella sativa seeds can reduce symptoms of allergy in human beings by inhibiting the release of histamine from peritoneal mast cells. Nigella sativa decreases smooth muscle contractions and reduces hypertension secondary to diuretic effects. Studies also show that Nigella sativa can also inhibit lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, thus acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Studies show that thymoquinone could decrease the likelihood of stomach tumors. Its mechanism of action includes promotion of cell death by inhibiting cell growth and inhibiting DNA synthesis. It is debatable if Nigella sativa could reduce the effects of radiation therapy, however, its antioxidant effects could prevent tissue damage following radiation therapy.
What are the adverse effects of Nigella Sativa?
Some users report that topical use of Nigella sativa could cause contact dermatitis. The fixed oil of Nigella sativa orally administered to mice for a period of twelve weeks does not seem to have any significant changes in hepatic enzymes and did not cause damage. However, ingestion of high doses can result to liver damage.
Reviewer: Kathleen R. RN, PT
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Wiki Last Updated: 2016-02-13
Nigella sativa Dosage
There has been limited information about the side effects of Nigella sativa.
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