Black Seed Oil – How Healthy Is It Really?
Black seed oil is known as a universal remedy against all kinds of diseases, is said to strengthen the immune system, help against asthma and high blood pressure and even promote beauty. But what is the truth of the claims about the beneficial health effects of the oil?
Black seed oil is said to help against a wide variety of diseases. The oil, which is extracted from the real black seed (Nigella sativa), is said to be effective against hay fever, asthma, flatulence, high blood pressure, and urinary tract diseases.
The oil should also make you beautiful and have a positive effect on skin and hair, strengthen the immune system and even protect against cancer. Pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, anticonvulsant, and antibacterial are just a few of the attributes that alternative medicine professionals attribute to vegetable oil. But so far there are only a few scientific studies that prove the medicinal effects of black seed oil.
So far only a few studies on humans
Two types of oil are traditionally made from the seeds of the aromatic plant: a fatty oil, which is obtained by pressing, and essential oil, which is produced through an evaporation process. The essential oil is said to have germicidal properties, which are said to be based on the high content of thymoquinone.
The fatty black seed oil, when carefully produced, contains high levels of linoleic acid, a doubly unsaturated fatty acid that is considered very healthy. Gamma-linoleic acid in particular is held responsible for the various health-promoting effects of black seed oil.
Most of the positive effects of black seed oil are believed to be due to these unsaturated fatty acids. However, most of the studies on health effects have so far only been carried out in vitro or with the help of animal experiments. However, there are no broad studies on the effects of black seed oil on humans.
Black cumin is widely used in Arabic cooking
Black cumin has been cultivated and used as a spice in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East for thousands of years. The seeds have a slightly nutty and slightly dry taste and are still sprinkled on flatbread to this day. In some countries, the black seed oil is used as edible oil.
In combination with other ingredients, the seeds are used in classic spice mixes from the Orient, for example in Ras el Hanout and Indian curry mixes. In Europe, due to its health effects, the oil is more and more often offered in capsules and sold as a dietary supplement in pharmacies.
Side effects are rare
In general, black cumin oil is well tolerated. Insensitive people, however, can irritate the stomach lining and should therefore not be taken on an empty stomach. Increased belching can also occur. In the case of extreme overdoses, liver and kidney damage are also possible.
Prefer cold-pressed oil
If you want to buy black seed oil, you should make sure that it is cold-pressed and fresh. Because the sensitive oil only lasts about three months. The nutritionist Daniela Krehl advises: “You can only tell that vegetable oil is cold-pressed by the fact that it is written on the bottle. If the information is missing, one can assume that the oil has been heated up. ”However, this should mean that a large part of the effectiveness is lost.