Wow, I’ve heard of black seed before, but never really knew much about it or its health benefits. This article was an eye-opener and enough to convince me to give it a try…
BLACK SEED: The Remedy For Everything But Death
This humble, but immensely powerful seed, kills MRSA, heals the chemical weapon poisoned body, stimulates regeneration of the dying beta cells within the diabetic’s pancreas, and yet too few even know it exists.
The seeds of the annual flowering plant, Nigella Sativa, have been prized for their healing properties since time immemorial. While frequently referred to among English-speaking cultures as Roman coriander, black sesame, black cumin, black caraway and onion seed, it is known today primarily as black seed, which is at the very least an accurate description of its physical appearance.
The earliest record of its cultivation and use come from ancient Egypt. Black seed oil, in fact, was found in Egyptian pharoah Tutankhamun’s tomb, dating back to approximately 3,300 years ago. In Arabic cultures, black cumin is known as Habbatul barakah, meaning the “seed of blessing.” It is also believed that the Islamic prophet Mohammed said of it that it is “a remedy for all diseases except death.”
Many of black cumin’s traditionally ascribed health benefits have been thoroughly confirmed in the biomedical literature. In fact, since 1964, there have been 458 published, peer-reviewed studies referencing it.
We have indexed salient research, available to view on GreenMedInfo.com on our Black Seed (Nigella Sativa) page, on well over 40 health conditions that may be benefited from the use of the herb, including over 20 distinct pharmacological actions it expresses, such as:
- *Analgesic (Pain-Killing)
- Gluconeogenesis Inhibitor (Anti-Diabetic)
- Hepatoprotective (Liver Protecting)
- Insulin Sensitizing
- Interferon Inducer
- Leukotriene Antagonist
- Renoprotective (Kidney Protecting)
- Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Inhibitor
*Also see this Self-help Health post for more (21!) ways to reduce pain and inflammation naturally.
These 22 pharmacological actions are only a subset of a far wider number of beneficial properties intrinsic to the black seed. While it is remarkable that this seed has the ability to positively modulate so many different biological pathways, this is actually a rather common occurrence among traditional plant medicines.
Our project has identified over 1600 natural compounds with a wide range of health benefits, and we are only in our first 5 years of casual indexing. There are tens of thousands of other substances that have already been researched, with hundreds of thousands of studies supporting their medicinal value (MEDLINE, whence our study abstracts come, has over 600,000 studies classified as related to Complementary and Alternative Medicine).
Black seed has been researched for very specific health conditions. Some of the most compelling applications include:
- Type 2 Diabetes: Two grams of black seed a day resulted in reduced fasting glucose, decreased insulin resistance, increased beta-cell function, and reduced glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in human subjects.
- Helicobacter Pylori Infection: Black seeds possess clinically useful anti-H. pylori activity, comparable to triple eradication therapy.
- Epilepsy: Black seeds were traditionally known to have anticonvulsive properties. A 2007 study with epileptic children, whose condition was refractory to conventional drug treatment, found that a water extract significantly reduced seizure activity.
- High Blood pressure: The daily use of 100 and 200 mg of black seed extract, twice daily, for 2 months, was found to have a blood pressure-lowering effect in patients with mild hypertension.
- Asthma: Thymoquinone, one of the main active constituents within Nigella sativa (black cumin), is superior to the drug fluticasone in an animal model of asthma. Another study, this time in human subjects, found that boiled water extracts of black seed have relatively potent antiasthmatic effect on asthmatic airways.
- Acute tonsillopharyngitis: characterized by tonsil or pharyngeal inflammation (i.e. sore throat), mostly viral in origin, black seed capsules (in combination with Phyllanthus niruri) have been found to significantly alleviate throat pain, and reduce the need for pain-killers, in human subjects.
- Chemical Weapons Injury: A randomized, placebo-controlled human study of chemical weapons injured patients found that boiled water extracts of black seed reduced respiratory symptoms, chest wheezing, and pulmonary function test values, as well as reduced the need for drug treatment.
- *Colon Cancer: Cell studies have found that black seed extract compares favorably to the chemoagent 5-fluoruracil in the suppression of colon cancer growth, but with a far higher safety profile. Animal research has found that black seed oil has significant inhibitory effects against colon cancer in rats, without observable side effects.
- MRSA: Black seed has anti-bacterial activity against clinical isolates of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
- Opiate Addiction/Withdrawal: A study on 35 opiate addicts found black seed as an effective therapy in long-term treatment of opioid dependence.
Sometimes the biblical reference to ‘faith the size of a mustard seed moving mountains’ comes to mind in connection with natural substances like black seeds. After all, do seeds not contain within them the very hope for continuance of the entire species that bore it? This super-saturated state of the seed, where life condenses itself down into an intensely miniaturized holographic fragment of itself, promising the formation of future worlds within itself, is the very emblem of life’s immense and immortal power.
If we understand the true nature of the seed, how much life (past, present and future) is contained within it, it will not seem so far-fetched that it is capable of conquering antibiotic resistant bacteria, healing the body from chemical weapons poisoning, or stimulate the regeneration of dying insulin-producing beta cells in the diabetic, to name but only a fraction of black seed’s experimentally-confirmed powers.
(written by Sayer Ji, Founder greenmedinfo.com)
*Here’s an excerpt from another source about seeds, and black seed in particular, ability to fight cancer:
‘For cancer, put raw seeds ahead of all other treatments.’
So says Bradford S. Weeks, M.D., an exciting speaker at a cancer seminar I attended recently.
Because cancer and aging are closely linked to inflammation, we need living foods that contain absorbable bioavailable nutrients, DNA and RNA. RNA commands every cell’s DNA what to do, how to adapt, and what to express genetically.
And seeds contain those blueprints for life. Especially the black seed.
Studies show that chemo enriches and repopulates cancer stem cells, the dangerous ones that survive chemotherapy and metastasize.This is why chemotherapy is, by and large, a failed treatment. The cells you most need to kill actually survive and thrive, and your cancer returns.
But anti-inflammatory seeds, especially black seed, help inhibit metastases, making them powerful medicine of the best kind.
And from an article by BeWellBuzz.com….
In recent years, it has been put to the test and several scientific studies confirm its (black seed) long reported health benefits.
Pakistani scientists tested the oil from these seeds against several strains of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA is one of the most dangerous infections in hospitals and nursing homes. These researchers proved that black seed oil could help slow down, and even stop MRSA from spreading out of control.
Another study found that black cumin seed oil was effective enough to fight 97 different superbugs. This natural oil succeeded where antibiotics such as Amoxicillin and Tetracyline failed.
According to Dr. Gary Null of the Progressive Radio Network “Black cumin oil is probably the single most important oil you can put in your system. Every time you take black cumin you are stimulating your immune system to fight on your behalf and increase natural killer cells.
For more on nigella sativa/black seed and it’s ability to fight various cancers, and a recommended protocol to use:
UPDATE 8/3/13: I just read another article by Sayer Ji that mentions black seed as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s…
A new study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reveals that the seeds of Nigella sativa, commonly known as “black seed,” may provide an ideal nutritional supplement for preventing or slowing the progression of Alzheimer disease.
Researchers divided forty elderly volunteers into a treatment group receiving 500 mg capsules of Nigella Sativia twice daily for nine weeks and a placebo group. Subjects were assessed for neuropsychological state and safety profile twice before treatment and after nine weeks. The trial resulted in significant improvements in memory, attention and cognition without any measurable changes in any biochemical markers of cardiac, liver, or kidney function during the nine-week study period.
The researchers also noted that beyond its neuro-protective properties Nigella Sativa also has kidney protective, lung protective, cardio-protective and liver protective properties.
It is remarkable that a thousand years ago the Persian scholar Ibn Sīnā described Nigella sativia in his Canon of Medicine for their enlivening and tonifying effects as follows: ‘it stimulates the body’s energy and helps recovery from fatigue and dispiritedness. It appears that science is only now catching up to the wisdom of the ancients, which in the case of Black Seed, was known as ‘The Remedy for Everything But Death.’
And if you’re looking for a way to get black seed oil into your diet besides taking it straight, here’s a recipe I happened upon while reading glowing reviews of the oil on-line:
1 15 oz can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons hot water or slightly more to make thinner
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (or more) cloves garlic
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Amazing Herbs Black Seed cold pressed oil (or other brand)
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
Place the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, water, salt, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper in the bowl of a food processor or blender; process for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until smooth. If you are serving this immediately, spoon into bowl and drizzle with the black seed oil, sprinkle with paprika and parsley. You can cover and refrigerate any remaining hummus for one week when placed in a bowl with a lid.
FYI, you can get black seed, black seed oil, and products made with/containing black seed, and most of the ingredients for the hummus recipe above at discount prices at Vitacost.com, one of my favorite on-line places. If you shop at Vitacost, sign up for a free account at eBates.com beforehand, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, if you are new to Vitacost and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use; eBates also gives a gift card or some other “prize” when you place your first order of $25 or more. How does it get any better than that?!
iHerb.com is another good discount place to shop (use code CJG192, if you are a new customer and spend more than $40, and you will get $10 off and free shipping, plus can take advantage of their wonderful Specials and Trial Offers sections).
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Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.