Black seed is a plant. People have used the seed to make medicine for over 2000 years. It was even discovered in the tomb of King Tut.
Historically, black seed has been used for headache, toothache, nasal congestion, and intestinal worms. It has also been used for “pink eye” (conjunctivitis), pockets of infection (abscesses), and parasites.
Today, black seed is used for treating digestive tract conditions including gas, colic, diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, and hemorrhoids. It is also used for respiratory conditions including asthma, allergies, cough, bronchitis, emphysema, flu, swine flu, and congestion.
Other uses include lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, treating cancer, and boosting the immune system. You may read that a patent has been issued to cover the use of black seed to improve immunity, but don't be misled. The presence of a patent doesn't mean black seed has been shown to be effective for this use.
Women use black seed for birth control, to start menstruation, and to increase milk flow.
Black seed is sometimes used in combination with cysteine, vitamin E, and saffron to ease the side effects of a chemotherapy drug called cisplatin.
Some people apply black seed directly to the skin for joint pain (rheumatism), headache, and certain skin conditions.
In foods, black seed is used as a flavoring or spice.
How it works
There is some scientific evidence to suggest that black seed might help boost the immune system, fight cancer, prevent pregnancy, and lessen allergic reactions by acting as an antihistamine, but there isn't enough information in humans yet.
Research suggests that taking black seed extract by mouth improves coughing, wheezing, and lung function in people with asthma. However, black seed may not be as effective as the drugs theophylline or salbutamol.
Black seed, when taken by mouth in small quantities, such as a flavoring for foods, is LIKELY SAFE for most people
Black seed oil and black seed extract are POSSIBLY SAFE when medical amounts are used short-term. There isn't enough information to know if larger, medicinal quantities are safe. Black seed can cause allergic rashes when applied to the skin.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Black seed seems to be safe infoodamounts during pregnancy. But taking larger medicinal amounts isLIKELY UNSAFE. Black seed can slow down or stop theuterusfrom contracting.
Not much is known about the safety of using black seed during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Black seed oil is POSSIBLY SAFE for children when taken by mouth short-term and in recommended amounts.
Bleeding disorders: Black seed might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. In theory, black seed might make bleeding disorders worse.
Diabetes: Black seed might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use black seed.
Low blood pressure: Black seed might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking black seed might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.
Surgery: Black seed might slow blood clotting, reduce blood sugar, and increase sleepiness in some people. In theory, black seed might increase the risk for bleeding and interfere with blood sugar control and anesthesia during and after surgical procedures. Stop using black seed at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
ModerateMedications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Black seed might lower blood sugar in some people. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking black seed along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed. br/>Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, metformin (Glucophage), pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), and others.Sedative medications (CNS depressants)
Black seed might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, black seed might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.Some medications that decrease the immune system include include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.Black seed might slow blood clotting. Taking black seed along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.Black seed might decrease blood pressure in some people. Taking black seed along with medications used for lowering high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Do not take too much black seed if you are taking medications for high blood pressure.Some medications for high blood pressure include nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), diltiazem (Cardizem), isradipine (DynaCirc), felodipine (Plendil), amlodipine (Norvasc), and others.Black seed might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Using black seed along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.Some sedative medications include Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.