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Black seed (Nigella sativa)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • 2-Isopropyl-5-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone, 4-terpineol, ajenuz (Spanish), alanine, alkaloids, alpha-hederin, alpha-pinene, alpha-spinasterol, arachidonic acid protein, aranuel, arginine, ascorbic acid, asparagine, Baraka, beta-sitosterol, black caraway, black cumin, black cumin essential oil (BCEO), black cumin fixed oil (BCFO), black cumin seed, black onion seed, blackseed, blessed seed, calcium, campesterol, carvacrol, carvone, charnushka (Russian), citronellol, cominho negro (Portuguese), cominho-negro dicotyledon, copper, çörek otu (Turkish), crude fiber, crystalline nigellone, cymene, cystine, dehydroascorbic acid, dihomolinoleic acid, dithymoquinone, d-limonene, eicosadienoic acid, fennel flower, fennel-flower, fitch, folacin, garden fennel flower, glucose, glutamic acid, glycine, habbat al-barakah (Arabic), habbatul baraka (Arabic), hazak (Hebrew), iron, isoleucine, kalonji (Hindi), leucine, limonene, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, lipase, love in the mist, lysine, melanin, methionine, myristic acid, N. sativa (Kalonji) seed, niacin, nigella, Nigella damascene L., Nigella sativa, Nigella sativa L., Nigella sativa Linn., Nigella sativa Linneaus, Nigella suava L., nigellamines, nigelle de Crete (French), nigellicin, nigellidin, nigellimin, nigellimin-N-oxide, nigellin, nigellone, nutmeg flower, nutmeg-flower, oleic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, p-cymene, pentacyclic triterpene, phenylalanine, phosphorus, phytosterols, potassium, prasaplai, pyridoxine, Ranunculaceae (family), riboflavin, Roman coriander, saponin, Schwarzkümmel (German), seeds of blessing, siyah daneh (Persian), sodium, stearic acid, steroidal glucoside, sterols, stigmasterol, synthetic thymoquinol derivative Poloxin, tannin, terpine, terpineol, thiamine, threonine, thymohydroquinone, thymol, thymoquinol, thymoquinone, thymoquinone (2-isopropyl-5-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone), thymoquinone poly (lactide-co-glycolide), toute épice (French), TQ, trans-anethole, tryptophan, tyrosine, zinc.
  • Note: According to secondary sources, other names used for black seed are onion seed and black sesame (both of which are similar-looking but unrelated). Frequently, the seeds are referred to as black cumin. However, while this may refer to the seeds of Nigella sativa, this may also refer to the seeds of a different plant, Bunium persicum.

Background

  • Black seed (Nigella sativa) is a flowering plant, native to southwest Asia. The plant has been used primarily in candies and liquors. In many Arabian, Asian, and African countries, black seed oil is used as a natural remedy for a wide range of diseases.
  • Good scientific evidence suggests that black seed may be effective in the treatment of lung disorders. It is unclear whether black seed may be effective in the treatment of other conditions, such as allergies, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Evidence

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Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.