First Do No Harm

Black (Cumin) Seed Oil
The Cure for Everything

The Song of Solomon (one of the most beautiful works of poetry ever written; your author has read it in the original Hebrew) tells us there is nothing new under the sun. Though some scientists would argue that point, in general, Solomon was right-on; he truly earned his reputation as the very wise king. And Black Cumin Seed is definitely not new; but rather an ancient discovery used for at least three thousand years. 

Remember King Tut? When his tomb was discovered, black cumin seeds were found in his tomb. Tut died in 1324 BC.

About a thousand years before the birth of Christ, the Book of Isaiah mentions black cumin:

Isaiah 28:25

New King James Version (NKJV)

25 When he has leveled its surface,
Does he not sow the black cummin
And scatter the cummin,
Plant the wheat in rows,
The barley in the appointed place,
And the spelt in its place?

Black cumin should not be confused with the spice we know as cumin; they are completely different.

Black cumin seed has gone by many names in history, but most telling is the Latin name: panacea. We should all know that a "panacea" is a cure for everything; and sure enough, in the Arabic culture it is known as the “seeds of blessing” and traditionally it has been referred to as the “cure for everything but death.” [

In fact, it was Muhammad who took it daily and called it the cure for everything in this passage: “Hold on to the use of the black seed, for it has the cure for every illness except death.”

Not only did it have an important role in Islamic medicine, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine used black cumin to treat the liver, hence digestive disorders.

Since 1959, more than 450 studies have shown black cumin to be antibiotic, anti-tumor, antidiabetic, antioxidative, antihypertensive, antiatherogenetic (keeps plaque off of arteries), anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-histamine, antimycotic (antifungal), antipsoriatic (effective against psoriasis), and antibacterial. It can treat allergies, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and more.

At PubMed you can find 531 studies on Nigella sativa (black seed), but I’ll go over a few of the results of those studies here quickly:

  • Black seed is an immuno-modulator; bringing up your immune system if needed or bringing it down if it’s over-reacting.

  • In one study, 42.5% of women with rheumatoid arthritis reported their symptoms improved on 500 mg per day.

  • In an allergy study, black seed reduced nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing.

  • Black seed inhibits cancer growth (colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer) with no side effects.

  • Black seed has been shown to treat: asthma, headaches, toothaches, colds and flu, upper respiratory disorders, digestive (gastrointestinal) problems (intestinal worms), hair and skin problems, diabetes, and insomnia.

  • Black seed improves micro circulation in the brain and has been shown to be good for children and the elderly (fighting off Alzheimer’s).

  • Black seed increases milk production in nursing mothers.

  • Black seed is used topically to treat skin (and hair) conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and boils, and also for pain relief for injuries and arthritis.

Black cumin seed contains essential nutrition. There are fifteen amino acids in black cumin seed oil, including eight of the nine essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine), valine being the missing essential amino acid.

Black seed oil also contains beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, quercetin, luteolin, arginine, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folic acid, calcium, iron, sodium, and potassium.

The most powerful chemicals, many that fight cancer in black seed, are thymoquinone, thymoquinone, dithymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, thymol, and beta-sistosterol.

Finally, it is a virtual cornucopia of healthy fatty acids: myristic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and arachidonic acid.

Having purchased a bottle of black seed oil, I decided to taste it. It’s horrid and the aftertaste clings to your tongue for what seems like forever. As you could guess, I will NOT be making mayonnaise with black seed oil in it.

However, there are a few ways to take it that I’ve tested that aren’t really that bad.

Here is one I found online:

For cancer treatment, mix one glass grape juice and half a teaspoon of Black Seed Oil. Drink three times a day. Treatment may last for forty days. In addition, you can also rub the black cumin oil on the affected cancer for two weeks. [Black Cumin Nutrition]

Another that a friend sent me is quite interesting since it is taken both orally and used topically for inflammation:

One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons of honey, and a half teaspoon of black cumin oil. Take first thing in the morning and massage the location twice a day.

Black cumin seeds can be used as a spice in your recipes, if you remember that a little goes a long way. Black cumin seeds are a part of many curry recipes, and is found traditionally in Lebanese, Indian, Moroccan, Serbian, Armenian, and Jewish recipes and is often mixed into recipes that use mustard, cumin, fennel, or fenugreek.

You can get it by the pound here at Kalyx: Black Caraway Seed (Nigella sativa; Black Cumin) 1 lb: K

While looking for a site that sold the bulk herb, I found this little passage at Kalyx that cracked me up because it's a very poorly written version of what I had already put together (above):

Black Caraway, for its culinary properties, is also called Black Cumin and Black Onion. It has no relation to either of these. Also called charnushka or chernushka, these tiny, black, smoky flavored seeds are found atop Jewish rye bread in New York. Used in Armenia, Lebanon, Israel, and India. Also referred to as kalonji, charnushka is used heavily in garam masala. Turkish bread makes frequent use of these tasty seed grains. In Iran and India, nigella seeds, to bring out their flavor, are fried or deep-roasted before being mixed with vegetable dishes. The Bengali meat spice mixture called 'five spices,' which is fried in mustard oil before use, contains nigella, fenugreek, cumin, black mustard seed and fennel. Nigella, aside from being a delicious culinary seed, is also a legendary medicinal herb of ancient usage – and considerable modern credence. Nigella Sativa oil was found in Tutankhamen's tomb. It is known to have been used by Cleopatra for its health and beauty giving qualities. The earliest written reference to Blackseed is found in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament 28:25-27. The Greek physician Dioskorides used Blackseed to treat headaches, nasal congestion, toothache and intestinal parasites. Hippocrates regarded Nigella Sativa as a valuable remedy in hepatic and digestive disorders. Nigella Sativa is traditionally known in Middle Eastern countries as 'Habbat al Barakah' - 'The Blessed Seed,' due to it's powerful healing qualities. Nigella is most famous for the saying of the Prophet Muhammad, 'Hold on to use of the Blackseed, for it has a remedy for every illness except death.' Ibn Sina, the legendary Avicenna, author of the Canon of Medicine, one of the most influential books in the history of medicine, recommends Blackseed to stimulates the metabolism and to recover from dispiritedness and lethargy. Ayurvedic medicine recommends Nigella for a wide variety of diseases. Cindy Jones, Ph.D., from her excellent book, 'The Antibiotic Alternative': Nigella is considered a BRM (biological response modifier) because studies show extracts from the seeds are toxic to cancer cells and, in mice, prevent blood cell toxicity caused by the anti-cancer drug cisplatin. The active components of nigella seeds are the volatile oils thymoquinoline and dithymoquinone, both of which inhibit tumor cells in laboratory experiments--even tumor cells resistant to anti-cancer drugs. A recent cell study conducted at the International Immuno-Biology Research Laboratory in South Carolina showed that when incubated with nigella extract, cancer cells were unable to produce fibroblast growth factor and the protein collagenase, both necessary for blood-vessel growth into the tumor. Without a blood supply, a tumor cannot grow. Nigella also stimulates the immune system, as shown in an experiment conducted with humans.   


  • Black seed is normally safe when used as a spice, though some people are sensitive to it.

  • People with immune disorders should be careful with large doses and should be under the care of a professional when using larger doses.

  • Black seed, at therapeutic doses, can thin the blood and cause bleeding. It should not be used if you are already on blood thinners.

  • Black seed can lower blood sugar levels and if you are using other products that do the same you should be careful.

  • Some people have experienced drowsiness (sedation) using black seed at therapeutic levels.

  • Pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant should not use therapeutic levels of black seed since it can cause uterine contractions and prevent conception. While nursing, small amounts are all that is needed to assist lactation.

  • Since black seed can lower hypertension (higher blood pressure), you should be careful if your doctor has you on blood pressure meds.

  • Black seed can interfere/interact with quite a few drugs (at therapeutic levels) and you should check with your doctor if you are using a medication. Black seed can increase the effectiveness of analgesics and Cox-2 inhibitors, so you'll again want to check with your doctor if you are on a medication.

I've found some sites to get black seed oil (in therapeutic doses); and these products are highly recommended:

Black Seed Oil (Cumin) By Black Seed - 8oz.
Black Cumin Seed Oil ─ This is the Life Extension product; I trust Life Extension.

Black Cumin Seed Oil Wtih BioCurcumin ─ this version has curcumin.

Black Seed Oil (Cumin) By Black Seed - 8oz.


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