There was a time when olive oil and canola oil were the only oils stocked in most pantry shelves. But now, a number of newer oils — like coconut, walnut and avocado — are making appearances. One of the latest to strut its stuff is black seed oil, a potent herbal ingredient that offers a host of science-backed health benefits.
Nigella sativa seeds, also known as black caraway, black cumin or kalonji, are native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The seeds and the oil derived from them have antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to offering anti-aging and skin care benefits, black seed oil is a natural remedy for stomach ulcers, an antidiarrheal, a circulatory aid, a liver protector, a menstrual cramp reliever and more.
In a study of 40 women, black seed oil helped reduce swollen joints and morning stiffness in those with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation. Black seed oil may also have appetite-suppressing properties, which can help support weight loss.
Black seed oil is rich in thymoquinone, which helps improve insulin sensitivity, which in turn supports blood sugar control. Studies show that it can inhibit the development of diabetes and protect against the complications associated with the condition.
Taking 5 milliliters of black seed oil daily can help alleviate digestive issues, such as indigestion and heartburn. It can also help protect against the formation of stomach ulcers and eradicate the bacteria that cause them, such as Helicobacter pylori. black seed oil benefits