Black cumin (black seed), or commonly known also by the people of Indonesia as Black Seed, has long been widely used as a herbal medicine. Research shows this plant has health benefits and is able to overcome various diseases.
The seeds which in Latin are called Nigella sativa are usually processed to be used as cooking spices or extracts are taken. Since the past, Black Seed has been used to treat various diseases and is believed to have good health benefits.
Black cumin contains a variety of nutrients that are good for health, such as carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats including oleic acid and linoleic acid, calcium, fiber, iron, sodium, potassium, and antioxidants.
Benefits of Black Cumin
Various studies have been conducted to prove the benefits of treatment owned by Black Seed. Among them to help treat diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and cancer.
In addition, black cumin also has antibacterial, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, strengthens immunity, and is good for the health of the kidneys, stomach and liver. These benefits come from thymoquinone (TQ) contained in Black Seed.
With these many benefits, black cumin gives the impression as an herbal medicine that can treat various diseases. However, how are these properties viewed from the medical side?
Treating high blood pressure (hypertension)
Treating high cholesterol
Maintain blood sugar levels
Has an anti-inflammatory effect
Protect the heart
In small-scale studies, Black Seed appears to reduce high blood pressure. In the study, a decrease in blood pressure was seen in the subjects studied, after consuming Black Seed extract for eight weeks. However, the effectiveness and safety of these herbal medicines are not yet known clinically.
Cholesterol is indeed needed by the body. But if excessive, can increase the risk of various diseases, such as stroke and heart disease. Several studies have shown that black cumin can reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, and increase levels of good cholesterol.
High blood sugar is a sign of diabetes. Symptoms can include frequent thirst, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Untreated diabetes can even lead to nerve damage, vision problems, and slow wound healing.
In one study, consumption of black cumin for several weeks appeared to reduce blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Black Seed effect is thought to be good for diabetes, but clinical data obtained so far have not been able to confirm this.
One of the Black Seed effects that are believed to be good for health is its ability to reduce inflammation. Small-scale clinical studies for 3 months in asthma sufferers show that Black Seed can reduce the severity and frequency of asthma attacks.
Other studies also show that this herbal medicine can help overcome other diseases caused by inflammation, such as sinusitis, allergies, and arthritis.
Black Seed has antibacterial and antiviral properties. This is evidenced from a study that shows that this herbal medicine is able to eradicate the viruses that cause hepatitis C, HIV, and flu. Black Seed also seems to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, so it is considered capable of fighting infection.
Some animal studies also show that black cumin can prevent liver damage. This benefit is related to the antioxidant content of black cumin which has anti-inflammatory function.
Thymoquinone is an active compound contained in black cumin seeds. This compound is said to have anticancer effects. In some animal studies, thymoquinone can reduce the size of malignant tumors. In addition, laboratory tests show that thymoquinone can effectively inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Unfortunately, various research studies related to the benefits of black cumin to treat the disease so far are still limited to small-scale studies. This means that more clinical research in humans is still needed to prove the efficacy of black cumin as a drug.
Black cumin side effects that need to be wary of
Black cumin oil and black cumin extract may be safe for consumption when used in the short term. There is currently not enough information about the side effects of black cumin if used in large or long-term doses. The benefits and side effects on children and pregnant women are also uncertain.
Some people may experience allergies when black cumin or black seed is applied to the skin. In addition, black cumin might slow blood clotting, increase the risk of bleeding, lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar for people who don’t have health problems.
Therefore, before consuming black cumin, it’s good to consult a doctor first, especially if you have certain medical conditions.