Black seed oil is obtained from the seeds of the Nigella Sativa plant which is native to Asia and the Middle East.  This seed also goes by the name of black cumin seed but it is different from cumin seed.  Black seed oil has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of health problems.  Over 600 studies have been done during the past fifty years measuring the effectiveness of this oil for over 40 different health conditions.    

       Health conditions where black seed oil has been shown to be effective include viral, bacterial and fungal infections, allergies, diabetes, digestive problems and even cancer. Black seed oil has been found to be especially helpful in dealing with bacterial infections.  In one study, 144 different strains of disease causing bacteria were tested with many of these strains known to be resistant to antibiotics.  Out of this 144, ninety-seven strains were inhibited by black seed oil.

       Research reveals there are three key ingredients in black seed oil that appear to be responsible for its medicinal effect.  These compounds are thymoquinone (TQ), thymohydroquinone (THQ) and thymol.  In a recent study published in the Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, these three ingredients were tested against 30 different human pathogens and found to be effective in inhibiting all 30 of them.

Black seed oil and cancer:

       A number of studies have been done using thymoquinone (TQ) extracted from black seed oil, or simply the black seed oil by itself, to treat cancer.  Here are just a few such studies of the dozens that are available for review.

       In a study published in 2010 in the Journal, Experimental Biology & Medicine, it was determined that TQ helped activate the process known as apoptosis in treating human prostate cancer cells.  Apoptosis is a process whereby the body facilitates the death of existing cancer cells and curtails their further proliferation.  In a study published in 2004 in the International Journal of Oncology, TQ extracted from black seed oil was shown to help stimulate apoptosis in human colon cancer cells.

       In 2013, researchers in India treated two groups of rats having liver cancer with the compound TQ.  One group was given just plain water to drink and the other group was given water containing TQ.  After 16 weeks the group drinking the TQ water had greatly reduced liver tumor markers while the rats that drank just plain water had substantial increases in tumor size.  Other research has shown TQ extracted from black seed oil to inhibit the spread of breast cancer, leukemia and other cancers.

       A study cited in 2010 in the publication Oncology Letter, reported that rats given two doses per day of black seed oil resulted in significant inhibition of the growth of cancerous tumors in the lungs, esophagus, stomach and lungs.  In a study published in 2007 in the Brazil Journal of Medical and Biological Research, it was reported that rats had black seed oil injected into induced cancerous tumors every day for 30 days.  After the 30 days, the tumors in the treated rats were only two-tenths of a centimeter whereas in a control group of untreated rats with induced cancerous tumors, the tumors had increased in size to 2.5 centimeters. 

H pylori and black seed oil:

       In 2010 research was done in Saudi Arabia using black seed oil to treat Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection.  H pylorus is a bacterium that can produce a number of health problems, especially aliments affecting the gastro-intestinal tract including gastric cancer. In the 2010 research, 88 patients were divided into four groups with participants in these groups randomly given a variety of drugs used to treat H pylori  Some were given only black seed oil.  It was determined that the black seed oil had as much efficacy treating this condition as the combined use of the various drugs used for this purpose. 

       The research to date has been very impressive as to the efficacy of black seed oil in treating various health challenges.  At Milk ‘N Honey we carry two brands of black seed oil.  We have black seed oil from the company North American Herb and Spice and from the company Amazing Herbs.  The label on the black seed oil from Amazing Herbs shows their product to have 48 milligrams per serving of thymoquinone (TQ).