The seed of the Nigella sativa plant (also called black cumin) and its oil have been used as a medicine for thousands of years. The seeds are a common spice used in Middle Eastern cooking, and the oil is applied to skin and taken orally for everything from colds and headaches to parasites and inflammatory diseases. It’s even been said that the ancient Egyptians kept a bottle of it in King Tut’s tomb.
The oil contains many beneficial compounds, but the primary active ingredient is thymoquinone (TQ). It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties, as well as immune system modulating activity. The oil also contains essential fatty acids and cholesterol-lowering plant compounds known as phytosterols.
A 2011 study1 found that 40 people with rheumatoid arthritis who took 500 mg of black cumin seed oil capsules twice a day showed reduced swollen joints and morning stiffness. Another study2 found that the black seed oil was able to relieve a condition called dyspepsia, which is a combination of symptoms including heartburn and indigestion.
When choosing a product, look for one that has pure black cumin oil with no added ingredients or additives. It should come in a dark glass bottle to prevent spoilage, and it is best to store it away from light. A few drops of the oil can be added to a regular face cream or carrier oil to be applied directly to the skin for anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects. black cumin seed oil