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Discover the enchanting skin wonders of exotic Black Seed Oil

April 9, 2024

If you have ever purchased Turkish bread, I am sure you enjoyed its morish and delicious taste, which is enhanced by the presence of both sesame and the delicious aromatic taste of black seeds. These are often scattered on this crusty bread.

Black seeds are different to sesame seeds, as they are cumin seeds.

If you look at the hundreds of scientific peer-reviewed articles that have been published about black seed oil benefits, one fact is clear

  • It can help both the skin and the body to overcome several health issues.
  • No wonder this health-promoting oil has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine.
  • With virtually no side effects, the healing benefits of black seed oil are quite unbelievable, and, amazingly, so many people have never heard of it. 
  • Here we will review the skin benefits of black seed oil. 
  • A more comprehensive version of this article that will include the health benefits when consumed internally will feature in the May issue of APJ Journal.

What is black seed oil?

Black seed oil is made from the seeds of the black cumin (Nigella sativa) plant, which belongs to the ranunculus family (Ranunculaceae). The black cumin plant is native to southwestern Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa.

  • It has been grown for centuries for its aromatic and flavourful seeds that can be used as a spice or as an herbal medicine.
  • This oil is also commonly called black cumin seed oil.
  • Be careful, as black seed should not be confused with true cumin (Cuminum cyminum), black pepper, black sesame or black cohosh.
  • Quite possibly, the most promising research has been done connecting Nigella sativa to multi-drug-resistant bacteria.
  • This is a really big deal because these so-called “superbugs” are becoming a significant public health risk. A quick search of studies that are available at the National Institute of Health provides evidence of the benefits of this amazing oil. 

What are the impressive antimicrobial benefits?

Strains of bacteria and viruses that are antimicrobial-resistant are becoming virtually impossible to treat, including HIV, staphylococcal, tuberculosis, influenza, gonorrhoea, candida and malaria.

  • Between 5 per cent to 10 per cent of all hospital patients develop infections from superbugs.
  • More than 90,000 of these patients die every year, up from 13,300 patient deaths in 1992.
  • People infected with superbugs typically have longer hospital stays, require more complicated treatment and don’t recover as well.
Indulge in the savory allure of Turkish bread, enhanced by sesame and aromatic black seeds. Beyond taste, discover black seed oil's profound benefits—combating superbugs, aiding skin conditions like eczema, and promoting scalp health. Stay tuned for more insights in APJ Journal's May issue. Embrace nature's remedy for radiant skin and vibrant health!

In a study conducted by Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in India, researchers determined just how potent black seed oil is against some of these superbugs and paired it against several antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin, Gatifloxacin and Tetracycline.

According to the study, “Out of 144 strains tested, most of which were resistant to a number of antibiotics, 97 were inhibited by the oil of black cumin.”

Next to oregano oil, few things on the planet can boast this type of potency to microbes. The study uncovered that it was especially effective against multi-drug-resistant strains of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus.

The key to understanding the health benefits of black seed oils lies in the presence of three key natural phytonutrients – thymoquinone (TQ), thymohydroquinone (THQ) and thymol. These incredible phytochemicals lead to all kinds of amazing black seed oil benefits.

More on the health benefits in our APJ May issue.

Benefits to skin and hair

Eczema

  • In a study conducted by Iranian researchers, Nigella saliva was found as effective as the skin cream Betamethasone (a steroid medication prescribed for eczema) in improving quality of life and decreasing the severity of hand eczema.
  • As long as you don’t have an allergic reaction to black seed oil.

    Benefits hair

    • In addition to being a natural skincare aid, there are also black seed oil health benefits for hair.
    • Not surprisingly, black seed oil is often featured on lists of natural ways to boost hair and scalp health in numerous ways.

    Since it contains nigellone, shown by research to be an impressive antihistamine, it may help with hair loss due to androgenic alopecia or alopecia areata.

    With its antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can also help the health of the scalp in general, discouraging dandruff and dryness, and improve overall hair health at the same time.

    May aid in the treatment of Vitiligo

    • Studies also suggest that black seed oil has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of vitiligo, a disorder that causes loss of pigmentation in the skin.
    • One study of 33 people with vitiligo found that applying a cream made with black seed oil to the skin twice daily improved pigmentation in the hands, face, and genital region after six months of use. Researchers suggest that the benefits of black seed oil may be due to its ability to spread melanin within the skin.

    May help treat Psoriasis

    There is limited scientific research on the effects of black seed oil on psoriasis symptoms in humans. However, some people may still find it beneficial as part of a broader professional treatment plan.

    • While only trials through animal studies, the results were optimistic with the findings suggesting that black seed oil could reduce inflammation and other symptoms of psoriasis.
    • Another small study found that some topical remedies, including black seed oil, could help reduce psoriasis symptoms. However, it is important to note that this study used black seed oil combined with other ingredients, so there’s no way to know in this case whether black seed oil was behind the beneficial effects.
    • More research is needed to investigate how black seed oil may affect psoriasis in people.

    Tackles acne

    • Black seed oil offers a natural and effective solution for tackling acne, primarily due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Acne is often triggered by bacteria, specifically Propionibacterium acnes. Here, black seed oil shines with its ability to not just kill surface bacteria but also penetrate the pores for a deeper effect.

    Is it anti-inflammatory?

    • Its anti-inflammatory properties further help in reducing redness and swelling—common issues associated with acne. This two-pronged approach makes black seed oil a compelling option for acne treatments.

    A study even revealed that a 20% black seed oil lotion was more effective against mild and moderate acne than a 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion.

    • Additionally, the antioxidant properties of one of its constituents thymoquinone aid in skin regeneration and speed up the healing process.
    • This is particularly useful for lightening dark spots left by acne.

    Acne scars

    • When it comes to acne scars, the oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that make raised scars less visible. Multiple studies support the healing benefits of black seed oil.

    One study found that using a topical gel made with black seed extract twice daily for 60 days reduced acne severity by 78%. Researchers noted significant improvement in the number of acne lesions compared with a control group.

    New research

    With new research revealing the benefits of black seed oil, look out for it in your skincare. If you wish to also consume it, it has a nutty, smoky flavour. 

    Seek the organic cold-pressed version to achieve the maximum health benefits. More about those in the longer version of this article in the May issue of APJ Journal

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