To say that black seed oil was the latest health food craze would be somewhat disingenuous, because in actual fact there are dozens of superfoods that could earn this label.
At any given time there are all kinds of oils, herbs, extracts and spices receiving attention for their supposed health benefits and this is just one of many.
But it’s an interesting one nonetheless.
We didn’t include black seed (also known as black cumin, black caraway and nigella seeds) in our Detox Organics mix because a lot of what is said about it is based on animal studies and anecdotal evidence, and there are some concerns with regards to potential side effects.
We wanted to create a tried and tested super-healthy superfood mix, and as exciting as it is, black seed oil just doesn’t fit into that description.
So what are the exciting benefits of black seed oil, what does the science say and what are the potential dangers you need to watch out for?
Benefits and Dangers of Black Seed Oil
Benefits and Dangers of Black Seed Oil
This supplement can be consumed as an oil extracted from the seeds or by taking the seeds themselves.
What follows is a list of benefits and risks of black seed oil, but it’s important to note that many of these benefits are based on animal and laboratory studies, as well as anecdotal evidence.
Benefit: Skin Treatment
One of the few human studies to show positive black seed oil effects used it as an acne treatment.
This study gave participants who had acne a balm that contain 10% black seed oil and noted that after just two months the severity of acne had reduced in more than three-quarters of subjects.
It may also help in the treatment of psoriasis and it could help to soften the skin and protect it from inflections and bacteria, as one of the many historic uses of black seed oil was to treat wounds and infections.
Benefit: May Lower Cholesterol
Some studies have suggested that this substance may be able to reduce the levels of “LDL” cholesterol, known as “bad cholesterol” in the body, thus helping reduce the threat of heart disease and stroke.
However, other studies in this field have been inconclusive, suggesting that a lot more work needs to be done.
One of the most promising areas of black seed oil research is in the field of asthma treatment.
Researchers have shown that it may be able to reduce the symptoms of this disease, alleviating wheezing and coughing and improving general lung health.
However, these studies have yet to prove that black seed oil is more effective at treating this disorder that commonly prescribed asthma medications, suggesting that it may be better suited as a complementary medicine rather than a first-course treatment.
Benefit: Hay Fever Treatment
Hay fever is a condition that affects millions of Americans and according to recent research, black seed oil may be the answer those sufferers have been looking for.
During one study this supplement was given to sufferers in combination with B vitamins and vitamin E and it seemed to improve symptoms for allergy sufferers.
Benefit: Opiate Withdrawal
Black seed oil may help to reduce the symptoms of opiate withdrawal when taken several times a day throughout the acute withdrawal stage.
The United States is gripped by an opioid epidemic right now, so this is information that could help millions of American and potentially pave the way for future treatments of all substance abuse withdrawals.
Black seed oil is listed as “Likely Unsafe” during pregnancy. It is thought that it may slow down uterine contractions or even stop them altogether and there is a lot of general uncertainty about the safety of this substance for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
As with any supplement and herbal medicine during pregnancy, it’s always better to be safe than sorry so you might want to leave black seed oil well alone during this period.
Danger: Blood Disorders
While research hasn’t been able to say for certain that black seed oil can cause problems in people with blood disorders, there is enough of a concern for medical experts to warn anyone with blood disorders away from using this substance.
It is thought that it might slow blood clotting, potentially causing excessive bleeding in anyone already suffering from similar blood disorders. For this same reason it is not recommended for anyone about to undergo surgery.
Danger: Low Blood Pressure
One of the health benefits of black seed oil that we didn’t mention is that it can help to lower blood pressure. But it doesn’t just reduce blood pressure in someone suffering from hypertension and also reduces it in someone who has normal blood pressure or low blood pressure.
If you do have low blood pressure then you should avoid black seed oil as it may make this condition worse.
Danger: Contact Dermatitis
Although it seems rare, black seeds may cause contact dermatitis in people who are predisposed to this skin condition. Basically, it means that simply touching the seeds or the oil can cause blotching, rashes and itching.
If you experience any such symptoms upon touching black seeds then stop using them immediately and consult with your doctor. There is simply no point in ingesting a substance if you breakout in an itchy rash every time you touch it.
It is possible that black seed oil consumption may interfere with the metabolization of certain medications, including blood thinning medications like warfarin.
Because of the potential seriousness of this side effect, anyone taking heart medications, blood medications or any other medication for that matter, should consult with their doctor first before starting a course of black seed oil.
Small amounts are unlikely to cause any serious issues, but supplementation requires significant doses and this is when the risk factors begin to increase.
Should You Take Black Seed Oil?
Some of the aforementioned health benefits of black seed oil may have gotten you excited about this supplement, only for the side effects to scare you away.
The truth is, you should take both with a pinch of salt. If you are taking medication or you are pregnant, you definitely should abstain or at least consult a doctor, but if you’re otherwise healthy you shouldn’t experience any ill effects.
At the same time, however, you may not experience any positive effects.
More research needs to be done before any conclusions can be made but even if black seed oil is effective in some of the ways mentioned above, it’s unlikely to be as effective as prescription medications that are prescribed to treat the same ailments.
So if you are going to experiment, don’t expect miracles, don’t stop prescribed treatments and always consult your doctor. You should also consume a healthy diet rich in plant based foods to give your body every chance of staying strong and healthy.
And if you don’t have the time or money to eat all those vegetables, fruits and other superfoods your body needs, get your hands on our famous Detox Organics Daily Superfoods, and let it do all of the work.