Traditionally, black cumin seeds (Nigella sativa) and the oil they produce have been used for cosmetic, culinary and medicinal purposes. For example, the seeds were found in King Tut’s tomb and ancient Egyptian physicians, like Hippocrates, recommended black cumin seed oil to address toothaches, nasal congestion, asthma and intestinal worms. Moreover, it is believed to boost energy levels and alleviate symptoms of weakness, fatigue and general illness. In addition, research suggests that it can help control blood cholesterol.
Black cumin seed oil is an amber-hued oil derived from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant. It’s known for its potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties and is brimming with essential fatty acids (omega-3, -6 and -9), plus plant compounds called phytosterols that help lower cholesterol1.
This multi-tasking oil can be used in a variety of ways, but a few teaspoons diluted in a carrier oil is a great way to apply it topically for skin concerns like acne and eczema. It’s also a natural humectant, meaning it draws in moisture and improves skin elasticity. It’s even been shown to relieve the pain and tenderness associated with rheumatism.
A recent study4 found that patients suffering from hay fever experienced a significant reduction in runny nose and sneezing after taking 2 grams of black cumin seed oil daily. Researchers believe this is due to thymoquinone, which acts as an antihistamine. As for the hair, a few drops can be poured over the scalp for a stimulating and conditioning treatment that’s reputed to promote growth and strengthen strands.