Volatile black seed oil actions and effects explained
The blessed seed (black cumin seed) has a different content of volatile oil in the black seed, depending on the hybrid of seed and the area that it is grown in. In the analysis, the blessed seed black seed oil is found to have a content from 0% to 4.6% of volatile oil.
Black seed oil taste
The black seed oil varies in taste as well. Mild black seed oil has a less pungent flavor (1.2% volatile oil content). It is the volatile oil that creates the pungency in the taste and for those who do not like the taste, this is the oil to try. If the pungency is still a problem, then there are other options available, as capsules or the blessed seed honey mix.
Composition of black seed oil
Black seed oil contains approximately:
- 21% protein
- 38% carbohydrates
- 35% plant fats and oil
Analysis of volatile oil in black seeds
- According to (Ali BH, 2003) much of the biological and pharmacological activity of black seed oil has been shown due to the presence of its fixed and volatile oil component
- According to (Nickavar B, 2003) the chemical composition of fixed and volatile oil of black seed oil was determined by chromatography technique and the result shows:
- Eight fatty acids (99.5%)
- Thirty-two compounds (86.7%)
According to research, the main fatty acids of the fixed oil was:
- Linoleic acid ( 55.6%)
- Oleic acid (23.4%)
- Palmatic acid (12.5%)
The analysis of the volatile black seed oil reveals chemical compounds that have been proven to exert all of the following actions:
- Para cymene: Generally used for its local analgesic actions, in rheumatic conditions
- Pinene: When taken has mild expectorant and colic properties and when used externally has similar actions to Cymene
- Carbony: Responsible for the antiseptic and anti-microbial properties of the seed. Extensive microbiological tests have confirmed its action against gram-positive as well as gram-negative organisms
- Carvone: Known for its anti-colic and flatulence properties
- Limonene: Reported to be useful in the treatment of gallstones
- Nigellon semohiprepinon: When inhaled or rubbed on the chest, it enlarges the bronchi, dissolves cramps. It raises their temperature and alleviates symptoms due to bronchial asthma and whooping cough. Also inhibits the release of histamine
- Thymoquinone: Inhibits infection, relieves pain, stimulates the gall bladder and works as an anti-oxidant
Pharmacological actions of the volatile black seed oil
During the last twenty seven years (1992-2019) there has been an extensive study on the pharmacological actions of the blessed seed. A great deal of the studies dealt with the volatile oil in black seed and its major constituents. These studies revealed a multi-range of actions that covered almost all known ailments of man in the various body systems.
It has been found to contain anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-tumor, and immune-enhancing activity.
High blood pressure
The volatile black seed oil has been researched in regards to lowering blood pressure.
Effect on micro-organisms
The spread of multidrug-resistant strains of fungus and the reduced number of drugs available made it necessary to discover new classes of antifungals and compounds that inhibit these resistant viruses. The volatile oil of the blessed seed performed a broad spectrum of antibacterial and antifungal activities.
Black cumin seed oil has the most impact on the following bacteria and viruses:
- Salmonella (food poisoning)
- Shigella shigae (dysentery)
- Bacillus cereus (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea)
- Vibrio cholerae (cholera)
- Pseudomonas aerogenosa (inflammation, and blood poisoning, sepsis)
The oil was also found to be effective against multi-drug resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus. It’s great news, since there is an estimate of 20% of the human population that are long-term carriers of S. aureus.
S.aureus can cause a range of illnesses, from minor skin infections, such as pimples, impetigo (sores and blisters), boils (furuncles), cellulitis and folliculitis (skin inflammation), carbuncles, scalded skin syndrome, and abscesses, to life-threatening diseases such as, pneumonia, meningitis, osteomyelitis, endocarditis, toxic shock syndrome (TSS), bacteremia, and blood poisoning(sepsis).
The anti-fungal spectrum included Candida albicans and Microsporum gypseum (ringworm). The blessed seed is repeatedly recommended for further study due to the robust results that researchers have found.
Effect on the stomach
The volatile black seed oil in the blessed seed has been scientifically proven to have positive results against ulcers. It is also used for indigestion and to reduce fat.
In most Asian countries Nigella Sativa seeds and its oil are commonly used for the treatment of asthma. The volatile oil in the blessed seed has proven to be an excellent protective agent. It is used for both bronchial asthma and asthmatic bronchitis and has shown to be more effective in children than adults.
Researchers in Berlin found that the respiratory effects of black cumin seed oil are beneficial for allergic diseases. There was a study of 152 patients with allergic diseases. Those who received black seed oil in capsules experienced fewer allergic symptoms compared with those who received a placebo.
This study was published in the journal “Phytotherapy Research” in December 2003. Based on the results of this study, research indicates that black seed oil could be an effective therapy for allergic diseases.
At Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Medicine in China examined the immunomodulatory activity of the blessed seed oil in experimental models of allergic airway inflammation. The results of their experiments indicated that the blessed seed oil supplementation improves allergic airway inflammation.
Read more about black seed oil’s impact on asthma.
Investigators from Kyushu University in Japan report that black seed oil may help prevent conjunctivitis, abscesses, parasites and other infections. These antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral roles have attributed to the essential oil of the seed.
Japanese researchers also showed that in vivo treatment with the blessed seed oil induces a robust antiviral effect against murine cytomegalovirus.
Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the most common congenital viral infection in humans and a major nonhereditary cause of central nervous system (CNS) developmental disorders.
Effect on body temperature
Black seed oil may also help to reduce fever, by inducing perspiration which helps the body relax, and stimulates the release of toxins.
Effect on experimentally-induced inflammation
Results of the volatile black seed oil significantly suppressed paw oedemas in rats.
Effect on blood glucose level
Administration of the volatile black seed oil to type 1 diabetes-induced significant has shown to decrease (23-43%) in the blood glucose level without affecting insulin release. However, a treatment of induced diabetes with the oil for 40 consecutive days may result in a significant decrease in the blood glucose level, and an increase in the blood insulin level.
Effect on experimental cancers
Rats with induced colon cancer in the post-initiation stage, were provided daily treatment with the volatile black seed oil for 14 weeks and were shown to have significant reductions in the colonic lesions.
The treatment did not induce any harmful effects in the blood or urine parameters and no pathological changes in the various vital body organs. Furthermore, exposure of different human cancer cell lines to the volatile black seed oil has shown to induce significant death of the cells showing obvious cytotoxic effects.
Effect on tumors
Thymoquinone has a general anti-tumor impact.
Research also established that TQ exerted cytotoxicity against lungs, larynx, colon and pancreatic cancer, and was more potent against larynx cancer.
Effect on smooth muscles
Studies using various isolated smooth muscles revealed a smooth-muscle relaxant activity of the oil. This has been shown in the isolated rabbit aorta, rabbit jejunum, and the isolated guinea-pig trachea.
The suggested mechanism was the blockade of calcium channels. Furthermore, the oil was shown to relax the uterine muscle of both rats and guinea-pigs and antagonized oxytocin-induced uterine contractions.