The blessed seed has a different content of volatile oil depending on the hybrid of seed and the area that it is grown. In analysis the blessed seed oil may have a content between 0 to 4.6% of volatile oil.
The blessed seed oil varies also in taste. The mild oil has a less pungent taste (1.2% volatile oil content). It is the volatile oil that creates the pungency in the taste. For those of us who do not like the taste then this is the oil to try. If the pungency is still a problem then the other options are capsules or the blessed seed honey mix.
While black seed oil has been used for nearly 4000 years it is only in the last century that mankind has been able to study how it works.
During the last twenty years (1992-2012) there has been extensive study on the pharmacological actions of the blessed seed.
A great deal of the studies dealt with the volatile oil of the seeds 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 is the aromatic oils that contain most of the anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-tumour, and immune-enhancing activity.
Analysis of Volatile Oil in Black Seeds
The analysis of the volatile oil (essential oil) content in the blessed seed reveals chemical compounds that have been proven to exert all of these actions.
- Cymene: Known to have been used for its local analgesic actions, in rheumatic conditions.
- Pinene: When taken internally 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 effective in the treatment of gallstones.
- Nigellon semohiprepinon: When inhaled or rubbed on the chest, it enlarges the bronchi, dissolves cramps and raises their temperature which quickly 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 Oil:
High blood pressure
The volatile oil in the blessed seed has been scientifically proven to lower 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 had the most impact on the following viruses:
- Salmonella (food poisoning),
- Shigella shigae (dysentry),
- Bacillus cereus (nausea, vomiting and diarrhea),
- Vibrio cholerae (cholera), and
- Pseudomonas aerogenosa (inflammation, and blood poisoning, sepsis),
- The oil was also effective against multi-drug resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus. It is estimated that 20% of the human population 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 antifungal spectrum included Candida albicans and Microsporum gypseum (ringworm).The blessed seed is repeatedly being recommended for further study due to the powerful results that researchers have found.
Effect on the Stomach
The volatile oil in the blessed seed has been scientifically proven to protect against ulcers by approximately 38%.
In most Asian countries Black seed and it’s oil are commonly used for the treatment of asthma. The volatile oil in the blessed seed has proven to be an excellent protective agent for both bronchial asthma and asthmatic bronchitis and has proved to be more effective in children than adults.
Researchers in Berlin found that the respiratory effects of black seed oil might make it beneficial for allergic diseases. In a study of 152 patients with allergic diseases, those who received black seed oil, given in capsules, experienced fewer allergic symptoms compared with those who received a placebo.
Based on the results from this study, published in the journal “Phytotherapy Research” in December 2003, research indicates that black seed oil could be an effective therapy for allergic diseases.
Investigators from Kyushu University in Japan report that black seed oil might be helpful in preventing conjunctivitis, abscesses, parasites and other infections. These antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral roles have been attributed to the essential oil of the seed.
Japanese researchers also shown that in vivo treatment with the blessed seed oil induces a strong antiviral effect against murine cytomegalovirus.
Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the most common congenital viral infection in humans and the major nonhereditary cause of central nervous system (CNS) developmental disorders.
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.
Effect on Body Temperature
Black seed oil has been found to help reduce fever, by inducing perspiration which helps the body cool and stimulate the release of toxins.
Effect on Experimentally-induced Inflammation
Results of the volatile oil significantly suppressed paw oedemas in rats.
Effect on Blood Glucose Level
Administration of the volatile oil to type 1 diabetes induced significant decreases (23-43%) in the blood glucose level without affecting insulin release. However, treatment of induced diabetes with the oil for 40 consecutive days resulted in 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 postinitiation stage but daily treatment with the volatile oil of the blessed seed for 14 weeks induced 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 various human cancer cell lines to the volatile oil induced significant death of the cells showing clear cytotoxic effect.
Effect on Tumours
Thymoquinone has a general anti-tumour effect.
Research also established that TQ exerted cytotoxicity against lungs, larynx, colon and pancreatic cancer, yet it was more potent against the 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 relaxed the uterine muscle of both rats and guinea-pigs and antagonized oxytocin-induced uterine contraction.