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Black seed meaning: Are There Health Benefits? Pros and Cons, Nutrition, and More

Are There Health Benefits? Pros and Cons, Nutrition, and More

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

In this Article

  • Nutrition Information
  • Potential Health Benefits of Black Seed & Black Seed Oil
  • Potential Risks of Black Seed & Black Seed Oil

Black seed is the common name for the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant, which grows in southern Europe, the Middle East, and southwest Asia. It’s also known as nigella, black cumin, fennel flower, black caraway, and Roman coriander.

Black seed oil is extracted from these seeds. Capsules of the oil may be found in health stores and online. Both the oil and the seeds, which can be consumed raw or lightly toasted, have long been used as a medicinal plant in the regions where N. sativa is grown. It even appears in the words of Mohammad and the Judeo-Christian Holy Bible.

When consumed, black seed oil has been shown to have multiple health benefits and may aid in the following conditions:

  • Inflammation
  • Asthma
  • High Cholesterol
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Diabetes

Black seed oil can also be applied topically. Small scale studies have demonstrated positive effects for eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

That said, more research is needed to evaluate both the potential benefits and complications of using black seed and black seed oil.

One teaspoon of black seed oil contains: 

  • Calories: 45
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams

Black seed is a good source of:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Thiamin
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorous
  • Folic Acid

The medicinal benefits of black seed are mainly due to its main active compound called thymoquinone, which has shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other therapeutic properties that protect the body from cell damage and chronic diseases.

Along with offering a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals, black seed has demonstrated many potential health benefits:

Anti-Inflammatory Effects 

Black seed has proven to reduce inflammation and relax smooth muscles, easing the symptoms of people with asthma in clinical studies.

Combined with its antioxidant properties, these effects help prevent gastrointestinal disorders and relieve related symptoms.

Black seed may even help with neuroinflammation, or inflammation of brain tissue, which may contribute to the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. So far, research has only been done on animals, so more studies are needed to confirm this potential benefit in humans.

Metabolic Disorders and Weight Loss Support

When taken as a supplement, black seed oil could help people combat obesity and metabolic disorders. Recent studies have suggested that its use as a supplement may reduce body weight and BMI, but more research is needed.

Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Initial research has found that black seed may help lower blood pressure in healthy people.

It also lowers cholesterol. Women who combined black seed supplements with a low-calorie diet lowered their cholesterol more than women who didn’t take the supplements.

Lower Blood Sugar

People with type 2 diabetes who take black seed supplements have shown lower blood sugar levels, putting them at less risk for future diabetes-related complications. 

Black seed and black seed oil have proven largely safe in small doses, but some people may experience a few side effects. Consider the following before taking black seed supplements:

Digestive Issues

Some people have reported nausea and bloating after consuming black seed.

Medication Interference

Because black seed can affect your metabolism, it may interfere with some prescription medications. Talk to your doctor if you are on any drugs that might be affected.

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Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews


Black seed (Nigella sativa) is a flowering plant native to Asia and the Mediterranean. Its seed has been used to make medicine for thousands of years.

Black seed might have effects in the body that help boost the immune system, fight cancer, prevent pregnancy, reduce swelling, and lessen allergic reactions by acting as an antihistamine.

People commonly use black seed for asthma, hay fever, diabetes, high blood pressure, eczema, weight loss, menstrual cramps, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses. There is also no good evidence to support using black seed for COVID-19.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Effective for

  • Acne. Applying a gel containing black seed extract to the skin might help to improve acne.
  • Hay fever. Taking black seed oil by mouth daily might improve allergy symptoms in people with hay fever.
  • Asthma. Taking black seed by mouth along with asthma medicines can improve coughing, wheezing, and lung function in some people with asthma. But it seems to work only in people with very low lung function before treatment.
  • A lung disease that makes it harder to breathe (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). Taking black seed oil by mouth helps to improve lung function in people with COPD who are also using prescribed inhalers.
  • Diabetes. Taking black seed powder or black seed oil by mouth daily seems to improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
  • A digestive tract infection that can lead to ulcers (Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori). Taking black seed powder along with standard therapies might help to get rid of this infection.
  • High blood pressure. Taking black seed powder or black seed oil by mouth might reduce blood pressure by a small amount in healthy adults. But it’s not clear if it helps people with high blood pressure.
  • Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility). Taking black seed oil by mouth increases sperm count and how quickly sperm can move. It’s not clear if it improves pregnancy rates.
  • Breast pain (mastalgia). Applying a gel containing black seed oil to the breasts during the menstrual cycle seems to reduce pain.

There is interest in using black seed for a number of other purposes, but there isn’t enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Black seed is commonly consumed in foods. Black seed oil and black seed powder are possibly safe when taken in larger amounts for up to 3 months. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if larger amounts are safe when used for more than 3 months. Black seed can cause allergic rashes in some people. It can also cause stomach upset, vomiting, or constipation.

When applied to the skin: Black seed oil or gel is possibly safe when used short-term. It can cause allergic rashes in some people.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Black seed is commonly consumed in foods. Black seed oil and black seed powder are possibly safe when taken in larger amounts for up to 3 months. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if larger amounts are safe when used for more than 3 months. Black seed can cause allergic rashes in some people. It can also cause stomach upset, vomiting, or constipation.

When applied to the skin: Black seed oil or gel is possibly safe when used short-term. It can cause allergic rashes in some people. Pregnancy: Black seed is commonly consumed in foods. But taking amounts greater than those found in foods while pregnant is likely unsafe. Black seed can slow down or stop the uterus from contracting.

Breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if black seed is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Black seed oil is possibly safe for children when taken by mouth short-term and in recommended amounts by weight.

Bleeding disorders: Black seed might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Black seed might make bleeding disorders worse.

Surgery: Black seed might slow blood clotting, reduce blood sugar, and increase sleepiness in some people. This can interfere with drugs used during and after surgical procedures and cause severe side effects. Stop using black seed at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Black seed might lower blood sugar levels. Taking black seed along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

  • Black seed can increase the activity of the immune system. Some medications, such as those used after a transplant, decrease the activity of the immune system. Taking black seed along with these medications might decrease the effects of these medications.

  • Black seed might slow blood clotting. Taking black seed along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

  • Black seed might lower blood pressure. Taking black seed along with medications that lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to go too low. Monitor your blood pressure closely.

  • Black seed might cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Some medications, called sedatives, can also cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Taking black seed with sedative medications might cause breathing problems and/or too much sleepiness.

  • Black seed might decrease levels of cyclosporine in the blood. This might reduce how well cyclosporine is able to work.

  • Black seed can decrease potassium levels. “Water pills” can also decrease potassium levels. Taking black seed along with “water pills” might make potassium levels drop too low.

  • Amlodipine lowers blood pressure. Black seed also lowers blood pressure. Taking black seed with amlodipine might lower blood pressure too much. People taking black seed along with amlodipine should monitor their blood pressure.

  • Black seed might increase a brain chemical called serotonin. Some medications also have this effect. Taking black seed along with these medications might increase serotonin too much. This might cause serious side effects including heart problems, seizures, and vomiting.

  • Clopidogrel can slow blood clotting. Black seed might also slow blood clotting. Taking black seed along with clopidogrel might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

  • Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Black seed might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

  • Phenytoin is used to control some types of seizures. Black seed might increase levels of phenytoin in the blood. Taking black seed with phenytoin might increase the risk of having side effects to phenytoin.

  • Warfarin is used to slow blood clotting. Black seed might increase the effects of warfarin, which could increase the risk of bleeding.


Black seed oil has most often been used by adults in doses of 1-2.5 grams by mouth daily for 4-12 weeks. Black seed powder has most often been used in doses of 1-2 grams by mouth daily for 8-12 weeks. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.

health benefits and harms for men, women, children

There are many legends about the healing properties of black cumin, but not all of them have scientific confirmation. Is it possible to use this seasoning not only in cooking, but also for general healing of the body? We will answer these and other questions and figure out what the benefits and harms of black cumin actually are.

History of black cumin

Cumin is an herbaceous umbrella plant that flowers in summer and produces seeds only in the second year of life. Black cumin is common in the Caucasus, Siberia and Central Asia.

This plant was valued in ancient Egypt. During excavations in the tomb of one pharaoh, they found a container with the remains of a certain product. Laboratory studies have shown that this is black cumin oil. It is not known exactly how the Egyptians used it, but knowing that they put only valuable things with them in the “afterlife”, it can be assumed that the plant was held in high esteem by them.

Cumin is especially valued in Muslim countries. The Prophet Muhammad is credited with saying that black cumin cures all diseases except death. The name of black cumin is translated from Arabic as “seed of blessing”. The famous Avicenna also mentioned cumin as a serious medicinal plant.

Composition and calories of black cumin

Calories per 100 g 375 kcal
Proteins 17.8 g 9 0018
Fat 22.2 g
Carbohydrates 44 ,2 g

The benefits of black cumin

Black cumin is considered one of the most biologically active spices. The seeds are rich in various fatty acids, as well as potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium.

The effectiveness of black cumin as a means of strengthening immunity is recognized not only by ancient healers, but also by modern medicine. The oil of this plant has a bactericidal effect, fights fungus and intestinal parasites (1).

Black cumin is used to improve digestion: it enhances the secretion of bile, has a laxative effect.

The substance thymoquinone, which is part of the seeds of this plant, is considered an antioxidant, improves overall tone and improves performance, energizes.

Benefits of black cumin for men

Black cumin is definitely worth including in men’s diet. The substances of this product have a positive effect on men’s health: they improve potency and male fertility (2). Also, black cumin helps to increase libido.

Benefits of black cumin for women

This product is added to the menu for severe pain during menstruation – the spice is known for its analgesic effect. Black cumin seeds are also recommended for breastfeeding mothers to produce milk (3).

Benefits of black cumin for children

Black cumin seeds have a beneficial effect on the growing body. This seasoning can be added to the children’s menu (for example, in cereals or pastries). The substances contained in cumin saturate the child’s body with the missing vitamins and trace elements, strengthen the immune system and improve digestion.

Harm of black cumin

Black cumin can stimulate contraction of smooth muscles, including the uterus. Therefore, it is better not to take this plant in any form for pregnant women. Babies should not be given such a seasoning either – the oils in the seeds can irritate a delicate stomach. Due to the saturation of various substances, cumin can cause unwanted reactions in those who are prone to allergies.

Medicinal uses of black cumin

Decoction and oil of black cumin are used in medicine, especially for constipation.

— Infusion of black cumin has a laxative effect due to increased intestinal motility, increases the secretion of bile and gastric juice, reduces flatulence. It is often used for weak bowel function – atony, – says endocrinologist Inga Alikhanyan .

Black cumin helps with colds by strengthening the immune system and provoking an expectorant effect, which allows you to quickly remove mucus and make breathing easier. Aromatherapy with cumin oil helps with bronchitis and also calms the nervous system.

Black cumin will not interfere with nervous disorders, accompanied by decreased appetite and constipation. This plant will reduce the symptoms of stress and help digestion.

In cosmetology, black cumin essential oil is used to relieve inflammation on the skin. It is often added to massage oils and masks. Oil stimulates hair growth, reduces dryness of the scalp.

The use of black cumin in cooking

Black cumin has a peculiar bitter-spicy aroma that is suitable for main dishes, desserts and pastries, marinades. And cumin oil is used as a dressing for salads and side dishes, honey is often added to it. Black cumin can also be found ground and used as a seasoning for various dishes.

Cabbage pie with caraway seeds

A hearty pie can also replace a full meal if served, for example, with a vegetable salad. Kale can be eaten hot or cold

Photo: pixabay.com


Instant dry yeast 4 teaspoons Water 1 cup Eggs 1 piece Butter 100 g Black cumin 2-3 teaspoons 900 17 Sugar, salt to taste


Mix yeast with flour, add salt and sugar. Butter is best kept in the freezer – then it is easier to grate it. Pour the crushed butter into flour and grind with your hands into crumbs, then break the egg into the same place and add water. The amount must be adjusted so that the dough is plastic, but not sticky to the hands. Leave the dough for half an hour in the refrigerator under the film.

Let’s prepare the filling: first you need to peel and chop the onion, fry it in oil. Then add the cabbage cut into strips, spices, mix and simmer under the lid for about 15 minutes. At the end, add tomato paste, herbs and mix everything.

Take out the dough. It needs to be divided into two parts, one of which is slightly larger than the second. Roll out a large piece to a thickness of 0.5 cm and place in a greased form, forming sides. Spread cooled filling on top.

Roll out a smaller piece of dough to the same thickness, and cover the filling from above, pinch the edges. Poke holes all over the pie with a fork. You can brush it with egg yolk. Decorate the cake with black cumin seeds and put in an oven preheated to 180 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Marinated Beetroot Salad with Cumin

An unusual serving of the usual beetroot is a pleasant diversification for lunch or dinner. You can use any pickled cheese – cheese, mozzarella, whichever you like more

Photo: pixabay.com

9 0021

90 021

Boiled beets 1 piece
Basil, arugula, parsley small bunch
Pickled cheese 70 gr
Olive oil 2 tbsp . spoons
Lemon juice 2 tsp. 0018

1 st. spoon
Salt to taste
Walnuts 50 gr
Black cumin 1 teaspoon

Peel the beets and cut them into large cubes or wedges. Prepare marinade: mix honey, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil. If the cheese is salty, then you can not add salt separately. Marinate the beets in the mixture for 5 minutes.

Cut the cheese into large cubes and chop the nuts into pieces. Chop the greens with your hands not too finely, parsley can be chopped, put everything on a dish.

Share your recipe

Send your signature dish recipe to [email protected] . “Komsomolskaya Pravda” will publish the most interesting and unusual ideas

Mix beets, cheese, nuts and put on top of the greens, sprinkled with black cumin seeds or ground seasoning.

How to choose and store black cumin

When choosing, pay attention to the aroma – cumin has a pronounced sweet-spicy smell. If the spice almost does not smell, it means that the seeds were stored for too long or the storage conditions were violated, so the seasoning “exhausted”. The size of the grains should be about the size of black peppercorns, the color should be black. Ground cumin is stored less and loses flavor faster.

Black cumin can be found in pharmacies and the spice section of stores. It is desirable that the packaging is airtight.

Cumin seeds are stored at room temperature in a dark place, the container must be sealed so that the spices do not lose their flavor and do not absorb other odors. A glass or ceramic jar works well. In this form, black cumin lasts up to two years.

Popular Questions and Answers

We answer readers’ frequently asked questions about this useful seasoning.

How to drink black cumin?

Black cumin can be taken in two ways: by chewing the seeds (for example, by adding them to food) or by drinking the oil. The remedy is usually taken after meals. The course of admission, as a rule, lasts several months, after which you need to take a break. For more precise recommendations, you should consult a doctor.

What are the contraindications for using black cumin?

Black cumin is a wonderful medicinal plant, but it also has a contraindication. It is not recommended to take the remedy for pregnant women: the substances contained in cumin can stimulate contractions and labor. There may also be individual intolerance to the plant.

Which is better to take: black cumin seeds or oil?

Although the active ingredients of black cumin seed and oil are the same, the effect may differ. Amino acids, thymoquinone and other organic compounds are better absorbed from seeds. And if you need to get as many vitamins, phospholipids and fatty acids as possible, take black cumin oil.


  1. Main results of phytochemical and pharmacological study of Nigella sativa. Rud N. K., Sampiev A. M., Davitavyan N. A. // Actual problems of medicine. 2013. URL: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/osnovnye-resultaty-fitohimicheskogoi-farmakologicheskogo-issledovaniya-chernushki-posevnoy
  2. Nigella sowing and genitourinary system (literature review). Karomatov I. D., Akramova N. Sh. // Biology and Integrative Medicine. 2019. URL: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/chernushka-posevnaya-i-mochepolovaya-sistema-obzor-literatury
  3. Information of Abuali ibn Sino about the medicinal properties of black cumin. Nuraliev Yu. N., Rakhmonov R. A., Ganieva M. T., Nuraliev L. Yu. // Bulletin of Avicenna. 2020. URL: https://cyberleninka. ru/article/n/svedeniya-abuali-ibni-sino-o-lechebnyh-svoystvah-chernushki-posevnoy

How we are treated: black cumin oil

Medicine is it useful it is for diabetes, hypertension and obesity, what is better for therapy – powder or oil, what vitamins and other valuable ingredients are contained in this plant and why “test cure” cannot be taken as evidence of the effectiveness of the drug, read in the new material of the heading “Than us are being treated.”

Sometimes a well-known plant or even a spice brushes off the dust of centuries or turns out to be at the peak of popularity among lovers of traditional medicine. We have talked about such examples more than once: turmeric, breast preparations or oak bark. Some of them, after a thorough check, end up in official medicine. Does the same fate await black cumin oil, which is now sold as a means to improve immunity (which is especially important in a pandemic), hormonal balance, good for the skin, cardiovascular system and against allergies?

Medicine for Mohammed and Tutankhamun

The generic name of black cumin, or black cumin, Nigella , is formed as a diminutive of niger (black). Species sativa means “cultivated” because cumin has been cultivated so long ago that there is even mention of its sowing in the Old Testament. Its traces were also found in ancient Egyptian burials. If you believe the publicity of the plant even in those days, I would like to lean towards the version of the violent death of Tutankhamun: he was too young, and there is black cumin in his tomb.

Muslims considered black cumin oil “a cure for all diseases except death” (such an opinion is attributed to the prophet Muhammad). Another name for black cumin, kalinji, comes from Arabic medical texts. It was also known in Mesopotamia: archaeological finds confirm that the locals used the plant in cooking and medicine as early as the 2nd millennium BC. Around the same time, a mixture of cumin with beeswax and propolis was found in a small vessel in the territory of modern Turkey. Cumin is mentioned in Ayurveda, the writings of the Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides, and other medical treatises of antiquity.

Now cumin oil is not considered a medicine, but as a means of traditional medicine it is not forgotten. There are stories in RuNet about how it changes the genetic code of cancer cells, fights bacteria and parasites and strengthens the immune system, improves digestion and causes smooth muscle contraction, saves from inflammation, stimulates hair growth, and in general does not do anything (and it also does principle rich in nutrients and useful components). But which of these properties are confirmed by science, and which remain in the field of folk mythology? Why is it clinically useful to use black seed oil? Its composition can help answer these questions.

From what, from what

Black cumin oil is a mixture of many components that have been studied together and separately. “The anti-inflammatory effect of the oil is also due to the presence of p-cymene and limonene; a mixture of eicosadienoic, eicosatrienoic and eicosenoic acids; triterpene saponins, namely sativosides, ”the authors of the Russian phytochemical review note (though it has articles on homeopathy in the sources). Antibacterial activity is also attributed to a number of components, including against Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae. For plant extracts, by the way, this is not surprising: it is beneficial for cumin itself to protect itself from microscopic enemies.

More than a hundred components of black cumin oil – saponins, alkaloids, sterols, antioxidants and essential oils (up to 2.5% of the amount of oil in the seeds). Among the alkaloids, two are even named after the Latin name for the plant, nigeldin and nigelcin. Black cumin contains proteins, vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber, which are responsible for the nutritional properties. So, the plant has a high content of iron, zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, niacin (B3), thiamine (B2), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9).

Cumin seeds contain 26-34% oil, most of which (64.6%) is linoleic acid and palmitic acid (20.4%). However, the most bioactive among this list is the main component – thymoquinone. He is credited with analgesic, anti-inflammatory and choleretic effects. The authors of international reviews also note that it can potentially help against neurological and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even infertility, protect against various infections (from viruses to parasites) and from the side effects of chemotherapy.

Listed (not)

The presence of beneficial compounds in a plant does not make it a medicine or even a good food supplement. This may not work for a variety of reasons. Thus, the components may be poorly absorbed by the body in the form in which they are contained in the plant, there may be too little of them in cumin oil to have a clinically significant effect, and other substances contained in it (for example, the same alkaloids that were “invented” plants as poisons so that animals do not eat them) can be too toxic in the amount necessary for the former to act. In addition, anti-inflammatory or antibacterial effects are often tested on cell cultures, and in fact the situation is much simpler in them than in the body (and even on its surface).

To shovel through all the thousands of scientific articles that describe the effects of black cumin and its components is not possible. Someone has already analyzed them before us, summarizing the findings of these works in reviews and meta-analyses. The Cochrane Collaboration did not dedicate its review to black seed oil, but many other reviews of studies on the effects of this plant can be found. True, these data should be treated with a fair amount of skepticism (and you will also have to look into the mentioned articles themselves): sometimes, in low-quality reviews, the authors misrepresent the content of the analyzed articles for the sake of their own goals. But for lack of a better one, we will look at what the PubMed database of medical articles offers us.

The Cochrane Library is a database of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international non-profit organization involved in the development of World Health Organization guidelines. The name of the organization comes from the name of its founder, the 20th-century Scottish medical scientist Archibald Cochrane, who championed the need for evidence-based medicine and the conduct of competent clinical trials and wrote the book Efficiency and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Public Health. Medical scientists and pharmacists consider the Cochrane Database one of the most authoritative sources of such information: the publications included in it have been selected according to the standards of evidence-based medicine and report the results of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials.



Firstly, in a number of reviews, black cumin is presented as a valiant fighter against obesity. Iranian scientists believe that its oil reduces waist circumference and body mass index compared to the placebo group, but there are very few good quality clinical trials, so the results are recommended to be treated with caution (although no serious side effects were described in the 11 studies reviewed for 2018 ). They described the effect as “moderate” (for example, the waist circumference of patients decreased by an average of 3.52 cm). But the authors of another review published in the same year by other Iranian scientists, on the contrary, called the effect on waist circumference insignificant (in five of the 13 studies reviewed, it was not achieved at all). They also emphasized the effect of cumin supplementation on body weight and its index. Both journals where the reviews were published are little known, are devoted to a narrow topic of folk phytopharmacology and have a small impact factor (this in itself does not mean that the articles in them are fundamentally unworthy of attention, but it does not add credibility either). Consistent with these results and a larger review 279studies on the treatment of obesity with herbal nutritional supplements.

Impact factor is an indicator that reflects the frequency of citation of scientific journal articles over a certain period (usually two years). For example, for one of the largest medical journals The Lancet, the impact factor is about 53, and on average for good journals it is 4.



i.e. non-insulin dependent). So, studies have been conducted on how cumin oil maintains the level of glucose and lipids (fat-like substances) in the blood serum compared with placebo or standard methods. The results, although very preliminary, are called promising. Not all of the studies reviewed (and there were less than ten) agreed on the size of the effect, and the authors decided that the reason for this was the different form of use of cumin – powder or oil, which is most likely more effective. In another review on the effect of cumin on tests in type 2 diabetes, the authors of which found 875 articles on the topic, were able to include only seven articles. Such an example clearly shows the quality of cumin research: yes, many of them really did not fit simply because of the imperfection of the computer search algorithm, but it is alarming that less than every hundredth work meets the slightest criteria. But many authors of such reviews do not even require blinding.

Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled method is a method of clinical drug research in which subjects are not privy to important details of the study being conducted. “Double-blind” means that neither the subjects nor the experimenters know who is being treated with what, “randomized” means that the distribution into groups is random, and placebo is used to show that the effect of the drug is not based on autosuggestion and that this medicine helps better than a tablet without active substance. This method prevents subjective distortion of the results. Sometimes the control group is given another drug with already proven efficacy, rather than a placebo, to show that the drug not only treats better than nothing, but also outperforms analogues.



A more recent 2019 review also focuses on the effect of cumin on the glycemic status of patients. So far, 17 randomized controlled trials have been evaluated. The conclusion is consistent with previous work: the level of glucose in the blood from black cumin oil decreases (moreover, more than from the powder). However, the authors concluded, more high-quality and long-term studies are needed to understand the mechanism, the desired dosage and duration, and the long-term consequences of the use of cumin oil (that is, in order for it to be recommended as a medicine).

Thirdly, there is evidence that black seed oil lowers blood pressure by an average of seven points systolic (the number that is larger) and five points diastolic (the number that is smaller) with short-term use. The long-term effects and dosage are again unclear (even the dose does not seem to affect the effect much), but, as in most studies, no serious side effects were found.

Indicator.Ru summarizes: cumin has not grown to medicine yet

Black cumin has some effect on the balance of insulin and blood glucose, making it a potential drug for patients with type II diabetes. However, the strength of this effect varies, including depending on the form of application. The situation is the same with lowering blood pressure, combating asthma and allergy symptoms (here, for example, in animals, an effect was found on the long-suffering histamine, which is often mentioned in our articles on the topic), metabolic syndrome, as well as the treatment of steatohepatitis. So far, these topics have not been studied very extensively – less than a dozen double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on each of them have been published. Other areas – the treatment of cancer (against various oncological diseases, they have not been studied at all) and infertility, getting rid of kidney stones, stimulating the immune system, using it as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic, and many others – are still in the bud: work on cells and on animals.

But even in more well-studied topics, very few reviews address the clinical significance of the findings. Attention is drawn only to the numerical values ​​of the analyzes, which can be individual. But the “treat analyzes” approach (at the opposite extreme of the equally harmful all-encompassing subjectivity, in which the patient’s personal feelings play a decisive role) is considered a vicious practice in medicine. The fact is that the same values ​​​​can be dangerous for one person, and not cause even the slightest discomfort for another.

So it’s not yet clear if cumin will make more than a dietary supplement that actually has no noticeable effect. The ideal option would be to isolate the components responsible for a specific action and create a drug based on them that can be easily dosed. So, for example, it happened with acetylsalicylic acid: the basis of the well-known Aspirin was once known only as a component of willow bark. As always with vegetable raw materials, with cumin there is a danger of not guessing this dosage: the content of various substances will vary depending on the growing conditions.