Health benefits of black seed oil The 21st century has been around for less than 20 years and it is already marked with stunning technological discoveries and scientific advances that are emerging in a never-before seen momentum. New technologies are spreading through all domains of our environment.
They are implemented in every day communication, economy, science, agriculture, art, sports, and medicine.Modern medicine is overwhelmed with advanced high-tech innovations, some of them have made possible the diagnosis and treatment of never before curable diseases.
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable and is constantly investing money in new drug research. This industry reaches a stunning number that is measured in trillions of dollars annually. It is drowning us with an ocean of pills, tablets, capsules, injections, and vaccines.
Despite all the therapeutic accomplishments of today’s health related sciences, a large portion of pharmaceutical agents are based on simple, centuries-old, almost ancient principles. Something that has turned out to be good and successful does not need to be changed, right?
The smothering burden of synthetic drugs and artificial chemicals are the reason why more and more people seek the healing properties of traditional remedies. Long ago established natural substances, mostly herbal or animal derived, have shown success in different aspects
WHY IS BLACK SEED OIL SO VALUABLE?
The use of black seed oil for therapeutic value can be traced back thousands of years. In an Arabic approbation, black seed has been referred to as ‘seed of blessing. Our ancestors believed that black seed is a blessed ingredient provided by nature, and possesses magical powers to prevent every disease, except death. In folk medicine, black seed oil is used in several therapeutic remedies, including ruminative, antithetical, catalogues, diuretics, anti-hypertensive, muscle relaxants, and an immunity enhancer in immune-compromised people. Several studies conducted on black seed oil has continued to confirm our ancestor’s beliefs.
Modem natural medicinal ingredients provide strong properties of black seed. However, black seed is not a rare spice; they are a common kitchen ingredient that can be added in different food preparations as a flavor enhancer and garnish. The actual benefit of adding black seed in food preparation can reduce the risk of flatulence.
Scientifically, black seed is known as Nigella saliva, which belongs to the Ranunculaceae family.
Native places of origin for this plant are extended to the Mediterranean and Western Asian regions . Black seed is triangular, shaped seeds having oil follicles containing puffy capsules. Alternative Medicinal system stated the benefits of black seed is entirely due to the oil extracted from the seed . A unique bitter and pungent taste of this seed oil is due to the presence of different phytochemicals in it.
Phytochemicals are a natural chemical present in medicinal plants or plant parts, responsible for therapeutic benefits of that particular herbal source. There have been several studies performed to explore the composition of black seed oil; includes essential oil, alkaloid, sapping, fixed oil, and protein substances. However, there are several other extensive research reports that detail the chemical composition of each constituent .
The essential oil composition of black seed contains different phytochernicals like Thymoquinone (TQ), thymohydroquinone (THQ), dithymoquinone, thymol, a and B-prince, carvacrol, d-citronellol, d-limonene, p-cymene, longifoline, t-anethole, and 4-terpineol. Among these different essential oil ingredients, almost 54% contains thymoquinone, which is a unique quinone derivative and possesses maximum therapeutic benefits of black seed oil
However, other chemical constituents in combination or alone, also possess several health benefits. There are different pharmacological research papers that mention antihistamine, hypoglycemic, anti hypertensive, anti fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer activity of black seed oil; even the application of black seed oil on skin provides relief from dermatitis.
The increasing awareness of health benefits of black seed oil and to fulfill the demand of food industries in several countries cultivating black seed herb, including North Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. It has been noticed that the quality of the black seed oil varies depending upon the origin of black seed, ago-specific, and extraction process of black seed oil. The mentioned factors are responsible for variation of chemical composition of the extracted oil, as well as the nutrient composition of black seed oil. It is necessary to mention that along with unique petrochemicals present in black seed, different macro nutrients such as carbohydrate, protein, fat, essential amino acids, and fiber content along with micro-nutrients like vitamins, and minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, sodium, potassium, are also present in black seed oil . Carotene content in black seed converts to vitamin A through metabolism process of seed converts to vitamin A through metabolism process of the liver. The soil-richness and biodiversity are directly accountable to produce nutrient rich black seed . However, very limited information are available about the black seed agricultural details.