Black Seed Research Data

Research from around the world is producing increasing supportive documentation regarding Black Seed's vast healing properties. Due to its amazing effect on the immune system, Black Seed aids and supplements the body's own ability to heal.

The Cancer Immune-Biology Laboratory of South Carolina published results on a study they did on Black Seed.  It stated "Black Cumin Oil (Black Seed) generally helps stimulate the production of bone marrow and cells of the immune system.  It increases the production of interferon, protects normal cells from the damaging effects of viral disease, destroys tumor cells and increases the number of antibody producing B cells.

The effects of Black Cumin Oil on humans were recently also studied in Germany. A Munich immunologist, Dr. Peter Schleicher, closely co-operated with institutions in the United States and has, as a result, written two books on the subject containing numerous recipes for the treatment of a wide variety of ailments. Most of them are skin disorders or allergy related conditions, like asthma and hay fever and are far too numerous to be listed here.

One book, Black Cumin: Magical Egyptian Herb by Peter Schleicher, M.D., and Mohamed Saleh, M.D. explores the extraordinary effectiveness of black cumin against immune-system disorders, allergies, asthma, and skin problems.
This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the healing properties of this incredible plant. It contains everything you need to know in order to use black seed for the prevention and treatment of illness, including specific recipes for infections and allergies, and precise directions for their preparation. The authors even provide a section on the use of black seed as a beauty aid and as a culinary staple.

Protective effect of black seed oil from Nigella sativa against murine cytomegalovirus infection

Mohamed Labib Salem a,and Mohammad Sohrab Hossainb
a Department of Immunology, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan and  Center for AIDS Research, Division of Virology, Kumamoto University, Kohonji, Japan

Received 19 November 1999; accepted 20 April 2000. Available online 6 July 2000.


In this study, antiviral effect of black seed oil (BSO) from Nigella sativa was investigated using murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) as a model. The viral load and innate immunity mediated by NK cells and Msmall phi, Greek during early stage of the infection were analyzed. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of BSO to BALB/c mice, a susceptible strain of MCMV infection, strikingly inhibited the virus titers in spleen and liver on day 3 of infection with 1×105 PFU MCMV. This effect coincided with an increase in serum level of IFN-γ. Although BSO treatment decreased both number and cytolytic function of NK cells on day 3 of infection, it increased numbers of Msmall phi, Greek and CD4+ T cells. On day 10 of infection, the virus titer was undetectable in spleen and liver of BSO-treated mice, while it was detectable in control mice. Although spleen of both control and BSO-treated mice showed similar CTL activities on day 10 after infection, serum level of IFN-γ in BSO-treated mice was higher. Furthermore, BSO treatment upregulated suppressor function of Msmall phi, Greek in spleen. These results show that BSO exhibited a striking antiviral effect against MCMV infection which may be mediated by increasing of Msmall phi, Greek number and function, and IFN-γ production.

Author Keywords: Black seed oil; Nigella sativa; Cytomegalovirus; NK cells; Macrophages; Cytotoxic T lymphocytes; IFN-γ

doi:10.1016/S0192-0561(00)00036-9    How to Cite or Link Using DOI (Opens New Window)  
Copyright © 2000 International Society for Immunopharmacology. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

The effect of Nigella sativa oil against experimental allergic encephalomyelitis via nitric oxide and other oxidative stress parameters.

Ozugurlu F, Sahin S, Idiz N, Akyol O, Ilhan A, Yigitoglu R, Isik B.

Department of Biochemistry, Gaziosmanpasa University Medical Faculty, Tokat, Turkey.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) including nitric oxide (NO) are thought to be involved in inflammatory processes, exacerbating inflammation and tissue damage in multiple sclerosis (MS). The oil extracts of Nigella sativa (N. sativa) has been known as an antioxidant and antiinflammatory agent. The aim of the present study was to investigate the hypothesis that N. sativa components provide protection against oxidative stress induced by experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in rats. For this purpose, EAE was induced in rats by using guinea pig myelin basic protein (MBP) in Freud's adjuvant with addition of heat-killed M. Tuberculosis H37Ra to test this hypothesis. In study groups, N. sativa was given by oral gavage to the rats. Treatment of the rats with N. sativa inhibited ROS production induced by EAE showing diminished levels of MDA of both brain and medulla spinalis tissues. Although there was a significant decrease in brain NO level, there was an increase in medulla spinalis NO level after EAE induction in rats. N. sativa regulated tissue NO levels in some extend when applied together with EAE. When N. sativa was given alone to the rats, no changes were shown in brain, medulla spinalis, and serum oxidant/antioxidant parameters. In conclusion, N sativa may protect brain and medulla spinalis tissues against oxidative stress induced by EAE. In addition, N. sativa display its antioxidant and regulatory effects via inflammatory cells rather than the host tissue (brain and medulla spinalis) for EAE in rats.

The results of this research were presented at the 5th World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology in Vienna in August 2004 and have been published as an Abstract in the Special Congress Issue, Supplement to the Journal of Veterinary Dermatology, vol. 15, 2004.



An article by Hans Wagner

Recently scientists around the world have confirmed the anti-bacterial and anti-mycotic effects of black seed oil. Health practitioners in various countries around the world are using the oil against inflamation of all sorts as well as fungi infections. Even a remarkable reduction of blood sugar levels has been found by scientists. Black Seed extracts have been found help tostimulate bone marrow and immune cells, so writes the scientists of the Cancer Immuno-Biology Laboratory and adding that it raises the interferon production, protects normal cells against cell destroying effects of viruses, destroys tumour cells and raises the number of anti-bodies producing B cells.

All these functions make the Black Seed oil the ideal candidate for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Scientists are now busy finding the effects of the Black Seed oil in regard to various other human health conditions. Dr.Med.Peter Schleicher, an immunologist, in Munich who in 1986 happened to be nominated the youngest member of the World Academy of Scientists, examined black seed oil in his institute to find new therapies for chronic illness and its effect. His findings are identical to those in previous studies by earlier researchers. Schleicher says, by using Black Seed oil, valuable unsaturated fatty acids, for example Linoleic and Gammalinolen acids, get into the organism. By that it is possible to reach a synthesis of important immune regulating substances derived from Prostaglandin E1. Linoleic acid stabilizes the cell membranes and Prostaglandin has the effect of inhibiting inflamation. By that the immune reactions are stopped which cause the illnesses and which otherwise could be the start of many many chronic illnesses like acne and hayfever right up to cancer. In addition, the excessive T-cell function of the person suffering from allergies are stabilized through the substance in black seed oil and the abnormally rising immune reactions through supressed anti-bodies. The excessive immune system is normalized and the large cell degranulation decreased.

Studies also testify that an immune system which has gone wrong can again be regulated by the strong effect of the oil. Schleicher, meanwhile, has tested the effect of the oil on 600 patients. As a result he confirms the cure for allergies at about 70% of the patients. Amongst them are allergies against pollen and dust, acne and neuro-dermatological illnesses, asthma patients, etc.. who generally have a weak resistence and are prone to suffer from infections. For that reason Dr.Schleicher in Munich is going to include the oil with his preventative treatment against colds and influenza.

In the Middle East and South Asia, this oil has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for all sorts of allergies, inflamation and menstruation problems, boosting moral, depression; but especially against bronchitis, asthma and neuro-dermatitis as well as poor digestion and even impotency. The Prophet Mohammad (s) stated in his "Hadith" that black seed oil cures every illness except death. No wander then that a little bottle of the oil was even found in the tomb of the legedary Pharoah Tutankhamen..!

In the West the effect of the oil has been used for a long time against wind, dysentry, stomach and lungdisease, jaundice, diuretic problems and to increase nursing mother's milk. Due to the triumphant advancesin chemistry the oil has been forgotten until recently. According to Dr. Schleicher the reason why this oil is so exceptional is that its component parts act in unison to produce an optimum effect for so many complaints. But one has to make sure that only the pure and tested oil is being used.

Schleicher's colleagues have reacted very positively after the publication about his success with patients who haveused the oil. Professor G. Rietmuller, Director of Institute for immunology at the University of Munich believes that this plant extract works positively on the immune system and could be used as a bio-regulator. Professor Michael Meurer of the Dermatology Clinic in Munich has for a long time been convinced about the success of this oil. From his experience the oil help stop inflamation and helps with neurodermitis.

At the International Cancer Congress in New Delhi last Autumn the anti-tumour effect of black cumin oil has been introduced to many scientists and doctors.

Translated from an article by Hans Wagner.

Anti Inflammatory and Anti Rheumatic

In 1960, Professor El-Dakhakny reported that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) oil has an anti-inflammatory effect and that it could be useful for relieving the effects of arthritis. In 2002, at the Alexandria Medical Faculty, Alexandria, Egypt (56) he also studied the effectiveness of nigellone and thymoquinone whereby his research partly explained the mode of action of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed)’s volatile oils in ameliorating inflammatory diseases.

In February 1995, doctors at King’s College London, U.K. investigated the use of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) oil for the treatment of rheumatism and inflammatory diseases. Their report concluded that Nigella Sativa does contain strong anti-rheumatic qualities and as such the oil can be used in the a treatment for rheumatism and related inflammatory diseases.

In 2001, doctors at the Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan, investigated the uses of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) for its Bronchodilator and spasmolytic qualities. Their studies concluded that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed)’s usefulness for diarrhoea and asthma in traditional medicine appeared to be based on a sound science.

Immune System Support – the Common Cold & Asthma

As a natural remedy, Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) oil as been used for the treatment and prevention of common cold and asthma.
In 1986, Drs El-Kadi and Kandil at I.I.M.E.R. Panama City, Florida, investigated the effect of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) on the immune system and studied the effect of 1g taken twice daily in human volunteers. They concluded that Nigella Sativa ” may be of great practical significance since a natural immune enhancer like the Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) could play an important role in the treatment of cancer, AIDS, and other disease conditions associated with immune deficiency states.”

These results were confirmed by a study published in the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal in 1993 by Dr. Basil Ali and his colleagues from the College of Medicine at King Faisal University.

Antibiotic effect

In 1997 researchers at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, conducted a study in which the antibacterial activity of the oil of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) was compared with five antibiotics: 1) ampicillin, 2) tetracycline, 3) cotrimoxazole, 4) gentamicin, and 5) nalidixic acid.

The Nigella sativa oil proved to be more effective against many strains of bacteria, including those known to be highly resistant to drugs. These included V. cholera, E. coli (a common infectious agent found in undercooked meats), and all strains of Shigella spp., except Shigella dysentriae. Most strains of Shigella have been shown to rapidly become resistant to commonly used antibiotics and chemotheraputic agents.

Dr. Haq in research on human volunteers at the Department of Biological and Medical Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia showed that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) enhanced the ratio between helper T-cells and suppresser T-cells by 55% with a 30% average enhancement of the natural killer cell activity. These results are effective enough to consider the oil being used in the treatment of AIDS and the findings of this paper caught the attention of the Archives of AIDS where they were duly published. These results also shed light on why Nigella Sativa Oil has been shown to be so effective in helping treat immune-related disorders including Psoriasis and Cancer.

Analgesic (Pain Relief)

In 2001 at the King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia, Dr Al-Ghamdi investigated Nigella Sativa (Black Seed)’s anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activities. He concluded “This study supports its (Nigella Sativa’s) use in folk medicine both as analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent and calls for further investigations to elucidate its mechanism of action.” The anti inflammatory effects were also supported by research in 2003 at the King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.


In 2005 at the King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia they studied the effects of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) in conjunction with the anti biotic oxytetracycline (OXT) in pigeons. (An antibiotic commonly used to treat infections of the respiratory and urinary tracts.) They concluded the addition of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) to the feed of pigeons acted as an immunoprotective agent when chronic administration of antibiotics are considered.

Respiratory System

In most Asian countries Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) and it’s oil are commonly used for the treatment of asthma. Nigellone (a carbonyl polymer of thymoquinone contained in the oil of Nigella Sativa) has proved to be an excellent prophylactic agent for both bronchial asthma and asthmatic bronchitis and has proved to be more effective in children than adults.

Anti Cancer

Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) is now being viewed by many oncologists as a serious herbal remedy to assist in the treatment of cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have granted 2 patents that involve Nigella Sativa oil for treating cancer, preventing the side effects of anti cancer chemotherapy, and for increasing the immune system functions in humans. U.S. Pat. No. 5,482,711 and 5,653,981.

At the Amala Cancer Research Centre, Kerala, India in 1991 studies indicated that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) oil has efficacy as a chemotherapeutic agent. In other studies, it was found that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) oil diminishes toxic side effects caused by several other chemotherapeutic drugs such as cisplatin and doxorubicin.

Tumor therapy

In 1997 at the Cancer Research Laboratory of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA, it was proven that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) oil had enormous success in tumor therapy without the negative side effects of common chemo-therapy.

They found that it increased the growth rate of bone marrow cells by a staggering 250% and it inhibited tumor growth by 50%. It stimulated immune cells and raised the interferon production which protect cells from the cell destroying effect of viruses.

They confirmed the strongly anti-bacterial and anti-mycotic effects and they also confirmed that Nigella Sativa has an effect in lowering the blood sugar level which is essential for the treatment of diabetes. The report stated that a healthy immune system will detect and destroy cancer cells before the cancer endangers the patient, and concluded that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) oil is an ideal candidate for use in cancer prevention and cure and that it has remarkable promises for clinical use.

Breast Cancer

In 2003 at the Jackson State University, USA, Doctors interested to investigate why Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) had been used for such a long time for the treatment of so many acute ailments studied Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) and its effectiveness in cancer prevention. They exposed breast cancer cells to Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) extracts. The breast cancer cells were inactivated and the doctors concluded that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) had promising results in the field of prevention and treatment of cancer.

Cancer of the Colon

In the same year Doctors at the Osaka City University Medical School in Japan investigated the use of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) for the treatment of cancer of the colon. Their studies deonstrated that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) oil inhibited the growth of cancer in the postinitiation stage.

In 2004 at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, thymoquinone extracted from Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) was investigated to see if it could terminate human colorectal cancer cells. Their studies revealed that thymoquinone has the potential for the treatment of colon cancer.

Anti Tumor Effects
In 1991 at the Amala Research Center in Amala Nagar, Kerala (India) studies confirmed the use of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) oil as an anti tumour agent. A second common type of cancer cells, Dalton’s lymphoma ascites (DLA) cells, were also used. Mice which had received the EAC cells and Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) remained normal without any tumour formation, illustrating that the active principle was 100% effective in preventing EAC tumour development.

Anti fungal & Anti bacterial effects in the treatment of Candida

In 2003 at the Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan, the anti fungal activity of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) was studied. Extracts from Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) were found to have a considerable inhibitory effect on the growth of the Candida in all organs. They concluded that aqueous extract of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) exhibited inhibitory effect against candidiasis and that the traditional use of the plant in fungal infections was valid.

In 2005, in the Pakistan Journal of Medical Science, a paper was published where the antibacterial and antifungal effects of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) were tested against standard and hospital strains of Candida albicans.nd Pseudomonas aeroginosa. They were also investigated and compared Nigella sativa with standard drugs ( clotrimazole – an anti-fungal ointment used to topically treat vaginal candidiasis and candida of the scrotum and anus, cloxacillin – a semisynthetic antibiotic in the same class as penicillin, and gentamicin – an antibiotic).

They concluded that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) extracts produce antimicrobial activity against a broad range of microbes and especially on multiple antibiotic resistant bacteria.


In 2002 at the Gifu University, Japan, studies concluded that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) may be of significant value to sufferers of Diabetes 2.  In1991 at the Kuwait University, the mechanism of action was studied for Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) in relation to Diabetes. The report concluded that extracts may prove to be a useful therapeutic agent in the treatment of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

In 2003 three faculties in Van, Turkey came together and confirmed that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) brought the lowered sugar level was brought back to the control level in diabetic rabbits. In 2004 at the Faculty of Medicine, Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Zonguldak, Turkey they tested the effects of Nigella sativa on diabetic rats. They concluded that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) treatment exerts a therapeutic protective effect in diabetes.


Hematological studies on Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) oil were made in 2001 at the Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Tokyo, Japan. They concluded that Nigella sativa exhibited more potent activity than aspirin, well known as a remedy for thrombosis.

Cestodes (worms) in children

In 1991 at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, the anticestodal effect of Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) was studied in children who had been naturally infected. They concluded that Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) contained active principles effective against these worms. In 2007, Abdulelah and Zainal-Abidin investigated the anti-malarial activities of different extracts of N.sativa seeds against P. berghei. Results indicated strong biocidal effects against the parasite. Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) was found to have an anthelmintic activity against tapeworm comparable tothat of piperazine. The pure essential oil showed activity against Monezia insheep comparable to niclosamide

A Novel Use Of Nigella Sativa On Hepatic Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

22 Sep 2008   

Hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury remains a significant problem for hepatic surgical procedures and also remains a limitation of liver transplantation. It is important to reduce ischemia reperfusion injury. Oxygen free radicals, produced on reperfusion, play a critical role in the injury caused by ischemia-reperfusion. Reactive oxygen radicals lead to an inflammatory response and tissue damage by activating various mediators. It can also directly damage cellular components. Various agents, such as antioxidants and antiinflammatories, have been investigated to reduce the injury. However, there is no study demonstrating the effects of Nigella sativa on liver tissue against ischemia reperfusion injury.

A research article published on September 7, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Assistant Prof Yildiz and his colleagues in Harran University Medical School (Sanli Urfa/ Turkey) investigated whether Nigella sativa, which have been described to have various therapeutic effects, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antihistaminic, antibacterial effects, protects the liver against the hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury.

In this experimental study rats underwent hepatic ischemia for 45 min followed by 60 min period of reperfusion. Rats were intraperitoneally infused with only 0.9% saline solution in the control group. Rats in the treatment group received NS (0.2 mL/kg) intraperitoneally, before ischemia and before reperfusion. Blood samples and liver tissues were harvested from the rats, and then the rats were sacrificed. Serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels were determined. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC), catalase (CAT), total oxidative status (TOS), oxidative stress index (OSI) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) in hepatic tissue were measured. Also, liver tissue histopathology was evaluated by light microscope.

The levels of liver enzymes in the treatment group were significantly lower than those in the control group (P < 0.01). TAC in liver tissue was significantly higher in the treatment group than in the control group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.05, respectively). TOS, OSI and MPO in hepatic tissue were significantly lower in the group 3 than the group 2 (P < 0.05 for all). Histological tissue damage was milder in the Nigella sativa treatment group than that in the control group. These results suggest that NS treatment protects the rat liver against to hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Nigella sativa has no side effects. Therefore, it may become a treatment choice in conditions which hepatic ischemia reperfusion is expected. However, further studies are required to establish its feasibility in clinical conditions.

In the present study, the authors investigated the effects of Nigella sativa, an annual flowering plant, on hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury. The late effects of Nigella sativa should be evaluated and survival experiments would be helpful.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release.

Reference: Yildiz F, Coban S, Terzi A, Ates M, Aksoy N, Cakir H, Ocak AR, Bitiren M. Nigella sativa relieves the deleterious effects of ischemia reperfusion injury on liver. World J Gastroenterol 2008; 14(33): 5204-5209

Correspondence to: Fahrettin Yildiz, Assistant Professor,Harran University Medical Faculty, Department of General Surgery, Sanliurfa 63300, Turkey.

Source: Lin Tian
World Journal of Gastroenterology