Photo:Vera Livchak/Getty Images
Over the centuries, many of nature's seeds have proved their beneficial healing powers. However, given the recent rise and resurgence of natural healing and remedies, it's no surprise that black seed oil is being viewed again as a powerful ingredient to be incorporated into our daily lives.
Black seed oil comes from the seeds of a plant, nigella sativa, that is native to Southern Europe, North Africa, and Southwest Asia and is also cultivated in the Middle East. You might have heard of this powerhouse seed by other monikers such as black caraway, black cumin, black onion seed, and kalonji. People have used this ingredient for its healing powers and benefits. It can be ingested, used in culinary dishes (talk about Top Chef level!), or applied topically.
Keep reading to learn about black seed and its oil's benefits.
1. Maintains Skin Health
Because of its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities, black seed oil can treat acne, scarring, eczema, psoriasis, infections, and skin irritation. "It's also super rich in omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, making it profoundly nourishing on a cellular level," says Jenna Levine, the founder of Linné, who is certified in California native plant botany and herbal medicine. "These oils, along with an impressive vitamin and mineral profile, allow black cumin to both repair and regenerate the skin."
2. Aids in Digestion
3. Boosts Immunity
Because of the antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties of black seed oil, ingesting it can help boost the immune system and aid the body's defense mechanisms.
4. Protects Against Cancer and Diabetes
How to Buy and Use Black Seed Oil
"Though it is widely used and generally considered safe, there have been reports of skin allergies and possible kidney issues with black seed oil use, so just make sure to take notice of any unusual side effects when you begin to use this just-short-of-magical oil," warns Serena Poon, chef, nutritionist, Reiki master, and founder of the Culinary Alchemy program.
Photo:Milena Khosroshvili/Getty Images
"In the kitchen, black seed oil can be used in combination with other oils and spices to make curry bases, pickling vinegars, and salad dressings," adds Poon. It has a slightly bitter taste that is a combination of onions, black pepper, and oregano. An Indian spice blend called panch phoron is made with black seed and other complementary flavors, including fenugreek seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed, and fennel seed—they're all fragrant spices supercharged with medicinal benefits.
"Whenever you purchase an essential oil or supplement, it is always important to do a little research on the company that you are purchasing from and the quality of the product," Poon advises. "Look for certified organic [seals] and brands that also have a commitment to supporting their farmers."
Take a look at some black seed oil products below.
This serum goes deep into the skin to treat and prevent pimples. Mix two to three drops into your daily moisturizer or cream or use it as a spot treatment.
This black seed oil is cold-pressed and unrefined. It's recommended to take a teaspoonful twice daily.
Restore your skin's natural barrier with this face oil. In addition to nigella sativa, it contains blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry, and broccoli seed oils.
Black seed oil also comes in capsule form. These supplements deliver 1250mg per serving.
There's also black seed oil in this milky cleanser. It works well at removing makeup.