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Black cumin: traditional remedy and superfood

Black cumin (botanical name: Nigella sativa) has been used in the Orient for over 3000 years. The traditional household remedy is used for numerous ailments and is even said to fight cancer. But can this also be proven by scientific studies? In today's blog post, you can find out more about the therapeutic potential of this (miracle) plant.

Table of contents:

  1. Black cumin: a natural alternative to chemical medicines?
  2. Help with gastrointestinal complaints
  3. Antispasmodic and antimicrobial
  4. Inhibits inflammation
  5. Strengthens the immune system

Nigella sativa is botanically part of the buttercup family. The plant is therefore not related to the caraway or cumin we are familiar with. In oriental culture, black cumin is mainly used in the form of oil or seeds. It is not only used as a natural remedy, but is also often used as a spice. This is why it is also known as "bread root" in Germany.

Black cumin seeds contain over 100 ingredients. The best-known and best-studied are the essential oils thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone. Thymoquinone, for example, is known for its antioxidant effect. Scientists have also found that thymoquinone can lower blood pressure.

Black cumin: a natural alternative to chemical medicines

Black cumin was already used as a medicinal plant in ancient Egypt. The Islamic prophet Mohammed said of Nigella sativa: "Black cumin cures every disease except death." The plant has also become increasingly popular in recent times. Whether used internally or externally, as oil or seeds: Black cumin has a supportive effect on numerous health complaints. However, it is not yet clear exactly how the plant works. Studies are often limited to results from isolated cell/bacterial cultures or animal experiments.

However, the positive conclusion of the studies is supported by field reports and observational studies. Another factor that speaks in favour of using black cumin: unlike many medicines, there is no need to fear any dangerous side effects. During pregnancy, however, it is generally not advisable to take it, as the essential oils it contains can have a labour-promoting effect.

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Help with gastrointestinal complaints

In addition to the essential oils already mentioned, black cumin seeds also contain the omega-3 fatty acid linolenic acid, all essential amino acids as well as calcium, iron, sodium and potassium. Other typical ingredients include nigellone, which has an antimicrobial effect, and the saponin melanthin, which has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Antispasmodic and antimicrobial

Because of this antispasmodic effect, black cumin is used in particular for digestive complaints such as abdominal cramps and bloating. Our Venting capsulesGastrointestinal capsules therefore contain black cumin extract as well as other medicinal plants. You can find out more about our deflator in our blog post Say goodbye to bloating with our "deflator".

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In addition, the plant is characterised by antimicrobial properties and can also help with bacterial and fungal infections. Infections with Heliobacter pylori are particularly common. These manifest themselves in gastric diseases such as gastritis or even gastric ulcers. Salem et al. showed in a study that black cumin seeds have a comparable antibacterial effect against Heliobacter pylori (in vitro) as antibiotic therapy. Major advantage: unlike antibiotics, the bacterium cannot develop resistance to black cumin. Incidentally, black cumin intake is also said to be helpful for intestinal fungi.

Inhibits inflammation

If you suffer from inflammatory diseases, you will also benefit from taking black cumin seeds. The thymoquinone it contains prevents the formation of eicosanoids. These endogenous hormone-like substances trigger pro-inflammatory processes in the body.

In a study of 40 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, taking 500 g of black cumin oil twice a day brought about a clear improvement. Compared to the placebo group, joint swelling and morning stiffness decreased by over 40%.

Strengthening for the immune system

The list of applications is long: in addition to the ailments and diseases already mentioned, black cumin also has positive effects on cold and skin diseases (neurodermatitis, psoriasis, acne), asthma, allergies, migraines and fungal infections. This is presumably due to a strengthening of the immune system, among other things. The support provided by Nigella sativa to the body's defences also helps the body in the fight against cancer. Numerous (in vitro) studies show a positive effect on various types of cancer. In one study, for example, black cumin extract was able to inhibit the growth of isolated tumour cells. It is assumed that - in addition to the positive effect on the immune system - the antioxidant effect of thymoquinone is responsible for this.

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