Black Seed Oil Uses & Benefits

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Black seed oil benefits
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » Black Seed Oil Uses & Benefits

There are so many simple natural remedies with a long history of use that have been largely forgotten in modern times. From the health-promoting (and hair-growing) properties of castor oil to the natural remedy uses for apple cider vinegar, remedies found in nature have an important place in maintaining health. One of those is black seed oil.

With all the wonderful advances in medicine and hygiene, a lot of these remedies have been pushed aside. Certainly, there is a time and a place for medicine, but research is now helping us understand the mechanism of these natural remedies that previous generations have depended on for so long.

Many doctors, especially functional medicine and naturopathic doctors, are finding success in combining conventional medical treatments with natural ways to support the body. One of these age-old remedies gaining popularity is black seed oil or Nigella sativa.

What Is Black Seed Oil?

Black seed oil (also often called black cumin seed oil, black coriander oil, or simply black oil) comes from the Nigella sativa plant that is native to Asia. Studies on this incredibly powerful seed oil show it may be helpful in combating superbugs like MRSA or h.pylori and even has helped some cancer patients.

The plant is technically part of the buttercup family and has small, black, crescent-shaped seeds. Historical accounts of black seed use date back as far as the times of King Tut in ancient Egypt. Cleopatra reportedly used black cumin seed oil for beautiful hair and skin, and Hippocrates was fond of using it for digestive troubles.

There are now over 600 studies showing the effects of black cumin seed oil and there is promising research on it use for dealing with autoimmune disease (which is why I’ve been experimenting with it).

Two of its active compounds, crystalline nigellone and thymoquinone, are the most studied, but it also contains myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, proteins, and vitamins B1, B2,B3, calcium, folate, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorous.

Uses & Benefits of Black Seed Oil

Studies have also shown that black seed oil can be useful for:

Asthma & Allergies

Multiple studies have found that black seed oil has anti-asthmatic effects and depending on the cause of asthma, it was sometimes more effective than conventional treatment. The same properties make it beneficial for relieving allergies for many people.

Eczema and Psoriasis

Black seed oil is also used for skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. It helps soothe inflammation and improve the speed and which skin heals.


Nigella sativa seeds are carminative, meaning they aid in digestion and may decrease gas, bloating, and stomach pain. Black seed oil is often sometimes used in remedies for intestinal parasites. In preliminary studies, it was also shown to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells with no negative side effects.

Candida and Fungus

Black seed oil was also shown to be helpful in battling candida and fungal infections in the digestive system and on the skin.


Black Cumin Seed Oil Benefits

Other studies have shown that a compound in black seeds and oil, thymoquinone, helps induce apoptosis (cell death) in leukemia cells. Other studies have shown this same effect in breast cancer cells, brain tumor cells, pancreatic cancer, cervical cancer, and even oral cancer cells and cavity-forming bacteria. Black seed oil is also sometimes recommended as a natural protection against some of the danger from radiation and used in conjunction with conventional treatments.

Heart Health

Thymoquinone in Nigella sativa seeds has also been shown to have a protective effect on the heart, promote healthy cholesterol levels and help normalize blood pressure.

MRSA and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)

A 2010 study found that black seed oil was effective for patients with h.pylori infections (without ulcers). Studies have also shown that black seed oil was effective against MRSA.

Immune Health

Nigella sativa is unique in its way of supporting the immune system. It contains the antioxidants, beneficial acids, and B-vitamins you would expect in a natural remedy, but has an additional benefit. Unlike herbs like elderberry or echinacea that require caution for those with autoimmune disease, black seeds seem to balance the immune system — increasing immune function but not encouraging immune reactions against the body’s healthy tissue.

It has been used in alternative HIV protocols for years and it is often recommended on various autoimmune disease forums (with testimonials from those it has helped). I first found research on black seed oil when researching my own autoimmune thyroid disease.

Skin and Hair

It is also used topically in some cultures to naturally soften, strengthen, and firm skin and help increase hair growth. Some studies even suggest that it may be a very useful remedy against scars and to prevent scar formation on wounds.

Problems With Seed Oils

There can be problems with any vegetable or seed oil, including black cumin seed oil if it isn’t extracted, processed, or packaged correctly. It can easily go rancid if any of these factors are not correct and it is also important that the oil is stored in a dark glass bottle (preferably miron glass).

How to Find Quality Black Seed Oil

Black cumin seed oil is the most absorbable and concentrated form, and from my research, the most effective way to consume black seeds. Ultimately, it is a food product, so make sure that whatever brand you use is high quality and free from harmful additives.

When doing your research, look for brands that are preferably:

  • organic
  • pure-pressed without chemical extraction
  • have no additives or diluting oils
  • protected from rancidity by high-quality light and air-protective glass

What I Use

I buy black seed oil only from Activation Products (also on Amazon) as they meet all of my criteria above. I’ve also personally called and interviewed the founders to make sure the oils met my standards.

How I Use Black Seed Oil

Using black seed oil is pretty simple. I take a teaspoon of the oil straight a couple times a day.

Since it’s also great for skin, I also often add it to my facial oil cleansing blend. I’ve also experimented with adding it to lotions and shampoos for extra detox.

Dosage, Side Effects, & Common Sense Warnings

Black cumin seed oil is an amazing food that has been used for thousands of years for its ability to support health naturally. That being said, it isn’t a panacea or a miracle drug, just a potent natural oil. It is considered safe for culinary use (or in similar amounts… I take no more than a few teaspoons a day).

As always, use common sense. Black seed oil is a food, but a nutritionally potent one. You wouldn’t drink a gallon of coconut oil or eat five pounds of liver in one sitting (I hope), so consume black seed oil as you would any food — in moderate and healthy amounts.

As always, please check with a doctor before taking this or any substance, especially if you have a medical condition or are pregnant/nursing.

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Ever heard of or used black seed oil? How do you like it? Share below!


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


280 responses to “Black Seed Oil Uses & Benefits”

  1. Katherine Avatar

    I bought the Black Cumin seeds from MRH, my questions are; are the seeds from MRH ok to use, how to use them, and how much should be used per day, is the amount per day spread out throughout the day?
    Thanks for your time

  2. KAREN Avatar

    I’ve used the one you mentioned and also the one from Tropical Traditions, both very good!

  3. Lesa Fox Avatar
    Lesa Fox

    The best black cumin seed oil I have found is by Andreas Seed Oil co. Its the only one that comes in ultraviolet miron glass bottles. I have had a bottle of Black Sesame Oil from Activation Products with a press date of 2011 and the oil is STILL good. Their oils are pressed and worth the money. An 8oz or 250ml bottle is around $69. You can find them online and on Amazon. You typically take 1 tsp a day. If you want it for rheumatic or autoimmune, I highly suggest you take it with a tablespoon of reputable Manuka Honey. Manuka Honey is medicinal, not for the flavor, although many like the flavor of it. When you mix the BSO oil with the Manuka, you have an auto-immune BOMB!!!! Its amazing and really does wonders. Manuka Honey is amazing to use for the face, wounds, burns, ulcers – you name it.

  4. Pat Avatar

    I was wondering if you were taking the black seed oil when you were pregnant or trying to conceive?

  5. Rabz Avatar

    Anyone tried black seed oil and cod liver oil same time or same day? Is it ok? Please someonr let me know asap

  6. Kirsten Avatar

    I have tried it and it tastes good but I’m not sure it’s worth the price. It’s an MLM, which inflates the price already, but I use Dr. Fitt’s BSO which is more potent for our needs and much less $.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Just wanted to clarify… the black seed oil I linked to in the post (from activation) is not an MLM and I don’t link to any MLMs on this website.

      1. Martin de Knegt Avatar
        Martin de Knegt

        I realy don’t understand why you should’nt link to an MLM-product wich is better than any BSO in the world…
        BSO is however very dangerous for pregnant women. It causes unwanted abortions when overdosed.

    2. Erica Avatar

      I didn’t think Dr Fitt was an MLM, I know he has wholesalers, he also sells in health food stores. I didn’t think MLMs did that. Just curious, cause I’d like to know. I just bought a bottle of it yesterday and saw it at my natural grocer. It’s pretty potent stuff and does not taste good at all. I chased it with a honey/lemon burts bees cough drop and that seemed to do the trick. Prob not the best chaser, but it’s what I had.

      1. Kirsten Avatar

        No, I had responded to the Rain Soul comment. They’re an MLM. Dr Fitt is not. Advice on taking his BSO. Put 1 T in a shot glass, add 1 T dark cherry juice. The last thing on your tongue is cherry juice and it wipes away the turpentine flavor. 🙂

  7. sulaiman Avatar

    does it help in remedying the problem of premature ejaculation, and low sex functionality in men?

  8. Teresa Avatar

    Do you know about the product Soul? By Rain Intl, is it of a high quality? They have black raspberry seed oil and Chardonnay grape seed oil in Soul too, also some natural flavor and cane juice.

    Thank you for your help and awesome blog.

  9. Dinah Avatar

    I ordered a bottle of Panaseeda, Black Cumin Seed Oil, three weeks ago. I started taking one teaspoon in am and one teaspoon in pm. My hair is healthier and not shedding as much as I had been. I am 56 years old and my period started today for the first time in five years. Yikes! I am assuming due to the black seed oil.

    1. Samara Avatar

      Woh thats cool. The oil has made me more energetic and healed a deep abdomial scar/wound after using for 3 days that was there for 4 months. I dont know if you getting your peiod is a good thing or bad thing lol but i guess a good sign that your hormones are being regulated which the oil also does

  10. Ginnie Avatar

    I have also read that it is used to prevent pregnancy–do you know anything about that use?

  11. odyseey Avatar

    Why do my bottle i ordered say andreas seed oil at the bottom instead of activation? Also what color is it suppose to be? Mine is like a brownish black color after i shook it.

  12. Debbie Burton Avatar
    Debbie Burton

    I just bought my first bottle of black seed oil because of the benefits I read it provided. However the taste and smell put me off ( it smells like a newly sharpened pencil) so to counter the taste I swallow a spoonful of peanut butter. It costs the mouth and throat so the BSO goes down much easier.

    1. Kirsten Avatar

      Also, try putting a T. BSO in a small cup/shot glass, add 2 T dark cherry/pomegranate juice. The oil floats so the juice is the last thing that hits your mouth and completely cuts the taste, plus the juice itself fights inflammation. Another method is putting the T. BSO with 1 T. Blackstrap molasses, small amount warm water and 1/2 t. cinnamon. Mix and drink. The molasses is great for iron, is great for pairing with the cinnamon in fighting blood sugar instability. Honey may be subbed for molasses but molasses is better for anyone with blood sugar issues. You’ll be killing even more critters this way and not feeding the yeast.

  13. Joshua Avatar

    Just to put it out there, because I see a lot of confusion by people when going to buy this product, what you are seeing in the picture above is NOT black cumin seed. It is black caraway seed, otherwise known botanically as nigella sativa. Black cumin seed is botanically known as bunium bulbocastanum. Black cumin has a smoky, rich kind of flavor, while black caraway has a bitterness to it. Black caraway is what is shown in the picture above, and it is what you want. I am just clarifying this because some people will go to a store that has both and buy the wrong thing.

  14. Abel Avatar

    This thing does wonders I mix one teaspoon of cumin seed oil with one glass of milk everyday and am starting to see changes in my chronic reflux disease hopefully it eliminates it once and for all.

  15. DRAM Avatar

    I reviewed the studies posted and am curious about one thing… how are you saying that black seed oil hosts all of these benefits but the studies use alcohol extracts? Can you clarify how an oil is the same as an alcohol extract. Some of the components that are extracted and deemed beneficial for health are only able to pulled out with alcohol, not oil. This post is somewhat misleading. Can you please clarify?

  16. Lola Avatar

    Hi! Could I ask MRH to put the BSO in the correct bottle? Do you think “The Blessed Seed ” is a good brand? I saw someone asked you about the company and you didn’t get a chance to answer them. Thank You, Lola

  17. theresa Avatar

    The best working that I would recommend are either oil of oregano or colloidal silver….research it and you’ll see. The plus is that they will not destroy the good bacteria.

  18. senga Avatar

    Hi I wonder if anyone can help. I have been diagnosed with CA-MRSA and have had 4 painful outbreaks since July, the most recent on my face, I have been on the strongest of antibiotics mixed by a microbiologist and it keeps returning, does anyone know or has had any experience eradicating this and how does black seed work, what is the difference in seed, oil, how do I use it and where do I buy it, I contracted this after my hysterectomy last year, I am 48 and live in the UK, any help would be good as I am at my wits end, I also have read that MRSA lives off sugar? Senga

    1. Ben Avatar

      This is a reply to Senga regarding mrsa. Hopefully i’m posting it correctly as to avoid any confusion.
      Hi Senga, maybe I can help. I had a staph infection for over 3 months in Guatemala a few years ago. I was determined to treat it naturally and finally succeeded. I don’t know what “type” of staph infection it was. It may or may not have been mrsa. I never went to a doctor. The outbreaks were like volcano shaped sores that would erupt with puss. I stayed away from sugar and bread. Ate a lot of avocados, tumeric and what finally did it was eating coconut oil (i probably ate 2 tblspns per meal) and also applying coconut oil to the outbreaks. I had 20 something open sores in various places on my body. I still have scars from some of them. After only a few days of eating and applying the oil, I went through a sleepless night of shivers and chills and in the morning I could feel that the body was overcoming the infection. A few days later (continuing with oil, tumeric) the infection was gone.
      To recap, what worked for me was mixing coconut oil and tumeric for topical application on the sores and eating also. I was on a vegetarian diet but cutting out sugars (including cutting out fruit, but ymmv here). I also ate some other “superfoods” like moringa which I would mix into a guacamole. I was also applying goldenseal and various other “natural remedies” to the outbreaks which maybe helped, but I absolutely guarantee that what remedied the staph was plain old coconut oil. I have read since that heating tumeric in coconut oil helps the body to absorb the beneficial properties in the tumeric when eating it. Thus it could be combined easily into a recipe. You could probably give that a try too. I hope that this will help you. Staph is miserable.
      I would also be sure to make and eat homemade sauerkraut and lots of fibrous veggies to build up pre and probiotics after the onslaught from antibiotics. If the antibiotics aren’t working anyways I would personally drop those as they are essentially killing the natural immune system.
      Eat as much coconut oil as you like but there is probably no point in over doing it. More is not always better, especially if the body is not used to it. It’s easy to get carried away especially when one is desperate for a cure. Take care.
      As a side note here, also while traveling/living in central America I had the opportunity to have a close relationship with stomach parasites. Bloated belly, no energy, nasty “eggy” tasting burps and diarrhea for weeks… Long story short, raw eggs. Yes that’s what I said. Raw eggs. and 15 mins after downing a few raw eggs, bam. Solid stool. The eggs digest faster than the parasites can utilize them, essentially starving the parasites out. Thus, the protocol must be kept up for a few days to a week depending on the severity. Slightly off topic but just another natural remedy. (Don’t be scared by off by the “rawness” and the salmonella fear. Like any food, try to pick the best quality. If still scared, look up homemade mayonnaise recipe. (As an example of eating raw eggs, not suggesting it as a cure here)There are many people eating raw eggs out there). Oh, actually tossing a couple of raw egg yolks into a guacamole is a nice way of eating them. It makes the guac creamy and is easier for the uninitiated raw egg eater.
      Wait, weren’t we talking about black seed oil here…? Yes, as a remedy.
      Take care,
      (Had I known about eating raw eggs during my staph infection I would certainly have done that also. The raw yolks are really a superfood. I have since eaten hundreds. I was on a 16000km bicycle journey during this time and can attest for their nutritional value. Again, not because I read it but because I ate them multiple times daily after the parasite episode. And when pedaling a fully loaded bicycle daily through the mountains of central America and mexico, the food consumed is important. One of the most beneficial foods for me became raw eggs)
      ps, the standard caveat applies here…this is not medical advice, just real life experience

  19. Sandra Avatar

    Hello, I am wondering what your experience is now, taking the oil you recommended, since you started in April. Thank you!

    1. Brenda Avatar

      I have this same question! As is, it just seems like an ad for a product. I’d love to know how it works for the thyroid autoimmune issue after using it!

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