Black seed oil is extracted from the plant Nigella Sativa. One of the most highly regarded herbaceous plants, praised for its healing qualities. Black seeds are obtained from the fruits of this 70cm long plant. The black seed plant is endogenous to the Asian and Mediterranean countries.
For thousands of years Romans and Egyptians used the seed in the preparation of their daily medicines. It occupies a remarkable position in the ancient Arab and Greek medicine founded by the Hippocrates, Avicenna and Galen. Why the?
Benefits of Black Seed Oil:
Regardless of the centuries old use of black seed oil, little or no research was available on the scientific value of this seemingly inconspicuous seed. It was only after the year 1959 that scientists started conducting their research on the benefits and scientific values of black seed and its oil. Of some of the most promising research results, the following benefits of Nigella Sativa oil have been compiled:
• Anti- Bacterial
The anti-bacterial properties of black seed oil have received significant public attention. As provided by the National Institute of Health, black seed oil can prevent some of the fatal diseases like tuberculosis, influenza, malaria, HIV, gonorrhea and candida.
• Cancer prevention
2 phytochemicals found in the black seed oil may cause a 52% decrease in the growth of tumor cells, according to studies done on the potency of this oil. Rich in thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone, black seed can prevent cancer by:
• Apoptosis induction
• Cell cycle arrest
• Reactive oxygen generation
• Liver Health
Liver plays one of the vital roles in the body. The majority of toxins in the body are processed or controlled through the liver, preventing them from attacking the body. People who suffer from poor liver function can consume black seed oil to boost the healing process. The use of black seed oil prevents disease and damage to the liver.
Recently published in the Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, black seed oil has the ability to cause a gradual rebuilding of pancreatic beta cells, and an increase in the serum insulin with a reduction of serum glucose. What is even more interesting is that the fact that Nigella Sativa is the only one of its kind to prevent both types of diabetes, 1 and 2. It improves glucose tolerance, and reduces the commonly attached side effects of diabetes such as:
• Muscle pain
• Weight Loss
It was also recently published in the Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders that black seed oil has an abundance of natural plant remedies. As traditionally believed to control weight, black seed has the ability to control inflammation and obesity at the same time. It reduces weight gain triggers and prevents body fat from growing.
Black seed oil inhibits the production of melanin which prevents skin from damage. Now commonly used in cosmetics and skin care creams, Nigella Sativa has the ability to heal eczema and promote skin healing.
Variations in black seed oil content:
The variations in black seed oil refer to the extraction method and the levels of purity of the oil. Oils are commonly extracted through three different methods, steam distillation, cold compressed and solvent extraction. The best method to extract black seed oil is slow cold compressed.
The Nigella Sativa seed oil must retain its original components. Since it is a mix of various components with different chemical properties, a heat extraction method will cause the evaporation of the volatile compounds. The ideal method of black seed oil extraction is slow compression, as fast cold compress will generate heat as well, eventually reducing the quality of the oil.
The strongest black seed oil is 100% pure oil with absolutely no additives.
This oil is the one that contains the highest value of volatile oil being around 4%. It is mostly prescribed for medicinal uses to treat respiratory and chronic diseases.
Because of a high volatile oil content, strong essential oil are recommended to be used in combination with carrier oils or other ingredients like juice, water or yogurt. Consult a doctor prior to consuming a strong oil.
Organic black seed oil is a medium range oil with less volatile oil, and hence less pungent. This oil is easy to consume and can be used directly without the use of a carrier oil.
Mild Black seed oil is the most commonly found in the market. It contains the least amount of volatile oil, ranging from about 0.3%-1% but the best quality oil in this category will yield up to 1.2%. It will still be the least pungent sort and most suitable for people who do not tolerate the taste well. It is easy to eat and sprinkled on food.
Other than the range of the oil, the variation in the quality depends on the pharmaceutical characteristics the oil contains. These properties are often regarded as the volatile fraction, referring to the goodness of the oil available in the bottle. Volatile oil content varies largely depending on where the seed oil is coming from.
The growing location of the seed plays a significant role in the quality and properties of the oil.
The hybrid of a seed refers to the plantation of similar plants, with a difference of characteristics in the next generation plant.
There are farmers who can produce uniform hybrid seeds, whereas in a few regions hybrid seeds do not have the same quality of the plant. The soil conditions in which the Nigella Sativa plant is produced has a great impact on the taste and quality of the oil.
The best condition in which black seed is produced is hot days and cool nights. Therefore, the Mediterranean side is known to produce the best quality black seed.
There is now a product available which promises the best that black seed oil has to offer. Available in 3 different strengths, of 1% v.o. in mild, 1.5% v.o. in original and an impressive 4.3% v.o. in strong. But taking this technology a step even further, the strongest black seed v.o. concentration to hit the market is 6.4% making it easily.
4-6 times stronger than most black seed oil on the market.
Note: Avoid the purchase of any black seed oil that is extracted from a chemical process. Addition of chemicals contaminates the quality of the oil and makes it stronger to consume. It is difficult to establish the right dosage of such oils.