Black Seed Oil: Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

black seed oil

Black seed oil is derived from black caraway seeds or ‘kalonji’, also known as Nigella Sativa. This oil has been used in ancient medicines for thousands of years for many ailments and to maintain good health.

However, due to the presence of thymoquinone in it, it may have some side effects if the dosage is not monitored. Taking a dose of 1 to 1.2 gm daily which means just ¼ teaspoon daily is considered safe but still needs medical supervision. 

This article talks about the health benefits of black seed oil and its usage, dosage and side effects as well. Let’s find out what this magic seed has in store for you. 


Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil

  • Acne Treatment – Black seed gel is used to soothe the inflammatory acne twice daily for 60 days. The application of black seed gel showed a 78% reduction in acne. As black seed oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial in nature, it works great on all kinds of acne
  • Best for Asthma Black seed oil acts as a bronchodilator, that is it helps in expanding the narrow air passages in the lungs and is particularly very beneficial for patients with low lung function.
  • Allergies – Those who suffer from allergies for a long time also tend to have a weaker immune system with time. Black seed oil plays a good role in improving your immunity and curbing allergies as well.
  • Anti-ageing – Any food that is rich in antioxidants tends to have anti-ageing properties. As the antioxidants prevent the cell-damage and slow down the ageing process, black seed oil does the same due to the presence of antioxidants in it. 
  • Stable Blood Sugar Levels – One of the biggest health benefits of black seed oil is its effect on blood sugar levels. It has been proven to stabilise both fasting and HbA1C (average blood sugar of three months) suggesting a long time effect.
  • Best for male infertility – if the male suffers from low sperm count or low motility sperm, then black seed oil may be a boon. As it is known to increase the sperm count and improve the movement of sperm as well. 
  • Decreases Blood Pressure – Black seed oil reduces bad cholesterol levels and makes blood flow easier. So, the pressure that blood exerts on the walls of blood vessels reduces significantly, thereby treating hypertension.
  • Skin lesions – Black seed oil works amazingly well for psoriasis, eczema, better wound healing, skin cancer, pigmentation, burn healing and diabetic-wound healing etc due to the presence of the healing agent thymoquinone in it. It works great in vitiligo treatment as it helps spread the melanin in the skin too. 
  • Better Hair – Taken as the best home remedy to boost hair growth, black seed oil also treats dry scalp and reduces hair fall within a few weeks of regular application. 
  • Weight Loss – Another perk of this humble black seed is that it helps in fat reduction from the body, and works well with other measures like a low-calorie diet and physical activity etc. So adding this to your weight loss regime will help you lose that fat faster. 
  • Slows the growth of cancer cellsAlthough the research is in its preliminary stages but the promising effect of black seed oil has been shown on cancer cells. 


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    Side Effects and Precautions while Using Black Seed Oil

    • Don’t take it for more than 3 months at a stretch. 
    • May cause irregular bowel movements like constipation, and diarrhoea.
    • Vomiting may also occur due to its pungent taste and smell.
    • Allergic rash to people has been noted in people who are sensitive to black seed oil application, so a patch test is necessary.
    • Don’t take it during pregnancy & while breastfeeding without asking your gynaecologist as black seed may interfere with uterine contractions
    • Black seed oil may make bleeding disorders worse so it must not be taken by someone who has any bleeding disorder.
    • Don’t take it if you are on blood pressure, heart & neuro medicines.
    • Always consult your healthcare provider before starting this supplement.

    How to choose Black Seed Oil

    • Choose a well-reputed brand so that chances of adulteration are less
    • Make sure the black seed oil has ‘edible’ written on it
    • Choose pure black seed oil with no added ingredients

    How to Use Black Seed Oil

    There are many options about how you may use black seed oil to reap its benefits. A few of them are written below – 

    • Drizzle on salads 
    • As a flavouring agent in food preparation 
    • Add to the smoothie
    • Take half a teaspoon as it is 
    • May be ingested as a pill 
    • Used topically on skin & hair
    • May be applied in the form of black seed gel
    • Black seed oil may be mixed with honey or lemon juice to make it more palatable


    Black seed oil health benefits are numerous in number and most of them are backed by scientific evidence as well. As far as dosage is concerned, less is more, so talk to your healthcare provider if you have any health conditions, especially kidney & liver conditions. 

    Nigella Sativa or black seed oil is antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasitic as well as anti-inflammatory. Due to its amazing properties, black seed oil has been used for ages to treat all kinds of skin lesions like acne, burns, psoriasis etc and for all systemic disorders as well ranging from diabetes to asthma, lung disorders, hypertension and even aid in cancer treatments as well. 

    Black Seed Oil Related FAQs

    Who should not take black seed oil?

    Those patients who suffer from any bleeding disorder must avoid black seed oil as it may increase its severity. Also, those who suffer from any kidney related illness or those who are allergic to black seed oil must avoid this supplement as it may make matters worse for some systemic disease patients.  

    What does black seed do to the body?

    The black seed oil fights infections, increases immunity, treats almost all skin disorders including psoriasis, acne vulgaris, and vitiligo, controls high blood sugar levels, boosts hair growth, decreases hair fall and even decreases blood pressure when taken or applied regularly for about 6 to 8 weeks period on an average.  

    What are the negative effects of black seed oil?

    The negative effects or side effects of black seed oil depend upon the patient’s sensitivity and the underlying conditions. Some of the noted negative effects of black seed oil are skin rash, constipation, vomiting, diarrhoea and an increase in the severity of bleeding disorders. That’s why taking your physician’s opinion is important before adding black seed oil to your routine. 


    Can I take black seed oil every day?

    Yes, you may take black seed oil daily, but one should not take it for more than three months at a stretch. Also, taking a dosage of about 1/4th to ½ teaspoon daily is the safest. If you suffer from any disorder then consult your healthcare provider before taking black seed oil every day.


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