Updated: Jul 23
Health Benefits of Black Seed/Nigella Sativa
Thymoquinone, or TMQ, is the active natural chemical in Nigella seeds. Some studies are suggesting it can suppress certain breast cancer cell proliferation.
The miraculous healing properties of the black seed stem mostly from three natural chemical compounds: Thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, and nigellone semohiprepinon. Each of these compounds has been studied extensively; each has been found to have different, but complementary effects on disease within the body.
Thymoquinone (TQ) is the most prominent active compound isolated from the black seed; it has been the subject of over 400 different studies since 1960 and has been investigated for its anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective (liver-protecting), and anticarcinogenic effects, both in laboratories and in human and animal subjects. What’s more, studies have shown TQ to be extremely effective against many diseases, with no harmful side-effects, no matter what dosage is used.
Free radicals are byproducts of normal metabolic processes in your body’s cells; however, in high concentrations, they can lead to cell damage and eventually cancer. TQ acts as a free radical and superoxide radical scavenger, removing excess free radicals from your system, as well as boosting the enzymatic activity of other types of antioxidants in your body. Its anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory effect has been observed in treatments of various diseases, including encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord), diabetes, asthma, and carcinogenesis (cancer formation).
The liver is our largest internal organ, and it has more than 500 vital functions. Its principal job is to filter the blood flowing from our stomach and intestines on its journey to the rest of the body. Lifestyle factors such as poor diet can lead to liver damage over time. Research has shown that TQ is effective against several kinds of liver damage, including inflammation, excess fat deposits (fatty liver disease), and fibrosis (liver scarring).TQ has a hypolipidemic effect in the liver, preventing fatty acid accumulation in liver cells. TQ has also been found to have a protective and regenerative effect on liver cells, reducing liver fibrosis and repairing damage induced by morphine and other painkillers, as well as liver diseases such as fatty liver disease. TQ also improves liver function tests and increases the levels of anti-oxidative enzymes in the liver.
Due to its multitargeting nature, TQ interferes in a wide range of tumorigenic (tumour-forming) processes. Studies have shown that TQ halts carcinogenesis (initiation of cancer formation), malignant growth, metastasis (the spread of cancer cells into different organ tissues), and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels, which tumours need to obtain oxygen and nutrients).
The anti-tumour effects of TQ have been observed in, among others, colon, prostate, pancreatic, breast, and lung cancer. TQ can also sensitize tumour cells toward conventional cancer treatments (radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy), while simultaneously minimizing their toxic effects on normal cells. Thus, TQ not only improves the anticancer activity of chemotherapy drugs but also weakens their dangerous side effects.
TQ is a monoterpene, a type of molecule that disrupts the carcinogenesis process at both the initiation and promotion/progression stages, which means that TQ has the potential to be effective in treating both early and advanced cancers.
A relative to thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone is one of nature’s most potent natural acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors. AChE inhibitors are chemicals that stop enzyme activity in the brain, which increases the concentration and amount of time that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine remains active. Acetylcholine coordinates muscles contractions, activates pain responses and regulates endocrine and REM sleep functions. Pharmaceutical-grade AChE inhibitors similar to thymohydroquinone are used to treat a wide range of conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, autism, dementia, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, Schizophrenia and other neurodegenerative conditions.
Allergies such as asthma usually develop from our immune system’s overenthusiastic response to otherwise harmless substances in our environment, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. Nigellone semohiprepinon works to expand and relax the respiratory airways, making it an effective treatment of bronchial asthma and respiratory allergies. The active compound also reduces the release of histamines into the bloodstream, helping to stabilize the immune system and easing the symptoms of allergic reactions. Together with TQ, nigellone semohiprepinon works to balance and heal the immune system, strengthening your body’s capacity to protect itself against disease.
Nigella seeds have natural, bacteria fighting properties that offer protection against some strains of bacteria including staph as well as certain common and hospital strains of pathogenic bacteria.
Black seed is also used to relieve inflammation and improve the body's overall immune system. Nigella seeds do not contain steroids and are known to also be effective at reducing both pain and swelling, symptoms seen in rheumatoid arthritis.
Diabetes is the mother of all health problems, some say. There have been studies done that show diets that include Nigella sativa was able to reduce fasting blood sugar and the damaging effects of insulin resistance.