People developing ‘modern medicine’ tend to try and copy nature. Conventional medicine strives to make potions and pills with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and other properties found in nature. And many of these medications do not contain natural ingredients, but man-made ingredients simulating the effects of those found in nature.
Now, what if I told you about a natural supplement said, and I quote the prophet Mohamed loosely, ‘to cure everything except death’? And what if I told you that people have used this supplement since time immemorial to cure all manners of health issues? That it was even found in the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs and used in the beauty regimes of ancient Egyptian queens?
It sounds incredible. But it exists. It is the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant, which is also made into black seed oil, a supplement increasingly used by people in the western world. Furthermore, modern science has started investigating the various properties of Nigella sativa and is increasingly finding that those using it as a folk medicine were correct. It could, indeed, do what it is claimed it can do.
The Scientifically Proven Properties Of Black Seed Oil
Thus far, the modern scientific community has found the oil and seeds of the Nigella sativa plant to have numerous properties. These include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiparasitic, immune-stimulatory, antihypertensive, and hypoglycemic properties. Furthermore, they have even found that oil has a sun protective factor! Although these properties could help deal with various health issues, some of which we will look at, the cosmetics industry has taken notice with certain cosmetics houses opting to incorporate Nigella sativa in their beauty products.
The Health Benefits
The older we get the more health issues we tend to have. This could be the result of the natural aging process, or due to other issues like a diet of lifestyle issues. But this does not mean we cannot make changes at any stage of our lives. And one of these is looking after our health.
When talking about hormones, men tend to turn a deaf ear, relegating the topic to a ‘woman only’ issue. Yet men, too, can experience hormone issues! Interestingly, a study on the hormones found in black seed oil showed surprising results. Various types of black seed oil have surprisingly high levels of testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, progesterone, and estradiol. And these hormones may benefit both sexes.
In females, progesterone plays a role in breast development and breastfeeding. It also supports your uterine lining while pregnant as well as ensuring the health of your unborn child. Testosterone in women helps with ovarian functions and in seeing to bone health, while in men it plays a role in sexual organ development as well as muscle size, bone strength, and reproductive organ health. It may also play a role in mental well-being in both sexes. Furthermore:
• Estradiol supports bone growth, joint health, and brain health.
• Luteinizing hormone in women plays a role in the ovulation cycle and in men it plays a role in testosterone production.
• Follicle-stimulating hormone supports both male and female sexual development during puberty.
• Prolactin helps keep your different body functions in balance and, in women, promotes lactation in new mothers and is involved in conception. Low levels of this hormone in males are associated with a decrease in reproductive organ problems.
Gastrointestinal (GI) Issues
Common GI issues include, among many others, bloating, constipation, flatulence, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, indigestion, nausea, and peptic ulcers.
Due to the different properties of black seed oil (already mentioned), traditional uses of the oil or seeds, many of which are confirmed by research, including getting rid of internal parasites, promoting a normal balance of gut bacteria, fighting against or even inhibiting the growth of certain cancers, fighting ulcers by addressing acidity issues, and helping with the various symptoms and issues surrounding irritable bowel syndrome.
The many beneficial properties of the oil may help with many skin issues. According to various studies, it may help address acne, rashes, dermatitis, skin cancer, and speed up wound healing. It may also halt, or even reverse vitiligo, a skin condition that sees a decline in pigment formation on your skin resulting in lighter patches in those areas affected.
Obesity is not just about being overweight. It could contribute to various life-threatening health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and even depression. Studies show that black seed oil may not only help prevent further weight gain but also help with weight loss.
Millions of people across the globe suffer from diabetes. The condition, if not properly controlled, could result in nerve and eye damage and heart issues. Studies show that black seed oil could help with blood sugar control, enhance the production of insulin, and helps support the pancreas function.
While black seed oil, as a folk remedy, has been used for centuries to help address many more health issues than those mentioned, those mentioned tend to be the health issues most prevalent in our time. And modern science is seemingly catching up when it comes to research into the different properties of the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant.