Black Seed Oil Benefits | Mark’s Daily Apple

Black seed oil is the perfect example of a medicinal whole food. It is the cold pressed oil of the black cumin seed black cumin, which grows widely in southern Europe, western Asia and southern Asia, northern Africa and the Middle East. In most of those regions, black seed oil is extensively traditionally used as a medicine or ‘medicine’.

In ancient Egypt, the black cumin seed was a first-line medicine for a whole host of ailments. When archaeologists excavated King Tut’s tomb, they found traces of black seed and black seed oil — ostensibly placed there to protect him while he made his way to the underworld. The prophet Mohammed is said to have said that “the black seed can cure every disease except death.” For thousands of years, Indian Ayurvedic medicine has prescribed black seed oil to treat hypertension, high blood sugar, eczema, asthma and general inflammatory diseases. Black seeds and black seed oil in cups

I am not saying that these are completely accurate statements or beliefs, but they do show the reverence these cultures had for black seed oil and indicate its prowess as a medicine. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on ancient texts as the only evidence we have. There are hundreds of studies demonstrating the effectiveness of black seed oil in humans against a wide variety of health problems. Overall, it’s an impressive body of literature.

This is the Primal way: heeding traditional wisdom and confirming its accuracy with modern science.

Around here, we generally prefer medicinal, whole foods—herbs, seeds, spices, and the like—over isolated or synthetic pharmacological compounds for several reasons:

  1. The synergistic compounds found in whole food medicine are more likely to amplify the effects and are missing from the synthetic version.
  2. The synthetic compound will target a specific task, a one-trick pony, while the whole nutritional drug will more likely involve other effects, both along the line of causality.
  3. Whole food medicines are also food— they contain vitamins and minerals and macronutrients that nourish us. They are not just drugs; they are much more. In any case, this is a more efficient way to obtain medicinal effects.

Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil

Let’s take a look at the health effects of black seed oil. For starters, let’s dispel some of the views and prejudices we have about “seed oils.” Industrial seed oils, such as corn or canola oil, have been stripped of nutrients that prevent lipid breakdown, undergo high temperatures and chemical processing, and have no redeeming properties to offset the high content of omega-6 linoleic acid in the fat. In the Primal eating plan, we eliminate these industrial seed oils.

Black seed oil is a different kind of seed oil.

  • It is unrefined so it contains all the protective components that help the fragile fatty acids resist oxidation and prevent rancidity.
  • It is a medical oil, not a food, so we don’t use it to make salad dressings, bake potatoes, or use it in processed junk food. We don’t eat enough of it to worry that it is a significant source of omega-6 fatty acids in our diet.
  • Unlike the industrial seed oils, black seed oil has proven benefits that justify its inclusion in our diet.

Black seed oil for diabetes

In patients with pre-diabetes — poor blood glucose levels that don’t yet qualify for full-blown diabetes — black seed oil outperformed or outperformed metformin, the “gold standard” for diabetes. While both metformin and black seed oil groups saw improved glucose parameters, only black seed oil patients who took 450 mg of black seed oil (less than a teaspoon) twice daily saw better lipids and reduced inflammation.

In patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (fully bloated), 1350 mg/day of black seed oil helped but was not as effective as metformin in improving fasting blood glucose or HbA1c. However, again patients with black seed oil enjoyed uniquely improved lipid counts, lower fasting insulin and lower inflammatory markers. In addition, metformin patients had higher liver enzymes and slightly elevated creatinine levels, while black seed oil patients did not. Both groups saw better body composition, including the all-important and extremely revealing waist circumference.

As metformin gains prominence as a general health-promoting prophylactic drug for otherwise healthy people who want to live longer, black seed oil could be a more effective alternative with added benefits.


About the author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather of the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the… New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet† His latest book is Keto for life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is also the author of numerous other books, including: The original blueprintwhich in 2009 had boosted the growth of the primal/paleo movement. After three decades of researching and educating people about why food is the most important part of achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that makes Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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