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- Side Effects
Black seed is a plant. People have used the seed to make medicine for over 2000 years. It was even discovered in the tomb of King Tut.
Historically, black seed has been used for headache, toothache, nasal congestion, asthma, arthritis, and intestinal worms. It has also been used for “pink eye” (conjunctivitis), pockets of infection (abscesses), and parasites.
Today, black seed is most commonly used for asthma, diabetes, hypertension, weight loss, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
How does it work?
There is some scientific evidence to suggest that black seed might help boost the immune system, fight cancer, prevent pregnancy, reduce swelling, and lessen allergic reactions by acting as an antihistamine, but there isn’t enough information in humans yet.
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- Asthma. Research shows that taking black seed by mouth along with asthma medicines can improve coughing, wheezing, and lung function in some people with asthma. But it seems to work only in people with very low lung function before treatment. And it does not seem to work as well as the drugs theophylline or salbutamol.
- Diabetes. Research shows that taking black seed can improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. But it doesn’t seem to work as well as the diabetes drug metformin. Black seed might also improve levels of cholesterol in people with diabetes.
- High blood pressure. Research shows that taking black seed by mouth might reduce blood pressure by a small amount.
- Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility). Research shows that taking black seed oil increases the number of sperm and how quickly they move in men with infertility.
- Breast pain (mastalgia). Research shows that applying a gel containing black seed oil to the breasts during the menstrual cycle reduces pain in women with breast pain.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Acne. Applying a gel containing black seed extract to the skin might help to improve acne.
- Hay fever. Early research suggests that taking black seed oil by mouth daily might improve allergy symptoms in people with hay fever.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Early research suggests that taking black seed oil by mouth might improve symptoms in people with itchy and inflamed skin. But applying black seed oil ointment to the skin does not seem to help.
- A disease that causes underactive thyroid (autoimmune thyroiditis). Taking black seed might improve some but not all measures of thyroid function in people with a disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
- Damage to the immune system caused by cancer drug treatment. Early research shows that taking black seed ass part of the diet while undergoing cancer drug treatment might prevent fever episodes due to low white blood cell counts (neutropenia) in children.
- Swelling (inflammation) of a vein caused by cancer drug treatment. Early research shows that applying black seed oil around the area where cancer drugs are injected into a vein might prevent swelling of that vein.
- Long-term kidney disease (chronic kidney disease or CKD). Some people with CKD follow a diet low in protein and add supplements to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Early research shows that taking black seed oil might help to improve kidney function in these people.
- Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Early research shows that black seed helps with some but not all measures of memory and attention in boys and men. It’s unknown if black seed improves memory and thinking skills in girls and women.
- Heart damage caused by the drug doxorubicin. Early research shows that taking black seed oil might prevent heart damage in children being treated with a drug called doxorubicin.
- Indigestion (dyspepsia). Taking a product containing black seed oil, honey, and water seems to reduce symptoms of indigestion. It’s unclear if this improvement is due to black seed or other ingredients.
- Seizure disorder (epilepsy). Early research shows that taking black seed extract by mouth reduces the number of seizures in children with epilepsy. But taking black seed oil does not seem to work.
- A digestive tract infection that can lead to ulcers (Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori). Some research shows that taking black seed powder along with other medications might help to get rid of this infection. But not all doses seem to work.
- Hepatitis C. Early research shows that taking black seed oil daily for 3 months reduces viral load in people with hepatitis C. It also seems to reduce lower limb swelling. But it doesn’t seem to improve liver function.
- High cholesterol. Some early research shows that taking crushed black seed increases “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and reduces total cholesterol, “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood fats called triglycerides in people with borderline high cholesterol. Other research shows that taking both crushed black seed and garlic oil in addition to other products that lower cholesterol, such as simvastatin, can lead to larger improvements in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels than simvastatin alone. However, not all research agrees.
- Cancer of the white blood cells (leukemia). Taking black seed while being treated for a type of leukemia called acute lymphoblastic leukemia might increase the chances of staying cancer-free once treatment ends. But it doesn’t improve overall survival.
- A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (metabolic syndrome). Early research suggests that taking a specific black seed oil product twice daily for 6 weeks might reduce total cholesterol, “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood sugar levels in people with metabolic syndrome.
- Toxicity caused by the drug methotrexate. Early research shows that taking black seed might reduce liver damage caused by a certain drug used to treat cancer in children with a type of leukemia.
- Build up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). Early research shows that taking black seed daily for 3 months can improve some measures of liver disease in patients with NAFLD.
- Obesity. Some research shows that taking black seed oil or powder might improve weight loss by a small amount in people who are obese or overweight. But other research shows no benefit. Studies are generally small and low-quality, so more research is needed.
- Withdrawal from heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs. Early research shows that taking black seed extract by mouth three times daily for 12 days might reduce symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
- Osteoarthritis. Early research shows that applying black seed oil to the knee for 3-4 weeks can help relieve knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.
- Skin damage caused by radiation therapy (radiation dermatitis). Applying a gel containing black seed extract to the skin might help to delay this side effect in people being treated for breast cancer.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research shows that taking black seed oil improves pain and stiffness in people with RA who are already taking methotrexate.
- Dry nose in the elderly. Early research shows that using a nasal spray containing black seed oil can reduce dryness, blockage, and crusting of the nostrils in elderly patients with nasal irritation.
- Infection of the throat and tonsils (tonsillopharyngitis). Early research suggests that taking a combination of chanca piedra and black seed by mouth for 7 days relieves pain in people with tonsillopharyngitis.
- A type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). Early research shows that taking black seed powder daily for 6 weeks does not improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
- A skin disorder that causes white patches to develop on the skin (vitiligo). Early research shows that applying a cream containing black seed oil to the skin for 6 months can improve skin color in some people with vitiligo.
- Birth control.
- Boosting the immune system.
- Cancer prevention.
- Digestive problems including intestinal gas and diarrhea.
- Menstrual disorders.
- Symptoms of menopause.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of black seed for these uses.
Side Effects & Safety
When taken by mouth: When taken in small quantities, such as a flavoring for foods, black seed is LIKELY SAFE for most people. Black seed oil and black seed powder are POSSIBLY SAFE when the larger amounts found in medicine are used for 3 months or less. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if the amounts found in medicine are safe when used for more than 3 months. Black seed can cause allergic rashes in some people. It can also cause stomach upset, vomiting, or constipation. It might increase the risk of seizures in some people.
When applied to the skin: Black seed oil or gel is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin, short-term. It can cause allergic rashes in some people.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Black seed seems to be safe in food amounts during pregnancy. But taking the larger amounts found in medicine is LIKELY UNSAFE. Black seed can slow down or stop the uterus from contracting.
There isn’t enough reliable information to know if black seed is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Black seed oil is POSSIBLY SAFE for children when taken by mouth short-term and in recommended amounts.
Bleeding disorders: Black seed might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. In theory, black seed might make bleeding disorders worse.
Diabetes: Black seed might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use black seed.
Low blood pressure: Black seed might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking black seed might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.
Surgery: Black seed might slow blood clotting, reduce blood sugar, and increase sleepiness in some people. In theory, black seed might increase the risk for bleeding and interfere with blood sugar control and anesthesia during and after surgical procedures. Black seed might also cause your body to have very high levels of a chemical called serotonin. This can cause severe side effects. Stop using black seed at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
We currently have no information for BLACK SEED Interactions.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For asthma: 2 grams of ground black seed has been used daily for 12 weeks. Also, 500 mg of black seed oil has been taken twice daily for 4 weeks. In addition, 15 mL/kg of black seed extract has been used daily for 3 months. A single dose of 50-100 mg/kg has also been used.
- For diabetes: 1 gram of black seed powder has been used twice daily for up to 12 months. 1000-1350 mg of black seed oil taken in divided doses daily has also been used for 8-12 weeks.
- For high blood pressure: 0.5-2 grams of black seed powder has been taken daily for up to 12 weeks. Also, 100-200 mg or 2.5 mL of black seed oil has been used twice daily for 8 weeks.
- For conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility): 2.5 mL of black seed oil has been used twice daily for 2 months.
ON THE SKIN:
- For breast pain (mastalgia): A gel containing 30% black seed oil has been applied to breasts every day for two menstrual cycles.
Learn more about Black Seed uses, effectiveness, possible side effects, interactions, dosage, user ratings and products that contain Black Seed
Seed Effect Virtual Update | Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Actions and Detail Panel
Date and Time
Wed, November 18, 2020
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST
About this Event
We hope you will join us on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 from 12:00 – 12:45 pm for a Seed Effect Virtual Update!
James and Scovia, our Uganda Country Director and Head of Operations, will be joining us and, during the update, we’ll discuss:
- How our Seed Effect staff and savings groups members are doing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Stories of hope that you’ve made possible in the midst of a challenging year
- New ways we are adapting to support our members and form new groups
- And ways you can get involved!
Once you have registered here (RSVP’d) we will email you the secure meeting link and password! We hope to see you there!
* Note: please feel free to enjoy your lunch during our virtual update, participant screens will be disabled so no one’s screen will be visible apart from the Seed Effect team.
Eventbrite – Seed Effect presents Seed Effect Virtual Update | Wednesday, November 18, 2020 – Wednesday, November 18, 2020 – Find event and ticket information.