Update 7/9/20. Black seeds, powder and black seed oil (also called black cumin) is food with a surprising amount of research. As such, I've gotten a lot of questions about it since I wrote my giant black seed review. That post was a lot to take in and so in this mini-review, I will cover some of the more frequently asked questions (FAQ) I've received lately. Here, I'll cover things like black seed side effects and, can it help exercise and hair loss and might it even cure HIV – and before you laugh, there IS research on this. If you've been on the fence about whether to start using black seeds, this will help you decide. See the glutathione review too.
1 How Do Black Seeds Taste?
Black seeds and oil taste pretty bad by most accounts. Words often used to describe black seed taste include horrible and awful. As one person said to me, “prepare to make your medicine face.” This is why many people grind the seeds up and mix with yogurt or add them to smoothies.
2 What's The Dosage?
The amount of black seeds to take depends on your specific needs. As a rule, medical research tends to use:
- black seed oil: 1-2 teaspoons (1 ml-10 ml) per day
- black seed powder: 1 gram to 3 grams per day
The amount you use would depend on whether you were considering black seeds for a specific medical reason such as heart health, lowering blood pressure or cholesterol, improving memory, etc. If you are healthy and want to add black seed oil to your diet, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per day with food is reasonable. If you are using seed powder, then 250-500 mg.
3 Is Castor Oil The Same As Black Seed Oil?
Castor oil is a good source of vitamin A and D but it is not the same thing as black seed oil which is a good source of essential fatty acids like omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 fats. Some companies may combine castor and black seed oils together in the same product.
4 Which Benefits Have The Most Proof?
The most studied health benefits of black seeds are on lowering blood pressure and heart health. Human studies suggest black seeds can significantly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure (the top and bottom numbers). Other human studies have shown black seeds can reduce triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, and hemoglobin A1C levels.
5 Can Black Seeds Raise Nitric Oxide?
Animal research suggests a compound in black seeds called thymoquinone (TQ) can raise nitric oxide. This may explain their blood pressure lowering effects.
6 Are Black Seeds A Good Preworkout Supplement?
While black seeds appear to raise nitric oxide, there is currently no human evidence they improve workouts in the gym or on the playing field. So, if you are thinking about using this stuff as a pre-workout, I can't say if it would help or not.
See the Kratom review.
7 Is Cold-Pressed Black Seed Oil Best?
Cold-pressed black seeds are compressed together at very cold temperatures. While cold-pressed products are popular, conclusive health benefits proof for the superiority of cold-pressed seeds is lacking.
Can It Help Hypothyroidism?
Here's a video I created on black seeds helping hypothyroid.
8 What Are The Side Effects Of Black Seeds?
Black seeds and oil are safe in healthy people. Even in people with high blood pressure and diabetes, no serious side effects have been reported. That said, here's a list of things you should consider before consuming this food:
- Stop taking them at least 2 weeks before surgery
- Talk to your pharmacist and doctor if you take any medications
- Be aware both the seed powder and oil may lower blood pressure and blood sugar. This is something to consider if you take medications for diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Do not take during pregnancy. See below for why.
- Preliminary evidence hints black seeds might reduce Viagra from working.
- In theory, black seeds may raise the thyroid hormone. Consider this if you have thyroid problems.
9 Can Black Seed Oil Cure Balding?
One small study has shown a 5% black seed oil solution, taken for 3 months, might grow hair in women with a disorder called telogen effluvium. This investigation needs to be corroborated by other studies. No research has shown black seed oil can return gray or white hair to its natural color. For more insights on this topic, see these reviews:
10 Can Black Seeds Cure HIV?
One very small investigation found black seeds cured HIV infection in a man. This is an intriguing investigation. I have read this study. For more on the black seed HIV cure, see my video review:
11 Can Black Seeds Help Autism?
To date, researchers have not studied the effects of Nigella Sativa for autism or autism spectrum disorder.
12 Black Seed Oil vs. CBD Oil
So far, no clinical trials have compared the effects of CBD oil to black seed oil. So, it is difficult to compare their effects to each other.
13 Can Black Seeds Help Someone Get Pregnant?
While black seeds seem to have no effect on erections, preliminary evidence suggests the oil may improve sperm swimming performance. In theory, this may increase the chances of pregnancy. Women should not take black seeds during pregnancy, however.
14 Are Black Seeds Safe During Pregnancy?
Preliminary evidence from animal studies suggests black seed oil may inhibit contractions of the uterus after sex. This may reduce the chances of getting pregnant. This is the reason why some women think black seed oil may be used as contraception.
But, here's the thing: while a rat study showed this occurred, no human studies have demonstrated a contraceptive effect of black seed oil. So, for women who are trying to get pregnant, avoiding black seed to be safe. If you are trying to not get pregnant, there are better ways to do this.
15 The Best Type of Black Seed Oil?
Contrary to belief, research does not highlight one brand over another. As such, use a quality brand that you can afford. Fortunately, products are generally inexpensive.
16 Can Black Seed Oil Go Bad?
Yes. Because it is an oil, it will eventually spoil. Most oils have a 2-year shelf life. Quality oil products are those which use a dark glass container. This prevents light from entering and stops the oil from interacting with the bottle.
17 Does Black Seed Oil Work?
Research finds black seed oil, powder, and eating black seeds have a variety of health benefits. Of these, the areas most studied include heart health, blood pressure, and blood sugar-lowering effects. Given this food seems to have many benefits, even if you are healthy, this might be something to consider adding to your diet. See my larger black seed oil review too.