Black seed oil is a very popular dietary supplement promoted to help a variety of health disorders. In the Muslim relation, its said to cure everything except death. During my previous investigations of this supplement I uncovered a fascinating study, where a man was cured of HIV after taking a black seed oil concoction. Since then, I've discovered a two other clinical investigations. In this review, let's investigate the proof – the 3 studies -make sense of them and see if black seed oil might be right for you.
Other Black Seed Oil Reviews
Black Seed Oil HIV Research
The buzz around curing HIV/AIDS mostly stems from a study, published in 2013 titled Nigella sativa concoction induced sustained seroreversion in HIV patient.
This title sounds complicated but what they are saying is nigella sativa (black seed oil) essentially cured someone of HIV.
Let's take a look at this investigation and make some sense out of it. After that I'll address the 2nd study.
This study involved 1 man who was 46 and HIV positive. He was showing symptoms of HIV infection too – diarrhea, fever, being tired, etc.
He was referred to an herbalist who prescribed “10 ml (2 teaspoons) three times a day of a nigella sativa concoction which consisted of:
- black seed oil (60%)
- honey (40%)
The concoction was made up of 60% black seeds and 40% honey.
This man was NOT taking any HIV medications before, during or after the study was completed.
The only thing they say he was taking was the black seed oil concoction.
The crazy part of this study was the guy said he was not able to take the black seed oil concoction 3x per day because he was too busy at work. He said he only took it twice a day.
In any event, he took nigella sativa concoction for 4 months.
Video Review: Black Seed HIV Cure
Here's a video I created about this study.
This investigation has some pretty impressive results:
- After 1 week, the mans fever, diarrhea and fatigue start to go away
- After 20 days, his skin lesions disappeared
- After the 2nd month, his CD4 count – immune cells which get knocked out by HIV infection – started to increase again.
- After 2 months his HIV viral load became “undetectable.”
- After 6 months of using the black seed oil concoction, doctors could find no sign of HIV infection
This study was conducted in 2009. The researchers report that 4 years later (in 2013), this man was STILL HIV negative.
Here is a picture of his CD4 count and virus load I copied from the study:
As you can see from this table, when the investigation started in 2009, his CD4 count was 250 (low) and he was HIV positive. After 6 months of using black seed oil, his CD4 count rose to 650 and he was considered HIV negative.
By January 2013, his CD4 count was 880 and he was still HIV negative.
My Thoughts On The Nigela Sativa HIV Study
There is no doubt what this study describes is nothing short of miraculous. While this investigation was conducted under the supervision of a doctor and involved medical tests and an herbalist, there are some things I want to point out :
1 The study only included one person
Generally the more people in a clinical investigation the better. Because the study only had 1 person, this is a weakness. The head researcher of this study is listed as Abdulfatah Adekunle Onifade (AA Onifade) of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. I reached out to this college but could not locate him.
2 No Placebo Group
The lack of a placebo group (or placebo person) is a study weakness to me.
I get a lot of questions about this investigation on YouTube. Let me try to address some of those questions here.
1 Is The Man Still HIV Negative?
As far as I know he is. In the study – which was published in 2013, he's called the “Ex HIV Patient.” They do not give his name and I do not know his current status as of today. I assume he is still doing well.
2 What's The Name Of The Herbalist?
I'm not sure. The lead researchers name is was Abdulfatah Adekunle Onifade (AA Onifade). The other two researchers on this paper are named Andrew Paul Jewell and Waheed Adeola Adedeji. I'm not sure which of these people was the herbalist.
3 How Do You Make The Black Seed Oil Concoction?
The concoction is made up of 60% black seeds and 40% honey. No reason was given why this specific mixture was used. Since black seed oil is often said to not taste good, my original guess was honey was used to help the concoction taste better.
Other research however has noted honey appears to stimulate the immune system. So, there seems to be a logic to using honey in the concoction.
4. What Brand Of Black Seed Oil Did They Use?
The study does not mention a specific brand. My guess is the herbalist mashed a bunch of black seeds together. Ultimately though, I cannot say for sure.
5 Would Black Seed Powder Work Just As Well?
I cannot say as there are no HIV cure studies using black seed powder.
6. Does The Patient Still Take Black Seed Oil Today?
The researchers do not say if he continued taking the concoction or not after the study was completed. I view this as a weakness of this study. I'd like to know this answer too. As of 2013, when the study was published, they referred to him as the “ex HIV patient.”
7. Could This Just Be a Fluke Cure?
It is possible what this study reports is a spontaneous remission of HIV rather than the effect of black seed oil. People recovering from HIV /AIDS have been reported. Sometimes recovery takes place after medical treatment (like stem cell transplants).
When I posted my YouTube video review on this investigation (see the video above), I heard from people with AIDS who said they tried black seed oil and it didn't cure them. If what they are saying is truthful, then it could mean the effects of nigella sativa might vary from person to person.
8. Can Black Seed Oil Help Hepatitis?
Some evidence suggests nigella sativa may help hepatitis C. For example, researchers in Egypt gave 30 people with Hep C black seed oil for 3 months. They noted a decrease in hepatitis C viral load and improvement in oxidative stress (less free radical damage). The amount they used was 450 mg three times a day (1350 mg/day total).
In another investigation, a black seed oil preparation called Alpha Zam was shown to inhibit hepatitis C replication. Alpha Zam might not work against hepatitis B virus. See the HIV study update below for more on Alpha Zam.
9. Is This The Only Study on HIV And Black Seed Oil?
No. See the HIV Study Update below for more information.
Video: Black Seed Oil HIV Research Update
Here's a video which covers the rest of this review
HIV Study Update
The researchers who conducted the study above have also published other invesgiations also. Here's a summary of them
In 2010, they published Effectiveness of a herbal remedy in six HIV patients in Nigeria. Here, the researchers noted the black seed/honey concoction -now called Alpha Zam – was effective in 6 infected people after they used the mixture for 4 months.
To quote the researchers, “The symptoms and signs associated with HIV infection disappeared within 20 days of commencement of herbal therapy…” The body weights of the people increased and their viral load was reduced to undetectable levels. CD4 counts also increased too.
The researches state larger studies should be conducted -which is what they did next.
In 2011, another investigation was published on HIV. This study included 3 researchers, two of which were AA Onifade and AP Jewell – the same researchers as in the 2009 HIV/black seed study described above.
The title of the study is “Virologic and Immunologic Outcome of Treatment of HIV Infection with a Herbal Concoction, A-ZAM, Among Clients Seeking Herbal Remedy in Nigeria.”
This was a larger investigation involving 51 people with HIV/AIDS. Some of these patients were taking HIV meds and others were not. The investigation contained both men and women. Only 11% of the people (6 people) reported also taking HIV medications.
In other words, most people were not taking AIDS drugs.
Medical tests such as CD4 count and viral load were conducted during the study to determine how well the black seeds were working.
These researchers report:
- “All the signs and symptoms associated with HIV infection presented by all patients in this study fully subsided within 3 weeks after commencement of the herbal concoction.”
- All groups showed significant improvements in CD4 counts
- Viral load decreased in many patients (not all of them though)
- No side effects were reported
This picture is from the investigation and shows most people taking black seed oil concoction (Alpha Zam) had undetectable HIV viral loads:
No interactions with HIV medications were noted.
The people in this investigation were ranked according to the 4 stages of HIV infection recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Those stages are:
- Stage 1: People have the virus but are mostly asymptomatic
- Stage 2: mildly symptomatic stage
- Stage 3: more symptoms appear
- Stage 4: severe symptoms appear (AIDS)
I counted up the people in the 4 stages of this study. Here are the totals:
- Stage 1: 4 people
- Stage 2: 17 people
- Stage 3: 14 people
- Stage 4: 8 people
I'm basing this on 45 subjects -not 51 reported in the study. I only counted 45 people. If I am correct, it appears most of the individuals in this investigation were made up those with mild and pretty bad symptoms (stage 2 and stage 3). It appears only about 18% had full AIDS (7/45 = 18).
Any way you slice it, the outcomes of this investigation sound pretty impressive. To give you both sides, let me play devils advocate for a moment and bring up a few things which occurred to me:
- The study mentions 51 people were involved but I counted only 45. The researchers do not mention if any subjects dropped out.
- Most people did not have full blown AIDS.
- The researchers state the Alpha Zam black seed concoction “significantly decreased the viral load to undetectable level in many patients in this study.” They did not say everybody's levels decreased to undetectable levels.
- There was no placebo group
- This study does not contain the words “cure” or “seroreversion” or remission or “ex HIV patent” as did the original investigation discussed above. I believe the omission of words like these are important to remember for those searching for answers.
Why Aren't Doctors Talking About This?
My guess is most GP doctors have not about it, although my hunch is AIDS researchers have. Big Pharma likely wont touch this because they patent a natural cure – although if this really is proven to work, I would not be surprised if they tried to patent a black seed drug one day.
While I am generally not prone to believing in conspiracies, I am surprised at how little the medical world -and reporters – are paying attention to this. If nigella sativa oil is truly proven to be effective, it would be a game-changer.
Black Seed Oil Side Effects
The studies presented above do not show any drug interactions. But, other studies have noted the nigella sativa compound, thymoquinone (TQ) can interact with drug metabolism enzymes. Therefore, there is the potential for drug interactions.
If you are going to experiment with black seeds, please talk to your doctor and pharmacist. Get their insights on interactions with the medications you take.
Print up the studies and show them the research so they can analyze them for you. Here are the studies again:
Does Black Seed Oil Cure HIV?
Three clinical studies have demonstrated black seed oil appears to decrease CD4 counts and viral loads in people infected with the HIV virus. Both studies are conducted by the same researchers in the UK and Nigera.
While these investigations appear to be well conducted for the most part, because of the gravity associated with finding an possible inexpensive, alternative treatment for AIDS, I'd like to see another, larger study conducted by other researchers before I fully believe these results.