Saturday, 28 May 2016

3 Main Benefits of Black Cumin

Black cumin has been a favorite spice among medical researchers for the past 40 years. There seems to be an endless number of benefits that black cumin provide, but in this post I am going to focus on three important health issues that are prevalent in our society.

By Mountainhills (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1.Diabetes Mellitus

As many of us are aware, Diabetes is a disease that slowly kills us. It damages almost every part of our body, especially when the blood sugar level is poorly controlled.

Black cumin contains a chemical called Thymoquinone. This "oil" has been extensively studied and have been proven to have many healing properties, which includes lowering blood glucose level.

A clinical trial by Kaatbi H et al which was done in India proves that when give 2g of black cumin on daily basis, Type 2 diabetic patients have reduction in the blood sugar level. This was proven with reduced fasting blood glucose level (the baseline sugar in our blood) and HBA1C (a parameter used by doctors to assess diabetic control over 3 months). 

"Black cumin is a supplement which helps in blood sugar control"

We are not sure on how it works, but an important fact to note is that, throughout this trial, all patients were still on oral medications. That means, black cumin is only a supplement which helps in blood sugar control, and we can't depend on it solely.

Another review by Hesmati J echoes the same finding, suggesting black cumin can be further studied to find the optimal dose ,and route of ingestion.

2. High cholesterol level

With our high fat containing food, we are seeing many patients with elevated cholestrol level. Elevated cholestrol in our blood, in form of LDL can lead to formation of atherosclerosis, or commonly known as "block" in the arteries of the heart.

Image by |Pixabay
Black cumin oil has been proven to reduce this, especially the LDLs and Triglyceride level. When the level of LDL and Triglyceride reduces, it will reduce the formation of "block" in the arteries, thus saving a patient from having a severe heart attack. And again this property is due to the presence of Thymoquinone in black cumin oil.

3. Anti- Cancer

Claiming anything is capable of curing cancer is dangerous. Cancer is unpredictable, it happens due to abnormal DNA, thus anything can happen in a cancer cell. Even the most amazing chemotherapy might be useful in one patient and be disappointing in another patient.

Scientiests such as Hammaq Shafiq et al have shown that Thymoquinone in black cumin oil, has anti-proliferative effect on the breast cancer cells. It essentially means that black cumin prevents the cancer cells from growing and dividing thus halting its growth. 

But a key finding to note is that, it had supplementary effect to the chemoagents that are commonly used for breast cancer treatment.

In conclusion we can see that black cumin seeds are indeed gift of the nature. So far, only one studied showed us relatively how much black cumin oil is needed to have some of its positive effect.Many pharmaceutical companies are selling black cumin seed supplements. But be careful, choose a good brand and make sure it's licensed by the Malaysian Food Safety agency.

For further reading

Nigella sativa improves glycemic control and ameliorates oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus
2. Effects of black seed (Nigella sativa) on metabolic parameters in diabetes mellitus: a systematic review.

3. Cardio-protective and anti-cancer therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa

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