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 a headache, toothache, nasal congestion, and intestinal worms. It has also been used for “pink eye” (conjunctivitis), pockets of infection (abscesses), and parasites.
Today, black seed is used for treating digestive tract conditions including gas, colic, diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, and hemorrhoids. It is also used for respiratory conditions including asthma, allergies, cough, bronchitis, emphysema, flu, swine flu, and congestion.
Other uses include lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, treating cancer, and boosting the immune system. You may read that a patent has been issued to cover the use of black seed to improve immunity but don’t be misled. The presence of a patent doesn’t mean black seed has been shown to be effective for this use.
Women use the black seed for birth control, to start menstruation, and to increase milk flow.
Black seed is sometimes used in combination with cysteine, vitamin E, and saffron to ease the side effects of a chemotherapy drug called cisplatin.
Some people apply black seed directly to the skin for joint pain (rheumatism), headache, and certain skin conditions.
In foods, black seed is used as a flavoring or spice.
How does it work?
There is some scientific evidence to suggest that black seed might help boost the immune system, fight cancer, prevent pregnancy, and lessen allergic reactions by acting as an antihistamine, but there isn’t enough information in humans yet.