Black cumin (black seed), or commonly known by the Indonesian people as habbatussauda, has long been widely used as an herbal medicine. Research shows this plant has health benefits and is able to overcome various diseases.
Grains, which in Latin are called Nigella sativa, are usually processed to make spices or extracts. Since the past, Black Seed has been used to deal with various diseases and is believed to have good benefits for health.
Black cumin contains various nutrients that are good for health, such as carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats including oleic acid and linoleic acid, calcium, fiber, iron, sodium, potassium, and antioxidants.
Benefits of Black Cumin
Various studies have been carried out to prove the benefits of Black Seed treatment. Among other things to help treat diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and cancer.
In addition, black cumin also has an antibacterial, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, immune-boosting effect, and is good for kidney, stomach, and liver health. These benefits come from thymoquinone (TQ) contained in Black Seed.
With these many benefits, black cumin gives the impression as an herbal medicine that can treat various diseases. However, how are these properties seen from the medical side?
- Treat high blood pressure (hypertension)
In small-scale studies, Black Seed appears to reduce high blood pressure. In the study, there was a decrease in blood pressure in the subjects studied, after consuming Black Seed extract for eight weeks. However, the effectiveness and safety of these herbal drugs is not yet known clinically.
- Treat high cholesterol
Cholesterol is indeed needed by the body. But if excessive, it can increase the risk of various diseases, such as strokes and heart disease. Some studies show that black cumin can reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, and increase good cholesterol levels.
- Maintain blood sugar levels
High blood sugar is one sign of diabetes. Symptoms can include frequent thirst, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Untreated diabetes can even cause nerve damage, impaired vision, and slow healing of wounds.
In one study, consumption of black cumin for several weeks seems to reduce blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. The effect of Black Seed is thought to be good for diabetes, but the clinical data obtained so far have not been able to confirm this.
- Has an anti-inflammatory effect
One effect of Black Seed which is believed to be good for health is its ability to reduce inflammation. Small-scale clinical research for 3 months in asthma sufferers showed that Black Seed can reduce the severity and frequency of asthma attacks.
Another study also showed that this herbal medicine can help deal with other diseases caused by inflammation, such as sinusitis, allergies, and arthritis.
- Fight infection
Black Seed has antibacterial and antiviral properties. This is evidenced from a study that showed that this herbal medicine was able to eradicate the virus that causes hepatitis C, HIV, and flu. Black Seed is also seen to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, so it is considered capable of fighting infection.
- Protect the heart
Some animal studies also show that black cumin can prevent liver damage. This benefit is related to the antioxidant content of black cumin which has anti-inflammatory functions.
- Prevent cancer
Thymoquinone is an active compound contained in black cumin seeds. This compound is said to have an anticancer effect. In some animal studies, thymoquinone can reduce the size of malignant tumors. In addition, laboratory tests show that thymoquinone can effectively inhibit cancer cell growth.
Unfortunately, various research studies related to the benefits of black cumin to treat disease have so far been limited to small-scale studies. That is, more clinical research is needed in humans to prove the efficacy of black cumin as a medicine.
Black Cumin Side Effects to Look Out for
Black cumin oil and black cumin extract are probably safe to consume when used in the short term. At present there is not enough information about the side effects of black cumin if used in large or long-term doses. The benefits and side effects of children and pregnant women have not been confirmed.
Some people may experience allergies when black cumin or Black Seed is applied to the skin. In addition, black cumin can possibly slow blood clots, increase the risk of bleeding, make blood pressure drop, and make blood sugar drop for people who do not experience health problems.
Therefore, before consuming black cumin, it is better to consult a doctor first, especially if you have certain medical conditions.