Science

Black Seed
(Nigella Sativa)
Health Benefits

Allergy management

Many people have allergies to a variety of different allergens, from grass, dust mites and moulds to pollen, ragweed and grass. These allergens trigger an anti-histamine response that can lead to inflammation of the nasal passages, increased nasal and tear secretions, bronchial inflammation and difficulty breathing. Rashes, hives, swelling and itching of the skin are also not uncommon.

Anti-allergic drugs work because they block the histamine response to these allergens, however they also have unwanted side effects, for example drowsiness, that can interfere with people’s daily lives. Black Seed however, is a well-known as a natural alternative to the more traditional medicines, having the benefit of managing both the allergy and reducing the burden of side effects.

With proven anti-histaminic properties, the two active constituents in Black Seed that control these allergic reactions and provide significant relief from the many symptoms are nigellone and TQ.

A 2008 study has shown that nigellone has antihistaminic and bronchodilation properties, specifically providing an antispasmodic effect and clearing away mucus in allergy sufferers, as well as providing relief for asthma. TQ has anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, as well as anti-asthmatic and anti-allergic properties. Together, these active constituents in Black Seed have been shown to reduce inflammation and offer symptomatic relief to allergy sufferers

Immunity Support

Despite medicine’s relentless fight against infections, we are increasingly seeing the emergence of multi-resistant pathogens that cannot be treated with current antibiotics. These resistant pathogens increase the load of the immune system that is our primary defence against illness and infection.

Much of the clinical research into Black Seed has focused on its anti-oxidant properties, which reduces the effects of free radical damage, helping the body to heal itself. Research has also shown that TQ in Black Seed effectively acts as an antimicrobial agent and modulates the immune response, supporting the immune system and helping to prevent infections.

Black Seed has also shown to increase the activity of immune type cells, regulate cytokine production, and reduce inflammatory cells that are associated with immune problems and asthma. TQ has also been singled out as inhibiting the pathway that causes autoimmune encephalomyelitis in multiple sclerosis.

Black Seed is therefore suitable as an immunity supplements, specifically to assist conditions related to an overactive immune system, including allergic responses, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders. Research has also shown that Black Seed is effective against bacterial, viral and fungal infections, for example Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. It has even been shown to be beneficial in the control of HIV infections and has been shown to play a part in the control of viral infections and malignant cells.

Blood Sugar & Obesity Management

Black Seed has been shown to be effective for the treatment of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increases the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. When compared to a placebo, Black Seed resulted in reduced levels of BMI, body fat, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose.

There have been many studies into the effect of Black Seed on metabolic syndrome, all of which have shown very positive results. Other research has focused on weight reduction to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, finding positive results when Black Seed is administered along with a low calorie diet.

The treatment of diabetes has been a long-standing concern, particularly in Australia where we have one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. A 2016 study has found that Black Seed has been shown to not only improve the body’s ability to regulate glucose, but it also plays a significant role in treating the complications of diabetes, such as cataracts, neuropathy, nephropathy and cardiovascular problems.

Finally, Black Seed Oil has been shown to be effective in controlling glucose levels in Type II diabetes with no side effects, increase the secretion of insulin, and to decrease the process of gluconeogenesis that leads to hyperglycaemia.

Skin and Hair Support

Research has shown that Black Seed can aid in treating Telogen Effluvium (TE), a scalp disorder characterised by hair loss or thinning hair. Its efficacy is due to the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Black Seed with a 70% improvement seen in patients suffering from TE, specifically an increase in hair density and hair thickness.

Black Seed has also been shown to show significant promise in wound healing, and in treating psoriasis, acne vulgaris (chronic acne), eczema and vitiligo. For example, psoriasis is caused by an abnormal immune reaction in the body resulting in an atypical growth of epidermal cells. Black Seed aids in treating psoriasis because it regulates the body’s immune response and enhances the body’s ability to deal with this increase in epithelial cells.

Eczema is characterised by an inflammation of the skin leading to itchy red patches that can weep and form scabs. Treatment is usually achieved using steroids and immunosuppressants, however the emollient properties in Black Seed Oil has been shown to provide immense relief to sufferers, being equally effective at reducing symptoms of eczema as the more conventional treatments.

Finally, the potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Black Seed can help to reduce the effects of overexposure to UV light on the skin, as well as sun spots and age spots, all of which are caused by free radical damage.

Gastroenterology

Gastrointestinal diseases are chronic conditions that require long term treatments many of which can have serious side effects. Black Seed however, has been shown to be an effective alternate treatment without producing any side effects. For example, it has been shown to show significant improvement in people with functional dyspepsia, decreases inflammatory responses and bacterial loads in cases of intestinal obstruction, reduces gastric secretion in cases of gastric ulcers, improves the health of diseased livers, and assists in the treatment of colitis.

In general, research to date has shown that Black Seed Oil has a significant preventative and relieving effect on a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions.

Respiratory Health

Black Seed has been shown to have a very positive effect on many respiratory disorders characterised by allergic inflammatory responses. For example, Black Seed has recently been shown to show improvements in pulmonary function in asthmatics, and is also effective against colds and flu, asthma and bronchial inflammation.

Hab Shifa Black Seed products are:

✓ High quality: Derived from high quality Black Seeds (Nigella sativa), which are GMO-free, pesticide free, herbicide free and are not subject to fumigation

✓ 100% cold pressed: No heat or chemicals are used when extracting the oil

✓ Additive free: 100% pure black seed oil – and nothing else!

✓ Adulterant free: Laboratory authentication and identification tested

✓ Contaminant free: Every batch is screened for bacteria, yeasts and mould 3Freshness assured: We operate frequent, small-batch production runs

✓ Protected from rancidity: Machine sealed, light and air protective packaging

✓ Shelf life stability tested: Our customers can be assured freshness is maintained

✓ TGA approved: Listed in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (AustL 168980 and 169872)

✓ Australian made: Manufactured and packaged in Australia in accordance with ‘The Australian Code of GMP for Medicinal Products’ and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

✓ Australian company: Hab Shifa is proudly Australian owned and operated.

Navigating the Black Seed Oil market – how to choose a reliable product

With so many Black Seed Oil brands available on the market, there are lots of questions that need to be answered. For example:

  • How do you select a reliable product?
  • Can the quality of the oil be determined by how much of the bioactive thymoquinone is present?
  • Which extraction method produces the best quality oil?
  • How can you be certain the oil you select is free from contaminants?

The Hab Shifa team sought to answer some of these commonly asked questions. So, let’s look at the steps we feel are crucial to producing some of the best Black Seed Oil around: purity & potency, safety, quality, shelf stability and efficacy.

Purity and Potency

Naturally, the quality of the oil depends on the purity and potency of the Black Seeds from which it is pressed and at Hab Shifa, we have strict criteria for sourcing our ingredients. Our Black Seeds are grown in the Northern region of India by farmers who adhere to organic growing methods., ensuring that our seeds are pesticide-free, herbicide-free, GMO-free and are not subject to fumigation during transportation.

Safety:

Black Seed Oil is 10 to 15 times more expensive than other edible oils on the market and this, unfortunately, has led to some unethical producers diluting products with cheaper oils to increase economic profit1. Therefore, when selecting a Black Seed Oil, be sure to enquire if adulteration and contamination tests have been performed with each production run.

The principles of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) govern all steps of Hab Shifa’s Black Seed Oil production, so our customers can be certain our products are safe. We employ laboratory authentication, identification and microbiological testing to ensure our oils are unadulterated and contaminant free. Our Quality Assurance process is fully documented, with its effectiveness routinely monitored by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Quality:

At Hab Shifa, we produce our oil based on active scientific research. Our Black Seed Oil is derived using the cold-pressed method, as this is the type of extraction most commonly used in human clinical studies and has shown to have positive health outcomes. No heat or chemicals are used when extracting our oils, ensuring that the constituents of the Black Seed remains untouched and unaltered. Our products are additive free – just 100% pure black seed oil and nothing else!

Shelf Stability:

We operate frequent, small-batch production runs to ensure our customers receive the freshest oil available; the fresher the oil, the more potent its function. Our oil is protected from rancidity by high quality light and air protective packaging that has been machine-sealed to lock in optimal freshness. To take it one step further, our products are shelf life stability tested, so our customers can be assured that our oil is the freshest on the market.

Efficacy:

Thymoquonone (TQ) has been identified as the main active constituent of the Black Seed and has been found to possess excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Of the human clinical studies that have reported the TQ content within the whole oil, the range of TQ present has been 0.16% to 0.7%2-4. The lower end of the range 0.16% has produced positive clinical outcomes2,3, indicating that TQ has potent medicinal action even at small doses! Modern scientific research supports traditional medicinal use of Black Seed, which is considered therapeutically active even in doses used to season food products.

Hab Shifa is committed to producing premium natural Black Seed preparations that are clinically effective. We endeavour to deliver a TQ content within the science supported therapeutic range, so you can feel confident of its efficacy. Our assays have confirmed that our oil typically contains a TQ content of 0.25% of the whole oil.