“Black Seed” is also referred to as Black Cumin Seed Oil and comes from the Nigella Sativa plant that is native to Asia. The name Black seed is used to help in distinguishing it from caraway and cumin. Black Cumin Seed is one of the most ancient of the herbal remedies. Several health experts have found that black seed help cures most conditions such as allergies to hypertension. The most promising research has been done to establish its anti-inflammatory properties.
The major constituent of Nigella sativa oil extract known as thymoquinone (Tq), is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of Black Seed. Thymoquinone (Tq) acts by inducing apoptosis while inhibiting the proliferation in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) cells. It also increases p21 WAF1 expression which inhibits histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity while at the same time inducing histone hyperacetylation. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have been proved to ameliorate inflammation-associated cancer and therefore, making Black Cumin Seed Oil to have anti-inflammatory effects.
The oil and thymoquinone present in Black Seed Oil have shown potent anti-inflammatory effects in various experimental models of inflammation. The experimental models include;
- Peritonitis- This refers to the inflammation of the membrane inside of the abdomen and all of other internal organs.
- Edema- This describes the swelling of soft tissues resulting from the excess accumulation of fluid.
- Encephalomyelitis- This refers to the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord following infection
- Colitis- This is the inflammation of the colon.
- Arthritis- This refers to a form of joint disorder involving inflammation in one or more joints.
Anti-inflammatory mechanisms of Black seed oil
The constituents of Nigella Sativa oil have multiple anti-inflammatory mechanisms. These include;
- Inhibiting the production and activity of various substances that cause inflammation such as cytokines and interleukins with complex immune modulating properties.
- Thymoquinone (Tq), a constituent of black cumin seed oil can reduce the production of inflammatory interleukins while boosting the production of anti-inflammatory interleukins.
- Black cumin seed oil also lowers the production of a precursor of inflammatory molecules, a compound known as 5-HETE.
- It inhibits the enzyme systems such as 5-LOX and COX1 that are responsible for producing inflammatory mediators known as prostaglandins and leukotrienes.
The modern scientific analysis has shown that black cumin seed oil has components that re-establish the optimal inflammatory that in turn suppress inflammatory mediators.