Black seed for Immune and Lung Support, the Ultimate Mediterranean Powerhouse
Cass Ingram, D.O.
March 17, 2020
Black seed or Nigella sativa, the seeds from a plant of the buttercup family, has been used since ancient times as both food and medicine. No one seems to be familiar with Mentioned in the Bible it was the Prophet Muhammad who stated that it was, essentially, a “cure for all diseases, except death.” A traditional herbal medicine, it has been used for a vast array of conditions. Ancient Egyptians relied upon as an aid to respiratory complaints, also for digestive conditions and as a worm-killer. Because of the Prophet’s dictates it became highly popular in early Islamic societies. Al-Jawaziyya of the 13th century recommended it for gasping and difficult breathing. Ibn Sina held it effective for all types of shortness of breath and for halting phlegm. It continues to be a highly recommended remedy in the Middle East for a wide range of respiratory complaints, including asthma. Other conditions for which it was proven valuable over the centuries include bronchitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, colds, flu, and pneumonia.
Black seed is available as the whole seed itself and also the expressed oil. Both have been shown to help enhance immune function, while also acting specifically as antihistamines and as bronchodilators. There have been at least 8 clinical studies showing that the seed and the oil are active against any form of respiratory distress, with the focus being on asthmatic conditions. In conditions of respiratory distress it has been found to aid greatly, reducing histamine reactions, minimizing allergic responses, and easing inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
The positive response to lung and bronchial function from the ingestion of black seed is immense. Nigella sativa and its astoundingly powerful active ingredients truly are whole food, natural bronchial and respiratory support aids. These foods/supplements are certainly highly preventive for lung/chest support yet can even be given in a respiratory crisis, along with standard medical treatment, with effectiveness. After all, it is a food, used, for instance, on nan bread and in stews. All people with respiratory challenges should consider consuming this God-blessed complex. It is available as the cold-pressed oil in both the whole oil and also in gelcap, the latter, ideally, being combined with Mediterranean fennel and cumin oils. Expect any such supplements to offer major protective powers for respiratory health.
As far as antihistaminic actions it is no minor player. In at least four studies it was demonstrated to reduce the excessive output of histamine from immune cells. All tendency towards allergic reactions in both the lungs and intestinal canal were reduced. This was to such a degree that the researchers determined that it should be included to aid anyone with allergic reactions in the gut. For lung function there is strong data, with the freshly crushed seed extract causing a significant improvement in clinical symptoms and pulmonary function test in adult asthmatics. The findings were highly significant in this double blind, placebo-controlled study and demonstrate that the oil works as well, if not superior, to any drug for this condition.
Saudi investigators have done highly thorough studies regarding its protective and curative powers. In their assessment they reviewed a double-blinded study, which showed a positive effect even in a single dose, with the black seed inducing measurable bronchial dilation. The active ingredient thymoquinone, which is similar to coenzyme Q-10, is thought responsible for these powers. In fact, all the key active ingredients, thymoquinone, nigellone, carvone, carvacrol, and thymol, are all potent agents for respiratory health.
Black seed is also an important natural medicine for fighting immune system excesses. It has the potency to even reverse the more serious immune consequences such as the potentially massively destructive cytokine storm. Apparently, black seed interferes with the genes responsible for inducing these potentially noxious chemicals. They are surely made by the body for a positive purpose. However, in germ overload an excessive production can develop, which can prove dangerous. Spicy food-like substances, like black seed, oregano, fennel, cumin, and sage, are all potent for halting cytokine productions. It is highly advisable to consume such spices or their oil extracts on a regular basis. especially if a person has chronic respiratory complaints, including asthma, bronchitis, and sinus disorders.
In one study mice treated with thymoquinone had a significant drop in what are known as markers of inflammation, all within the cytokine family. The investigators concluded that human studies must be done, since the results were so favorable. They actually determined that black seed would be effective in those suffering from sepsis or blood poisoning, the extreme in cytokine-related toxicity.
The seeds are particularly powerful for immune health. If there is flu or other virus attack, these seeds can be chewed on repeatedly; they offer significant antiseptic actions. The oil also can be taken for this benefit. Ideally, black seed oil gelcaps with fennel and cumin should be consumed. Such a supplement can be taken on the hour or two, if necessary. The white cells are more biologically active as a result of the black seed oil and seed therapy.
Supplements are typically available as such fortified capsules, the pure oil itself, the crushed seed in capsules with other synergists, like cumin and red sour grape, and the raw seeds themselves. For more information see the book, The Black Seed Oil Miracle.
Note: The highest-quality black seed oil supplements include, as mentioned, the whole food, cold-pressed oil, the 1000 mg gelcaps with fennel and cumin, plus the crushed seed with brown cumin and red sour grape. The latter is a synergistic blend that is delicious in food, including yogurt and stir-fry.
Ingram, C. 2018. The Black Seed Miracle. Lake Forest, IL: Knowledge House Publishers