Black cumin seed oil suppresses disease-causing inflammation
(NaturalHealth365) The research is in – and it demonstrates that black cumin seed oil can wield tremendous power when it comes to preventing and even reversing life-threatening diseases.
Recent studies have shown that black cumin seed oil can help re-establish the delicate balance of an aging immune system, preventing the development of inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis.
Key point: Systemic inflammation triggers chronic disease – including cancer
Although we are conditioned to think of inflammation as harmful, this isn’t always the case. Inflammation is the body’s healthy and appropriate defense against threats such as infection, trauma and malignant cells. But when inflammation becomes chronic and systemic, it can damage cells, cause mutations that lead to malignant cellular changes, and set the stage for disease. In fact, this excessive inflammatory process accounts for close to a quarter of all cancers.
As the body ages, the all-important balance between acute, healthy inflammation and chronic, destructive inflammation can be disturbed – resulting in too much of the “wrong” kind of inflammation and not enough of the “right” kind. Excessive inflammation performs its destructive work on tissues; simultaneously, a weakened immune response, or immunosenescence, reduces the body’s ability to combat infection – truly the “worst of both worlds,” from a health standpoint.
Black cumin seed oil can reverse this dangerous scenario
Black cumin seed oil contains powerful phytochemicals that inhibit the production and activity of inflammatory factors such as prostaglandins, cytokines and interleukins. At the same time, black cumin seed oil boosts the infection – and cancer-fighting properties of immune system cells the body needs to utilize to defend against pathogens and cancers.
Black cumin seeds, scientifically known as Nigella sativa and also called black caraway and Roman coriander, contain a phytochemical called thymoquinone. Researchers believe that thymoquinone, a potent antioxidant, gets the credit for much of the seed oil’s healing powers. Black cumin seeds also contain thymol, a natural antiseptic and antimicrobial.
What does the scientific research say?
In a placebo-controlled study published in 2011 in Phytotherapy Research, 40 women with rheumatoid arthritis took a placebo containing starch twice a day for a month, then 500 mg of black cumin seed oil twice a day for a month. During the month they took the oil, 42.5 percent of the study participants – a significant amount – reported reduced symptoms, including decreased swelling of joints and a lessening of morning stiffness.
Thymoquinone from black cumin seed oil also shows potential to dramatically improve osteoarthiritis, the most common form of arthritis in the United States. In an animal study published in 2010 in Experimental Biology and Medicine, thymoquinone reduced levels of MMP – matric metalloproteinase, an enzyme that destroys bone and joint tissue.
In one of the most striking studies, published in Egyptian Journal of Immunology, black cumin seed oil worked as well as the steroid dexamethasone in reducing the number of cytokines and inflammatory cells in lung tissue.
Black cumin seed oil fights cancer through multiple actions
Black cumin seed oil shows potential to aggressively combat cancer – functioning almost like a successful general on the battlefield, rallying and inspiring the troops. Researchers have found that it increases the activity of macrophages, which surround, engulf and destroy abnormal cells. It also boosts the survival of CD-8 T-cells, which hunt down and kill infected or cancerous cells, while stimulating “helper” T-cells – responsible for marshalling natural killer cells and directing them to their targets.
In one study, participants who took black cumin seed oil experienced a 55 percent increase in the activity of their helper T-cells, along with a 30 percent increase in natural killer cell function.
Black cumin seed oil combats heart disease
This versatile oil could lower risk of atherosclerosis and with it, the risk of heart attack and stroke. In animal studies, black cumin seed oil lowered unhealthy LDL cholesterol, while raising beneficial HDL. Black cumin seed oil may also reduce ischemia-reperfusion injury, which causes the debilitating tissue and organ damage that can occur after a heart attack or stroke.
Added benefit: Allergy and asthma relief
Since allergies and asthma both stem from overreactions in the immune system, it’s not surprising that black cumin seed oil helps alleviate both. Patients with allergic rhinitis reported significant decrease in nasal congestion, itching, runny nose and sneezing, while patients with asthma reported relaxation of trachea and airways.
With its ability to create optimal inflammatory balance safely and naturally, black cumin seed oil may prove to be a game-changer in the ongoing battle against chronic degenerative diseases.