Foods to boost the immune system

Research literature declares Nigella Sativa especially its active constituent thymoquinone to be extremely potent in inhibiting the formation of leukotriene and histamine (an inflammatory mediator that initiates and aggravates asthma) and has a prophylactic effect on asthma.

Table 1

Depiction of Nigella sativa effects supplementation on patients with respiratory disorder

DiseaseStudy DesignPopulationPart of the herb, dose and duration of treatmentResult
Lower respiratory tract illnesses (LRTI)Controlled clinical trial29 asthmatic patientsN.sativa boiled extract (15ml/kg/day for three months)Prophylactic effect of N.sativa on asthmatic patients)
 Prospective, randomized, open study84 patients of wheeze associated with LRTIN.sativa seed oil (0.1mg/kg for 14 days)More beneficial effect on reducing the pulmonary index and improving the peak expiratory flow rate.
 Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial40 chemical war victimsN.sativa boiled extract (0.375ml/kg/day for 2 months)Prophylactic effect of N.sativa on chemical war victims.
Allergic rhinitisSingle-blind comparative clinical trial47 untreated adult patients with seasonal allergic rhinitisN.sativa (250mg/day for 2 weeks)Decreasing diurnal, ophthalmic and nocturnal
 Double blind clinical trial68 patients with allergic rhinitisNasal drops of N.sativa oil (15ml for 6 weeks)Notable symptomatic improvement in patients
TonsillipharyngitisComparative, parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study186 acute tonsillipharyngitis patientsN.sativa and Phyllanthus niruri
(N.sativa 360mg and P.niruri 50mg thrice a day for a week)  
Remarkable symptomatic treatment of the disease.

Table 1 depicts different clinical studies conducted over patients of respiratory tract illnesses. It is not like you are cutting corners while switching towards herbal therapy but every cloud has a silver lining. While talking about this wonder seed, it would be an understatement if we call it a silver lining. Its beyond golden lining as N.sativa is now clinically proven for lower respiratory tract illnesses, allergic rhinitis, tonsillipharyngitis, and so forth. So, it better to transit towards herbal therapy rather going for a wild goose chase.

Better late than never!

Liver-Friendly and Antioxidant

Nigella, however, knows exactly how to pour rain on the parade of free radicals. It inhibits all the routes that lead to the mechanisms holding the use of oxidative species. It scavenges O-2 and OH radicals, inhibit the iron dependent lipid peroxidation, inhibit the expression of nitric oxide synthetase, amplify the activity of quinone reductase, catalase and glutathione reductase that reduces the count of free radicals.

Chronic hepatitis conspires a vicious cycle which leads to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. A study concluded that intake of extracts of N.sativa with or without the extract of garlic decreases the viral load and enhances the functioning of liver. A mixture of these extracts produced synergism of action and proved to be quite fruitful rather than their separate consumption.

N.sativa is also helpful in combating virus by decreasing the viral load which makes it useful for hepatitis patients. The studies claimed sustained sero-reversion, increased CD4 cells count, and alleviated symptoms.

Nigella Sativa

Table 2
Depiction of Nigella sativa effects supplementation on patients with liver disorders

Study DesignPopulationPart of the herb, dose and duration of treatmentResult
Randomized clinical trial60 patients of hepatitis C virusN.sativa extract + Garlic extract (500mg)Notable decrease in viral load and improvement in liver functioning
 30 patients of hepatitis C virusN.sativa oil (450mg thrice a day)Notable decrease in viral load and improvement in liver functioning
 1 HIV patient (male)N.sativa concoction (10ml twice a day for six months)Notable alleviation of symptoms.
 1 HIV patient (female)N.sativa concoction (10ml twice a day for six months)Notable alleviation of symptoms.

Some Nigella seeds a day, keep the oxidative stress away!

Farewell to Sugary- Best herbal medicine

Suffering with diabetes is not just a single disorder, but a cascade of disorders runs down the column, rendering the list of resultant diseases to be long enough that surpasses the imagination of lay person. Diabetes is like an arrow immersed in curare (arrow poison). When it spears, through your body, it does not just injure the area of interest, but gradually engulfs all the vitals and accounts for not so distant end-organ damage.

But beating a dead horse never proved fruitful!

Precisely when you thought there is no way out of diabetes mellitus, Nigella sativa made its path out of the crowd to be at your rescue. Standard treatments are not anymore capable of rectifying the imbalance of blood glucose levels alone. And the creation is in dire need of something amazing to sweep this nuisance off of the surface of the mother earth.  

A research panel recruited 94 patients of diabetes mellitus type II and they were orally administered with capsules containing Nigella sativa in a dose of 1, 2 and 3mg/day for about 12 weeks (3 months). Their vitals along with fasting, post prandial and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were carefully monitored. The use of Nigella in a dose of 2mg/day significantly aided in reducing HbA1, fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels. Furthermore, there was no manifestation of any sort of adverse effect on renal and hepatic functioning.

So, a 2mg capsule per day as adjuvant therapy to oral hypoglycemic agents proves to be of great use and can bring wonders to the patient of diabetes mellitus type II.

Another study proves that Nigella sativa is highly capable of controlling the diabetic complications by its antioxidative effect. Nigella sativa oil or extract remarkably decreases the diabetes-induced lipid peroxides and hyperglycemia all the while appreciably increasing serum insulin concentration. Just when you thought it’s over, well no! Here comes the real task that is to strategically prevent apoptosis in microvascular and macrovascular structure.    

It is evident that Nigella Sativa has ultra-protective effect diabetes by preserving integrity of β-cells of pancreas and improves the glycemic status of a diabetic patient.

Table 3
Depiction of Nigella sativa effects supplementation on patients with Diabetes Mellitus Type II

Study DesignPopulationPart of the herb, dose and duration of treatmentResult
Randomized double blind placebo trial72 Type II DM patients (age between 30-60 years)N.sativa oil (3g/day for 12 weeks)Decreased levels of fasting blood sugar, LDL-C , BMI and HbA1c.
Prospective study60 patients with insulin resistanceN.sativa oil (5ml/day), atorvastatin (10mg/day) and metformin (1g/day) for 6 weeksDecreased cholesterol and fasting blood sugar levels
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial41 Type II DM patientsN.sativa tea (5g/day) + usual anti diabetics with proper diet and exercise for 6 monthsNotable decreased levels of fasting blood glucose, Postprandial blood glucose and HbA1c
 94 Type II DM patientsN.sativa seeds (2g-3g/day for 12 weeks)     N.sativa seeds (1g/day for 12 weeks)Remarkable decreased levels of fasting blood sugar, 2hour postprandial blood glucose and insulin resistance. Insignificant changes.

Table 3 clearly manifests diverse studies conducted on patients with Diabetes Mellitus Type II and a massive safe portrayal of N.sativa that outshines in the standard of herbal therapy. Taking N.sativa as per the mentioned requirements will surely give the results that will lead you to cloud nine and you will never get tire of thanking the nature for providing you with such an amazing herb.


A much needed leg-up for rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic ailment characterized by swelled up joints, degenerated collagen fibers and atrophic bones. With idiopathic etiology, scientists have somehow agreed to blame the state of autoimmunity being the reason. It would not harm to claim that ROS plays a substantial role in pathogenesis of Rheumatoid arthritis.

A clinical study invested in taking 40 female volunteers with rheumatoid arthritis. They received N.sativa oil capsules (500mg) twice a day that alleviated the symptoms that indicates the immunomodulatory activity of our wonder seed. Its mechanism of action is believed to affect the oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators. Thymoquinone runs like wind as soon as it gets the sight of clouds on the horizon. And by clouds, we mean inflammatory mediators and free radicals. It inhibits NF-κB (controls the production of cytokines and up-regulates TNF-α, IL-6) that in turn leads to retardation of further proinflammatory and subsequent inflammatory conditions. While encountering different circumstances, such as ROS, it again comes across NF-κB, which blocks all the pathways that elevates oxidative stress.

Therefore, slipping some N.sativa oil in your routine will certainly help to steer clear of the nuisance, and further, it is very cost effective because if you are sagacious then you will always choose the best ends and the best means to save for the rainy days.

How to boost your immune system

Neurological Disorder Suppressor

The magical spells of N.sativa truly knows no bounds. It candidly sweeps the scum internally from your body leaving you rejuvenated for the rest of your life.

A clinical trial was designed in which treatment of intractable pediatric seizures was executed with water extract of black cumin versus placebo, as an adjunct therapy to anti-epileptic drugs. The results portrayed great reduction in the frequency of seizures. Another parallel trial also showed similar outcomes, proving N.sativa water extract to be potent in improving the seizures.

In another placebo-controlled trial, healthy elderly volunteers were elected to address memory and cognition. A 500mg capsule of N.sativa was counseled to be consumed twice a day for a period of 9 weeks. Through special tests, remarkably improved memory, cognition and attention were observed that renders this wonder seed as perfect slip on in your daily routine.

Another clinical trial addressed anxiety, mood and cognition. The population of interest was composed of adolescent males aged 14 to 17 years and the dose of N.sativa capsule was 500mg once a day for a period of four weeks. At the completion of trial, a modulating effect was observed on anxiety, mood and cognition.

Depiction of Nigella sativa effects supplementation on patients with neurological disorders.

Study DesignPopulationPart of the herb, dose and duration of treatmentResult
Double-blinded crossover clinical trial23 epileptic childrenN.sativa water extract (40mg/kg/8h for 10 weeks)Significant reduction in mean frequency of seizures.
Pilot, double-blinded crossover clinical trial22 epileptic childrenN.sativa water extract (1mg/kg for 10 weeks)Significant reduction in mean frequency of seizures.
Placebo-controlled clinical trial40 healthy elderly volunteersN.sativa oil (40-80mg/kg/day for 10 weeks)Notable improvement of cognition, mood and memory
Placebo-controlled clinical trial48 adolescent maleN.sativa capsule (500mg for 12 weeks)  Remarkable enhancement of anxiety, mood and cognition.


Another pharmacological activity attributed to N.sativa is its analgesic activity. This versatile herb has been a part of many pre-clinical and clinical trials to prove its versatility and attain the code of honor.

A study was carried out in which 90 male albino mice were elected and were divided in 3 groups, each containing 30 mice. The first group was intraperitoneally administered with normal saline, Nigella sativa extract was administered to the second group while the last group was given diclofenac sodium. Analgesic effect was produced in the mice by both N.sativa extract and diclofenac sodium but the degree of induction of analgesia by N.sativa extract was a bit lower than Diclofenac sodium.

On the contrary, topical administration of N.sativa oil over the painful area certainly does the job efficiently in humans. A clinical trial addressed cyclic mastalgia in 52 women. Here, N.sativa was again compared with Diclofenac and results were quite fruitful as significant therapeutic effect was observed without any adverse effect and the result was fairly comparable with Diclofenac.

 Table 5
Depiction of Nigella sativa effects supplementation on patients with cyclic mastalgia.

Study DesignPopulationPart of the herb, dose and duration of treatmentResult
Randomized, triple-blind, active and placebo-controlled clinical trial52 women suffering from cyclic mastalgiaN.sativa seed oil (600mg for 2 months)Significant reduction in pain without any adverse effect.

Dermatological Effect

Nigella sativa has a whole bag of tricks to take the dermatological disorders by the horns. It is fully on the ball to take charge of the situation and reverse it. It is clinically proven to address vitiligo, eczema, atopic dermatitis and arsenical keratosis.

Vitiligo is a chronic skin disorder that results in appearance of lesions on the skin due to deficiency of melanin that maintains the color of your skin tone. A clinical trial dealt with 52 eligible patients of vitiligo. The patients were divided in two groups equally where the first half received N.sativa seed oil while the other half received topical fish oil. The oils were topically applied and the result of N.sativa out casted the effect of topical fish oil. The size of lesions significantly decreased after 2 months of trial with N.sativa seed oil making it efficacious for the disease.

Another clinical trial addressed hand eczema, which is characterized by inflamed, red, itchy and rough skin with periodical appearance of blisters. The study concluded that N.sativa ointment is as potent as betamethasone for the reduction of severity of eczema and improving the quality of life.

Furthermore, one more study proclaimed that administration of N.sativa oil capsules and vitamin E together greatly aids in the alleviation of symptoms of arsenical keratosis. It remarkably decreases the arsenic load which appears due to consumption of contaminated water that contains arsenic.

Table 6
Depiction of Nigella sativa effects supplementation on patients with some dermatological disorders.

Study DesignPopulationPart of the herb, dose and duration of treatmentResult
Randomized double-blind clinical trial52 vitiligo patientsN.sativa oil (Twice a day for six months)Significant reduction in size of the lesion.
 60 patients of hand eczemaN.sativa ointment
on one hand and Betamethasone+Eucerin on the other hand
N.sativa ointment and Betamethasone have same efficacy.
 28 patients of palmer arsenical keratosisN.sativa oil (500mg) and Vitamin E (200mg) for eight weeksNotable alleviation of symptoms.

Anti-cancer agent

Cancer of any trait pushes the patients back to the wall. It becomes the bane of life and patient’s body demands cure at any cost to function in a proper fashion. And the most ironic part about cancer is nothing is eligible enough to blame the abnormal cell growth but the patient’s own body. It has to carry the can and face the chill winds.

The anti-cancer activity of Nigella sativa has been extensively studied. It is capable to produce antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, cytotoxic, pro-apoptotic, anti-proliferative, and anti-metastatic effects in various cancer cells and cancer cell line. Both clinical and preclinical studies present strong evidences for controlling tumor initiation, growth, and metastasis independently or in combination with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs.

Test-tube studies portrayed its efficacy against pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colon and cervical cancer.

Another test-tube studies confirms inactivation of cell in breast cancer while other proclaimed cell death in blood cancer due to thymoquinone.

Roll in the hay

It would not harm to end our conversation with the most awaited, interesting and direly needed topic: male reproductive disorders.
An infertile male lowers the chances of causing pregnancy in his female partner that immensely disturbs the quality of relation and may lead to other uninvited personality disorders. About 13 out of 100 couples are not able to conceive due to male infertility.

It is mainly due to abnormal semen production, sperm count, motility and pH. Nigella sativa was chosen and compared with a placebo in a clinical study where it evidently improved sperm parameters semen production, sperm count, motility and morphology, its round cells and pH.

Another study proved that thymoquinone can improve male fertility parameters by promoting antioxidant stress. It is considered to promote spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis that positively influence sperm parameters, semen, Leydig cells, sexual hormones and reproductive organs.

N.sativa seeds have proven itself by undergoing several clinical trials for different diseases. From respiratory disorders to reproductive disorders, it will be by your side through thick and thin. Now it depends on you whether you incorporate it in your diet or adjunct therapy to alleviate your illness.

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