For over 3000 years, black cumin seeds and the oil they yield have been used for cosmetic, medicinal, and culinary applications. Black cumin seed oil is a popular beauty ingredient that’s touted to be a great treatment for clogged pores, acne, dark spots and fine lines. It’s also said to promote healthy hair and scalp. It’s often used as an anti-aging moisturizer because of its anti-oxidant properties, which help to ward off free radical damage.
This potent and versatile oil has been praised by physicians like Hippocrates and Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna), who accredited it with healing properties for its stimulating, invigorating and strengthening effects on the body. It’s believed that this is due to the presence of thymoquinone, which has been shown to inhibit acid secretion and help to maintain a protective layer of mucus in the stomach.
More recently, black cumin oil has been used to soothe achy joints. One study1 found that 40 women with rheumatoid arthritis who took 500-mg black cumin seed oil capsules twice daily experienced a positive impact on swollen joints, morning joint stiffness and disease activity compared to the control group.
It’s also thought to aid weight loss, though more research needs to be done on this. In a eight-week study, women who consumed black cumin seed oil saw greater reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and triglyceride levels than those who consumed sunflower oil.