ArticlePDF AvailableLiterature Review

Abstract

The seed of Nigella sativa ( N. sativa ) has been used in different civilization around the world for centuries to treat various animal and human ailments. So far, numerous studies demonstrated the seed of Nigella sativa and its main active constituent, thymoquinone, to be medicinally very effective against various illnesses including different chronic illness: neurological and mental illness, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetes, inflammatory conditions, and infertility as well as various infectious diseases due to bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral infections. In spite of limited studies conducted so far, the promising efficacy of N. sativa against HIV/AIDS can be explored as an alternative option for the treatment of this pandemic disease after substantiating its full therapeutic efficacy. Moreover, the strong antioxidant property of this valued seed has recently gained increasing attention with regard to its potential role as dietary supplement with minimal side effects. Besides, when combined with different conventional chemotherapeutic agents, it synergizes their effects resulting in reducing the dosage of concomitantly used drugs with optimized efficacy and least and/or no toxicity. A number of pharmaceutical and biological properties have been ascribed to seeds of N. sativa . The present review focuses on the profile of high-value components along with traditional medicinal and biological principles of N. sativa seed and its oil so as to explore functional food and nutraceutical potential of this valued herb.
Review Article
Nigella sativa L. (Black Cumin): A Promising Natural Remedy
for Wide Range of Illnesses
Ebrahim M. Yimer ,1Kald Beshir Tuem ,1Aman Karim ,2
Najeeb Ur-Rehman,3and Farooq Anwar4
1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University, Ethiopia
2Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University, Ethiopia
3Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia
4Department of Chemistry, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan
Correspondence should be addressed to Ebrahim M. Yimer; ebrahimmuhammed@gmail.com
Received 20 October 2018; Revised 26 February 2019; Accepted 30 April 2019; Published 12 May 2019
Academic Editor: Nativ Dudai
Copyright ©  Ebrahim M. Yimer et al. is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly
cited.
e seed of Nigella sativa (N. sativa) has been used in dierent civilization around the world for centuries to treat various
animal and human ailments. So far, numerous studies demonstrated the seed of Nigella sativa and its main active constituent,
thymoquinone, to be medicinally very eective against various illnesses including dierent chronic illness: neurological and
mental illness, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetes, inammatory conditions, and infertility as well as various infectious
diseases due to bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral infections. In spite of limited studies conducted so far, the promising
ecacy of N. sativa against HIV/AIDS can be explored as an alternative option for the treatment of this pandemic disease aer
substantiating its full therapeutic ecacy. Moreover, the strong antioxidant property of this valued seed has recently gained
increasing attention with regard to its potential role as dietary supplement with minimal side eects. Besides, when combined
with dierent conventional chemotherapeutic agents, it synergizes their eects resulting in reducing the dosage of concomitantly
used drugs with optimized ecacy and least and/or no toxicity. A number of pharmaceutical and biological properties have been
ascribed to seeds of N. sativa. e present review focuses on the prole of high-value components along with traditional medicinal
and biological principles of N. sativa seed and its oil so as to explore functional food and nutraceutical potential of this valued
herb.
1. Introduction
Plants have long been used as a basis of traditional remedies
in the history of mankind and also act as sources of modern
medicines. According to the World Health Organization
(WHO), more than three-fourths of the communities in
resource-limited countries rely upon medicinal plants for
their primary health care needs because more than % of
the societies are unable to have access and/or aord allopathic
medicines [, ]. In line with the new progress in the area of
optimum nutrition, nowadays there is a resurgence of interest
in the use of plants as a source of food and medicine [, ].
Recently, the usage of phytomedicine has been amplied
dramatically for numerous ailments because of not only their
easy accessibility and low cost but also the belief that natural
remedies have fewer harmful eects as compared to synthetic
medicines [].
e development of new products from natural sources
is also encouraged because it is estimated that, of the
, herbal species that exist globally, only % have been
explored for their pharmacological potential []. Among
several medicinal plants, Nigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae)
has been considered one of the most treasured nutrient-rich
herb in history around the world and numerous scientic
studies are in progress to validate the traditionally claimed
uses of small seed of this species [, ].
e maximal nutritional value of black cumin can be
linked to the presence of substantial amount of vegetable
Hindawi
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2019, Article ID 1528635, 16 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/1528635
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
protein, ber and minerals, and vitamins. e nutritional
composition reported from dierent sources revealed -%
of protein, .% of fat, -% of ber, and .% of total
carbohydrates. Among various amino acids identied, gluta-
mate, arginine, and aspartate while cysteine and methionine
were the major and minor amino acids, respectively. Black
cumin seeds also contain signicant levels of iron, copper,
zinc, phosphorus, calcium, thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, and
folic acid [, ]. In addition, phytochemical analyses of N.
sativa displayed the presence of over hundreds of phytocon-
stituents which include mainly alkaloids, saponins, sterols,
and essential oil but the composition of many of these have
not been chemically recognized nor have been biologically
veried. e N. sativa seed contain -% xed oil of which
themajorfattyacidsarelinoleicacid(.%)andpalmitic
acid (.%). e seed oil is comprised of .%–.% essential
oil [, ]. Amongst dierent active constituents reported so
far,thymoquinone found as major component of the essential
oil is the most bioactive compound and exhibits wide ranging
therapeutic benets [].
2. High-Value Bioactive
Compounds (Phytochemicals) in
the Seed of Nigella sativa
Several bioactive compounds from the seed of N. sativa
have been reported in the literature; among those the
most important bioactive ones are thymoquinones. Other
main phytochemicals reported from dierent varieties of N.
sativa include sterols and saponins, phenolic compounds,
alkaloids, novel lipid constituents and fatty acids, and
volatile oils of varying composition []. e essential oil
composition (.-.%) reported in various studies repre-
sented about forty dierent compounds, amongst the abun-
dantly constituents identied are trans-anethole, p-cymene
limonene, carvone, 𝛼-thujene, thymoquinone (TQ), thymo-
hydroquinone (THQ), dithymoquinone, carvacrol, and 𝛽-
Pinene with various concentration [–].
e quantity of most important bioactive constituent,
thymoquinone, present in the volatile oil isolated by dierent
extraction methods from the seeds of N. sativa varied over
awiderange:usingSC-CO
2(., . mg/g) [] and by
Soxhlet extraction (. mg/kg) [] and (.mg/g) oil
[].
e seed oil fatty acid composition (-%) has been
reported by various authors to contain mainly, linoleic,
linolenic, oleic, palmitoleic, palmitic acids together with
arachidonic, eicosadienoic, stearic, and myristic acid [, ,
]. A new dienoate and two known monoesters along with
novel lipids have been isolated from the unsaponied extract
of the seed, namely methylnonadeca-,-dienoate, pentyl
hexadec--enoate, and pentyl pentadec--enoate [].
Phytosterols are important part of human diet and are
gaining greater interest due to their nutraceutical and medic-
inal benets in lowering low density lipoprotein and total
cholesterol level []. Phytosterols are also important as char-
acteristic compounds for assessing the quality of vegetable
oils and food labeling. e total sterols content of black cumin
seed oil as estimated by dierent researchers was found to be
between  and % of the unsaponied matter. e major
sterols identied were 𝛽-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol,
and -avenasterol [, ]. Tocopherols exhibited attractive
scavenging potentials of free radicals which are believed
to terminate lipids peroxidation []. e total tocopherol
contents of black seed oil reported in varied quantities from
diverse sources ranged from . to . mg/ g. Among
the foremost tocopherols recognized in black cumin seeds,
𝛼-and𝛾-tocopherol and 𝛽-tocotrienol are well recognized
[].
Steroidal glycosides of new and known structures have
been isolated from N. sativa seeds which include -O-[𝛽-D-
xylopyranosyl-(󳨀→ )-𝛼-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(󳨀→)-𝛽-D-
glucopyranosyl]--methoxy-, -dihydroxy--methylol-
ean--enoate, stigma-,-dien--𝛽-D-glucop yranosid e [ ],
and -O-[𝛽-D-xylopyranosyl-(󳨀→)-𝛼-L-rhamnopyrano-
syl-(󳨀→ )-𝛽-D-glucopy-ranosyl]--methoxy--hydroxy-
-acetoxy hederagenin []. Moreover, alkaloids of diverse
types have been isolated from the seeds of black cumin,
which include novel Dolabellane-type diterpene alkaloids:
nigellamines A1,A
2,B
1,andB
2and nigellamines A, A, A,
and C [, ] possessing lipid metabolizing property, and
indazole class of alkaloids: nigellidine, nigellicine [, ],
and nigellidine--O-sulte [].
3. Traditional Uses of Nigella sativa in
Folk Remedies
Nigella sativa has been widely used as a spice and avoring
agent in variety of food preparations such as in bread,
yogurt, pickles, sauces, and salads. Black seed or black
cumin (English), Habbatul Barakah (Arabic), Tikur azmud
(Amharic), has long been used in traditional remedy in the
Arabian countries, Far East Asia, Europe, and Africa [].
Nigella sativa has also been described as the miraculous plant
and considered by earliest herbal specialists as “e herb
from heaven” []. e Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) had
described the curative powers of the black seed as “Hold on
to use this black seed, as it has a remedy for every illness
except death” []. Avicenna, a well-known physician of th
century famous for his book “e Canon of Medicine,” has
recommended use of Nigella seeds for enhancement of body’s
energy and also support during recovery from fatigue and
dispiritedness. Nigella sativa is also mentioned for its curative
property in the Holy Bible and is also labelled as Melanthion
by Hippocrates and Dioscorides [, ].
e medicinal use of black cumin seeds in various
traditional herbal systems is known for a wide range of
ailments which include dierent airway disorders, for pain
such as chronic headache and back pain, diabetes, paralysis,
infection, inammation, hypertension, and digestive tract
related problems administered in dierent kind of prepa-
rations. It has also been used topically where it is applied
directly to the blisters, nasal abscesses, orchitis, eczema, and
swollen joints [].
Keeping in view of the numerous traditional medic-
inal uses of N. sativa seeds and its active component,
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
thymoquinone, this valuable herb can be explored as an eec-
tive folk medicine with multiple pharmacological actions.
4. Pharmacological Activities of Nigella sativa
Nigella sativa has been broadly studied in the last few decades
and studies have reported that it possesses a number of
medicinal properties and pharmacological actions. In order
to retrieve the relevant literatures with respective subtopics,
we have used PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus Google
Scholar, and grey literatures using dierent searching terms
such as “Nigella sativa”or“Blackcumin”or“Blackseed
and respective disease conditions. In the case of PubMed
searching, we have used the respective “Mesh” terms and
text words “tw” in order to retrieve all the relevant articles
regardless of time boundaries.
4.1. Antioxidant Activity. Oxidative stress and an intensica-
tion in the levels of free radicals are amongst the foremost
central markers associated with several progressive patho-
logical conditions, including neurological disorder, cancer,
aging, and endocrine illness []. To date, there has been a
growing importance in the therapeutic option of medicinal
plants as natural antioxidants. Among the various naturally
occurring medicinal plants, N. sativa has been reported for its
eective antioxidant activities of in- vivo and in- vitro studies
[].
e concomitant usage of Allium sativum and N. sativa
seed in thirty postmenopausal women aer two months
of consumption revealed a signicant reduction in plasma
malondialdehyde (MDA) levels with increased activity in ery-
throcyte glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide
dismutase []. Likewise, the xed and essential oil of black
cumin seed revealed a signicant increment of Glutathione-
S-transferase (GST), glutathione reductase and GSH-Px
against oxidative stress brought by potassium bromate in rats
model [].
e separate administration of N. sativa and nanosized
clinoptilolite to Wistar rats also showed signicant improve-
ment on antioxidant parameters than concomitant uses
of both extracts and diabetic groups []. A randomized
controlled clinical trial in y volunteer obese subjects
also demonstrated that N. sativa seed oil along with a less
caloric diet signicantly diminished the superoxide dismu-
tase (SOD) level and body weight as compared to the placebo
group in eight weeks’ trial []. Moreover, the methanolic
extract and essential oil fractioned from N. sativa seed in
atherogenic suspension nourished rats has been reported
eectively replenished the plasma total antioxidant power by
eighty-eight percent against free radicals []. Similarly, the
oil of N. sativa and thymoquinone administration markedly
ameliorated cisplatin-induced alteration on carbohydrate
biotransformation and enzymatic and nonenzymatic antiox-
idant defense system in the gastric mucosa []. Hence, the
marked antioxidant activity of N. sativa and thymoquinone
might be a potential newer antioxidant agent and used as
essential nutrients for life for health promotion and diseases
prevention.
4.2. Antidiabetic Activity. Even with the advancement in the
management of diabetes mellitus, exploration for innovative
agents continues since the existing synthetic agents have
numerous limitations []. e administration of black
cumin seed for one month to streptozotocin-induced dia-
betic rats displayed a signicant reduction of fasting plasma
glucose, serum MDA, interleukin-, and immunoglobulin
A, G, and M while substantial increment of endogenous
antioxidant enzymes; SOD, Glutathione-S-transferase, and
catalase expression were noticed. e histology of pancreas
in N. sativa treated group also revealed an improvement
in the pancreatic 𝛽-cells degeneration, inammation, and
congestion as compared to diabetic control []. e com-
bination of administration of N. sativa and Cinnamomum
cassia extracts (NSCCe) to experimentally STZ-induced dia-
betic rats also showed signicantly stabilized serum glucose
concentrations, lipid prole, and renal function parameters
as compared to the diabetic control. Signicant eects were
observed in animals that received combined extract and
metformin on these parameters. A substantial reversal of the
histopathological pancreatic cell injury was also observed in
animals receiving the concomitant extracts of NSCCe [].
e marked antidiabetic activity upon three-month supple-
mentation of N. sativa ( g/day) along with oral antidiabetic
agent in type  DM patients has also been reported. In this
study, N. sativa received group showed signicant reduction
of fasting plasma glucose, hemoglobin Ac, and TBARBs,
while marked elevation of the total antioxidant capacity, SOD,
and glutathione levels were noted [].
Furthermore, an experimental randomized controlled
trial of  diabetes patients received the placebo and two
treatment groups received oral black seed oil. Administration
of . and  mL/day of black seed oil for  days showed
meaningful reduction of glycated hemoglobin Ac and ran-
dom blood sugar levels []. e eect of N. sativa seed on
the glycemic control of patients with type- diabetes (DM-)
wasalsousedasanadjunctivetreatmentaddedtotheiroral
hypoglycemic agents. N. sativa at a dose of two g/day also
inuenced substantial reductions in fasting plasma glucose
and glycated hemoglobin (HbAc) without major alteration
in body weight []. e oil of N. sativa (NSO) at  mL/kg
also was showed to reduce fasting plasma glucose and
intensication of insulin levels in diabetic rats compared to
control. Diabetic rats that received NSO exhibited substantial
improvements in lipid prole and expressive increment of
pancreatic and hepatic antioxidant enzymes also augmented
the histological image and glycogen contents other than
improvements of average pancreatic islet extent than the
diabetic groups [].
e dierent doses of N. sativa seed (, , and  g/day)
in patients with DM- were also evaluated. A one g/day
administration increased high-density lipoprotein choles-
terol (HDL-c) levels aer  months while two and three g/day
of N. sativa seed signicantly decreased serum levels of total
cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) as well as low-density
lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) and increased plasma HDL-c
[]. In reference to modern scholars’ devotion to the likely
eects of medicinal herbs in diabetic management, a recent
meta-analysis of antidiabetic eects of N. sativa [] also
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
exhibited the maintenance of glucose homeostasis and serum
lipid proles in diabetic human subjects [, ].
Generally, the possible antidiabetic mechanisms of N.
sativa might be mediated via modulation of oxidative status
(either through upregulation of endogenous antioxidants
or reduction of oxidative species) [, ], attenuation of
inammation [], improvement of lipid proles, increased
good cholesterol (HDL-c), while reducing bad cholesterols
(LDL-c, TC, and TG) and body weight [, , ].
4.3. Antihypertensive Activity. Numerous antihypertensive
agents have been clinically used to control hypertension
and to relieve associated comorbid conditions. However, the
eectiveness of these agents is only in -% of hypertensive
patients and commonly combination of two or more blood
lowering agents from diverse antihypertensive classes is
required to attain the desired outcomes []. is eventually
increases the likelihoods of untoward eects and also raises
the cost of therapy. A number of herbal products such as the
seed of N. sativa have been used and claimed to have positive
eects against elevated blood pressure (BP).
According to a nonrandomized controlled trials, 
patients who were allocated to receive  g daily supplemen-
tations of black cumin for one year displayed a noticeable
reduction in systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial BP, heart
rate, TC, LDL-c, the fractions of TC/HDL-c, and LDL-
c/HDL-c while serum HDL-c was suggestively raised com-
pared with the corresponding baseline values and the control
group []. Although a trend towards reduction in BP was
observed aer N. sativa administration, one randomized
controlled clinical trial failed to show a signicant reduction
of BP in elderly patients with hypertension []. is might
be because of the sample size, dosage (mg BID for
 weeks) of the N. sativa used in this study, the severity
of hypertension, and study population used. For instance,
previous clinical studies conducted by Dehkordi et al. []
andQidwaietal.[]conductedonmildhypertensive
patients with the dosage of  mg BID for  weeks and
 mg BID for  weeks, respectively, showed a signicant
reduction of SPB.
In addition, it has been employed to determine the blood
pressure lowering potential and possible mechanisms of N.
sativa in rats’ model, and it was found that the seed oil and
nicardipine received groups’ revealed substantial reduction
in BP. e BP diminishing eect was related with a reduc-
tion in cardiac lipid peroxidation product and inhibitory
activity of angiotensin converting enzyme in both groups
but plasma nitric oxide level signicantly increased in N.
sativa oil received group than the placebo and nicardipine
received groups []. Black cumin and its active component,
thymoquinone, exhibited a reduction in oxidative stress
via calcium channel blockade and increasing urine output
activity which might have been linked to reduction in blood
pressure []. Based on majority of these reports, various
preparation of N. sativa showed a sustainable reduction of
the BP in animal models and clinical studies hence can be
explored as a promising basis of natural antihypertensive
drugs.
4.4. Neuroprotective Eects. Neurological disorder such as
depression is amongst the most prevailing illnesses glob-
ally. It is principally aected by the hypoactivity of neu-
rotransmitters, particularly owing to inadequate activity of
serotonin []. Stress is the chief triggering aspect in the
initiation of depression and this premise is steadily supported
by various clinical observations. Studies in experimental
animals displayed that overwhelming stress conditions pro-
duce neurochemical modications and behavioral decits
[]. A large number of medicinal herbs and their isolated
compounds have been revealed to have medicinal benets
and therapeutic potential. Among the promising medicinal
plants, black cumin is a worthwhile herb with a rich historical
and religious basis to manage depression and many other
neurological disorders.
e intragastric supplementation of TQ ( mg/mL) in
aluminum trichloride and D-galactose induced neurotoxi-
city in rats showed a meaningful improvement of cogni-
tion, SOD, and total antioxidant capacity while reducing
acetylcholinesterase activities. It also exhibited a reduction
in MDA, nitric oxide levels, and tumor necrosis factor-𝛼
immunoreactivity and amplied brain derived neurotrophic
factor and Bcl- levels []. While the eects of repeated
administration of N. sativa in rats indicated that, there was an
improvement in learning and recall status []. In addition,
avonoids isolated from black cumin have been shown to
modulate critical neuronal signaling paths involved in the
processes of memory and are likely to aect synaptic plasticity
and long-standing potentiating mechanisms []. e neu-
ropharmacological eects of the seed and oils of N. sativa and
its active component, TQ, are described in Table . Based on
the wide ranging neuropharmacological eects, black cumin
seed, its oil, and the active principle thymoquinone (TQ) can
be explored as a promising natural remedy for improvement
of numerous neurological disorders.
4.5. Anti-Inammatory and Analgesic Eects. Inammation
has a key role in various medical conditions such as cystic
brosis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, asthma, aller-
gies, and cancer which all are associated with acute and/or
chronic pain. e existing anti-inammatory agents com-
monly comprise classes of drugs that produce severe adverse
eects such as gastric ulcer, bone marrow depression, water,
and salt retention, resulting from the extended use [].
Medicinal herbs including black cumin might be a potential
source of novel biological compounds that are safer and
with fewer side eects. e volatile oil of black cumin and
thymoquinone at various doses revealed a dose-reliant anti-
inammatory activity against carrageenan-induced hind paw
edema in rats’ parallel to indomethacin []. e volatile
oil of N. sativa seed also displayed a substantial pain-
relieving eect in acetic acid-induced writhing, formalin,
and tail ick tests []. As stated by Al-Ghamdi, the water
extract of black cumin also retained anti-inammatory eects
in carrageenan-induced paw edema comparable to acetyl
salicylic acid at corresponding doses but failed to display
antipyretic activity against yeast-induced pyrexia []. Fur-
thermore, the alcoholic extract of black cumin exhibited
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
T  :  e eec t s o f N. sativa and its active component, thymoquinone (TQ) on neurological and mental disorders.
Neurological
or mental
Disorders
Model used and intervention (s) Finding (mechanism) References
Alzheimer’s
disease (AD)
Lipopolysaccharide-induced AD in mice, received
TQ (. & mg/kg) for  days.
(i) TBARS & -LOX levels
(ii) GSH extent and SOD action
(iii) Causes disaggregation of A𝛽peptide
(iv) prevents declining of neurons
(v) Slows degeneration of cognitive ability
[, ]
A𝛽-induced neurotoxicity (analyzed by culturing
hippocampus and cortical neurons).
TQ is administered along with A𝛽1−42 for  hours
(i) Reducing A𝛽-induced neurotoxicity.
(Improved cell viability) by:
(ii) Inhibiting mitochondrial membrane potential
depolarization
(iii) Hindering reactive oxygen species generation
[]
Parkinson’s
disease (PD)
-methyl--phenylpyridinium (MPP+)and
rotenone-induced neurotoxicity in PD model,
cultures were treated with TQ (., .,  and, 
𝜇M) on day th for  days.
(i) Rescued dopaminergic neurons through:
(ii) Its antioxidant and anti-inammatory eects
[]
Experimental model of early PD induced by
-hydroxydopamine neurotoxicity, pretreatment
of daily TQ ( &  mg/kg) and one additional
dose aer surgery were used.
(i) MDA level
(ii) Prevents loss of neurons in substantia nigra
(iii) Protects hippocampal & human induced
pluripotent stem cell against 𝛼-synuclein induced
synaptic toxicity
[, ]
Depression
and anxiety
(i) Open eld and elevated plus maze models;
forced swim test
(ii) Locomotor behavior in familiar and new
environment in rats, N. sativa oil (. mL/day)
aqueous seed extract ( mL/day) orally for -
weeks
(i) in open eld activity & struggling time
(ii) -HT
(iii) HIAA level in the brain
(iv) tryptophan level in plasma & brain
(v) locomotors activity in novel environment
(vi) brain DA level
[, , ]
Stressed and unstressed mice,  and  mg/kg of
TQ for  weeks
Unstressed mice: at  &  mg/Kg showed
anti-anxiety
(i) without altering nitrite levels
(ii) GABA content (only mg/Kg).
Stressed mice:  mg/kg showed anxiolytic eects
with
(i) plasma nitrite level
(ii) Reversal of reduced GABA
[]
Randomized control trial on healthy human
subjects, N. sativa capsule ( mg) daily for 
weeks.
(i) Stabilize disturbed mood
(ii) anxiety
(iii) Modulate memory positively
[]
Epilepsy
Pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure, N. sativa oil;
TQ
(i) Prevented seizure occurrence
(ii) Reactive oxygen species generation
(iii) Reduced seizure score
(iv) Showed additive eects with phenobarbitone
[–]
Double-blinded placebo randomized control trial
(refractory epilepsy), TQ as adjunctive therapy for
 weeks
(i) Signicant reduction of seizure frequency
(those who received combination therapy) []
Opioid
dependence
and
Tol er an c e
Morphine brought tolerance and dependency in
mice, mL/kg of N. sativa oil along with
morphine (mg/kg)
(i) Attenuated the development of tolerance
(ii) Inhibited nitric oxide overproduction
(iii) in brain MDA level
[]
Randomized trial (on  known addicts of
opiates),  mg N. Sativa three times daily
(i) the withdrawal eects signicantly
(ii) appetite (no signicant weight gain)
(iii) No changes in physiological parameters
(blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate)
[]
TBARs= iobarbituric acid reactive substances, GABA= gamma amino butyric acid, -HT=  hydroxytryptamine, MDA= malondialdehyde, DA= dopamine,
HIAA=  hydroxyindoleacetic acid, GSH= glutathione peroxidase, SOD=superoxide dismutase, TQ= thymoquinone, A𝛽= beta amyloid peptides, =increase,
=decrease.
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
a noteworthy pain-relieving eect in mice as compared
to diclofenac sodium []. Additional study also showed
that essential oil of black cumin has notable activity as a
painkiller in acetic acid-induced writing, formalin, and tail
ick tests. It was also revealed that this extract might elevate
a signicant swimming and anoxia tolerance time []. e
anti-inammatory action of TQ might be related to inhibition
of the oxidative product of arachidonic acid formation,
such as thromboxane B and leukotriene by blocking both
cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes [, ].
In addition, the action of black cumin seed on tracheal
sensitivity and pulmonary inammation of guinea pigs,
which were exposed to breathe Sulphur mustard together
with black cumin, displayed expressively lower magnitude
compared to that of only Sulphur mustard exposed group
[]. e bronchial relaxation eects of the boiled extract
of N. sativa in contrast with theophylline were assessed
in asthmatic patients and it was found that black cumin
extract caused substantial rises in entirely measured respi-
ratory function tests and the starting time of bronchodilator
action of the extract was comparable to that of theophylline
[]. e various extracts, oil, and active constituent (𝛼-
hederin) of N. sativa also showed an improvement of tracheal
responsiveness and signicant anti-inammatory activity via
decreasing the release of histamine and leukotrienes while
increasing the PGE from the mast cells and perfused lungs in
anima model of allergic asthma [–]. is antiasthmatic
eect is further substantiated by dierent clinical studies,
and majority of them reported that dierent N. sativa prepa-
rationsshowedanimprovementsofclinicalsymptomsand
pulmonary function as well as various asthma biomarkers
[, –]. ese preclinical and clinical studies evidenced
the potential antiasthmatic eects of N. sativa but further
investigations are required to assure its ecacy.
e ecacy of black cumin oil in patients with rheuma-
toid arthritis (RA) was also evaluated and data from 
female patients diagnosed with RA who took N. sativa
oil capsules ( mg) twice daily exhibited improvement
in disease activity score compared to placebo (P <.).
Correspondingly, a noticeable improvement was displayed in
number of inamed joints, incidence of morning stiness,
and disease activity aer the consumption of black cumin
[].
Chronic inammation has been implicated in various
chronic illnesses [(cancer, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes,
Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,
rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma) that involve progressive
and irreversible damage to the cell and/or neurons] as well
as in many infectious conditions [, ]. erefore, the
crucial role of anti-inammatory actions of dierent N. sativa
preparations and TQ might be the possible sources for the
development of a new generation of anti-inammatory agent
to treat these wide ranging conditions.
4.6. Antimicrobial Activity. Antimicrobials have been the
bases of clinical medicine since the second half of the
th century and have saved prominent number of people
from serious microbial infections. Nevertheless, in the late
th century and the earliest st century it has perceived
the advent and widespread of antimicrobial resistance in
pathogenic microorganisms throughout the globe [, ].
e ever-increasing terrorization of microbial infections and
antimicrobial resistant bacteria demands for a global struggle
to discover for novel solutions that might be grounded
on the natural products such as plants, which are selected
on the basis of renowned ethnomedicinal use [, ].
Among the inspiring medicinal plants, black cumin is the one
that displayed strong antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and
antiparasitic actions.
4.6.1. Antibacterial Activity. ymoquinone obtained from
seeds of N. sativa revealed broader spectrum activities
against multiple strains of gram-positive and gram-negative
bacteria, including Bacillus,Listeria,Enterococcus,Micrococ-
cus,Staphylococcus,Pseudomonas,Escherichia, Salmonella,
Serovar,andVibrio parahaemolyticus in addition to inhibit-
ing bacterial biolm formation []. e methyl alcoholic
extract of the seed also displayed a larger inhibition zone on
gram-positive (S. pyogenes)ascomparedtogram-negative
bacteria (P.aeruginosa,K.pneumoniae,and P. v u l g a r i s )[].
For dierent isolates of methicillin-resistant S. aureus,various
concentrations of (%, %, %, %, %, and %) N.
sativa oils displayed an expressively higher zone of inhibitions
against all the tested bacterial strains []. ymoquinone
also revealed a signicant bactericidal activity against gram-
positive cocci with MICs ranging from to  𝜇g/mL and
proved the minimum biolm inhibition concentration at 
and 𝜇g/mL for S. aureus and S. epidermidis, respectively
[]. Moreover, black seed ( g/day) owed clinically valuable
anti-H. pylori eect comparable to triple therapy [] and
this can provide a scientic basis for the exploration of
potential uses of this valued seed for the treatment of H.
pylori-induced gastric ulcers.
4.6.2. Antifungal Activity. e essential oil of N. sativa of
dierent origins has been reported to possess moderate
inhibitory action against pathogenic strains of yeasts, der-
matophytes and nondermatophytic lamentous fungi along
with aatoxin-producing fungi. e N. sativa treatment
targeted the cell wall, plasma membrane, and membranous
organelles, mainly in the nuclei and mitochondria as were
evident in the morphology of these toxigenic fungi [].
Moreover, dierent extracts of black cumin and TQ exhibited
powerful fungicidal activity against dermatophyte strains
including Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Microsporum
gypseum superior to uconazole, but lesser than that of
ketoconazole []. ymoquinone also arrested the growth
of Aspergillus niger and Fusarium solani comparable to
Amphotericin-B [] and was eective against C. albicans,
C. tropicalis,andC. krusei []. Similarly, as stated by Taha
et al., the active constituent of black cumin such as TQ,
thymohydroquinone, and thymol revealed potent antifungal
eect against several clinically isolated fungal strains includ-
ing dermatophytes, molds, and yeasts []. As a potential
candidate with multiple antimicrobial activities, N. sativa can
also be explored as a natural preservative and food additive
to protect foods from spoilage.
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
4.6.3. Antiviral Activity. N. sativa seed oil was found to sup-
press viral load in murine model: cytomegalovirus infected
mice to undetectable level in the liver and spleen in 
days’ intraperitoneal administration. is was possibly due
to the increase in number and function of CD4+ve Tcells
and increased production of interferon- (INF-) gamma [].
Interestingly, patients () with hepatitis C virus (HCV)
infection, who were not eligible for IFN-𝛼/ribavirin therapy
showed signicant improvement in HCV viral load (.%
became seronegative and % showing signicant decre-
ment) and proved laboratory parameter like total protein,
red blood cell, and platelet count, decreased fasting blood
glucose, and postprandial glucose in both diabetic and
nondiabetic HCV patients and reduced lower-limb edema
aer they are managed with black cumin seed oil [].
According to a case report conducted by Onifade et al.,
aer treatment with  mL of black seed twice daily for 
months, a complete regaining and seroreversion of a -year-
old HIV positive patient was evidenced []. In addition,
a -year-old HIV infected woman was diagnosed during
ante-natal care; she was not eligible for antiretroviral therapy;
hence herbal therapist initiated her on black cumin and
honey mixture ( mL) thrice daily for a year. e repeat
serology assessments for HIV infection became negative with
undetectable viral load. e woman also got  children (,
, and ) that all were breastfed and none of the
children infected with HIV and her repeat CD count was
not less than  cells/𝜇L []. Nowadays HIV/AIDS is a
serious global threat and in this regard, N. sativa can be a
promising natural therapy to cure such a chronic infectious
disease, aer validating its full therapeutic ecacy by further
investigations.
4.6.4. Antiparasitic Activity. Nigella sativa seeds have shown
schistosomicidal properties against Schistosoma mansoni (in
vitro), through a strong biocidal eect against all stages of
the parasite and an inhibitory eect on egg-laying of adult
female worms [, ]. An ointment of N. sativa seed signif-
icantly contracted and inhibited the inammatory reactions
to cutaneous leishmaniasis produced experimentally in mice
by a subcutaneous inoculation of Leishmania major at the
abaxial base of the tail []. N. sativa extract at a dose of
. g/kg prominently lowered Plasmodium yoelii infection in
mice by %; however, the eect of chloroquine was only %
as compared to the untreated group. In addition, methanolic
extract of N. sativa revealed higher parasite clearance and
restoration of altered biochemical indicators by P. y o e l i i
infection than chloroquine []. us, considering N. sativa
for future antiparasitic agents will have a very important
input aer conduction of further investigation of its curative,
prophylactic and chemopreventive activity particularly in the
era of emerging antimalarial drug resistance.
4.7. Anticancer Activity. Cancer is a bigger challenge in
medical science as the incidence of this health disorder is
rapidly growing across the world. is prompts the eorts
to search some eective natural anticancer therapies alter-
native to currently employed chemotherapies with limited
applications. e eect of black seed in dierent types of
cancer cells is summarized in Table . As there are ten cancer
hallmarks which are common to most tumors, TQ, a major
active component of N. sativa,playsgreatroleinaectingall
markers of cancer [].
4.8. Eects on Male Infertility. Infertility is the incapability of
a copulate to attain ospring aer  months of intercourse
without contraception. It is more prevalent among men than
women []. Sperm dysfunction is the main problem related
with men infertility which accounts % of all reasons.
e structure, function, motility, and survival of sperm are
deleteriously aected by oxidative stress that prominently
leads to infertility. Hence, increasing spermatozoa counts,
functionality, and sperm quality using antioxidants can
improve fertility status [, ]. Evidence proves that some
herbal medicines can reduce negative eects of oxidative
stress by salvaging free radicals []. Among the various
traditional plants, N. sativa was found to exhibit remarkable
antioxidant eect [].
Alcoholic extract of N. sativa indicated remarkable
increment in the production of viable and motile sperm
cells, enhanced epididymal sperm reservation, weight gain-
ing of reproductive organs, blood testosterone density,
gonadotropins content, amount of mature Leydig cells, and
fertility indexes compared to the control group in male rats
[]. According to Mohammad et al., black cumin thought
to trigger a rise in spermatogenesis hormones on pituitary
gland, and an increase in the weight of reproductive organs.
e study also reveals that N. sativa can aect oxidative
phosphorylation enzymes and increase sperm motility [].
In addition, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
clinical trial was conducted on  Iranian infertile men
and half of them receive . mL of black seed oil and the
remaining received placebo twice daily for two months. e
amount and the motility of sperm and the content of semen
volume were raised signicantly in black seed oil treated
group compared with placebo group aer two months of
therapy []. is indicates that N. sativa can be a potential
source for development of natural aphrodisiac agents.
5. Toxicological Properties
e acute oral toxicity of active constituents of black cumin
seed, TQ, lethal dose  (LD50) value has been reported to
be.gperkgofbodyweightofSwissalbinomice,whereas
the instant behavioral alteration at two and three g per kg of
body weight of the composite was hypoactivity and trouble
in breathing, while late toxicities comprising a substantial
lessening in the virtual organ weight and glutathione dis-
tribution of the hepatic, renal, and cardiovascular system
have been reported []. Daily administration of aqueous
extract (AqE) of N. sativa to mice for six weeks led to death
of one mouse aer  weeks of treatment with . g/kg of
AqE. On the other hand,  and  mice experienced death at
rd and th weeks while they received  g/kg and  g/kg
of the extract, respectively. Otherwise, no other deaths were
recorded for the application of other doses used []. In
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
T  : E e c ts of N. sativa and thymoquinone against various types of cancer models and their eects on anticancer agents.
Cancer models or eects of anticancer
agents Intervention (s) Findings (Mechanisms) References
In vitro studies
Doxorubicin-resistant
human breast cancer cells
line (MCF-/DOX cells)
TQ (,  or 𝜇M) for
 hours & NSO Nano
emulsion
(i) Concentration dependent growth inhibition
(ii) Induce apoptosis, p protein
(iii) Upregulation of PTEN (inhibit PIK/Akt pathway)
[, ]
Human cer vic al squ amous
cancer cells
TQ (. to  𝜇g/mL) for
,  and  hours
(i) More cytotoxic than cisplatin towards this cancerous
cell (but less cytotoxicity towards normal cells)
(ii) Downregulates Bcl- protein
[]
Myeloblastic leukemia
(HL- cells) TQ
(i) Induces apoptosis, disrupts mitochondrial
membrane potential, triggers the activation of caspases
,  &  in HL- cells
[]
Human bladder cancer cells
(T and J)
TQ (- 𝜇mol/L) for
dierent periods (h, h,
and h)
(i) TQ showed marked cytotoxicity on bladder cancer
cells
(ii) It inhibited cancerous cells rapid multiplication and
evoked apoptosis via activation of caspase.
(iii) TQ also resulted in activation of ER stress,
mitochondrial disturbance and enhanced
mitochondrial mediated apoptotic path.
[]
Renal cell cancer (RCC) cell
lines (-O and ACHN)
TQ ( 𝜇mol/L) for 
hours
(i) TQ suppressed migration, invasion and
epithelial-mesenchymal transition in RCC cells.
(ii) TQ exhibited signicant inhibition of the metastasis
of RCC cells through induction of autophagy via
AMPK/mTOR signalling.
[]
Human renal tubu lar
epithelial cell (HK) and
the human RCC cell lines
(-P & -O)
TQ(.,,.,,,&
𝜇M) at various durations
(, ,  &  h).
(i) TQ markedly inhibited the migration and invasion
of the human RCC -P and -O cell lines.
(ii) TQ also increased the expression of E-cadherin and
reduced the expression of Snail, ZEB and vimentin at
the mRNA as well as protein levels in dose-dependent
fashion.
(iii) As a result, the extents of phosphorylation of
hepatic kinase B and AMPK were upregulated.
[]
Human prostate cancer cell
lines (DU and C)
TQ (., . &  𝜇M) for
 hours.
(i) TQ substantially arrested the proliferation of
prostate cancer.
(ii) It inhibited the migrating and invading capability of
prostate cancer DU and PC cells.
(iii) TQ also downregulated the expression of TGF-𝛽,
Smad and Smad in prostate cancer cells.
[]
Hepatocellular cancer cell
line (HepG) TQ (– 𝜇M) for  hours.
(i) Decreased both the no. of viable HepG cells and the
levels
(ii) TQ induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis
(iii) Increased total antioxidant status (dose
dependently)
(iv) TQ reduced the release of VEGF of HepG cells
[]
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
T  : C on t i nu e d.
Cancer models or eects of anticancer
agents Intervention (s) Findings (Mechanisms) References
In vivo studies
Diethyl nitrosamine
inducedhepatocarcinogen-
esis in Wistar
rats
Ethanolic extract of NS
( mg/kg) for 
consecutive days.
(i) e chemical induced increment of liver weight,
hepato-somatic indices, serum AFP and VEGF levels,
and hepatic HGF𝛽protein expression were signicantly
reversed by the extract.
(ii) e histopathological alteration of the livers due to
the chemical was decreased in NS extract received rats
without harmful eects.
[]
Orthotopic model inmice
[triple-negative breast
cancer (TNBC) cell lines]
TQ ( or  mg/k) once
every  days
(i) TQ markedly reduced the growth of MDA-MB-
tumor.
(ii) TQ decreased TNBC cell viability and proliferation
as well as the migration and invasion of TNBC cells.
(iii) TQ also downregulated the expression of eEF-K
(via modulation of the NF-𝜅B/miR-), Src/FAK, and
Akt in TNBC cells.
[]
Colon carcinogenesis of
rats model NSO for  weeks
(i) NSO revealed a signicant antiproliferative activity
in both initiation and post-initiation phases
(ii) Inhibited colon carcinogenesis of rats mainly in the
post-initiation stage with no evident of adverse eects
[]
Mouse model of colorectal
carcinogenesis & C cell
TQ ( mg/kg) for  weeks &
TQ (, , ,  𝜇M) in
vitro
(i) TQ reduced tumor multiplicity
(ii) TQ impeded tumor growth and induce apoptosis in
HCT xenogras
(iii) Sub-cytotoxic conc. of TQ (𝜇M) also reduced
C cell invasion
(iv) Anti-neoplastic and pro-apoptotic p-dependent
mechanism
[]
Rat multi-organ
carcinogenesis NSO for  weeks
(i) Reduction in malignant and benign colon tumor
sizes, tumors in the lungs and in diverse parts of the
alimentary canal principally the oesophagus and fore
stomach
[]
 Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
T  : C on t i nu e d.
Cancer models or eects of anticancer
agents Intervention (s) Findings (Mechanisms) References
Eect on
anti-cancer
drugs
Cyclophosphamide
Induced toxicity (abnormal
RF & LFT and reduced
Hgb) in rat
NSO (ml/kg) and TQ (
mg/kg) EOD for  days
(i) Substantial reduction in overall cyclophosphamide
induced toxicity in both NSO and TQ treated groups. []
Antitumor Eect of TQ and
gemcitabine on xenogra
mouse and PANC-,
AsPC- and BxPC- cell
lines of pancreatic cancer
models,
TQ (– 𝜇mol/L) & .
mg/ mouse daily
(i) TQ pre-treatment synergistically increased the
gemcitabine actions of apoptotic and tumor growth
inhibition of pancreatic cancer cells.
(ii) Concomitant uses resulted in the change of several
molecular signaling, including the downregulation of
Notch, NICD associated with up-regulation of PTEN,
via the inactivation of Akt/mTOR/S signaling.
(iii) TQ and gemcitabine also induced suppression of
anti-apoptotic Bcl-, Bcl-xL, XIAP and overexpression
and activation Caspase-, Caspase-, & Bax.
[]
Cytotoxicity assay of TQ
and paclitaxel on mouse
breast cancer cell line (T)
and animal models
TQ (., ., , , & 
𝜇M) for  &  hours;
(., . & . mg/kg of
mouse body weight).
(i) TQ induced marked cytotoxicity and apoptosis,
while inhibiting wound healing and migration of T
cells.
(ii) Co-administration of TQ and paclitaxel
signicantly induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis
compared to separate administration.
(iii) e combination of paclitaxel and the lower dose
TQ markedly inhibited the tumor growth.
(iv) Both agents also modulated the apoptosis genes,
p and JAK-STAT signaling, while overexpressing the
levels of Caspase-, Caspase-, and Caspase-.
[]
Anti-tumor activity of TQ
and topotecan in colorectal
cancer cell line (HT-)
TQ (,  &  𝜇M)
(i) TQ signicantly enhanced the anti-tumor eect of
non-cytotoxic dose of topotecan.
(ii) Both drugs induced apoptosis via a
p-independent mechanism, while the expression of
p was only noted in TQ therapy.
(iii) TQ improved the eectiveness of topotecan by
inhibiting proliferationand lowering toxicity via p-
and Bax/Bcl-independent mechanisms.
[]
AMPK: Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, NS: Nigella sativa,NSO:Nigella sativa oil, TQ: ymoquinone, PTEN: phosphatase and tensin homolog, MCF-: Michigan Cancer Foundation-, EOD:
every other day, mTOR: Mammalian Target of Rapamycin.
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 
addition, the subchronic toxicity study in mice treated with
, , and  mg/kg/day of TQ for  days resulted in
no mortality or signs of toxicity but substantial decrement
of fasting plasma glucose and also showed no change in
toxicological signicance in body organs and histological
investigation []. e toxicity of the xed oil of black cumin
in mice and rats was also examined and the LD50 values were
found to be . ml/kg and .  ml/kg when given by oral and
intraperitoneal routes, respectively. Chronic toxicity was also
studied in rats treated daily with an oral dose of  ml/kg for 
weeks’ black cumin oil, while alterations in vital liver enzyme
levels and histopathological modications (heart, liver, kid-
neys, and pancreas) were not detected []. e minor and/or
negligible toxicological eects and wider therapeutic margin
of N. sativa and its active constituents, thymoquinone, as
evident by various scientic studies support its safe use for
the long-term traditional food and medicinal purposes.
6. Conclusion and Future Prospects
Traditional medicinal plants have received much attention
due to several factors such as low cost, ease of access,
and lower adverse eect proles as compared to synthetic
medicines. Besides, various medicinal oras and their prod-
ucts are used on the basis of religious and cultural tradi-
tions. Among various plants, black cumin has been used
by diverse human cultures around the world especially in
Muslim population for centuries to treat numerous ailments.
To date, a number of studies showed that black seed and
its component including TQ have revealed a remarkable
natural therapy for treatment of a wide range of illnesses
including chronic noninfectious (neurologic disorders, DM,
hypertension, dyslipidemia, inammatory disorders, cancer,
etc.) and infectious disease (bacterial, fungal, viral, and
parasitic infections). Both animal and human studies also
showed that black seed and TQ have potential to treat male
infertility and their antioxidant activities have recently gained
greater attention due to their role as dietary supplements
with minimal side eects. Furthermore, when combined
with dierent conventional chemotherapeutic agents, they
synergize the eects which may reduce the dosage of the
concomitantly used medicines and optimizing ecacy versus
toxicity and it might also overcome drug resistance problem.
erefore, having wider safety margins and praiseworthy
ecacy against wide range of maladies, it would be a potential
herbal remedy to be assessed under clinical trial for numerous
conditions. Isolation of novel bioactive components from
black cumin and its oil and studies of their therapeutic eects
using specic clinical models are further recommended.
Abbreviations
AqE: Aqueous extract
N. sativa:Nigella sativa
TQ: ymoquinone
LD: Lethal dose
PTEN: Phosphatase and tensin homolog
MCF-: Michigan Cancer Foundation-
TBARs: iobarbituric acid
GABA: Gamma amino butyric acid
-HT: -Hydroxytryptamine
MDA: Malondialdehyde
DA: Dopamine
HIAA:  Hydroxyindoleacetic acid
GSH-Px: Glutathione peroxidase
SOD: Superoxide dismutase
A𝛽: Beta amyloid peptides
HCV: Hepatitis C virus
INF: Interferon
MIC: Minimum inhibitory concentration
RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
BP: Blood pressure
DM: Diabetic mellitus
CQ: Chloroquine.
Conflicts of Interest
e authors declare no conict of interest.
Authors’ Contributions
Ebrahim M. Yimer developed the research conception and
took the initiatives of this work and draed the manuscript.
Kald Beshir Tuem, Aman Karim, Najeeb Ur-Rehman, and
Farooq Anwar provide greater contribution towards collect-
ing, extracting, and organizing relevant data and also revising
the review paper and agreed to be accountable for all aspects
of the work.
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... This plant is known in English as black cumin and in Arabic as Habbatul Barakah. It has been used since ancient times as a dietary component with proven safety [2]. It has been widely used as a flavoring agent and spice in a diversity of food preparations such as sauces, pickles, yoghurt, bread, and salads. ...
... It has long been used in traditional medicine in Europe, Far East Asia, and Africa. It has also been considered by the earliest herbal specialists as a "herb from heaven" and described as a miraculous plant that cures a lot of ailments [2]. It has also been used topically to treat orchitis, eczema, blisters, swollen joints, and abscesses [2]. ...
... It has also been considered by the earliest herbal specialists as a "herb from heaven" and described as a miraculous plant that cures a lot of ailments [2]. It has also been used topically to treat orchitis, eczema, blisters, swollen joints, and abscesses [2]. Different biological activities have been established for the seeds of N. sativa including; anti diabetes, gastro protective, anticancer, analgesic, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory. ...
... Black cumin (Nigella sativa L.), an herbaceous plant member of the Ranunculaceae family, is one of the most popular medicinal herbs in the north of Africa, with wild populations distributed in Asia, Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and the Mediterranean area. Black cumin seeds have a long history in pharmacotherapy as a medicinal herb used in traditional remedies to treat a broad variety of diseases, including diabetes, different airway disorders, paralysis, digestive tract issues, inflammation, and hypertension [1]. These medicinal properties of black cumin seeds are directly connected with their high content of phenolic compounds, which act as antioxidants and display an extremely antiinflammatory capacity [2]. ...
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An ultrasound-assisted method was used for the extraction of phenolics from defatted black cumin seeds (Nigella sativa L.), and the effects of several extraction factors on the total phenolic content and DPPH radical scavenging activity were investigated. To improve the extraction efficiency of phenolics from black cumin seed by ultrasonic-assisted extraction, the optimal extraction conditions were determined as follows: ethanol concentration of 59.1%, extraction temperature of 44.6 °C and extraction time of 32.5 min. Under these conditions, the total phenolic content and DPPH radical scavenging activity increased by about 70% and 38%, respectively, compared with conventional extraction. Furthermore, a complementary quantitative analysis of individual phenolic compounds was carried out using the HPLC-UV technique. The phenolic composition revealed high amounts of epicatechin (1.88–2.37 mg/g) and rutin (0.96–1.21 mg/g) in the black cumin seed extracts. Ultrasonic-assisted extraction can be a useful extraction method for the recovery of polyphenols from defatted black cumin seeds.
... The extensive range of therapeutic qualities of N. sativa seeds, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anticancer, neuroprotective, antibacterial, antihypertensive, and cardioprotective properties, are largely responsible for their traditional applications (Yimer et al., 2019). Black cumin seed, particularly its essential oil, contains thymoquinone (TQ), thymohydroquinone, thymol, carvacrol, nigellidine, nigellicine, and hederin, which are mostly responsible for its pharmacological effects and therapeutic benefits (Kooti et al., 2016). ...
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Spices have been used since ancient times. A spice can be purchased in a variety of forms, including fresh, whole dried, or pre-ground dry, which requires additional processing before being used as a value-added product. Spices have been shown to help prevent and treat a range of ailments, including cancer, aging, metabolic, neurological, cardiovascular, and inflammatory diseases. Bangladesh is already experiencing the adverse effect of global warming and climate change. For that reason, government of Bangladesh has placed special emphasis on the development of minor crops under crop diversification programme. Bangladesh has 0.83 million of hectares of land under Charland which English meaning riverine island with 64 to 97 percent of it under cultivable as a result vast area of unfavorable ecosystem specially char land may be selected to produce minor spices. The present review aims to know the suitability and yield performance of minor spices at charland of Bangladesh during rabi 2019-2020. In the experiment black cumin, fennel, coriander, fenugreek and dill considered as minor spices which were produced in char land well performed. They have extra character of well developed root length for uptake of water when faced water scarcity. Char land may be selected to produce minor spices for full fill the demand of our country and save foreign currency.
... Medicines derived from plants have amplified their use for various diseases [1]. Apart from their easy accessibility and low cost, it is believed that natural medicines have fewer side effects than synthetic drugs or modern allopathic drugs [2,3]. ...
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Objective: An emulsion of black cumin seed oil was developed using an orally safe surfactant, sucrose palmitate, to make it more comfortable to consume. Methods: The emulsion was made using a 3% concentration of sucrose palmitate to emulsify 5% (F1) and 7.5% (F2) black cumin seed oil to the developed stable emulsion. The hedonic test was applied to 30 panelists, showing the accepted formulation. Results: The pH value of each formulation degraded during 12 w of storage. The formula of 5% oil (F1) has better physical stability, and its bioactive component, Thymoquinone, showed a slight degradation on the first day. But it showed a rapid degradation after 60 d of storage due to its instability in a solution. The F1 formula (mean = 3.1667) is more preferred than the F2 formula (mean = 3) of the 1-5 hedonic scale, with the significance score (p) valued less than 0.05 and considered to be significantly different from its original form. Conclusion: The emulsion of black cumin oil can be developed and more comfortable to consume.
... The therapeutic intervention also includes anti-bacterial, -inflammatory, -septic, and -fungal conditions. The health benefits of black cumin oil for skin conditions includes curing eczema, alopecia, freckles, and leprosy [1,154,155]. ...
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The current review investigates the effects of black seed (Nigella sativa) on human health, which is also used to encapsulate and oxidative stable in different food products. In recent decades, many extraction methods, such as cold pressing, supercritical fluid extraction, Soxhlet extraction, hydro distillation (HD) method, microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), ultrasound-assisted extraction, steam distillation, and accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) have been used to extract the oils from black seeds under optimal conditions. Black seed oil contains essential fatty acids, in which the major fatty acids are linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acids. The oxidative stability of black seed oil is very low, due to various environmental conditions or factors (temperature and light) affecting the stability. The oxidative stability of black seed oil has been increased by using encapsulation methods, including nanoprecipitation, ultra-sonication, spray-drying, nanoprecipitation, electrohydrodynamic, atomization, freeze-drying, a electrospray technique, and coaxial electrospraying. Black seed, oil, microcapsules, and their components have been used in various food processing, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmetics industries as functional ingredients for multiple purposes. Black seed and oil contain thymoquinone as a major component, which has anti-oxidant, -diabetic, -inflammatory, -cancer, -viral, and -microbial properties, due to its phenolic compounds. Many clinical and experimental studies have indicated that the black seed and their by-products can be used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, chronic cancer, diabetes, oxidative stress, polycystic ovary syndrome, metabolic disorders, hypertension, asthma, and skin disorders. In this review, we are focusing on black seed oil composition and increasing the stability using different encapsulation methods. It is used in various food products to increase the human nutrition and health properties.
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The present study was based on a hypothesis that excess nickel (Ni) in the soil reduces the growth and seed yield of black cumin plants. A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the above hypothesis on the vegetative and reproductive growth parameters of black cumin. The black cumin plants were grown in pots filled with garden soil which contaminate with different dilutions of Ni viz., 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 millimoles (mM) except control. All doses of the Ni show a marked impact on the vegetative and reproductive growth parameters of black cumin in a concentration-dependent manner and all the growth parameters were reduced severely. Fruit production was also reduced significantly from the dose of 1.5 to 4.0 mM Ni solution. Both chlorophyll a and b levels in the tissues of fresh leaves decreased significantly in each Ni dose. Chlorophyll b (64%) content was more severely decreased than chlorophyll a (60%). The presence of a high concentration of Ni in the soil also decreases the seed yield of the plants. Ni accumulated in the seeds of all treated plants exceeded the permissible limits of the World Health Organization (WHO).
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