According to the Islamic prophet Mohammad, it will cure every disease except death. Cleopatra, the famed Egyptian queen, was said to use it regularly to beautify her skin and hair. Although many natural substances have a "cure-all" reputation that often proves to be more folklore than fact, the National Library of Medicine contains over 700 studies pertaining to the possible health benefits of a substance that is little known to people in the west. That substance is called Nigella sativa or more commonly, Black Cumin seed. If you do a web search for Black Cumin, you will be astounded by the many claims made for it. In truth, many of the studies that have shown health benefits for Black cumin involve either isolated cell studies or animal studies. Such studies must be considered preliminary, rather than the final answer because the findings of such studies often don't translate into human physiology. Yet, many of the mechanisms involved do relate to established human physiology. Black cumin seed is a plant related to the Buttercup flower. As noted it has a long reputation for curing numerous health problems and diseases. These include asthma, inflammation, hypertension, cough, headache, diabetes, kidney and liver dysfunction, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. How can one simple plant substance affect such a wide variety of illnesses? An analysis of the constituents of Black cumin seed (BCS) shows that it contains a respectable spectrum of vitamins, minerals, some carbohydrates, and fatty acids. But the primary active ingredient and the one that provides all the special health attributes for BCS is a substance called Thymoquinone (TQQ). Much of the beneficial activities of TQQ derive from its potent antioxidant actions. But it also appears to have great effects on modulating the immune response and lowering systemic inflammation. That systemic inflammation is the cornerstone of most degenerative diseases, including the two major killers, cardiovascular disease and cancer. But perhaps the most interesting thing about BCS may be its use as a fat-loss aid. Later, I'll discuss the results of a recently published study involving human female subjects that showed BCS appears to affect a number of things that in sum lead to effective fat loss in women. How effective? In this study, the female subjects who ingested BCS lost 4-times more body fat than women who consumed similar diets, yet didn't ingest a BCS supplement. But let's first take a closer look at some of the touted health effects of BCS.
Black cumin seed versus cancer
One of the major problems with chemotherapy used to treat cancer is that it's not selective against cancer cells, but can also harm cells that similarly to cancer cells have a rapid turnover, but are not cancerous. These include cells involved in hair growth and intestinal cells. This accounts for the two major side effects of chemo: hair loss and extreme . . .