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Nigella sativa black seed oil 

Nigella sativa is commonly called Kalanji or black cumin.  This plant has been used for centuries to treat headaches and toothaches and was thought to play a role in the afterlife.  In fact, the seeds were found in King Tut’s tomb! It has become a very popular natural medicine throughout the world because of its bioactive compounds.  The N. sativa black seed oil has been documented to be anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and in some cases, anti-tumor, although it is noted that more human studies must be completed (see Ahmad, et al., 2013 and Ijaz, et al., 2017 for more details.)  The N. sativa black seed oil has three basic components:  oil (like other seeds), protein, and phytochemicals including terpenes and alkaloids.  For the fixed oil, the triglyceride fatty acid content of Morocco cold-pressed seeds is approximately: 13% C16:0, 2% C18:0, 24% C18:1, and 59% C18:2. This will vary slightly from region and seed source. (See Gharby, et al., 2015 for more details).

Black cumin seed

The next important set of compounds are the terpenes.  Thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone and dithymoquinone are the most predominant terpenes.  Thymoquinone has been identified as antimicrobial and anti-oxidant (see Habib & Choudhry, 2021 as an example of one scientific study). There are many other terpenes in the oil that also help with stabilizing our lotion while providing addition therapeutic benefits.  Some of these terpenes actually overlap with the terpene profiles of other essential oils.  For example p-cymene (in figure below) is found in both N. sativa and eucalyptus!  This is not an unusual fact.  Indeed, p-cymene is also found in pine trees, Cannabis sativa, thyme, oregano, camphor and anise!


Ahmad, A., Husain, A., Mujeeb, M., Khan, S. A., Najmi, A. K., Siddique, N. A., Damanhouri, Z. A., & Anwar, F. (2013). A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb. Asian Pacific J. Tropical Biomed., 3, 337. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2221-1691(13)60075-1 

Gharby, S., Harhar, H., Guillaume, D., Roudani, A., Boulbaroud, S., Ibrahimi, M., et al. (2015). Chemical investigation of Nigella sativa L. seed oil produced in Morocco. J. Saudi Soc. Agric. Sci., 14, 172. doi:10.1016/j. jssas.2013.12.001

Habib, N. & Choudhry, S. (2021) HPLC Quantification of Thymoquinone Extracted from Nigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae) Seeds and Antibacterial Activity of Its Extracts against Bacillus Species. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2021, Article ID 6645680, 11 pages.https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6645680 

Ijaz, H., Tulain, U.R., Qureshi, J., Danish, Z., Musayab, S., Akhtar, M.F., Saleem, A., Khan, K.K., Zaman, M., Waheed, I., Khan, I., & Abdel-Daim, M. (2017). Review: Nigella sativa (Prophetic Medicine): A Review. Pak. J. Pharm. Sci. 30, 229. PMID: 28603137.  

“black cumin seed” is licensed by Mountainhills under CC BY-SA 4.0