Diabetes affects millions of people across the US. Many have to take drugs or synthetic insulin to control their blood sugar. These medications can have some unpleasant side effects.
Research is ongoing to find alternative treatments for this chronic disease. One in-depth study suggests that using black seed oil is a safe and natural way to fight off type 2 diabetes.
In fact, scientific studies suggest that this oil may be just as effective as Metformin. Metformin is a popular drug prescribed in the treatment of diabetes.
Today, you’ll discover the benefits of using black seed oil for diabetes and its many other health benefits.
What is Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil is also called black cumin seed oil, kalonji oil, or N. sativa oil.
It is made from black seed (kalonji) that grows on the black cumin (Nigella sativa) plant.
The plant grows in countries like Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean.
Its seeds have been used as natural medicine and as a cooking spice.
Black seeds can be eaten whole, used as an oil, and are low in carbs and calories.
They are also rich in protein, potassium, dietary fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
These seeds are also a good source of antioxidants.
Please note that these seeds are different from Cuminum cyminum, or true cumin. They are also different from black pepper seeds (peppercorn), which is used to make grounded black pepper spice.
Many have used black seed and its by-products to prevent and treat certain ailments – including diabetes.
Managing Blood Sugar in Diabetics
Type 2 diabetes happens when the body can’t use the insulin it produces or cannot properly use it to aid in the removal of glucose from the bloodstream.
This lack of insulin or insulin resistance puts you at risk of fluctuating blood sugar levels.
As a type 2 diabetic or pre-diabetic, you need to keep blood sugar at a certain healthy level. Those diagnosed know it’s not fun to test your blood glucose daily.
You especially need to keep carb intake low to prevent high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). You also also need to prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) from developing.
If you use drugs or take insulin, you may already know that they can produce unwanted side effects.
Which leads us to the next point.
Can Black Seed Oil Help People With Type 2 Diabetes?
Research on the use of black seed oil for diabetes says that adding the oil to your diet can prevent high blood sugar or lower blood sugar to normal levels.
The oil is believed to work by boosting insulin production, decreasing insulin resistance, and stimulating cell activity to promote better health. The finding came out of a study done in 2017.
Researchers found that black seed cumin oil reduced the average blood glucose levels over time. An earlier study done on rats, in 2014, found reduced blood glucose in rats who were fed black seed.
Other studies that were done produce similar findings and even suggested that Nigella sativa can prevent type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Of more significance is a study by researchers from the Indian Council of Medical Research. It states that black seed “improves glucose tolerance as efficiently as Metformin.”
It is further said that black seed has low toxicity and has shown no significant adverse effects.
These findings were highlighted in an article published by the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
This information may provide hope for you. Especially if you experience one or more of the following side effects from taking drugs –
- Metallic taste
- Bloating or gas
- Stomach ache
- Flushed skin
- Nail changes
The Active Ingredients
Black seed oil contains calcium, iron, selenium, arginine, potassium, and carotene. This is in addition to various amino acids including palmitic, linoleic, and stearic.
It is also rich in antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, and has anti-bacterial properties.
Its active ingredients are these phytochemicals that act as antioxidants:
Thymoquinone drew the attention of researchers seeking to understand the link between black seed oil and reduced blood glucose.
A review on its effects on diabetes notes that the potency of thymoquinone may account for the oil’s hypoglycemic effect which helped enhance insulin production and reduce the amount of glucose absorbed by the body.
Thymoquinone is well-known for its ability to fight inflammation and cancer. It is also beneficial to people with asthma, encephalomyelitis, and carcinogenesis.
Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil
Sativa oil is known to have the ability to promote skin and hair health. Besides diabetes, it is also said to help manage the following health conditions —
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- High blood pressure
- Digestive disorders
- Reduce inflammation
- Boost the immune system
- Fight infection
- Improve fertility
- Aid weights loss
- Fight cancer
- Balance cholesterol
- Promote liver health
Hair and Skin Benefits
- Promote healthy hair
- Helps hair growth
- Heal dry skin
- Relieve psoriasis
- Prevent hair loss
A few drops of black cumin seed oil can be added to your hair shampoo, conditioner or other hair products to help boost hair growth and keep scalp healthy.
It can be applied to dry skin to help restore moisture.
Containing anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agents makes the oil good for addressing skin concerns such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and acne.
Be careful to dilute the oil in several teaspoons of another oil such as almond oil or coconut oil.
How to Use Black Seed Oil for Diabetes
Black seed oil is available in liquid, capsule, raw, and powder forms.
The more flavorful cold-pressed version of the product is on sale, even though the recommended version for use in diabetics is the purely organic oil approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Research also finds its effectiveness in enhancing insulin levels and reducing blood glucose is noticeable over a period of time.
As such, you may need to use it consistently for several months to enjoy the benefits.
Nevertheless, naturopathic doctor, Dr. Josh Axe, suggested taking 1 gram of black seed powder two times a day for up to 12 months to benefit from its positive effects on the body’s natural insulin.
Other Uses of Black Cumin Seed Oil
Like people in India and the Middle East, you can sprinkle the seed on bread and bagels. The oil can be added to meat dishes, stews, and soups.
You can also mix it into beverages like teas and smoothies.
With its peppery scent, kalonji oil can provide a unique aroma and aid relaxation when mixed with lotions or other oils to make a homemade massage concoction.
You can add one to two teaspoons of kalonji oil to a carrier oil such as coconut oil and use for a warm relaxing massage.
Possible Side Effects of Black Seed Oil?
Remember, every body is different.
More does not equal better.
When used correctly, black seed oil is unlikely to cause any adverse side effects.
However, in certain people, it could thin blood, or cause damage to the liver and kidneys.
When planning to use black seed oil topically, you should do a patch test before applying the oil mixture to your skin to ensure it is safe for you. This helps to avoid an allergic reaction, such as a rash called allergic contact dermatitis, that may develop when the oil is applied to the skin.
An allergic reaction is also possible when the oil is taken by mouth. Swallowing black seed oil can sometimes lead to digestive issues such as constipation, an upset stomach, or vomiting.
Precautions When Using Black Seed Oil
- Always seek guidance from your health care provider before using black seed oil.
- Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medication including over-the-counter drugs, herbal medicine, or other supplements.
- Kalonji oil may interact with medications such as Warfarin and beta-blockers.
- Disclose any medical condition you have, especially diabetes, bleeding disorder, or low blood pressure.
- You should stop taking black seed oil at least two weeks before any surgery.
- Avoid the eyes and nose when using black cumin seed oil.
- Store the oil in a cool place away from heat and light.
- Keep the oil out of the reach of children.
Bringing it all together
Black seed oil has a long history of use for medicinal purposes in countries that practice natural healing methods.
Based on many studies, using black seed oil to manage diabetes is promising if you want an alternative way to keep your blood sugar in check.
Once you’ve talked with your health care provider and have decided to try black seed oil, make sure you buy the organic therapeutic grade that is certified by the USDA.