Black Cumin Seed Oil Hits Nutrient Research Headlines

By Michael A. Smith, MD

We’ve said it once and well say it again: Inflammation is the common denominator of all age-related disease. Unfortunately, the typical American diet, often consisting of red meat, dairy products, and fried foods tends to fuel the flames of inflammation.

So, naturally, the best thing people can do is change their diets. If easing inflammation is your goal (and it should be), more greens, dark colored fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and cold-water fish are the foods to eat.

But we also acknowledge that making dietary changes can be hard and takes time. This is where anti-inflammatory nutrients can be so valuable.

If you’re not already doing so, start taking omega-3 fats. You may also want to consider boswellia since an extract of its sap eases inflammation as well.

However, there’s a new nutrient making research headlines: black cumin seed oil. When extracted from 100% organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed black cumin seeds, the oil has profound anti-inflammatory effects. Let’s take a look at the research.

Black Cumin Seed Oil Improves Inflammation

Black cumin seed oil was administered to 40 women diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis — a highly inflammatory disease. They were given two placebo capsules daily for one month, followed by 500 mg twice-a-day of cold-pressed black cumin seed extract.1

The researchers measured the participants Disease Activity Score (DAS-28) — an assessment of disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis patients. It is commonly used in clinical trials and in rheumatology practices. The higher the DAS score, the worse the disease.

After the study subjects received black cumin seed extract, the researchers noted a significant decrease in DAS-28 compared with the placebo phase of the trial. Similarly, the number of swollen joints and the duration of morning stiffness improved.1

Black Cumin Seed Oil Helps Nasal Allergies Subside

Sixty-six people were recruited for a double-blind clinical trial to test the effectiveness of black cumin seed oil on nasal allergies. The researchers tested the levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies during an allergic reaction.2

At the start of the study, total IgE levels were reported in all participants and 38 of them had levels greater than 100. After treatment, 59 of the participants had no IgE detected, and no participant had levels above 100. The change in itching and nasal congestion significantly improved.2

Black Cumin Seed Oil Enhances T-cell Immune Activity

An active component of black cumin seed oil is thymoquinone. It boosts survival and activity of other key cells in the immune response to infection or cancer, namely CD-8 T-cells.

These cells are the “field troops” that actively hunt down and kill infected or cancerous cells after activation by T-helper and macrophage cells. This activity, known as “conditioning,” amplifies the effectiveness of these vital immune system cells against cancer and infectious diseases.3

These effects appear in humans treated with black cumin seed oil as well, according to a study presented at a recent international conference. That study reported a 55% increase in the activity of T-helper cells and a 30% increase in natural-killer cell function following black cumin seed oil supplementation.4

Remember: Black Cumin is NOT Cumin Spice

Please don’t get the two mixed up! The culinary spice “cumin” is not the same thing as black cumin. In fact, they each come from totally different plant families.

Black cumin is from the Ranunculaceae family and is native to Southwest Asia. Cumin spice is from the Apiaceae family and is native to the eastern Mediterranean.

So why is black cumin seed oil the "next generation" anti-inflammatory nutrient to watch out for? Because it eases inflammation while at the same time enhancing the immune activity of your T-cells. Pretty interesting, isn’t it?


  1. Phytother Res. 2011 Dec 12. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3679.
  2. Am J Otolaryngol. 2011 Sep-Oct;32(5):402-7.
  3. Br J Biomed Sci. 2011;68(3):131-7.
  4. Int Immunopharmacol. 2005 Dec;5(13- 14):1749-70.


Anonymous said...

I have been taking black cumin seed oil for 2 weeks and have experienced a 70% reduction in nasal histamine secretion to date after 4 years of allergic drainage. I am very pleased with the results so far.

LifeExtension said...

Anonymous - Good! We're glad the black cumin seed oil is working for you.

Anonymous said...

for someone with hiv, what would be a good combination to heal the immune system

LifeExtension said...

For overall, immune supporting effects consider 1000 mg of black cumin seed oil. For other suggestions please visit this link: Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to find a good black cumin seed oil to try. What do you think of this: ttp://

LifeExtension said...

Anonymous - We can't give opinions regarding another company's product. We're kind of biased towards our own. ;-) What we can say is this. Look for a product that is standardized to contain thymoquinone. This is the active ingredient in black cumin seed found to combat allergies.

Anonymous said...

This is my first time on this website. How do I go about finding out
more about your products and how to order. Also, is there a different
mixture or dose for different types of ailments?

LifeExtension said...

Anonymous - Visit to learn more about our products. To learn about supportive doses for nutrients, check out our health protocol page. Here's the link:

Unknown said...

It has been recommended for my jack russell who has a skin allergy and he scratches constantly., does any one have info concerning this

Anonymous said...

Any info on head tremor? Essential tremor? Been suffering with it for years and tried everything! Even brain surgeries. I have ZERO quality of life. Please help.

Life Extension said...

Anonymous - Tremors are associated with a variety of conditions including neurological disease (Parkinson’s disease being the most notable). For more information on Parkinson’s disease, see our Parkinson’s disease protocol:
A doctor would need to perform different tests to determine the cause of the tremors, as there are many types. The treatment depends on the cause. Typical medications used include the class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Other drugs include those for Parkinson’s disease (dopamine agonists) and anticonvulsants. Other treatments include physical therapy and deep brain stimulation.
Research studies have shown that animals deficient in magnesium are more likely to have tremors. Vitamin B 6 deficiencies are also liked to this condition as well. You may want to consider supplementing with these two nutrients.

Heather said...

Thank you so much for the post! As someone who suffers from both inflammation and terrible allergies (and sinus issues, generally), this is very welcome information! Does anyone have any experience with using this to cook or on other food (like in a salad dressing, for example)?

LifeExtension said...

Heather - It's our pleasure Heather. You may be thinking of cumin seed (which is used as a spice in dishes), which is entirely different from black cumin seed. However, the black cumin seed is used as a garnish in Indian dishes.

Anonymous said...

Would you consider this to be very helpful in healing mouth cancer? Would it be best to swish as a mouth wash & consume for liver health or just do one or the other? Also could this be a great immune booster for a child after having received chemo to treat leukemia?

Life Extension said...

Anonymous - We haven't seen any particular studies for black cumin and mouth cancer; however black cumin has anti-cancer properties, especially against lung, kidney, liver, prostate, breast, cervix, and skin cancer cells. Glutamine or aloe mouth washes may help a person recovering from stomatitis- a side effect of certain cancer treatments. Unfortunately, we can't give suggestions for children. We apologize for any inconvenience. You may want to call our advisor line (1-800-226-2370) and request to speak to one of our oncology health advisors. They may be able to provide information.

Anonymous said...

It cures bloating almost immediately

Anonymous said...

Is black cumin seed oil OK for people with autoimmune disease?

Life Extension said...

Anonymous - It's actually been shown to help balance immune function. There is one study showing it was able to help vitiligo, an autoimmune disease. When in doubt, also check with your doctor.

Anonymous said...

Is black cumin seed oil ok for someone with low kidney function?

Life Extension said...

Anonymous- Individuals with low kidney function should discuss black cumin seed oil along with other supplements with their doctor.

marie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

The black cumin extract benefits may be numerous. Black cumin benefits have been known since ancient times. The earliest date of cultivation is still unknown, but... cumin seeds benefits

DMT said...

Black seed oil is highly antimicrobial. As such does it have a negative effect on the microbiome?

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