Black seed oil, the oil with a thousand virtues?

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

Of plant origin, black seed oil is taken from the plant of the same name. Nigella, also called black cumin or Nigella Sativa in the scientific community, is an herbaceous plant, native to the Mediterranean regions and Western Asia. It has a wide spectrum of applications in traditional medicine, in Islamic civilization, in Ancient Egypt, in medicine Western and therapeutic modern.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

From the botanical family Ranunculaceae, nigella is an aromatic plant whose fruits contain small edible black seeds used as a spice. These rectangular-shaped seeds also have medicinal properties. The oil, extracted from these seeds, has exceptional curative and therapeutic properties. This vegetable oil is beneficial in the treatment of many conditions, but also for softening and firming the skin and for hair care. Nicknamed miracle oil, it is endowed with a multitude of virtues and is distinguished by a wide range of beneficial effects on health.

What is black seed vegetable oil?

Black cumin oil is known by various names: black seed oil, black cumin oil, Pharaohs oil, etc. It has numerous active ingredients and a diversity of therapeutic properties. It is used to combat many diseases and is very useful in the sphere of well-being and beauty. Specialists prefer it organic in order to take full advantage of it.

Black seed oil is obtained after grinding black seed by cold pressing. Extracted in a traditional way and without additives, it is pure and of excellent quality. The virtues of this oil are preserved by the cold pressing extraction process. The organoleptic characteristics of this vegetable oil from certified organic cultivation and cold pressing are very distinct. This pure oil is greasy to the touch; it has a fluid appearance and a thick and creamy texture. It is yellow-brown in color and has a spicy, very aromatic and pungent odor.

Black seed oil can be used externally and internally. Advice or advice from a naturopath or aromatherapist may be necessary to avoid any overdose or misuse. It is also possible to benefit from the beneficial effects of black seed oil by using it in cooking for dressing salads or as an ingredient, due to its spicy flavor.

Pharaoh's sarcophagus
Black seed oil is sometimes known as oil of the Pharaohs

Why choose organic black seed oil?

The authenticity and purity of all black seed oils available on the market are not always proven. Some may contain additives or preservatives. Others are mixed with other poor quality vegetable oils.

Excellent quality black seed oil is the one that is pure. To be sure you are using pure vegetable oil, you should always choose certified organic oil. The optimal quality is that of an oil made from organic nigella seeds. It is important to check that it does not contain preservatives or additives.

Organic black seed oil is an excellent quality and particularly effective product. The natural active ingredients and therapeutic virtues which are thus preserved by the natural extraction process.

What is the composition of black seed oil?

Black seed oil contains many exceptionally beneficial active ingredients for health. The composition of this vegetable oil is marked by the presence of several natural components which give it numerous pharmacological properties. Thus, the effectiveness of this oil is the result of its exceptional composition and the synergy of the various active ingredients.

Generally speaking, pure black seed oil of organic origin mainly contains:

  • quinones: thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone;
  • a phenolic compound: thymol;
  • fatty acids monounsaturated: oleic acid, (Omega 9) ;
  • essential fatty acids poly unsaturated: linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid from the omega-6 family);
  • saturated fatty acids: palmitic acid, stearic acid;
  • vitamin E which is a natural antioxidant;
  • radical carotenoids characterized by antioxidant properties that fight against free radical damage;
  • nigelline: a beneficial component for asthmatics, it constitutes a stimulant of the digestive and intestinal system
  • nigellone: ​​this is a bronchodilator and antihistamine substance.

Black seed oil is also a good source of mineral salts and trace elements: calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc. It also contains several types of vitamins, including vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B9 and vitamin C or ascorbic acid.

Nigella flower

What are the properties and virtues of black seed oil?

Exceptionally rich, black seed oil can provide countless benefits. It is distinguished by a multitude of virtues widely used for the treatment of various pathologies. It offers medicinal properties that prove useful for health. The positive effects of this vegetable oil are therefore immense. Thus, vegetable oil has the following virtues:

  • An undeniable antioxidant oil

Particularly rich in vitamin E, with a high concentration of omega 6, black seed oil effectively fights against free radicals which destroy cells. The antioxidant properties are effective against skin problems as well as cardiovascular pathologies.

  • What about the antibacterial activity of black seed?

Black seed oil is characterized by strong antibacterial activity which helps fight bacteria by inhibiting their growth. As a result, it is effective in the treatment of diseases caused by bacteria (otitis, respiratory pathologies, etc.) and constitutes a very effective natural remedy.

  • How is black seed oil anti-inflammatory?

This oil deploys anti-inflammatory activities through the various constituents including thymoquinone.

Thus, it helps relieve muscle inflammation, inflamed joints and skin inflammation caused by various diseases such as eczema or psoriasis. It then makes it possible to reduce the inflammation which occurs in various pathologies characterized by inflammatory flare-ups.

  • Digestive stimulant?

The digestive virtues of black seed oil are very useful, because it improves digestion and helps reduce digestive discomfort. This vegetable oil helps fight digestive disorders, including bloating and flatulence. It plays the role of a digestive stimulant thanks to nigelline which stimulates the digestive and intestinal system. It stimulates the pancreas, the gallbladder and the peristaltic movement of the intestine and is said to have beneficial properties for the digestive system.

  • Immunostimulating or not?

Black seed oil increases the body’s natural defenses. It strengthens, stimulates and helps regulate the immune system. It helps normalize the immune system. Also, it increases the production of antibodies as well as the number of cells that produce antibodies. It protects normal cells from harmful effects caused by viruses, destroys tumor cells.

This vegetable oil strengthens immune responses by promoting the action of T lymphocytes and NK (Natural Killer) lymphocytes. It increases the number of T lymphocytes which protect the body against infections and viruses. The role of these lymphocytes in the immune response helps defend the body against external attacks. Also, black seed oil proves useful for the prevention and cure of cancer.

  • Cardio-protective

Black seed oil is an ally for heart health with beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. It protects the heart. It contributes to the prevention of blood pressure and the development of inflammatory elements in the cardiovascular system. It acts positively on the cardiovascular system and helps soothe heart problems. Also, it helps limit cellular damage from free radicals. Several components, notably omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, play a significant role in the proper functioning of the heart and in reducing blood pressure.

  • Detoxifying

Black seed oil is an excellent detoxifier. It helps remove toxins from the body, particularly those that come from food as well as those that are produced by the body (metabolic by-products). It detoxifies the liver and promotes good liver function. One of the constituents of black seed oil, in this case, thymoquinone improves the detoxifying function of the liver. Also, polyunsaturated fatty acids carry toxins to the skin for elimination.

  • Antifungal

Black seed oil is characterized by antifungal properties that effectively eliminate harmful microorganisms such as fungi. Thymoquinone is an antifungal compound. It is effective against dermatophytes (microscopic filamentous fungi), yeasts and various species of Candida.

  • Bronchodilator

Black seed oil is distinguished by a powerful bronchodilator action which allows the pulmonary airways to dilate. It promotes an increase in the diameter of the bronchi while reducing respiratory discomfort that can occur in the presence of certain diseases. Thus, it helps improve respiratory/pulmonary function. Furthermore, it relieves asthma attacks, chronic bronchitis and whooping cough. In doing so, it improves respiratory health.

  • Hepato-protective oil

Black seed oil protects the liver system and promotes better liver functioning. By helping to combat oxidative stress, this vegetable oil helps protect the liver. Also, it protects liver tissues against the effects of toxic metals. Thymoquinone is a constituent characterized by hepatoprotective activity.

  • Nephroprotective activity

The nephroprotective activity of black seed oil proves beneficial for the kidneys. This vegetable oil protects the kidneys and helps effectively fight against kidney damage. It helps prevent the formation of kidney stones. Also, it protects the kidneys against damage resulting from hyperglycemia.

  • Antihypertensive

Black seed oil has an antihypertensive effect which helps reduce blood pressure. It is an excellent remedy for hypertension. Its hypotensive effect helps balance blood pressure and prevent high blood pressure.

  • Hypoglycemic

The hypoglycemic effect of black seed oil promotes a reduction in blood sugar (blood glucose level), particularly in diabetics. This vegetable oil contributes to the reduction of oxidative stress which plays a role in the development of diabetes. It stimulates the activity of pancreatic β cells which control the production and release of insulin. Thus, it makes it possible to control blood sugar levels in diabetic subjects affected by hyperglycemia (a high level of sugar in the blood).

  • Skin regenerative

Powerful and exceptional, black seed oil is characterized by a regenerative action on skin cells. It deeply regenerates the skin and activates the cell renewal process. It promotes the regeneration of the skin’s lipid barrier. The vitamin A and fatty acids contained in black seed oil are active ingredients that promote the regeneration of skin cells.

Thanks to its regenerating properties, black seed oil restores more suppleness and softness to the skin. It helps prevent skin aging and fight against dermatoses or skin allergy problems such as acne and eczema.

  • An anti-cancer oil?

Black seed oil contains active ingredients characterized by anti-cancer effects, including thymoquinone. This active ingredient would be effective against cancer in the blood system and in various organs (lungs, kidneys, liver, prostate). This vegetable oil inhibits the growth of cancerous tumors and acts against the proliferation of cancer cells. It may be useful in cancer prevention and could be a cure for cancer.

How is black seed oil useful for hair?

Black seed oil is beneficial for hair. For this, it can be used as part of hair care. It strengthens and tones hair fibers. Antioxidant compounds contribute to the strengthening of hair follicles and limit hair aging. They help neutralize the effects of free radicals on the scalp.

Thus, this vegetable oil deeply repairs the hair fiber and strengthens the entire hair system. It nourishes and restores more vigor to the hair. This vegetable oil can be useful for moisturizing hair. This moisturizing action softens the hair and promotes shine.

The beneficial effects of the oil help stimulate hair regrowth and make hair more abundant. Black seed oil helps stop hair loss. It can be used to treat hair loss, to effectively combat alopecia and to prevent hair loss.

Black seed oil is useful for scalp health. It helps treat dry, brittle, damaged, irritated, split ends, devitalized and dull hair, which lacks shine. It softens dry hair to make it softer and easier to comb. The anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antimicrobial properties of this vegetable oil help prevent scalp infections and eradicate lice in the hair and overcome dandruff and itchy scalp. The advice of a specialist may be necessary for proper use in hair care.

Long feminine hair
Black seed oil is beneficial to the scalp

What are the benefits of black seed oil for the skin?

Black seed oil is full of many beneficial properties for the skin. It contains nigellone and thymoquinone. These active ingredients are characterized by healing, antihistamine, anti-infectious and anti-oxidant properties. This vegetable oil contains vitamins (A, B and C) and minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc) which help preserve the health of the skin. All these constituent elements of this vegetable oil are very beneficial for the skin.

  • Black seed oil for youthful skin and a radiant complexion

Black seed oil contributes to restoring the appearance of the skin and making it more vibrant. It softens and nourishes the skin while providing more elasticity and softness. In doing so, it helps limit skin aging and sagging. It gives a new radiance to the skin, with a beautiful complexion thanks to the antioxidant active ingredients it contains. This action against harmful free radicals which precipitate the aging of skin cells, the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, helps keep the skin younger.

Vitamin B gives a more youthful appearance by increasing skin hydration. Vitamin C improves skin tone and texture. The regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil help to lighten the skin, giving it a natural glow.

Thus, black seed oil restores the appearance and dynamism of the skin. It is therefore suitable for natural anti-aging care. It delays the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It reduces the appearance of dark spots. It allows you to have healthy and radiant skin.

  • How is black seed oil effective for dry and sensitive skin?

The cosmetic virtues of black seed oil are very beneficial for dry skin. It contains fatty acids which help maintain the skin’s lipid barrier and prevent it from drying out. This vegetable oil moisturizes dry skin. It softens the skin and gives it a smooth and supple appearance. It treats dry skin and improves skin comfort. Black seed oil is suitable for dry, sensitive or irritated skin. It nourishes them intensely and purifies them.

  • Black seed oil and oily skin

Black seed oil is also suitable for oily skin. It deeply cleanses the skin and gets rid of excess sebum. Thus, the pores are no longer clogged thanks to the beneficial action of black seed oil. It helps control sebum production and helps fight acne.

  • How does black seed oil combat skin problems?

Black seed oil has excellent anti-infectious, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that are particularly useful for people affected by various skin problems. It can be used to treat inflammatory skin conditions (psoriasis, eczema).

Also, it helps treat redness, skin irritations, skin conditions caused by fungi or skin mycoses. It soothes sunburns, burns, chapped skin. It is an excellent remedy for treating scars. It is always recommended to seek the advice of a specialist before using black seed oil to eradicate skin problems.

Woman's face
Black seed oil helps combat certain skin problems

Is black seed oil effective against infections?

Thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone and thymol are active compounds in black seed oil. They effectively strengthen the immune system and help fight fungi and yeasts which are responsible for a large number of infections. This vegetable oil is effective against fungal infections and against fungi of the Candida genus which are potentially pathogenic and cause infections in the oral cavity, esophagus and vaginal mucosa.

Black seed oil can therefore help people affected by cutaneous candidiasis, thrush, genital candidiasis, Candida and fungal infections in the digestive system and on the skin. Thus, it is distinguished by a strong antifungal activity against the species Candida albicans.

Also, black seed oil acts effectively against various pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria. Thus, it can be useful in the presence of infections caused by bacteria. It acts against staphylococcus aureus (Staphylococcus aureus), ae bacteria which is often the cause of skin infections, but also against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which is prevalent in health establishments.

It thus helps fight methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections and can help slow or prevent the uncontrolled spread of these infections. It is also useful against other infections caused by various strains of bacteria (salmonella, Escherichia coli, listeriosis, Helicobacter pylori…).


Sharon Masnada: Benefits and virtues of black seed oil, Natura Force, September 2018

Bienfaits et vertus de l’huile de nigelle

Stéphanie Monnatte-Lassus : Black seed oil – Composition, Use, Benefits, Health Passport

SÉBASTIEN DALLAS: Black seed oil: Egyptian oil with a thousand virtues,, October 2015

Huile de nigelle : l’huile égyptienne aux milles vertus

Manelya: Black seed oil, black gold from the Orient,, October 2016