The Benefits of Black Seed Oil

Do you struggle to clamber out of bed as your stiff morning joints ache? Or maybe your back hurts, your knees twinge, or your hip ails?

You’re not alone. Ongoing pain is common in the UK with one-third to one-half(1) of our population experiencing discomfort that lasts longer than three months. For many, it continues for years.

To make matters worse, the long lock-down has led to increased soreness. For people with long-term pain(2), the past year has brought with it a sense of elevated tenderness, greater anxiety and depressed mood. Plus, the drop in physical activity has also taken its toll. If you’ve felt increased discomfort through the pandemic, this is understandable. Stress and immobility both worsen pain.

Yet Black Seed Oil, a herb you’ve likely never heard of, can offer much-needed respite. As well as being a potent pain reliever, this ancient medicinal plant has been shown to help support healthy blood pressure, improve digestion, balance blood sugar, ease asthma, and calm skin complaints. It does so through its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

In this article, though, we will focus on Black Seed Oil’s potent pain-relieving properties.

What is Black Seed Oil?

Black Seed Oil comes from the seeds of the pretty annual flowering plant, Nigella sativa (N. sativa).  Commonly found in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, this healing herb has remarkable pain killing abilities. Its proven anti-inflammatory(3), antioxidant(4) and analgesic properties have been prized for thousands of years.

The Benefits of Black Seed Oil

Black Seed Oil has a two-thousand year history of therapeutic use and proven healing properties. So how can this oil ease your pain?

Black Seed Oil: How does this herb reduce inflammation and joint pain?

Have you ever wondered why your joints hurt? Why waking up in the morning is accompanied by stiffness? What is really happening inside an injured or arthritic joint?

When tissue becomes damaged, your inner repair system springs into action. For an acute injury, like a sprained ankle, you’ll notice this as redness, reduced mobility, pain and swelling. The latter can be marked, with a huge puffy ankle or a balloon-sized knee.

When a condition becomes chronic, meaning it has been present for a long time, reduced mobility, pain and swelling still occur. But, while sometimes there might be a large flare up, the changes are often smaller in scale. This happens because as an injury switches from short-term to long-term (as it does with arthritis), the type of healing cells involved switch too.

No matter the cause, though, inflammation is the body attempting to heal. It is trying to fix the underlying issue; to repair the damage. However, when stressors are repetitive or a condition is chronic, like the wear and tear associated with older joints, this constant low-grade inflammation just plain hurts. It can, in fact, cause further damage. Queue stiffness, pain and immobility.

Instead of trying to ignore inflammation, taking steps to reduce this process can soothe discomfort and disability. That’s why anti-inflammatory medications are regularly prescribed. But as the NHS has said, these drugs come with a set of horrendous potential side effects(5); headache, tiredness, bleeding, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and even death.

This is where the alternative of powerful nutritionals like Black Seed Oil come in. Black Seed Oil has a range of active ingredients, with thymoquinone the most plentiful and well studied. Research shows this natural compound is safe(6) and effective. It works its pain relieving magic by reducing inflammation.

How Does Black Seed Oil Reduce Inflammation?

Inflammation is like a recipe. It requires various ingredients and a step-by-step process. Instead of baking a cake that requires sugar, flour, milk and eggs, inflammation requires healing cells and chemicals.

Certain chemicals “mediate” or manage the inflammatory response. Pro-inflammatory chemicals push for more inflammation; “pro” meaning “in favour of”, and “inflammation” referring to the inflammatory process. Anti-inflammatory chemicals have the opposite effect; “anti” meaning “opposed to” and, again, “inflammation” referring to the inflammatory process. Anti-inflammatory properties, then, reduce or stop the creation of the ingredients — the chemical and cells — that promote inflammation.

Thymoquinone(7), Black Seed Oil’s most active compound, reduces the chemicals and cells that promote inflammation. That’s why it’s known as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Thymoquinone has another important pain relieving property; it acts as an antioxidant. If we think about anti-inflammatory compounds like removing rust from a car, antioxidants stop the metal from rusting in the first place. In the same way, Black Seed Oil protects tissues from damage.

Research: What conditions can Black Seed Oil help?

Black Seed Oil’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can soothe different types of pain, acute or chronic. But what specific ailments has Black Seed Oil been shown to help? Let’s take a look…

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis(8) affects almost one in 100 UK citizens. This autoimmune condition occurs because the body attacks its own tissues. The joints are a favourite haunt and swelling and pain are common. Yet even for this potentially crippling condition, Black Seed Oil offers hope.

A study published in 2016 investigated patients with RA(9). The authors found that Black Seed Oil decreased the chemicals that ramp up inflammation. This natural, safe supplement significantly increased an anti-inflammatory chemical (cytokine) called IL-10. This has the potential to reduce inflammation and decrease swelling and pain. These amazing changes occurred after only eight weeks of supplementation.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. In the UK, a staggering one in ten adults(10) have a diagnosis of OA and experience related pain. This type of arthritis can also cause fatigue, insomnia and a plummeting libido.

In OA, the joint is damaged. Bone can rub on bone. Cartilage can tear. Tissue can snap off and float around inside. These continued injuries create further inflammation.

Yet in 2018, a study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that rubbing Black Seed Oil onto a painful arthritic knee reduced pain severity significantly in a cross over study comparing its effects to paracetamol. How can that be?

For both RA and OA, ongoing inflammation continues to harm the involved joint. “Rust” sets in and creates further harm, which is met with more inflammation. The damage is unable to heal fully, so the cycle goes round and round. Black Seed Oil’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to halt the vicious cycle. This powerful herb reduces inflammation and oxidation and, in doing so, calms swelling and pain.

The Take Away

Whether you apply Black Seed Oil and gently massage into a painful joint, supplement orally, or both, this little known powerful herb offers hope and relief. 

This natural oil proves, once again, that ancient wisdom and cutting edge research regularly reach the same conclusion. In this case, that Black Seed Oil is a sensible, evidence-based and safe way to calm inflammation and soothe pain, naturally.

References:

1. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010364 
2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2049463720973703
3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352241015000286
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406245/
5. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nsaids/ 
6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352241015000286
7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29437018/
8. https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article/41/7/793/1788294
9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4884216/ 
10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32184134/

Do you struggle to clamber out of bed as your stiff morning joints ache? Or maybe your back hurts, your knees twinge, or your hip ails?

You’re not alone. Ongoing pain is common in the UK with one-third to one-half(1) of our population experiencing discomfort that lasts longer than three months. For many, it continues for years.

To make matters worse, the long lock-down has led to increased soreness. For people with long-term pain(2), the past year has brought with it a sense of elevated tenderness, greater anxiety and depressed mood. Plus, the drop in physical activity has also taken its toll. If you’ve felt increased discomfort through the pandemic, this is understandable. Stress and immobility both worsen pain.

Yet Black Seed Oil, a herb you’ve likely never heard of, can offer much-needed respite. As well as being a potent pain reliever, this ancient medicinal plant has been shown to help support healthy blood pressure, improve digestion, balance blood sugar, ease asthma, and calm skin complaints. It does so through its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

In this article, though, we will focus on Black Seed Oil’s potent pain-relieving properties.

What is Black Seed Oil?

Black Seed Oil comes from the seeds of the pretty annual flowering plant, Nigella sativa (N. sativa).  Commonly found in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, this healing herb has remarkable pain killing abilities. Its proven anti-inflammatory(3), antioxidant(4) and analgesic properties have been prized for thousands of years.

The Benefits of Black Seed Oil

Black Seed Oil has a two-thousand year history of therapeutic use and proven healing properties. So how can this oil ease your pain?

Black Seed Oil: How does this herb reduce inflammation and joint pain?

Have you ever wondered why your joints hurt? Why waking up in the morning is accompanied by stiffness? What is really happening inside an injured or arthritic joint?

When tissue becomes damaged, your inner repair system springs into action. For an acute injury, like a sprained ankle, you’ll notice this as redness, reduced mobility, pain and swelling. The latter can be marked, with a huge puffy ankle or a balloon-sized knee.

When a condition becomes chronic, meaning it has been present for a long time, reduced mobility, pain and swelling still occur. But, while sometimes there might be a large flare up, the changes are often smaller in scale. This happens because as an injury switches from short-term to long-term (as it does with arthritis), the type of healing cells involved switch too.

No matter the cause, though, inflammation is the body attempting to heal. It is trying to fix the underlying issue; to repair the damage. However, when stressors are repetitive or a condition is chronic, like the wear and tear associated with older joints, this constant low-grade inflammation just plain hurts. It can, in fact, cause further damage. Queue stiffness, pain and immobility.

Instead of trying to ignore inflammation, taking steps to reduce this process can soothe discomfort and disability. That’s why anti-inflammatory medications are regularly prescribed. But as the NHS has said, these drugs come with a set of horrendous potential side effects(5); headache, tiredness, bleeding, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and even death.

This is where the alternative of powerful nutritionals like Black Seed Oil come in. Black Seed Oil has a range of active ingredients, with thymoquinone the most plentiful and well studied. Research shows this natural compound is safe(6) and effective. It works its pain relieving magic by reducing inflammation.

How Does Black Seed Oil Reduce Inflammation?

Inflammation is like a recipe. It requires various ingredients and a step-by-step process. Instead of baking a cake that requires sugar, flour, milk and eggs, inflammation requires healing cells and chemicals.

Certain chemicals “mediate” or manage the inflammatory response. Pro-inflammatory chemicals push for more inflammation; “pro” meaning “in favour of”, and “inflammation” referring to the inflammatory process. Anti-inflammatory chemicals have the opposite effect; “anti” meaning “opposed to” and, again, “inflammation” referring to the inflammatory process. Anti-inflammatory properties, then, reduce or stop the creation of the ingredients — the chemical and cells — that promote inflammation.

Thymoquinone(7), Black Seed Oil’s most active compound, reduces the chemicals and cells that promote inflammation. That’s why it’s known as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Thymoquinone has another important pain relieving property; it acts as an antioxidant. If we think about anti-inflammatory compounds like removing rust from a car, antioxidants stop the metal from rusting in the first place. In the same way, Black Seed Oil protects tissues from damage.

Research: What conditions can Black Seed Oil help?

Black Seed Oil’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can soothe different types of pain, acute or chronic. But what specific ailments has Black Seed Oil been shown to help? Let’s take a look…

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis(8) affects almost one in 100 UK citizens. This autoimmune condition occurs because the body attacks its own tissues. The joints are a favourite haunt and swelling and pain are common. Yet even for this potentially crippling condition, Black Seed Oil offers hope.

A study published in 2016 investigated patients with RA(9). The authors found that Black Seed Oil decreased the chemicals that ramp up inflammation. This natural, safe supplement significantly increased an anti-inflammatory chemical (cytokine) called IL-10. This has the potential to reduce inflammation and decrease swelling and pain. These amazing changes occurred after only eight weeks of supplementation.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. In the UK, a staggering one in ten adults(10) have a diagnosis of OA and experience related pain. This type of arthritis can also cause fatigue, insomnia and a plummeting libido.

In OA, the joint is damaged. Bone can rub on bone. Cartilage can tear. Tissue can snap off and float around inside. These continued injuries create further inflammation.

Yet in 2018, a study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that rubbing Black Seed Oil onto a painful arthritic knee reduced pain severity significantly in a cross over study comparing its effects to paracetamol. How can that be?

For both RA and OA, ongoing inflammation continues to harm the involved joint. “Rust” sets in and creates further harm, which is met with more inflammation. The damage is unable to heal fully, so the cycle goes round and round. Black Seed Oil’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to halt the vicious cycle. This powerful herb reduces inflammation and oxidation and, in doing so, calms swelling and pain.

The Take Away

Whether you apply Black Seed Oil and gently massage into a painful joint, supplement orally, or both, this little known powerful herb offers hope and relief. 

This natural oil proves, once again, that ancient wisdom and cutting edge research regularly reach the same conclusion. In this case, that Black Seed Oil is a sensible, evidence-based and safe way to calm inflammation and soothe pain, naturally.

References:

1. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010364 
2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2049463720973703
3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352241015000286
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406245/
5. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nsaids/ 
6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352241015000286
7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29437018/
8. https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article/41/7/793/1788294
9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4884216/ 
10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32184134/