Black seed oil can control acne, heal wounds faster and enhance hair health. Read on to know more about this wonder oil.

A powerful herbal ingredient, black seed oil has many medicinal as well as beauty benefits. Not only does it give you shiny and healthy hair, and acne-free skin, but it is great for curing headaches, back pain, high blood pressure as well as infections. Black seed oil contains antioxidants as well as bioactive compounds which help us in many ways. To understand the health and beauty benefits of black seed oil, Health Shots got in touch with Dermatologist Dr Priyanka Kuri and Nutritionist Archana S, and here is what they had to say.

What is black seed oil?

Black seed oil is derived from the Nigella Sativa plant. “It’s a natural treasure trove containing antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and various vitamins and minerals,” says Archana. People have recognised it for its potential health benefits for quite some time.

The process of making this type of oil involves extracting the oil from the tiny, black seeds of the Nigella sativa plant. “The seeds are cold-pressed to obtain the oil, a method that involves minimal heat to preserve the oil’s nutritional quality,” adds Archana. This extraction method helps retain the beneficial compounds present in the seeds.

What are the nutritional benefits of black seed oil?

Black seed oil is rich in various bioactive compounds that contribute to its potential health benefits, says Archana. Here are some key nutritional benefits:

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1. Vitamins and minerals

Black seed oil is loaded with vital vitamins and minerals which include vitamin B (B1, B2, and B3), vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

2. Essential fatty acids

Black seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids like linoleic acid (omega 6) and oleic acid (omega 9) which helps in cell functions and heart health. Also, they help fight inflammation.

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A woman with acne
Black seed oil helps reduce acne. Image courtesy: Freepik

3. Contains antioxidants

Black seeds are power packed with antioxidants like thymoquinone that help hold off harmful free radicles and reduce oxidative stress thereby reducing the risk of chronic illness. It also possesses anticancer properties that may help you fight cancer.

Also Read: 6 seed oils for a healthy gut: Manage bloating, cholesterol and more

What are the beauty benefits of black seed oil?

1. Helps manage acne

The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties could help manage acne. “The oil has antimicrobial effects and these help in controlling the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties might help reduce redness and swelling associated with acne lesions,” says Dr Kuri. However, individual responses to treatments can vary, and it’s advisable to perform a patch test before applying any new substance to the skin.

2. Helps with Psoriasis

A study, published in Anatomical Record, suggests that this oil reduces inflammation and helps Psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition characterised by inflammation and abnormal skin cell growth. “The anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil may help alleviate symptoms, but more research is needed to establish its efficacy in managing psoriasis,” explains Dr Kuri.

3. Heals wounds

Black seed oil contains compounds like thymoquinone, which have demonstrated anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties in some studies. “While black seed oil can help the healing process, it’s important to understand that individual responses may vary. For wound care, it’s advisable to follow medical recommendations by a healthcare professional,” says Dr Kuri.

4. Enhances hair health

Black seed oil is believed to promote hair health through various mechanisms. “The antimicrobial properties of black seed oil may help maintain a healthy scalp by combating dandruff and other scalp conditions,” says Dr Kuri. Besides this, black seed oil may promote hair growth by supporting hair follicle health and preventing damage. “The oil can serve as a natural moisturiser, providing hydration to the hair and preventing dryness and frizz. The presence of essential fatty acids in black seed oil may contribute to strengthening hair and reducing breakage,” says Dr Kuri.

Also Read: 5 best oils to boost hair growth and revive your tresses

5. Acts as an anti-aging agent

The antioxidant properties of black seed oil may help combat free radicals, potentially contributing to anti-aging effects on the skin.

6. Moisturises your skin

When applied topically, black seed oil can act as a moisturiser, helping to hydrate and soften the skin.

7. Relieves eczema

The anti-inflammatory effects of black seed oil may offer relief for individuals with eczema, although individual responses can vary.

However, it is important to always perform a patch test and consult with a dermatologist before incorporating new products or ingredients into your skincare routine, especially if you have specific skin concerns or conditions as different individuals react differently to different products.

A woman getting a hair massage
Black seed oil helps to make hair healthier. Image courtesy: Freepik

How can you include black seed oil in your diet?

Black seed has been widely used as a spice and flavouring agent in a variety of food preparations such as in bread, yogurt, pickles, sauces, hummus. It also makes for a great addition to salad dressings. Black seed oil can be treated as a seasoning and should be added after the food is cooked.

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