References to black seed’s medicinal properties go back to the days of Prophet Mohammed and earlier.
Let me present the scientific evidence in support of the spice’s medicinal properties:
The medicinal properties of the species have been tested in modern research. Khan et al. (2013) have found the black seed plant to be effective against S. aureus, depending on the extraction solvent and processing methodology. The fruit extracts have been tested in studies of diabetic complications and aging (Ahmed et al., 2014).
According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, various scientific studies indicate that molecules from the plant have immune-modulating, antioxidant, antiparasitic, and hepatoprotective properties, indicating that the seed of N. sativa may be useful in treating asthma, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, dyspepsia, diabetes, dermatitis, and even cancer. The U.S. FDA has granted two patents for use of the oil to treat cancer-related ailments and improve immune systems.
Haq et al. (1999) demonstrated the immunomodulatory effect of proteins in N. sativa seeds through experiments. Dada et al. (1995) also found that the species had a hepatoprotective effect on rats. Other scientific studies show that seed and oil are cardioprotective (El Tahir et al., 1993) and gastroprotective (El-Abhar et al., 2003). These studies give scientific rigor to the Prophet Muhammad’s teaching that black cumin can treat every ailment. However, as is the case in most herbal medicines, further investigation must be conducted to corroborate these findings and support the development of new drugs.
To get a historical and botanical perspective on the plant you can read the section on this plant here.