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Wellness Blog

Black Seed Oil

Benefits of Black Seed Oil


Studies suggest that this oil may offer many health and cosmetic benefits, such as aiding weight loss, improving skin conditions, and even treating cancer and diabetes.


In this article courtesy of IAWP, we look at the science behind black seed oil's benefits and explore the possible side effects and risks.

What is black seed oil?


Black seed oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


Black seeds are also known as black caraway, black cumin, kalonji, and black onion seeds.


They come from Nigella sativa, a small plant with pale purple, blue, or white flowers that grows in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East.

People have used the tiny black seeds of the fruits of N. sativa as a natural remedy for thousands of years. The seeds can also flavor curries, pickles, and bread in a similar way to cumin or oregano.


Black seed oil contains thymoquinone, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that may also have tumor-reducing properties.

People can ingest black seed oil in the form of capsules or apply it topically to benefit the skin. It is also possible to add the oil to massage oils, shampoos, homemade skin-care products, and fragrances.


High-quality black seed oil is also suitable for use in cooking, baking, and beverages.


Benefits of black seed oil


Scientists with a range of specialties have researched the possible benefits of black seed oil.


However, it is important to note that many studies to date have used cells or animals as models, and there is limited research available on the effects of black seed oil in humans.


Benefits for weight loss


Research has shown that black seed supplementation can help lower people's body mass index (BMI). The study participants did not report any severe side effects from taking this supplement.


A systematic review published in the Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders in 2013 found that black seed oil could be effective in tackling obesity.


Benefits for the skin


Black seed oil may be beneficial for people with the following skin conditions:

  • Eczema: According to a small-scale 2013 study comparing the therapeutic benefits of N. sativawith those of prescription medications, black seed oil can reduce the severity of hand eczema.
  • Acne: Research suggests that the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects of black seed oil can improve acne. In one study, 58 percent of participants rated their response to this treatment as good, while 35 percent felt their results were moderate.
  • Psoriasis: A 2012 study on mice suggests that the oil may also have antipsoriatic benefits.


Black seed oil may also hydrate hair, soften skin, and act as a moisturizer, although there is a lack of scientific evidence to confirm these benefits.


Benefits for health conditions


Black seed oil may also be beneficial for some health conditions, including the following:

Cancer

Recent studies have shown that the thymoquinone in black seed oil can influence programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in several types of cancer cell. These include brain cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer cells.

However, much of the research on the effects of black seed oil on cancer uses cells rather than live humans, so researchers do not yet know how effective the oil may be to treat people with cancer.

Liver and kidney function

According to a 2013 study on rats, black seed oil may reduce liver and kidney disease complications and improve the organ structures. Researchers do not know if these effects would also occur in humans.

Diabetes

According to an article in the Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, black seed oil may have antidiabetic properties and improve blood sugar levels. Again, this study used animal models, so more research is necessary to confirm the effectiveness of the oil in humans.

Infertility

A placebo-controlled clinical trial on men with abnormal sperm and infertility has found that black seed oil can improve sperm movement and increase sperm count and semen volume.


Side effects and risks


People should not use black seed oil in place of medication.

Although black seed oil seems to offer certain health benefits, this supplement does not replace medication.

People taking medication should talk to their doctor before using herbal supplements, such as black seed oil.

The doctor can advise on possible interactions with the medication and also discuss the potential benefits and side effects of the supplement. It is essential never to stop taking medication without a doctor's advice.

As with any supplement, pregnant or breastfeeding women should talk to their doctor to see if black seed oil is right for them before using it.

With topical use, black seed oil can cause an allergic rash in some people. Therefore, it is vital to test it on a small patch of skin first to ensure that it does not trigger a reaction.

People must also take care to keep the oil away from the eyes, nostrils, and other sensitive body parts.

Swallowing black seed oil can sometimes lead to digestive problems, such as stomach upset, constipation, and vomiting.

To get the safest and most beneficial black seed oil, always choose high-quality, organic black seed oil that is 100-percent pure, therapeutic grade, and USDA certified.


Takeaway


People have used black seed oil for its therapeutic benefits for thousands of years.

Many studies have shown that it may have health and cosmetic benefits for various medical and skin conditions, although these studies often use animal or cell models rather than humans.

More research into the effects of N. sativa in humans is necessary to confirm its benefits.

Always talk to a doctor before taking black seed oil, and choose 100-percent pure, therapeutic-grade, USDA-certified organic black seed oil. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not monitor herbs and supplements for quality and purity, so it is vital to be selective when purchasing these products.

Last reviewed Fri 31 August 2018 By Kat Gal Reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT

The Effects of Caffeine:


  Caffeine might get you through morning rush-hour traffic and the afternoon slump. But there’s a high price to pay over the long term for a quick pick-me-up, which renders caffeine as a big let-me-down.  Let’s look closer at what happens in the body when you drink caffeine.

Emotional roller coaster
We’ve all been annoyed by coworkers who are so jacked up on caffeine that they completely blow presentations for executives with incoherent 90 mph rambling. But caffeine’s effects go far beyond annoying anxiety jitters. Caffeine instigates irritability, depression and attention disorders. People drink caffeine to feel more alert and high-functioning, but in reality, it decreases blood flow to the brain by up to 30 percent; this compromises memory and cognitive performance. Caffeine can also cause depression after its stimulating effects wear off.

Nutrient deficits
Caffeine forces the body to excrete excessive amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and trace minerals in the urine. It also interferes with optimum absorption of other vital nutrients.

Chronic heartburn and ulcers
Have you ever felt a burning sensation in your stomach after drinking a cup of java? That’s because coffee—including decaf— lessens pressure on the valve connecting the esophagus and the stomach; this allows stomach acids to flow upward into the esophagus, causing heartburn and even gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Also, coffee increases the production of hydrochloric acid. And excessive levels of hydrochloric acid are linked to a higher risk of developing ulcers.

Blood sugar roller coaster
Caffeine intake causes blood sugar to spike dramatically. And what goes up must come down. This spike causes the body to respond by overproducing insulin, which then causes blood sugar to plummet within just a few hours. A blood sugar crash can leave you feeling weak, shaky and entirely unable to concentrate. It can also make you crave candy and refined carbohydrates, starting the vicious cycle all over again. Insulin tells the body to store excess sugar as fat, so the caffeine blood sugar roller coaster leads to weight gain. If you are diabetic or hypoglycemic, you should avoid caffeine.

Caffeine’s Effect on Stress, Aging, & Hormones

Stress
Consuming caffeine causes the body to produce stress hormones. These, in turn, increase anxiety, irritability and muscle tension. They also exacerbate pain, indigestion and insomnia, plus compromise immune system functioning. Unnecessarily high levels of stress hormones prevent you from keeping your cool in the face of life’s everyday stresses—hence yelling at the kids, being rude to a cashier or worse yet, succumbing to road rage.

Speeding up the aging process
If you’re in your forties, you may have realized that you can’t drink alcohol like you could in your twenties. And you may have discovered that the same holds true for caffeine. Caffeine dehydrates the body, aging the skin and causing those dreaded wrinkles. It also ages the kidneys, inhibits DNA repair, and reduces the liver’s ability to do its job of detoxifying.

Hormonal imbalances
Caffeine also decreases production of hormones associated with youth, including DHEA and melatonin, pushing you downhill even faster.

Depressed adrenal function

The adrenal glands are thumb-sized, and one sits atop each kidney. The adrenal glands are the number one player in our overall energy level. Caffeine taxes the adrenals and can eventually lead to serious health problems involving inflammation, auto immune diseases and fatigue. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are no day at the beach.


Women, Men and Caffeine

Caffeine can affect anyone. Some people may experience more noticeable or immediate effects of caffeine, while others will not. The effects of caffeine can be more hidden or subtle, leading someone to state that they are not affected by caffeine, when in fact, the body is experiencing negative repercussions.

A study published in the “American Journal of Cardiology” in 2004 showed that caffeine affects men and women differently. Two groups of men and women were separated. Groups were given either a dose of caffeine or a placebo. The study measured changes in blood pressure, cardiac output and vascular constriction. In both men and women, blood pressure increased, but the reason for the increase was unique. In men, blood pressure increased due to an increase in vasoconstriction (the constriction of blood vessels), not from cardiac output (blood being pumped out from the ventricles.) In women, the opposite was true, the increase was due to an increase in cardiac output.

The key learning from this study was that while both men and women are affected by caffeine, the effects in the body are different.

It’s no surprise that women and men experience caffeine effects differently as they have biological differences. What remains in question is whether caffeine affects a man more than a woman. The subject is under ongoing research and evidence can be shown on both sides. What we do know is that the body is affected by this stimulant and too much caffeine can cause harmful side effects. Let’s take a look at some of the health issues that each sex experiences as a result of caffeine.

Women’s health issues
Consuming caffeine aggravates PMS, hot flashes, fibrocystic breasts, infertility, miscarriage, low birth weight babies and osteoporosis. If you take birth control pills, you are at even higher risk for these problems, as the pill compromises your body’s ability to detoxify caffeine.

Men’s health issues
If you eliminate caffeine from your diet, you can dramatically reduce the risk for developing prostate and urinary tract problems.

Heart disease
Not only does caffeine increase heart rate and blood pressure, but it can cause heart disease in both men and women. Coffee, including decaf, increases cholesterol and homocysteine levels; homocysteine increases the risk of heart attack. Caffeine also causes coronary vasospasms, which are responsible for 20 percent of all fatal heart attacks that kill people who are completely healthy.

When you stop drinking or greatly reduce caffeine, you’ll discover that you have even more energy all day long, with no bothersome ups and downs throughout the day. And your long-term health with thank you for it!

Magnesium Oil

There's a CRAZE about oils so we're hoppin' on the bandwagon!  Here's the low down on Magnesium Oil: Benefits + Uses:



According to a recent article published by Healthy Holistic Living, below are some of the benefits + uses of Magnesium Oil ~

1.)  Sports performance and work out recovery.  "Athletes need adequate magnesium levels to perform at their best.  Magnesium oil is also a natural muscle relaxant." 

2.)  Migraine relief.  "Low levels of magnesium affect receptors and neurotransmitters that cause migraine headaches." 

3.)  Skin care.  Magnesium breaks apart different fats and oils, and can help aid in reducing skin oiliness.  It also reduces stress-related skin irritations such as acne and rosacea."

4.) Regulates diabetes.  "Poorly controlled diabetes depletes magnesium levels and has major implications in insulin resistence."

5.) Decreases hypertension.  "Magnesium supplementation helps decrease blood pressure in patients suffering from hypertension."

6.) Stress relief + general well-being.  "Magnesium aids neurological and physiological processes when the body is stressed."

7.) Sleep improvement.  "Magnesium works to relax GABA receptors in the brain and nervous system." 

After reading all of this, why NOT give it a try?!! 


  *Some of the material featured in this entry was deprived from our gracious resources at IAWP*