By TAP Interactive

Nigella sativa is a botanical medicine that goes by many names, including black seed, black cumin, and black sesame. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil have made it a popular remedy for a wide range of medical conditions. One of the primary active compounds in black cumin seed oil is thymoquinone, which antagonizes histamine H1 receptors and decreases production of histamine and leaukotrienes (LTC4 and LTB4). In a study published by Koshak et al in 2017 in Phytotherapy Research, researchers evaluated the clinical effects of black seed oil in patients with asthma.

This 4-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted with a group of 70 adults with asthma that was not fully controlled. The intervention group took Nigella sativa oil (NSO) capsules, standardized to 0.7% thymoquinone, at a dosage of 500mg twice a day (brand name CUMINMAR, produced by Marnys in Spain). The placebo group took similar capsules of virgin olive oil. The primary outcome measure was the Asthma Control Test (ACT) score. The ACT score ranges from 5 to 25, with 25 indicating full asthma control.

Both groups had similar ACT scores at baseline. After 4 weeks, the average ACT score was significantly higher in the intervention group than in the placebo group (21.1 vs 19.6; p=.04). In addition, there was a significant improvement in pulmonary function in a subgroup of patients in the intervention group with below normal FEV1% at baseline. There was also a significant reduction in peripheral blood eosinophil count in the intervention group.

The authors conclude that supplementation with black cumin seed oil may improve asthma control in patients who do not achieve adequate control with conventional medications.



Koshak A, Wei L, Koshak E, et al. Nigella sativa Supplementation Improves Asthma Control and Biomarkers: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Phytother Res. 2017;31(3):403-409.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease