A black seed a day keeps the coughing fits at bay

Have you ever found yourself deep in the wilderness, and suffocating from another asthma attack, no human or inhaler in sight, yeah, me neither but listen to this. Studies have shown that a random plant found in the Middle East and Northern Africa has potent anti-inflammatory properties especially in the case of chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma. This plant is known as Black seed or Nigella sativa. 


Despite great advancements in the pharmaceutical and technological world, many communities continue to turn to traditional remedies to heal their ailments. Whether that be due to a growing distrust of doctors or the common idea that natural remedies elicit fewer side effects than their allopathic counterparts, many westerners seem to be gravitating towards “functional foods” to improve their health. In recent years, we have seen a rise in research into foods for their healing properties and possible health benefits. Some of these foods include garlic, turmeric, ginkgo biloba etc. In their pursuit of potentially therapeutic compounds, scientists identified black seed for its healing properties. However, this is not a recent discovery.  Black seed, for centuries, has been regarded as a prophetic plant. Recently, scientists have managed to pinpoint the specific medicinal ingredient, known as thymoquinone. 


Asthma is a condition where sufferers experience difficulty breathing as a result of swollen and inflamed lungs. Asthmatics regularly experience symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and feeling short of breath.  These symptoms are driven by the overreaction of the immune system to allergens, ultimately causing damage to the tissue in the lungs. Studies have shown that thymoquinone extracted from the black seed reduced harmful inflammation in the lungs of asthma-induced mice and guinea pigs. To be specific, thymoquinone had the capacity to reduce the number of immune cells in the Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). In addition to this, a comparative study was conducted to analyse the properties of thymoquinone against the already well known steroid dexamethasone. The study also demonstrated thymoquinone’s impressive capacity to lower levels of inflammation in the epithelial smooth muscle cells. 


Black seed seems to have a knack for combating inflammation as many use it to treat their psoriasis and eczema, inflammatory skin conditions. Its curing properties seem to be boundless, as it can contribute to the improvement of conditions including diabetes, hypertension, headaches and even cancer! Hopefully this blog post has shown you that it might be beneficial to hit up your local health food store to pick up some good ol’ black seed oil, capsules or even the seed itself. It can be easily incorporated into meals or taken as a supplement. I promise your body will thank you for it in the long run. 



Koshak, A., Koshak, E. and Heinrich, M. (2017) ‘Medicinal benefits of Nigella sativa in bronchial asthma: A literature review’, Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 25(8), pp. 1130–1136. doi:10.1016/j.jsps.2017.07.002.

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