The Science Behind Black Seeds – Hab Shifa

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The Science of Black Seed

Black Seed Oil has a  plethora of benefits to the body, hair, and immune system. This unassuming little aromatic seed has been revered for centuries as a remedy to restore the body’s natural balance, strengthen its defences and to treat many chronic diseases.

There has been an increasing amount of research in support of the healing effects of Black Seed, something that has been assumed for centuries, but can now be proven scientifically. Black Seed is now known to have many beneficial effects, mainly due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.


Black Seed has more than 100 known constituents and over time, more are sure to be discovered. So far, we know that Black Seed contains between 34.4% to 38.7% by weight of a crude oil (Salem, 2001), whilst pure pressed Black Seed Oil is composed of approximately 98.2% to 99.9% of fixed oil, and about 0.1% to 1.8% of volatile oil (Edris, 2011).

Volatile Oils

It is important to remember that the quantities of the volatile oil in Black Seed varies, depending on the origins of the seed and the conditions under which it has been grown.

Thymoquinone (TQ) has been identified as the main active constituent in Black Seed and has not been found anywhere else in nature. TQ has been extensively studied and has been found to possess excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity.

Other important volatile oils include: dithymoquinone (nigellone), thymohydroquinone, p-cymene, carvacrol, 4-terpineol, t-anethol, sesquiterpene longifolene, α-pinene and thymol

(Ahmad et al 2013).

Fixed oils

Black Seed contains essential and unsaturated fatty acids and is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids comprising approximately 58% linoleic acid (also found in flaxseed and evening primrose oil). It also contains carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, vitamins and minerals (predominantly potassium, phosphorus, sodium and iron).