McCormick Science Institute

MSI Funded Paper - Black Seeds: Potential Health Benefits

Singletary, Keith, W., PhD


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MSI Team

November 2022--An overview of the potential health benefits of black seeds, funded by the McCormick Science Institute. An evaluation of the research is presented. 

Black seeds, sometimes called black cumin, are obtained from the spicy medicinal herb Nigella sativa that is native to a broad region encompassing the eastern Mediterranean, southwest Asia, and northern Africa. The seed and its oil have a distinctive aroma and taste, diversely described as bitter, peppery, metallic, and pungent. Both are frequent ingredients in numerous foods, especially in the Middle East and India. In these same regions N sativa has an extensive history as a folk medicine dating back millenia for relief for a variety of health conditions such as asthma, headache, bronchitis, amenorrhea, allergies, infections, and hypertension. The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties of N sativa seeds observed in preclinical studies provided an impetus for clinical trials examining the seeds' effects on cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological disorders, among others. This narrative review summarizes findings from publications addressing several these and other disorders and provides suggestions for future research.


Singletary K. Cardmom: Potential Health Benefits. Nutrition Today. 2022 Nov/Dec. doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000580

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