Black seed oil is made from the seeds of the nigella sativa plant, a small plant native to Southwest Asia and parts of the Near East. The oil derived from these tiny black seeds has been a staple of traditional medicine in that part of the world for more than 2,000 years.
Despite its popularity in some parts of the world black seed oil has lingered toward the back of the Western supplement shelf for a while now. But that is changing, as awareness of its many benefits have finally started to gain some traction. Below are the best black seed oils of 2020.
1. Amazing Herbs Premium Black Seed Oil
Amazing Herbs produces an array of black seed oil supplements, but for our money this is the top of their line. Each soft gel capsule of their Premium Black Seed Oil contains 1250mg of highly pure oil that is rich in essential fatty acids and contains the powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant thymoquinone. Amazing Herbs Premium Black Seed Oil also contains the antihistamine nigellone which may help allergy sufferers.
If you’re looking for a safe, potent black seed oil supplement you won’t do any better than this. Amazing Herbs supplements are subjected to rigorous third party testing to ensure quality and are manufactured in an FDA registered, Good Manufacturing Practices certified facility in the US. This black seed oil is also gluten free and both vegetarian and vegan friendly.
2. Health’s Harmony Store Black Seed Oil
Health’s Harmony goes to great lengths to ensure their Black Seed Oil gel caps are easy to swallow. This is done primarily by limiting the size to an easily manageable 500mg. Each two capsule serving contains pure, GMO-free black seed oil derived from nigella sativa from Near Eastern sources. Health’s Harmony Black Seed Oil capsules each contain a tiny bubble of nitrogen inside to ensure freshness. As such, they never leave a nasty aftertaste.
This black seed oil is extracted using the cold-press method, which ensures the potency of the oil is not compromised by heat. No genetically modified organisms are present at any stage of the cultivation, harvesting or production process. And all Health’s Harmony supplements are vegetarian friendly, produced in GMP-certified facilities and subjected to third party testing to ensure quality.
3. Amazing Herbs Premium Black Seed Oil
Amazing Herbs is back with their Premium Black Seed Oil liquid. This is the pure liquid variant of our number 1 choice, and it packs quite a beneficial punch. If the idea of choking down capsules every day doesn’t appeal to you, this pure and potent oil is an agreeable alternative. Although it contains nothing to augment the taste, that taste itself is surprisingly neutral and should not produce any adverse reactions in most people.
Amazing Herbs Black Seed Oil liquid is free of solvents, free of alcohol, free of genetically modified organisms and both vegetarian and vegan friendly. Each 1 teaspoon serving is rich in the powerful anti-inflammatory thymoquinone as well as essential omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Keep in mind that the recommended dose of 1 teaspoon is equivalent to 4 1250mg capsules. So you may want to start with 1/2 teaspoon, which would be equivalent to the recommended dose for their capsules.
4. Health Logics Black Seed Oil
Healthy Logics Black Seed Oil is produced using the cold-press method which ensures the oil is not shorn of its benefits by heat. It is rich in beneficial omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, low in calories, fat and cholesterol and contains no gluten, soy, peanuts, shellfish, sugar, eggs or other dairy products. Health Logics Black Seed Oil is also free of genetically modified organisms at all stages of the production process.
Each gel cap contains a robust complement of thymoquinone, renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. All Health Logics supplements are produced in the US in a GMP certified facility under the watchful eye of the FDA, although the nigella sativa itself is sourced from overseas and imported. No alcohol or solvents of any kind are used during that production process.
5. Sweet Sunnah Black Seed Oil Liquid
Sweet Sunnah Black Seed Oil Liquid is another potent, powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant that will pay multiple benefits with regular use. The oil here is extracted using the cold-press method which prevents degradation of the important compounds. It is unrefined, unfiltered, contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and is totally free of genetically modified organisms.
Sweet Sunnah Black Seed Oil Liquid contains more than 2% thymoquinone, which research has shown to produce numerous anti-inflammatory benefits. The nigella sativa seeds are sourced from the Near East, but processed in the US in a GMP facility, which is typical of most black seed oils sold on the American market. Sweet Sunnah also packages their black seed oil in an environmentally friendly glass bottle instead of plastic, so you won’t be contributing to the Pacific Garbage Patch.
6. Zhou USDA Certified Organic Black Seed Oil
Zhou has become a significant presence in the supplement space because of their consistent quality and reasonable prices. They produce just about every type of dietary supplement under the sun, so it’s no surprise that they’ve waded into the black seed oil market. Their black seed oil is cold-pressed to preserve purity, sourced from organically grown nigella sativa seeds and presented in easy to swallow 650mg gel caps that are vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Zhou Nutrition Organic Black Seed Oil is rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. It’s an excellent source of thymoquinone, the anti-inflammatory that has impressed so many medical researchers, and it contains no artificial ingredients of any kind. If you’re looking for a supplement to help you deal with arthritis pain, Zhou Organic Black Seed Oil may be a good choice.
7. HalalEveryDay Pure Black Seed Oil
HalalEveryDay Pure Black Seed Oil contains nothing but cold-pressed, unrefined, unfiltered black seed oil sourced from nigella sativa plants grown in the Near East. There are no artificial additives intended to jazz up the taste, no artificial colors to make it look more appealing and no food allergens of any kind. That means no dairy, soy, gluten, nuts, or anything else that may cause an allergic reaction.
This black seed oil is certified both vegan and Halal and is purported to have a shelf life of 3 years if kept in a cool place away from direct sunlight. If there is a caveat it’s this: because the oil is unfiltered it’s likely to contain some seed residue. So if you taste a bit of grit don’t be alarmed. It’s not dangerous.
8. MAJU’s Black Seed Oil
This black seed oil from Maju is pure and unrefined. It’s produced using the preferred cold-press method, which is a little more expensive to do but results in a higher quality product. Maju’s Black Seed Oil contains no artificial flavors, yet somehow manages to taste light and pleasant, unlike some of the competition. Perhaps that’s because it is filtered.
Maju’s Black Seed Oil contains 1.5% thymoquinone, which is right in the middle quantity-wise when compared to most other black seed oils. The oil is derived from nigella sativa that is organically grown in Turkey and imported into the US for processing. It’s free of food allergens, free of GMOs and comes with a 30-day no questions asked money back guarantee.
9. Mother Nature Organics Black Seed Oil
Mother Nature Organics Black Seed Oil is cold-pressed to retain the highest percentage of beneficial omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants possible. This is a simple, effective black seed oil supplement that is rich in thymoquinone while being free of gluten, soy, dairy, fish, peanuts, sugar and other potentially problematic additives. It’s also provided in a biodegradable glass bottle, rather than plastic.
The nigella sativa seeds used to create this oil were organically grown and are not the product of genetic modification. The oil itself is processed in a Good Manufacturing Practices facility under FDA supervision and is both vegan and vegetarian friendly.
10. Kiva Black Seed Oil Capsules
The last of our best black seed oil supplements is Kiva Black Seed Oil Capsules. This is a 100% natural product derived from organically grown nigella sativa seeds that are cold-pressed to preserve potency and purity. Each gel cap contains 1000mg of that cold-pressed oil and is remarkably easy to swallow.
The oil in Kiva Black Seed Oil Capsules contains 1.5% of the anti-inflammatory thymoquinone as well as other antioxidants, and omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Those fatty acids have numerous cardiovascular benefits and are potent anti-inflammatories in their own right. Kiva Black Seed Oil Capsules are certified vegan and produced in a GMP facility.
What Is Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil is derived from the seed of the nigella sativa (1) plant, and has played a role in traditional medicine in Western Asia, the Middle East, the Near East and parts of Eastern Europe for more than two millennia. The plant is known by several other names, including black cumin, kalonji, and simply nigella.
The fruit of the nigella sativa plant is not what most of us would recognize as fruit. It consists mainly of several connected pods that are each packed with small black seeds. It is these seeds that are prized for their medicinal properties and from which black seed oil is produced.
What are the Benefits of Black Seed Oil?
Over the course of more than 2,000 years black seed oil has demonstrated numerous benefits both subtle and obvious and earned a place in the pantheon of efficacious natural medicines. In recent years it has come under increased scrutiny from Western scientists and, for the most part, has stood up under close inspection. Here are some of the benefits currently ascribed to black seed oil.
Black seed oil is rich in antioxidants – There is no denying this. Black seed oil is naturally rich in antioxidants (2) and that gives it some degree of immediate credibility. Antioxidants are the body’s first and best line of defense against the ravages of free radicals (3) and oxidative stress (4). It is their impressive antioxidant content that provides many of the benefits typically associated with black seeds and, by extension, black seed oil.
Black seed oil may help alleviate respiratory conditions like asthma – Black seed oil contains a compound known as thymoquinone (5) that has shown significant promise as a treatment for numerous chronic conditions, including asthma. Studies indicate that thymoquinone has robust anti-inflammatory properties that help relax the muscles of the airway that become inflamed during asthma attacks (6).
Black seed oil can reduce the symptoms of arthritis – The anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil we just mentioned make it a strong candidate for treatment of both osteoarthritis (7) and rheumatoid arthritis (8). Both of these chronic conditions are inextricably linked to the body’s inflammatory response. By reducing inflammation, black seed oil can potentially reduce the pain and stiffness that are major side effects of arthritis.
Black seed oil may help lower blood pressure – High blood pressure is a serious health issue. Research indicates that high blood pressure (9) can shorten a person’s life by as much as 5 years (10). Recent clinical studies seem to support the notion that black seed oil can be potentially effective in reducing high blood pressure (11). These findings have led some to believe that it will not be long before black seed oil is regularly advised for high blood pressure patients.
Black seed oil may help people lose weight – Studies indicate that black seed oil supplementation may reduce fat accumulation in people who tend to sit for long stretches at a time (12). Which, in today’s digitally-driven economy, is an increasingly large number of people. The exact mechanism by which black seed oil achieves this apparent benefit is not yet completely understood. But the evidence suggests that benefit is very real.
Black seed oil may protect against cognitive decline – From a health perspective, inflammation is the ultimate double-edged sword. On the one hand it is a necessary part of the body’s immune response. On the other hand it contributes to arthritis, heart disease and other chronic conditions. Brain inflammation may contribute to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Early indications suggest the anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil may help reduce brain inflammation (13), which could potentially help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Black seed oil promotes digestive health – For centuries black seed oil has been used to alleviate indigestion and bloating. Until recently, however, there was precious little scientific evidence to back up that use. But that seems to be changing. Recent studies (14) strongly suggest that black seed oil does indeed provide relief from common digestive problems such as the aforementioned indigestion, and may help reduce the severity of conditions such as acid reflux (15).
Black seed oil may help stabilize blood glucose levels – The holy grail of diabetes research is the search for a way to effectively stabilize blood glucose levels. Several recent studies suggest that black seed oil may have something to contribute in the regard (16). Results are considered preliminary but they suggest that small doses of black seed oil can reduce HbA1c levels, which are often considered an indicator of type 2 diabetes (17).
Black seed oil is good for your skin – Much of the damage done to our skin over time is the result of oxidative stress and/or inflammation. The antioxidants in black seed oil can reduce oxidative stress which, in turn, helps bolster skin integrity. At the same time the anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil can be useful in treating chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis (18).
Black seed oil may alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies – Those anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil have numerous potential benefits, including the apparent ability to reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies. Hay fever and the like are characterized by inflammation of the mucus membrane in the nose (19). By reducing this inflammation black seed oil may help reduce hay fever symptoms.
Black seed oil may have anti-cancer effects – You have to be careful when touting anything as a potential cancer treatment. Some potential treatments that show promise early on wind up not panning out in the long run. That said, certain studies have suggested that the thymoquinone in black seed oil may help to mitigate the growth of certain types of cancer cells (20). This is another potential benefit linked to black seed oil’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Black seed oil may help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke – Oxidative stress caused by free radicals plays a significant role in the onset of both strokes and heart attacks (21). Because black seed oil is rich in free radical fighting antioxidants it is potentially useful in lowering the overall risk of these heart conditions. Exactly how much it may lower that risk has not been precisely calculated by scientists yet. But the benefits of fighting oxidative stress with antioxidants is well-established.
Are There Side Effects to Using Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil contains no pharmaceutically active ingredients. Therefore, when taken as directed, the risk of significant side effects is extremely small. That said, here are some side effects various individuals have associated with black seed oil consumption.
Some have complained of mild nausea – On a few occasions, some folks have complained that black seed oil produced a mild case of nausea. There is, however, no scientific way to prove or disprove these claims. It may be that the black seed oil was indeed to blame for their nausea. Or it may be something else.
It may interact with certain medications – Researchers have warned that black seed oil may interfere with anticoagulants such as warfarin (sold commercially as Coumadin). There is also some scientific evidence that black seed oil may interfere with the effectiveness of beta-blockers (22), a type of medication given to heart attack patients to try and prevent future heart attacks. Although, as of this writing, there have been no verified incidents of black seed oil causing actual adverse reactions with these drugs. Still, if you are taking warfarin or beta-blockers, talk to your doctor before taking black seed oil.
It may have a negative effect on kidneys – Some have suggested that taking excessive amounts of black seed oil could potentially harm your kidneys. This concern is based almost entirely upon the case of one woman with type 2 diabetes who claimed to experience kidney failure after taking black seed oil every day for a week. That she experienced kidney failure is not in doubt. What’s in doubt is whether black seed oil was to blame, since no other similar cases have been reported, and there is no clinical evidence that black seed oil presents a threat to renal function.
It may cause diarrhea – A few people have complained that taking black seed oil caused them to experience diarrhea. Again, none of these cases have been clinically verified and it could be that their diarrhea was the result of something else. But we need to mention it just the same.
There is not enough research to say it is absolutely safe for pregnant women – When it comes to pregnant women and supplements the best, most common advice is, “When in doubt, don’t”. That would apply to black seed oil as well as many other supplements. There simply hasn’t been much research conducted on the subject of black seed oil and pregnancy. Because of that, an abundance of caution should prevail and pregnant women should probably avoid black seed oil.
How Much Black Seed Oil Should I Take?
Black seed oil is not medication and contains no pharmaceutically active ingredients. As such, the recommended doses can sometimes seem like they’ve been arbitrarily arrived at. Nonetheless, you should stick to the recommended dose on the package. If you feel that the amount is not producing the results you’re after you should discuss it with your doctor before arbitrarily increasing the dose. Also, if you are currently taking beta-blockers (23) or anticoagulants you should not take black seed oil at all without talking to your doctor first.
The Bottom Line
Black seed oil has gained significant traction in the supplement marketplace in recent years due to its numerous potential benefits and the extremely low risk of potential side effects. It is a powerful antioxidant and possesses robust anti-inflammatory properties as well.
The black seed oil supplements listed above have passed muster when it comes to purity and potency and are all products of reliable supplement manufacturers. Use the information in this guide to determine which black oil supplement is right for. And if you have any questions or concerns, be sure to discuss the matter with your doctor before you start taking black seed oil.
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