Nigella oil is a natural ingredient with many health and beauty benefits. It contains antioxidants and other bioactive compounds and may help support weight loss, improve skin conditions, and heal wounds. The oil can be taken orally or topically, but severe side effects are rare. It is made from the seeds of a plant called Nigella sativa, also known as black cumin, black caraway, or kalonji, that grows in Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
A few studies found that nigella oil may help with diabetes, high blood pressure, and even some cancers. For example, a 2017 study found that an aqueous extract of the black seed had anti-diabetic effects and decreased cholesterol levels in diabetic animal subjects. It also increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowered blood sugar. A previous randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that taking black seed oil reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in humans with mild hypertension.
Another study found that thymoquinone, a compound in nigella, promoted epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is an important event during wound healing. It also inhibited cell migration and proliferation.
Another study analyzed the antifungal properties of black seed extracts and found that they were more effective than a commonly used antifungal drug. The thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone compounds showed the best antifungal activity, with 100 percent inhibition of yeasts and molds. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.