The black seeds that are pressed for black seed oil come from Nigella sativa, a flowering plant found in Western Asia, Northern Africa, and Eastern Europe. Used in traditional medicine and cooking, the seeds are known as:
- black seed
- black caraway
- black cumin
A key component of black seed oil, thymoquinone, has demonstrated antioxidant properties that may help relieve inflammation. Many advocates of black seed oil use it on their hair.
Black seed oil for your hair
According to a review, Nigella sativa seed is an ideal ingredient for medicine and cosmetics. The study details – black seed oil’s properties – as:
Advocates of black seed oil for hair suggest that these properties can help maintain scalp health by addressing issues such as dandruff while keeping the scalp moisturized. I have heard many testimonials about the results of adding this oil to shampoos and conditioners, as well as setting gels, and fixatives,
These people also suggest that black seed oil could help seal in the moisture in individual hair shafts because it’s rich in fatty amino acids.
A 2014 study indicated that a mixture of coconut oil and black seed oil was effective enough in promoting hair growth to justify further study.
Also, a 2017 study indicated that an herbal hair oil containing Nigella sativa resulted in hair fallout reduction of up to 76 percent.
Telogen effluvium is a condition characterized by a temporary shedding or thinning of hair.
A 2013 study of 20 women with telogen effluvium showed significant improvement when treated with a lotion containing 0.5 percent black seed oil.
However, given the study’s small sample size, further research is needed to determine whether black seed oil really is effective for treating telogen effluvium.
Black seed oil benefits for your skin
Along with hair care, black seed oil is noted for its benefits for the skin. According to a review, these benefits may include the following:
- reducing psoriasis plaques
- reducing acne symptoms
- reducing inflammation and bacteria in healing wounds
- improving skin moisture and hydration
It naturally fights acne, clogged pores, and inflammation
One appealing benefits of black cumin seed oil is its antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which work to reduce clogged pores and control oil, as well as tame redness and soothe irritation, including eczema.
It effectively fills fine lines and wrinkles
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an oil more nourishing than black cumin seed, which contains over 100 vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins A, B, and C, which help the skin retain moisture, maintain elasticity, and fight the damaging free radicals that age you faster. Plus, the product boasts gobs of fatty acids, which reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
MEET THE EXPERT
Aneela Zaman is a celebrity makeup artist and founder of Zaman Skincare. With over 20 years of experience, Zaman believes that healthy skin is the most important component of any makeup regime.
“Black cumin seed oil is a legendary secret of the goddesses like Cleopatra and Nefertiti, who used it as part of their daily beauty regimen,” explains Zaman, who is of Southeast Asian descent herself, and has used the ingredient regularly her whole life. “It is also known that the pharaoh Tutankhamun was found buried alongside black cumin seed oil almost 3300 years ago.” Completely different from the orange cumin you cook with, this product comes from a plant called Nigella sativa, sometimes also called black caraway or fennel flower.
Though precious in the East, black cumin seed oil is hardly at the tip of most American tongues. However, as the Western beauty industry increasingly turns toward natural and organic skincare methods, black cumin seed oil is catching many brands’ eyes. “This is where black cumin seed oil finds its niche in the beauty industry today,” says Zaman.
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