Black seed oil, sometimes also known as black cumin seed oil, is an extract that is taken as a supplement for weight loss and can also be applied to the skin to help with itching, flaking, and psoriasis.
This little-known herbal extract is a powerful antioxidant with a broad range of uses, and if you are interested in trying it, you might be at a loss for where to start.
Fortunately, our researchers have come up with the ten best black seed oils on the market. We’ll take a look at those before checking out the science behind the benefits of black seed oil.
1. Madre Nature Black Seed
Madre Nature Black Seed is a cold-pressed black seed oil that has the added benefit of being certified organic.
That means there’s a far lower chance that there will be any trace of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers in it. The eight ounce bottle is made of amber glass, so your black seed oil will be protected from degradation from light and will last you a long time.
Moreover, it’s standardized to contain 1.08% thymoquinone, so there’s no lack of potency. Thanks to all of these advantages, it’s our top pick.
2. Amazing Herbs Black Seed Oil
Amazing Herbs Black Seed Oil is a cold-pressed all-natural black seed oil that is standardized to contain at least 0.95% thymoquinone, the active ingredient in black seed oil.
The large eight ounce bottle is protected from visible light damage, and users find that it’s very effective at reducing inflammation and pain.
The natural processing and large volume make this one of the best liquid form black seed oils out there.
3. Zhou Black Seed Oil
Zhou Black Seed Oil is a 100% pure and organically certified black seed oil grown in Israel and processed only using cold pressing techniques, which preserves the antioxidant properties of the oil.
At eight ounces per bottle, it’s a great choice for regular or high-volume users who would go through capsule-based supplements too quickly.
4. Healths Harmony Black Seed Oil
Healths Harmony Black Seed Oil makes a capsule-based black seed oil supplement that delivers 500 mg of pure black seed oil per capsule. The capsules are cellulose-based, making them vegan friendly.
Further, the only other ingredient is a small amount of vitamin E to prevent the oil from going bad, making this black seed oil supplement highly pure.
As far as capsule-based black seed oil products go, Healths Harmony Black Seed Oil makes one of the best.
5. Maju Superfoods Cold Pressed Black Seed Oil
Maju Superfoods makes one of the most potent black seed oils on the market. The black seed oil used in this product comes exclusively from Turkey, which is reputed to have nutrients that help the nigella sativa plant produce more of the biologically active compounds in black seed oil.
This careful growth process allows for Maju Superfoods Black Seed Oil to have over 1.5% thymoquinone, so if you are looking for the most concentrated form of black seed oil, this is what you should choose.
6. NusaPure Black Seed Oil
NusaPure Black Seed Oil makes a capsule based black seed oil that’s a solid option if liquid black seed oils aren’t your preference. The cellulose capsules make it easy to get a precise dosage of 500 mg, and supplement design is quite clean.
The downside with this product, which is shared with all capsule-based black seed oils, is that you can’t use it topically, and it’s less efficient for high doses.
7. Sweet Sunnah Black Seed Oil
Sweet Sunnah Black Seed Oil is a pretty standard liquid black seed oil product, though it does have a reputation as being a bit more mild than some other black seed oils, which can have a particularly distinctive taste to them. At 16 ounces, the bottle is also large enough for high volume users.
8. Best Naturals Black Seed Oil
Best Naturals Black Seed Oil comes in a giant 16 ounce container, making it well-suited for people who go through a lot of black seed oil on a regular basis.
It’s not organically certified, but it is standardized to contain at least 0.95% thymoquinone, so its potency is decent.
9. Alive Herbals Black Seed Oil
Alive Herbals Black Seed Oil comes in a large 16 ounce container, and is certified organic, making it a good pick if you care about purity and want a lot of black seed oil.
The only drawback is the fact that the bottle is plastic, which means it may not block as much light.
This could prove to be an issue with such a large bottle, as many people will be storing it for quite a while, meaning that there’s more of an opportunity for degradation of the active compounds.
10. Heritage Products Black Seed Oil
Heritage Products Black Seed Oil comes in an eight ounce amber glass bottle, and while it’s a decent product it doesn’t have any of the perks that other competitors offer.
The levels of its active ingredient aren’t standardized or reported, and it doesn’t have an organic certification, making it hard to rank this product any higher.
Black seed oil benefits and side effects
Black seed oil is a supplement used to treat joint and back pain, inflammation, and skin irritation. This oil is derived from pressing the seeds of the nigella sativa plant, which is native to the Middle East.
Black seed oil (sometimes also called black cumin seed oil) has been the subject of extensive research scientific research into its potential as an herbal treatment.
The dark amber oil contains potent antioxidants, including the compound thymoquinone. What kind of benefits could black seed oil offer? We’ll take a look at the science behind some of the specific applications of this supplement.
Black seed oil is a powerful antioxidant. Initial laboratory research into the potential therapeutic applications of black seed oil focused on its ability to capture free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage.
A scientific study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research looked at the antioxidant potential of black seed oil under a variety of conditions (1).
The researchers found that black seed oil had protective effects against oxidative damage by hydrogen peroxide, a source of free radicals that is generated in the body on a regular basis.
These basic laboratory results suggested that black seed oil could prove useful for the broad range of chronic diseases linked to inflammation, and later work proved this hypothesis correct.
Black seed oil could help lower blood pressure. Many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herbal extracts, like garlic and beet extracts, have proven useful for treating high blood pressure, and black seed oil is no different.
Systemic inflammation and oxidative damage has been linked to cardiovascular disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, so the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of black seed oil could explain the link.
A clinical trial published in 2008 in the journal Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology examined the effects of two different doses of black seed oil, compared to placebo, on blood pressure in a group of subjects (2).
The subjects were randomized into one of three groups. The first group received a placebo oil to take, while the second and third groups received 200 mg and 400 mg of black seed oil per day, respectively.
The subjects were followed for two months and their blood pressure was measured throughout the study. The results showed that the black seed oil successfully reduced blood pressure compared to the placebo, and moreover, the effect was dose dependent.
In other words, the higher dosage brought about a greater decrease in blood pressure. The researchers also noted a decline in LDL cholesterol that was associated with the black seed oil supplement.
Black seed oil could help you lose weight. A number of studies have examined whether black seed oil could be a good natural supplement for weight loss.
The basic science supports this hypothesis: black seed oil is rich in healthy oils, and its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties bode well for controlling body weight.
A recent meta-analysis published in 2018 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology aggregated the results of several studies on black seed oil and obesity (3).
Though the authors cautioned that many of the studies were small and were not all designed the same way, they found evidence for moderate effects of black seed oil on body weight, BMI, and waist circumference, all of which are metrics used to quantify weight loss.
Animal research also suggests that black seed oil could help treat some of the negative metabolic side effects of obesity as well. One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2004 in a group of rats that were overweight (4).
The researchers found a number of interesting effects. First, the rats decreased their food intake by 25%, which directly lead to weight loss. In addition, the rats given the black seed oil extract showed a decrease in blood lipids and an increase in insulin sensitivity.
High blood lipids are a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and poor insulin sensitivity is a hallmark for risk of type 2 diabetes.
Losing weight is one thing, but it appears that black seed oil could also help you improve your overall metabolic health, which is potentially an even bigger payoff.
Black seed oil can treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Due to the fact that black seed oil is, after all, and oil, it lends itself well to topical application.
It functions well as a moisturizer, and given that it already has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it is a good candidate for treating skin conditions linked to dryness and inflammation.
A clinical trial published in 2013 by researchers in Iran compared the effects of black seed oil on hand eczema to two standard treatments, betamethasone and Eucerin hand moisturizer (5).
The subjects were randomly prescribed one of the three treatments and were followed for 28 days. The researchers found that black seed oil, applied to the hands twice per day, was more effective than Eucerin and equally effective compared to betamethasone.
Black seed oil has also been researched for its ability to treat psoriasis, in a study published by researchers based in India in 2012 (6). Their study used mouse skin cells with a mouse version of psoriasis to examine whether black seed oil could be a useful treatment for the itchy, scaling rashes caused by psoriasis.
The researchers found that black seed oil was able to increase the thickness and health of the mouse skin cells, suggesting that black seed oil could be used to treat psoriasis as well as eczema.
Black seed oil appears to be quite safe, with no reported adverse effects among several clinical trials on black seed oil for weight loss (7).
Studies in rats have found that, even at high doses, black seed oil does not cause toxic damage to the liver, providing further evidence for its safety (8).
When used on the skin, it carries a small risk of contact dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction that can cause a rash. A case study in a dermatology journal describes this risk, which is a phenomenon observed in many plant-derived compounds (9).
For the primary long-term health benefits of black seed oil, the necessary dose is fairly small: 200 to 400 mg of black seed oil appears to be effective, though the higher end of this dose range might be more effective.
Studies on weight loss have used somewhat higher doses of 2000 to 4000 mg per day. In both cases, doses are split into two equal portions taken in the morning and in the evening.
For treating skin conditions, a twice daily application is also used, and the proper “dose” is whatever amount of oil is necessary to lightly massage onto the affected area.
Black seed oil offers an interesting combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties. It’s been explored as a treatment for everything from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis to obesity and the problems that come alongside, like high blood pressure, insulin insensitivity, and high cholesterol.
Scientific evidence indicates that it’s a low risk supplement with few adverse effects. The only reported problems are allergic reactions on the skin, but these are rare.
If you want an all-natural supplement that can do dual duty as a healing salve for skin conditions and as a way to fight weight gain and its long-term health effects, black seed oil might be exactly what you need.