Black Cumin: Can This Seed Stop Cancer in Its Tracks?
In what is an exciting and fascinating study, researchers from Mansoura University in Egypt found that a compound in black cumin called thymoquinone, can reduce cancer risk and suppress tumor progression.
These promising results are the latest discovery relating to the healing properties of the botanical, which has been revered for centuries in Ayurveda medicine and other traditional systems of health.
In the four-week study, Swiss albino mice were divided into five groups. They were:
- The control group
- A group that was given oral injections of thymoquinone
- A group that was given an intramuscular inoculation of Ehrlich ascites cancer cells
- A group that was given oral injections of thymoquinone for two weeks and then administered an intramuscular inoculation of Ehrlich ascites cancer cells
- And a group that was given injections of thymoquinone and Ehrlich ascites cancer cells simultaneously throughout the experiment
Tumors and livers from the animals were excised and examined using an array of tests.
Results from the study, published in Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, showed potent anticancer properties that were stronger when thymoquinone was given prior to injections of cancer cells. The compound caused cancer cell propagation to decline and lifespan to lengthen. Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that thymoquinone may be even more effective for cancer prevention than cancer treatment.
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4 Health Benefits of Black Cumin
According to noted natural health practitioner Dr. Joseph Mercola, more than 650 studies have examined the health benefits of black cumin, also called black seed. He reports the compound has 20 disease-fighting actions, some of which include bronchodilatory, pain-relieving and antimicrobial properties, as well as anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory effects.
Below are four research findings on this incredible health boosting seed:
1. May Mediate Type II Diabetes
A 2010 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found the consumption of two grams of black cumin per day for three months led to decreases in fasting blood sugar and improvements in the function of pancreatic cells. The researchers concluded that the supplement might be beneficial for type II diabetes.
2. Decrease Blood Pressure Reduce Heart Disease Risk
In 2013, an investigation in Phytotherapy Research discovered taking 5 milliliters per day of black seed oil decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The supplement may also reduce a fast heart rate and alleviate the dysfunction of cells lining the heart and blood vessels.
3. May Improve Respiratory Function
A 2004 study in the Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry demonstrated that thymoquinone lowered two mediators of inflammation and asthma. The compound’s bronchodilation action may also be helpful for other respiratory disorders.
4. May Help Relieve Psoriasis
A 2012 study in Pharmacognosy Magazine indicates the application of black cumin extract to the skin may be a useful adjunct to psoriasis treatment. It increased the thickness of the epidermis, which is the surface layer of cells on the skin.
Add Black Cumin Seeds to Your Diet
In addition to thymoquinone, black cumin has flavonoid antioxidants, essential fatty acids and other health-promoting compounds.
Unrelated to the spice cumin, black cumin has a slightly bitter taste. Try adding black cumin to soups, stews, casseroles, salads and smoothies. You can also make a tonic out of black cumin, honey and garlic to improve immunity during cold and flu season.