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Black seed oil is made from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant. This small flowering shrub is found across the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, and West Africa, making it a global phenomenon.
The oil may sometimes be referred to as black cumin seed oil or black caraway seed oil.
As one of the top-ranked evidence-based herbal medicines, black seed oil has earned the nickname the “miracle herb” and is frequently referred to in Islamic literature as well as gaining mention in the Old Testament. Rumour has it that black seed oil was even used by the likes of Cleopatra and was an essential part of Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s burial. The seeds of theNigella sativaplant have been used in remedies for thousands of years, helping us to discover its many benefits.
When ingested black seed oil can have various health benefits, including the reduction of high blood pressure and cholesterol, improvement in arthritis and soothed stomach upsets. Black seed oil has plenty of beauty benefits too, making it a great addition to your collection of natural cosmetic ingredients.
Many of these benefits are thought to be a result of the phytochemical compound, Thymoquinone that is present in the seeds and is the main active ingredient in the oil extracted fromNigella sativa seeds. Thymoquinone holds promising pharmacological properties due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer biological activities.
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (CosIng), the functions of black seed oil are: “Emollient, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning.”
*Remember, this blog is not meant to replace medical guidance. Always consult a health professional if you plan to use black seed oil or any other ingredient to treat a clinical skin condition. Black seed oil should not be used by pregnant women and can cause an allergic rash in some people.
Black seed oil is known for its dermatological effects. According to the Journal of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, 10% Nigella sativa oil has been found to significantly reduce the incidence ofAcne vulgaris after three months of therapy, as well as produce rapid improvement in hand eczema. From a cosmetic standpoint,Nigella sativa seeds are thought to reduce skin irritation and improve skin hydration, suggesting the resulting oil could be used in a range of cosmetics including moisturising and anti-ageing products.
Several articles suggest black seed oil is great for hair health, in particular, the maintenance of the scalp to potentially reduce dandruff and seal in moisture. It’s advised to mix with a carrier oil or simply add to shampoo to reduce flakiness. Some advocates of black seed oil claim it could help with hair loss and even aid in hair regrowth — although there is no substantial clinical evidence to support these claims.
Black seed oil’s anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe red, scaly skin — a common symptom of psoriasis — while speeding up the healing process. This information is backed by a 2012 study, which indicates black seed oil may have antipsoriatic benefits.
According to esthetician Andrea Lopez, black seed oil works particularly well for acneic or ageing skin. This might have something to do with the oil’s three A’s as Lopez refers to them: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing. Although black seed oil is suitable for any skin type, it is often talked about concerning specific skin issues as a gentle ingredient that will help to calm irritated skin.
While most black seed oil benefits are simply speculation and require more extensive clinical analysis, this oil’s ability to speed up minor wound reparation has been tested several times. One such study appears in the journal, Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. The researchers foundNigella sativa to be the most effective out of the natural oils they tested, stating it accelerated wound closure activity.
While black seed oil is safe for anyone to use, its benefits lend it to those with mature skin as well as those with damaged and irritated skin.
You can incorporate black seed oil into your skincare regimen by including it in intensive serum treatments, gels, creams and lotions. Since black seed oil absorbs slowly into the skin, it’s best to apply this product at night as part of a rich night cream or balm.
As well as on the face, black seed oil can be used in body creams and foot creams to keep skin well hydrated.
Black seed oil is also a great ingredient to have tucked away in your natural ingredient collection to use sporadically on wounds, burns, irritated patches of skin and in occasional treatments such as body wraps. Given the research surrounding the healing effects of black seed oil, this essential oil can be mixed into a massage oil blend with Plai essential oil to help relieve back and arthritic pain.
As a natural emollient black seed oil works wonders for dry skin and can be used in body butter, balms and shampoo to help lock in moisture.
There is no recommended dosage for black seed oil due to lack of scientific evidence and there are some concerns that taking too much may harm your liver and kidneys. We advise that a 10% maximum is the most you need to use in creams and lotions. As with any natural ingredient, we encourage you to do independent research before using as well as perform a routine skin patch test to check for allergies.
When buying black seed oil, most people prefer to opt for an organic, cold-pressed oil to ensure the product is in its most natural state.
We stock organic Black Seed Oil that is Soil Association approved.
This oil features in many of our online recipes including our classic daily moisturiser, intensely moisturising winter cream, camellia & black seed aftershave balm and ultra moisturising foot cream ensuring you’ll never run out of uses for this natural ingredient.
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These notes are not meant to replace medical guidance and you should seek the advice of your doctor for your health matters. The formulae are given in good faith and are intended for educational purposes only. They have not been evaluated or tested in any way and Aromantic Ltd. makes no claim as to their effectiveness. It is up to the reader to ensure that any products they produce from these recipes are safe to use, and if relevant, compliant under current cosmetic regulations.
For more information and guidance on making your own skin care products please see Aromantic's books and eBooks in our Publications section.