Nigella – Much More About


Keith Scott-Mumby shares the following about Nigella:

Is this the most miraculous gift from Nature?

You have probably heard about a plant which the Great Prophet Mohammed described as “the cure for everything…except death!”

Perhaps just a joke, you thought? Or maybe religious zeal overcame common sense? Or “What does he know anyway, he wasn’t a physician?” Or even “What’s that got to do with it?”

Whatever your beliefs, and whoever said what in the past, I’m no prophet but let me—a 20th century doctor, living in the 21st century—state it this way: THIS REMEDY CURES OR SOLVES MORE DISEASES THAN PRACTICALLY ANYTHING YOU CAN NAME, INCLUDING ALL THE PHARMACEUTICALS EVER INVENTED.” There’s it’s said.

So the legend might just be true. There are welters of science to back up any outrageous sounding claims. So: what is this stuff?

Many of you will know the answer but, for those who don’t, here’s just a bit more teasing! An article on PubMed says the following1:
It’s a great antibacterial All tested strains of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus were sensitive to ethanolic extract of it.
Anti-inflammatory (especially hs-CRP and TNF-alpha), suggesting that it decreases chronic inflammation. Of note, chronic low-grade inflammatory processes are important causes of most diseases and conditions including cancer.
Anti-oxidant and reduces oxidative stress.
Insomnia restores restful sleep in patients with sleep issues.
Autoimmune diseases As will be shown below, this remedy has already shown to be effective for several autoimmune conditions: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, vitiligo and asthma.
Liver remedy See section below
Kidney protective In patients with (advanced) chronic kidney disease (stage 3 or 4) due to diabetic nephropathy, it reduced blood glucose and improved kidney parameters incl. serum creatinine and glomerular filtration rate etc. suggesting that it may stop the progression of kidney disease or even help reverse it.
Decreases the severity of rheumatoid arthritis. Swollen joints and morning stiffness were also reduced.
Immune modulator
That’s just for starters…

Oh, and did I say it’s a key anti-viral? It can beat the titties off COVID-19, among many others (Shhhh! we’re not supposed to say that but I’ll quote you 8, yes 8, good papers further down)

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. This is just a smattering of its power. According to Max Langden, writing for the Orthomolecular News Service, it has over 50 scientifically documented health benefits, NOT including the anti-viral properties I’ll tell you about shortly. Max provides 82 citations from quality scientific journals. Every word here is true, unbelievable or not!

I’m talking about Nigella sativa (the botanical name), an annual flowering plant in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), native to eastern Europe and western Asia, but naturalized over a much wider area, including parts of Europe, northern Africa and east as far as Myanmar. It is used as a spice in many cuisines. Nigella is also known as Black Cumin and Black Seed and often used as Black Seed Oil.

It’s a very delightful plant…

Nigella is widely used throughout the world and is very popular in various traditional systems of medicine like Unani Tibb (based on the teachings of Hippocrates, Galen and Ibn Sina), TCM, Ayurveda and Siddha.

The biochemical content of Nigella sativa seeds includes oils (30-40%), a range of essential oils including thymoquinone, nigellidine, and a diverse array of unsaturated fatty acids, such as linolenic, arachidonic, linoleic, and eicosadienoic acids. Saturated fatty acids are myristic, stearic, and palmitic acids, plus many valuable proteins, minerals, fatty acids, alkaloids, sterols (alpha-hederine), phenolics, flavonoids, and saponins.

In addition to the selection above, it does the following (citations omitted):
supports achieving and maintaining a healthy weight in overweight individuals by helping to moderately reduce weight and body mass index.
treats metabolic syndrome (diabesity, etc.), by reducing body mass index, waist circumference and body fat percentage, fasting glucose and lipid levels. The combination of nigella sativa + turmeric was even more effective.
improves glucose status in patients with type 2 diabetes, by decreasing fasting plasma glucose, postprandial glucose and long-term glucose (HbA1c) levels. In patients with prediabetes, it reduces glycemic and anthropometric parameters just as effectively as the drug metformin.
decreases blood lipid levels, including total cholesterol, very low-density cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides for individuals with excessive levels.
treats nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by improving the grades of liver steatosis, injury and fatty liver. Various liver and cholesterol parameters improved.
improve cardiovascular health and therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases via many different mechanisms (incl. reduction of hypertension, cholesterol and body weight, glucose regulation, reduction of silent inflammation and oxidative stress etc.) It also improved flow-mediated dilation, nitric oxide levels, and lowered mean arterial pressure and heart rate, to help and stabilize the health of the cardiovascular system.
improve kidney parameters, suggesting that it may help maintain or increase health of the kidneys. In patients with (advanced) chronic kidney disease (stage 3 or 4) due to diabetic nephropathy, it reduced blood glucose and improved kidney parameters incl. serum creatinine and glomerular filtration rate etc. suggesting that it may stop the progression of kidney disease or even help reverse it. An additional study confirmed that patients with advanced kidney disease greatly improve by nigella sativa. The addition of nigella sativa to the treatment protocol caused a “marked improvement” in clinical features and kidney parameters.
Helps dissolve kidney stones. In the nigella sativa group, 44% of patients excreted their kidney stones completely, and in a further 52% the size of the stones was reduced. In the placebo group, only 15% excreted their stones, 12% had a reduction of stone size, and 15% even had an increase of stone size. This suggests nigella sativa may also prevent kidney stone formation.
improves Hashimoto thyroiditis, which is one of the most common autoimmune diseases. TSH, antibodies against the thyroid and vascular endothelial growth factor decreased, while the thyroid hormone T3 level increased, suggesting that it helps reverse the disease, strengthens the health of the thyroid and may also be an effective treatment for autoimmune diseases in general.
reduces stool frequency in patients with ulcerative colitis.
improves psoriasis. Both oral and gel administration of Nigella sativa were effective in most patients and led to improvements after several weeks of treatment. Of note, if the treatment was stopped, the condition returned in some patients, indicating that it may be helpful for these patients to continue the treatment.
treats vitiligo (unpleasant pale patchy skin pigmentation). Nigella sativa (as a gel application) was more effective than fish oil in reducing the vitiligo area scoring index.
treats hand eczema. Nigella sativa (as gel application) was just as effective as the drug betamethasone (a steroidal cream), reducing the severity of hand eczema and increasing quality of life in the affected patients.
treats contact dermatitis. Nigella sativa reduced the symptoms and signs of occupational contact dermatitis like eczematous lesions. In many patients, dermatitis improved or disappeared completely. Of note, oral capsules were more effective than topical administration.
treats acne vulgaris (as gel application). After 2 months, the acne disability index had declined by 64% in the Nigella sativa group, compared with 5% in the placebo group.
reduces symptoms of asthma (shortness of breath, night time waking, interference with activity), reduce rescue treatment and inhaler use, rating of asthma control, and improve lung function measured as forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV1).
treats impaired lung function in chemical war victims. Nigella sativa (as boiled extract) improved pulmonary function, chest wheezing and all other respiratory symptoms. The need to use inhalers and drugs decreased, suggesting that it may at least partially substitute for drugs.
treats allergic conditions, including allergic rhinitis, by reducing runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing attacks, nasal itching, turbinate hypertrophy etc. in affected patients.
reduces knee osteoarthritis symptoms and pain. Nigella sativa (as gel/oil application) was more effective in relieving pain (51% reduction) than the common pharmaceutical pain reliever diclofenac (14% reduction).
improves symptoms of menopausal women (in combination with another herbal medication: Vitex agnus-castus). Psychosocial, physical and vasomotor (hot flashes) symptoms decreased.
treats polycystic ovary syndrome. It was effective in the treatment of menstrual irregularities in women with PCOS.
stabilizes/increases mood, calmness and cognition, and decreases anxiety.
treats major depressive disorder. In the intervention group that received the antidepressant sertraline + Nigella sativa capsules, the depression scores declined more than in the control group that only received sertraline + placebo.
increases attention and memory, suggesting that it may help prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
treats epilepsy in patients resistant to conventional anti-epileptic drugs. Administration of the aqueous extract of Nigella sativa or high dose thymoquinone (one of its main active ingredients) reduced the frequency of epileptic seizures.
improves nasal dryness, obstruction and crusting (as intranasal application) in older people suffering from nasal mucosa symptoms.
improves oral submucous fibrosis. Burning sensation decreased by 80% after continuous application of nigella sativa. Mouth opening was also reduced.
treats alveolar osteitis/dry socket (painful inflammation following tooth extraction). Nigella sativa (as oil and powder) was a more effective dressing material than a commonly used commercial dressing. Those who received this treatment had immediate and complete pain relief and required less repeated visits.
improves recovery of oral cavity ulcers or traumatic ulcers.
treats gingivitis. Nigella sativa oil reduced the gingival index score, inflammation, and pathogenic (streptococcus) bacteria. By decreasing biofilm formation and disrupting the colonization of such bacteria, it may help reduce the progression of periodontal diseases. It was as effective as chlorhexidine, suggesting that nigella sativa could be an alternative to chemical mouthwashes.
improves irritable bowel syndrome after some weeks of continuous intake. Severity of the disease symptoms, abdominal distention and the impact of the condition on daily life decreased, and defecation improved.
reduces urinary incontinence (older women evaluated).
improves semen quality (sperm count, motility, morphology, volume etc.) in infertile men, suggesting that it may help reverse infertility and increase pregnancy rates.
treats female infertility by improving reproductive parameters including the number of ovarian follicles and reducing oxidative stress and may therefore help reverse female infertility and increase pregnancy rates.
increases volume of breastmilk in breastfeeding mothers.
treats (chronic) rhinosinusitis. Nigella sativa (as nasal drops) reduced the congestion, pain, numbness, pressure, fullness and bad breath in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis.
treats arsenic poisoning in patients with palmar arsenical keratosis. Nigella sativa reduced the body arsenic load, which led to an improvement of arsenical keratosis. Therefore, it might also support detoxification of other toxic metals.
improves immune health. Nigella sativa (1 g of seed oil per day) has an immune-potentiating effect, increasing total lymphocyte count, CD3+ and CD4+ cells, which may mean that it reduces the risk of many infectious diseases.
prevents side effects of toxic cancer therapies: Nigella sativa (as a gel application) reduced the incidence and severity of phlebitis (inflammation of veins), a common complication of intravenous chemotherapy. As a mouth rinse it decreased the severity of chemotherapy-induced ghastly oral mucositis. Erythema, ulceration and pain were reduced. Therefore, it enabled those patients to consume normal food. Nigella (as a gel application) reduced the risk of developing acute radiation dermatitis in breast cancer patients treated with radiotherapy. Nigella sativa also reduced the risk of developing febrile neutropenia (FN), a dangerous complication of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy harms the immune system and often leads to a reduction of immune cells (neutrophil granulocytes). 5 grams (1 teaspoon) of nigella sativa seeds per day greatly reduced the risk of developing a chemotherapy-induced FN, inhibiting the harm done to the immune system and reducing by almost 90% severe or deadly (viral, bacterial, fungal) infections.
helps hepatitis C infections by attenuating viral load. 50% of hepatitis C patients treated with (a relatively low dose of) nigella sativa had a decrease in the quantitative viral load and 17% even became seronegative. A higher dose might have been even more effective. Of note, another study also showed that hepatitis can be treated more effectively by adding nigella sativa and vitamin C to conventional therapy.
treats vaginitis caused by a candida albicans infection. Standard therapy + nigella sativa was more effective in reducing several symptoms and signs of candida-induced vaginitis compared with standard therapy + placebo.
eradicates helicobacter pylori infections (bacteria), which are among the leading causes of gastric ulcer and gastric cancer. Resistance of helicobacter towards pharmaceutical drugs has recently increased alarmingly. Eradication of helicobacter occurred in almost 60% of patients who were treated with high dose nigella sativa + honey. Double-blind randomized controlled trials confirmed that patients who received standard therapy + nigella sativa achieved a greater eradication.
treats staphylococcal skin infections. In neonates with staphylococcal skin infections, it was similarly effective as the antibacterial drug mupirocin.
inhibits bacterial wound infections caused by staphylococcus aureus. A lab study with samples obtained from cases of wound infections in a hospital showed that high dose thymoquinone may inhibit s. aureus and therefore prevent/treat such wound infections.
inhibits MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus), which is one of the deadliest bacterial infections often acquired in a hospital. Nigella sativa (in high concentrations in a preclinical study) was shown to have inhibitory effects against MRSA. It also had inhibitory effects against vancomycin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (VRSA).
accelerates the recovery of acute respiratory infections overall (flu/cold etc.). Patients with an acute respiratory infection who received nigella sativa had a greater chance of becoming symptom-free after only 4 days. A combination of nigella sativa oil + echinacea extract + garlic powder + panax ginseng extract + vitamin C + zinc cut the duration of a common cold in half (4 vs. 8 days of median recovery time).
I told you it was good! If you or anyone you know and love has ANY of the conditions on this thunderous list, it might pay to get some Nigella!

According to an international review, N. sativa has got a place among the top ranked evidence-based herbal medicines.2

Attribution: I am obliged (rightly) to tell you the source of the above information, which comes from a marvelous group called the Ortho-Molecular News Service:

Now, That Virus Issue…

As I said, Nigella has very positive antiviral properties. It has protective powers against the influenza group of viruses, cytomegalovirus, HIV and hep C.

So what about COVID (SARS-Cov-2 virus)? This is what I wrote in my Virus Blitz book.

Nigella sativa has been shown in several studies to be highly effective for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. It greatly reduced severe outcomes and mortality. Coupled with vitamin D, Nigella sativa has been shown to be remarkably effective in the clearance of a viral infection. In fact, several compounds of Nigella sativa, including thymoquinone, nigellidine and alpha-hederine have proven antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. Thymoquinone can inhibit the main protease in SARS-CoV-2, causing a “strong anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity.”

A prospective prophylaxis study with 376 participants has shown that daily consumption of 40 mg/kg of Nigella sativa seeds (= 3000 mg per day for a 75 kg person) reduced the risk of developing a symptomatic case of COVID-19 by more than 60%. Of note, the results of this study were available in Jan 2021. It could have been pressed into use then, and saved countless lives.

In a 2020 RCT with hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the treated group received standard therapy and 80 mg/kg/day of encapsulated Nigella sativa seeds plus 1 g/kg/day of honey. The results showed that the treated group had significantly faster viral clearance and recovery. In fact, those who received NS + honey recovered almost twice as fast. Overall, the patients in the treated group had a 82% lower risk of death compared with the control group. Again, these striking results of this high quality study were available as early as Nov. 2020, during the first year of the pandemic. Adoption of this protocol would have saved many lives.

Importantly, earlier treatment with Nigella sativa can even prevent the progression and development of severe stages of COVID-19. A recent RCT showed that, if treatment with Nigella sativa is started early in the disease course, shortly after symptoms begin, serious complications (and therefore hospitalization etc.) can be strongly reduced. Among those patients who only received the standard treatment, 17% developed a severe case. However, among those who received Nigella sativa seeds for a duration of 2 weeks, only 1% developed severe symptoms, a 93% reduction. The results of this RCT were published in Jan 2021.

A recent RCT confirmed that daily treatment with 1000 mg of Nigella sativa seed oil (in capsules) improves recovery from COVID-19. The patients in the intervention group (standard therapy + Nigella sativa) recovered significantly faster from COVID-symptoms than those in the control group (who only received standard therapy). The intervention group had a 75% lower risk of requiring hospitalization.

In another RCT, COVID-19 outpatients were divided into four groups:

Group 1 received standard therapy + Nigella sativa capsules, group 2 received standard therapy + vitamin D, group 3 received standard therapy + a combination of both Nigella sativa and vitamin D and group 4 received only standard therapy (control group).

The results showed that while viral clearance and symptom recovery occurred faster in groups 1 and 2 compared with the control group, the combination group that received both Nigella sativa + vitamin D had the most impressive results with regard to recovery of the disease. The authors noted the remarkably fast viral clearance and reduction of many symptoms in this combination NS + D group and recommended this treatment for COVID-patients.

This is an obvious synergistic effect and it is therefore highly likely that Nigella sativa + vitamin D may also be a very effective treatment combination for other (infectious) diseases.

COVID patients who received oral capsules of MARNYS Cuminmar, which is derived from N. sativa, (500 mg twice daily for 10 days) recovered faster than patients on standard care alone. Findings suggest that N. sativa-derived compounds can block several steps of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle, including entry, replication, and transcription, making the plant a rich source of bioactive compounds against SARS-CoV-2.3


Just to thrust home this important protective message:

A new study carried out in Pakistan and published Feb 2023 showed the benefit of Nigella in a multi-center placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial.4

For this research, Nigella was coupled with honey, a well-established anti-viral and anti-microbial remedy and the results were about as good as it gets…

313 individuals were enrolled, graded as moderate to severe, according to clinical assessment. The Nigella-honey combination resulted in a 50% reduction in time taken to alleviate symptoms as compared to placebo. It also cleared the virus 4 days earlier than placebo group, resulting a better clinical score on day 6 with resumption of normal activity in 63.6% of the active group, compared to only 10.9% recovered. PLUS hospital discharge was speeded up in 50% of active cases compared to 2.8% of controls.

Most startling of all, in severe cases, the mortality rate was slashed: four times lower in the group taking Nigella and honey, compared to placebo (4% versus 18.87%).

There were no ill effects observed or reported in the active group.

Such results are very remarkable and pharmaceutical interventions could not come even near that, for safety and efficacy.

Is that surprising? Not really.

Honey has a respected score against several viruses, including rubella virus, Herpes Simplex virus, Hepatitis virus, and Varicella-Zoster virus have been reported.5

Liver Protection with Nigella

I myself would like to add the following important report to the above list, concerning liver health.

Fatty liver and toxic liver overload are MAJOR factors of modern living. Liver complications account for approximately two million cases of morbidity and mortalities worldwide every year. Multiple etiological factors, such as hepatitis, steatosis, toxic chemicals, radiations, and drugs contribute to liver function impairment. Recent reviews highlighted the hepatoprotective role of black cumin and its bioactive compounds, such as Thymoquinone, thymol, and a-hederine. Black cumin and its constituents rendered a liver-protective action by a range of mechanisms that involve inhibition of lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress, an increase in antioxidant enzymes and total thiol and glutathione levels, reduction in fat accumulation, and prevention of inflammation and other histopathological features of the liver.

Oxidative stress causing lipid peroxidation is one of the major causes of hepatic disease. Studies demonstrate that toxicants, such as carbon tetrachloride, arsenic, and acetaminophen induce cellular oxidative stress leading to lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation causes the damage of hepatocytes (liver cells), which is characterized by histopathological changes of liver and high blood levels of hepatic enzymes (ALT and AST). However, supplementation of black cumin extract or its active components stimulates the cellular antioxidant systems, thereby reducing the oxidative stress, lowering lipid peroxidation.6


  1. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013 May; 3(5): 337–352. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(13)60075-1
  2. Newsletter • 2019, vol.2, pp. 47-53. A Review On Antiviral Effects Of Nigella Sativa L.
  3. Virus Blitz. Keith Scott-Mumby. New Expanded 2nd Edition. Mother Whale Inc., Las Vegas, 2023. Pp 164-165
  4. Phytother Res. 2023 Feb;37(2):627-644. doi: 10.1002/ptr.7640. Epub 2022 Nov 24
  5. Miguel M, Antunes M, Faleiro M. Honey as a Complementary Medicine. Integrative Medicine Insights. 2017;12:1178633717702869
  6. Virus Blitz. Keith Scott-Mumby. New Expanded 2nd Edition. Mother Whale Inc., Las Vegas, 2023. Pp 162