Black Seed improves asthma

February 25, 2008

In previous studies the ability of Black Seed to relax the bronchi in asthma; therefore allowing easier breathing. And Black Seeds anti-allergy effects have been demonstrated on the guinea-pigs respiratory tract. In the present study, the prophylactic (preventive) effect of Black Seed extract on asthma disease was examined by scientists at the Department of Physiology, Ghaem Medical Center, Mashhad.

Twenty-nine asthmatic adults were randomly divided into the non-supplemented control group (14 patients) and the supplemented group (15 patients) in this 3 month study. Asthma symptom score, asthma severity, frequency of symptoms per week, and wheezing were recorded in the beginning of the study (the first visit), 45 days after treatment started with Black Seed (second visit), and at the end of the study (third visit). Pulmonary function tests were also measured, and the drug regimen of the patients was evaluated at three different visits.

All asthma symptoms, frequency of asthma symptoms per week, chest wheezing, and pulmonary function test values in the study group receiving Black Seed significantly improved in the second and third visits compared with the first visit. In addition, further improvement of chest wheezing and severity of disease on the third visit were observed compared with the second visit in this group; asthma improved continuously. In the third visit all symptoms in the study group were significantly different (much milder) from those of the control group. However, in the control group, there were only small improvements in some parameters in just the second visit. The usage of inhaler and oral beta-agonists, oral corticosteroid, oral theophylline and even inhaler corticosteroid in the study group decreased at the end of the study while there were no obvious changes in usage of the drugs in control subjects. The results of this phase I clinical study generally suggest a prophylactic effect of Black Seed on asthma disease and warrant further research regarding this effect. The study is published in the October 2007 issue of the journal Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology.

Black Seed very helpful in diabetes according to animal research

Scientists at the Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Trakya University observed the effects of Black Seed and its major component Thymoquinone on nerve tissue and diabetes in rats. The rats were split into four groups of ten rats each. One group was left alone and the other three groups were given the antibiotic streptozotocin, a drug that dependably causes diabetes. One group of the diabetic animals went untreated while the other two groups were supplemented with either Black Seed or its most active constituent Thymoquinone and these were supplemented starting two days after streptozotocin treatment and supplementation continued for 12 weeks. Supplementation with either Black Seed or Thymoquinone resulted in a sharp decrease in elevated blood sugar and an improvement in insulin concentration (a level that had dropped in the non-supplemented rats). The drug streptozotocin had caused a plummet in the amount of insulin producing beta-cells in the pancreas of diabetic animals but giving the supplements had protected the number of functioning beta-cells. Also, the nerves examined (the sciatic nerve) were protected from diabetes related damage (neuropathy) by the herb. Black Seed herb worked better than Thymoquinone for protecting the nerve tissue and the breakdown of the myelin sheath of the nerve tissue was also decreased significantly by the herb or it’s constituent. The health of the axon of the nerve of supplemented animals actually improved in function. The study is published in the January 2008 issue of the journal Neurochemical Research.