What Is Black Cumin Seed Oil?

by Melissa Chichester

Curcumin, cumin, and now black cumin? 

Although they sound similar, they’re all different:

  • Curcumin is an active component of turmeric. 
  • Cumin is a spice made from the dried seeds of the Cuminum cyminum plant, an annual
  • Black cumin seed is the name of the seeds from the Nigella sativa plant

Black cumin is an annual flowering plant and is also known as Nigella sativa, black seed, and black cumin. If you’ve never heard of black cumin seeds before, their benefits and long history may surprise you. 

The history of black cumin seeds 

Black cumin seeds have been around for thousands of years and since then have been used in health practices.  Domestication of Plants in the Old World – which outlines the global cultivation of plants – references the seeds as being found in King Tut’s tomb. It is also referenced in some of the oldest religious texts such as the Bible, where it is mentioned in both the book of Isaiah and the book of Matthew. Islamic literature also references black cumin seeds as beneficial. 

Culinary uses of black cumin seeds

Black cumin seeds are used in some culinary traditions. Although they are not commonly used in the United States, they are a staple in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Black cumin seeds are part of the panch phoron – or “five spices” spice blend – which also includes fenugreek, cumin, black mustard seed, and fennel seed. The seeds have a nutty, smokey taste and are used for flavoring in cheese, baked goods, and much more. 

The benefits of black cumin seed oil 

Black cumin seed oil supports wellness and healthy inflammatory response.*† 

Black cumin seed oil is available in softgels and in liquid form.

If you are using black cumin seed oil, here are a few things to consider:

Always ask your doctor before using black cumin seed oil supplements and other supplements. 

†Inflammatory response in our body can occur from a variety of everyday factors, including daily activities, physical exertion and other lifestyle factors.