Benefits of black seed in the treatment and prevention of cancer
Mentioned in the holy Qur'an, scientific literature also claims black seeds can help prevent and treat cancer. During breast cancer month, we take a look at the uses of this miraculous little seed and how its importance as a prophetic medicine is also backed by science.
Black seeds are harvested from the Nigella Sativa plant. The plants grow 20-30 cm tall, with finely divided leaves. The flowers are usually pale purple, with 5-10 petals. The fruit is a capsule of follicles, each containing numerous seeds. Also known as habbah-sawda (translated as seeds of blessing), kalonji seeds or black cumin, the seeds are used widely in Middle Eastern cooking and as medicine in many cultures.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made specific statements on 37 ailments and mentioned 61 medicinal plants, herbs and shrubs for making prescriptions, of which Nigella sativa is the most important for healing.
Abu Hurayrah (RA) narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said: "Hold on (use this seed regularly)! Because it is a remedy (cure) for every disease except death."
What an amazing statement! And it’s supported by science too! The global scientific community has carried out extensive phytochemical and biological investigations on Nigella sativa seed and its oil, concluding that this tiny plant seed is believed to cure 129 ailments ranging from endocrine disorders, immune deficiencies, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary diseases, and including 17 types of cancers.
The Nigella Sativa seed itself contains numerous unsaturated fatty acids including linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid and 15 amino acids (including eight of the nine essential ones), carbohydrates and dietary fibre, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium and potassium. But it’s the phytochemical compound thymoquinone which is the main active ingredient of black seeds and possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory and anticoagulant activities.
Research has shown specific benefits of black seeds and black seed oil in cancer prevention and treatment are as follows:
- A natural compound with anti-cancer properties
- Non-toxic to healthy cells
- Available in an easily digestible form
- An effective anti-cancer agent by inhibiting the formation of carcinomas (cancer cells)
- As a medicinal plant it has multi-target molecule which an regulate cancer growth and its progression
- Can reduce toxic side-effects of chemotherapy treatments
- Can reduce fever and infections from low neutrophil count
- Can cause improved response in breast cancer patients treated with tamoxifen therapy
There is a wide consensus in cancer research that thymoquinone has promising anti-cancer activity. Within the Muslim world especially, it is used as a dietary supplement to enhance the effects of anti-cancer drugs.
Because black seed is bitter – it is often taken with honey. Blossom Honey supplies Raw Black Seeds as a supplement shop here and also offers Raw Black Seed honey, infused with raw black seeds for extra benefits. Shop here for our Black Seed Infusion.