Black Cumin: Benefits Against Lung Cancer
The seeds of black cumin, also known as black caraway (scientific name Nigella Sativa) are relatively unknown in the west. They have a pungent, bitter taste and smell and are commonly used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Black cumin seeds are credited with remarkable healing properties for many centuries in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and India. In fact, black cumin oil was found in the tomb of the Egyptian boy-king Tutankhamen, suggesting that Egyptians believed it was important for the afterlife.
Black cumin seeds are now known to contain over 100 compounds including crystalline nigellone, thymoquinone, beta-sitosterol, and many others. They also contain many of the B vitamins and essential trace minerals.
Multiple studies have shown that black cumin seed extracts and oil boost production of bone marrow cells and immune cells, suggesting that they could be used to treat autoimmune disorders and even fight cancer. Indeed, thymoquinone has been shown to have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and antitumor properties.
Specifically, it has been shown to stop various types of cancer cells from growing, via multiple mechanisms – including lowering inflammation, inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis (“programmed cell suicide”) in tumor cells, preventing new blood vessels that feed tumor cells from forming, and stopping cancer cells from migrating to other areas of the body. Thymoquinone also complements standard anti-cancer drugs without any added toxicity.
In laboratory studies, both black cumin seed extract and seed oil have been shown to kill human lung cancer cells. Similarly, thymoquinone has been shown to stop human lung cancer cells (both small cell and non-small cell types) from growing and migrating.
Black cumin seeds are somewhat of an acquired taste, but you can try adding small amounts to soups, stews, and salads – for example, in combination with honey or royal jelly, according to your taste preferences. Black cumin seed oil or capsule supplements can also be consumed daily in the quantities recommended on the label.
Note: If you watched Dr. Bradford Weeks’ presentation from TTAC’s Ultimate Live Symposium, black cumin seeds were what he credited with turning some of his father’s white hair black at the age of 92.