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 –  Black cumin, also known as nigella sativa, is a flowering herb native to southwest Asia, southern Europe and North Africa. Within the fruit you will find tiny black seeds, which are widely used to add a spicy, peppery taste to savory dishes in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Black cumin has been featured in traditional medicine across Asia, Africa and the Middle East for thousands of years. A bottle of black cumin oil was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, one of the Egyptian pharaohs.
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What is Cumin Good For?

The antioxidant properties of black cumin seeds have been identified in a study published in 2000 in Phytotherapy Research. Chemicals found in black cumin, including thymoquinone, may be effective in mitigating the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are a by-product of some natural bodily functions and they may build up in our bodies as we age. Free radicals cause cellular damage and contribute to the premature aging of tissues and disease . Black cumin may be able to protect the body from free radical damage however further research is needed to support its use.

Cumin For Asthma and Allergies

Another proposed health benefit of black cumin is its role in reducing symptoms in respiratory conditions such as allergies and asthma. In traditional medicine, black cumin was used to strengthen and support the lungs and respiratory system. This approach has been supported by some scientific research, including a study published in the Egyptian Journal of Immunology in 2005. Black cumin was found to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the lining of the lungs. Black cumin is also thought to help alleviate the severity of allergic symptoms by enhancing the body’s immune response, according to a 2003 study published in Phytotherapy Research. Due to limited research at this time, additional evidence is needed to determine efficacy of black cumin for these conditions.

Can Cumin Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol?

Research is being conducted on the role black cumin may have in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In a 2008 study conducted at Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, twice daily dietary supplements of 100 to 200 mg of black cumin were found to reduce blood pressure and low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Lowering of LDL cholesterol was also noted in a study published in 2008 in the International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries. However, further studies are still needed.

Cumin Supplements

As you browse through drugstore.com, you will find black cumin in different formats, from soft gel capsules to cold-pressed oil. You will find it presented on its own and with complementary supplements that may provide additional health benefits. This allows you to choose the option that most closely meets your health and wellbeing requirements. If you think you may benefit from a black cumin supplement, you should discuss your choice of supplement with your physician.

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