Black Cumin Seed and Blood Sugar

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  Black cumin seed, the major ingredient in Seeds of Eden, is a potent seed oil.  In addition to helping people control high blood sugar, here is what it is known to offer those with myriad illnesses:

“….A number of pharmacological actions of TQ have been investigated including anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-histaminic, anti-microbial and anti-tumor effects. It has also gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective and neuroprotective activities. In addition, positive effects of TQ in cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, reproductive disorders and respiratory ailments, as well as in the treatment of bone complications as well as fibrosis have been shown. In addition, a large body of data shows that TQ has very low adverse effects and no serious toxicity…”



Complement Ther Med. 2015 Apr;23(2):275-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.01.013. Epub 2015 Feb 9.

Effects of black seed (Nigella sativa) on metabolic parameters in diabetes mellitus: a systematic review.



Current evidence indicated beneficial effects of some medicinal herbs on metabolic parameters. Nigella sativa is an example of herbs which can ameliorate metabolic factors in diabetes mellitus. Despite several narrative review studies on medicinal properties of NS, it seems that there is no systematic review to summarize effects of NS on glucose homoeostasis and lipid profile in diabetes mellitus. Therefore, the aim of present study was to review effects of N. sativa on metabolic parameters in diabetes mellitus.


N. sativa can improve glycemic status and lipid profile in diabetes models. However, more clinical trials are necessary to clarify beneficial effects of N. sativa, its effective type and dosage for diabetes management and its complications.


Effect of dietary supplementation of black seed (N. Sativa L.) on lipid profile of patients suffering from diabetes.


Diabetes is a chronic metabolic problem closely related to cardiovascular disease leading to premature death. Dyslipidemia is an important risk factor responsible for cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes. This paper is based on review of articles published to observe the effect of N. Sativa (black seed) on lipid levels in patients suffering from Diabetes Mellitus. A search of indexed papers and clinical trials was done using MEDLINE and PubMed and Cochrane search engine. All studies assessing the effect of N. Sativa ingestion on lipid levels among diabetics (animal or human) were included. A total of 12 trials (6 human studies and 6 animal studies) fulfilling the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Majority of human and animal trials done among humans and animals with diabetes or metabolic syndrome demonstrated reduction in weight and improvement in serum lipid levels including decrease total lipids, triglycerides, LDL levels…


Ultrastruct Pathol. 2014 Feb;38(1):26-33. doi: 10.3109/01913123.2013.830166. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Effects of thymoquinone on STZ-induced diabetic nephropathy: an immunohistochemical study.


Thymoquinone (TQ) is the most abundant and active ingredient of Nigella sativa (NS) seeds. Its hepatic, renal, and cardiac protective effects have been demonstrated in animal models. Streptozotocin (STZ) is an antibiotic that is widely used experimentally as an agent capable of inducing insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), also known as type I diabetes mellitus (T1DM).


Diabetic rats exhibited morphological changes in both renal glomeruli and tubules with immunohistochemical expression of the mesenchymal markers Fsp1, desmin, and MMP-17 and disappearance of the epithelial marker ZO-1 largely in the glomeruli of diabetic kidneys. Treatment with TQ significantly attenuated renal morphological and immunohistochemical changes in STZ-induced diabetic rats.


Thymoquinone has protective effects on experimental diabetic nephropathy. Both mesenchymal and epithelial markers serve as excellent predictors of early kidney damage and indicators of TQ responsiveness in STZ-induced diabetic nephropathy.


Diagn Pathol. 2013 Aug 15;8:137. doi: 10.1186/1746-1596-8-137.

Protective and antidiabetic effects of extract from Nigella sativa on blood glucose concentrations against streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic in rats: an experimental study with histopathological evaluation.


Diabetes in humans induces chronic complications such as cardiovascular damage, cataracts and retinopathy, nephropathy and polyneuropathy. The most common animal model of human diabetes is streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes in the rat. The present study investigated the effects of Nigella sativa hydroalcholic extract on glucose concentrations in streptozotocin (STZ) diabetic rats.


Higher doses of NS did not exhibit any therapeutic effect. These results showed that hydroalcholic extract of NS at low doses has hypoglycemic effect and ameliorative effect on regeneration of pancreatic islets and may be used as a therapeutic agent in the management of diabetes mellitus. The hypoglycemic effect observed could be due to amelioration of β-cell, thus leading to increased insulin levels. Consequently, N. sativa may prove clinically useful in the treatment of diabetics and in the protection of β-cells against streptozotocin.

J Family Community Med. 2012 Sep;19(3):155-61. doi: 10.4103/2230-8229.102311.

Favorable impact of Nigella sativa seeds on lipid profile in type 2 diabetic patients.


The atherogenic pattern of dyslipidemia associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus(DM) has been increasingly discussed. We have recently reported a hypoglycemic effect of Nigella sativa (NS) seeds in patients with type 2 DM. In this study we sought to assess the impact of NS seeds on lipid profile in type 2 diabetic patients.


NS supplementation at a dose of 2 g/day for 12 weeks may improve the dyslipidemia associated with type 2 diabetic patients. Therefore, NS is a potential protective natural agent against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular complications in these patients.

Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Oct-Dec;54(4):344-54.

Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Diabetes mellitus is a common chronic disease affecting millions of people world wide. Standard treatment is failing to achieve required correction of blood glucose in many patients. Therefore, there is a need for investigating potential hypoglycemic drugs or herbs to improve glycemic control in diabetic patients. Nigella sativa seeds were used as an adjuvant therapy in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 added to their anti-diabetic medications. A total of 94 patient were recruited and divided randomly into three dose groups. Capsules containing Nigella sativa were administered orally in a dose of 1, 2 and 3 gm/day for three months. The effect of Nigella sativa on the glycemic control was assessed through measurement of fasting blood glucose (FBG), blood glucose level 2 hours postprandially (2 hPG), and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Serum C-peptide and changes in body weight were also measured. Insulin resistance and beta-cell function were calculated usin the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA2). Nigella sativa at a dose of 2 gm/day caused significant reductions in FBG, 2hPG, and HbA1 without significant change in body weight. Fasting blood glucose was reduced by an average of 45, 62 and 56 mg/dl at 4, 8 and 12 weeks respectively. HbAlC was reduced by 1.52% at the end of the 12 weeks of treatment (P<0.0001). Insulin resistance calculated by HOMA2 was reduced significantly (P<0.01), while B-cell function was increased (P<0.02) at 12 weeks of treatment. The use of Nigella sativa in a dose of 1 gm/day also showed trends in improvement in all the measured parameters but it was not statistically significant from the baseline. However, no further increment in the beneficial response was observed with the 3 gm/day dose. The three doses of Nigella sativa used in the study did not adversely affect either renal functions or hepatic functions of the diabetic patients throughout the study period.


the results of this study indicate that a dose of 2 gm/ day of Nigella sativa might be a beneficial adjuvant to oral hypoglycemic agents in type 2 diabetic patients.

J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med. 2001 Dec;48(10):593-9.

Effect of Nigella sativa on glucose concentration, lipid peroxidation, anti-oxidant defence system and liver damage in experimentally-induced diabetic rabbits.


This study was carried out to investigate whether Nigella sativa could decrease the lipid peroxidation, increase the anti-oxidant defence system and also prevent the lipid-peroxidation-induced liver damage in experimentally induced diabetic rabbits. Fifteen New Zealand male rabbits were divided into three experimental groups: control, diabetic and diabetic and N. sativa-treated. The diabetes mellitus (DMI) was induced in the rabbits using 150 mg/kg of 10% alloxan. The diabetic + N. sativa-treated group was given extract of N. sativa seedsorally every day for 2 months after induction of DM. At the end of the 2-month experiment, blood samples were collected to measure malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH), ceruloplasmin and glucose concentration, and livers were harvested for histopathological analysis. Treatment with N. sativa decreased the elevated glucose and MDA concentrations, increased the lowered GSH and ceruloplasmin concentrations, and prevented lipid-peroxidation-induced liver damage in diabetic rabbits. It was concluded that N. sativa might be used in diabetic patients to prevent lipid peroxidation, increase anti-oxidant defence system activity and also prevent liver damage.

Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2004 Oct;18(5):525-9.

Nigella sativa seed extracts enhance glucose-induced insulin release from rat-isolated Langerhans islets.


Nigella sativa L. ‘Black cumin‘ (Ranunculaceae) is one of the plants commonly used in Moroccan folk medicine for treatment of various ailments including diabetes mellitus. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of different N. sativa seed extracts on insulin secretion. Different fractions of the seed were prepared: the defatted fraction (HR II), which was divided into two subfractions: the first (HR III) containing acidic and neutral compounds and the second (HR IV) containing basic compounds. The insulin secretory effects of these extracts were evaluated individually at different concentrations (0.01, 0.1, 1 and 5 mg/mL), in vitro in isolated rat pancreatic islets in the presence of 8.3 mmol/L glucose. The results show that addition of the defatted whole extract or of the basic subfraction of the seed in the incubation medium significantly increased glucose-induced insulin release from the islets. In the case of the acidic and neutral subfraction, the stimulatory effect was observed only for the higher concentration (5 mg/mL). However, a clear concentration-dependent increase in insulin release from isolated pancreatic islets was observed for the basic subfraction. Our data show that the antidiabetic properties of N. sativa seeds may be, at least partly, mediated by stimulated insulin release, and that the basic subfraction largely contributes to this stimulatory effect. Further phytochemical studies are underway in order to isolate the pharmacological compound(s) responsible for the insulinotropic effect of N. sativa seeds.


Indian J Exp Biol. 2006 Sep;44(9):745-8.

Biochemical effects of Nigella sativa L seeds in diabetic rats.


Oral administration of ethanol extract of N. sativa seeds (300 mg/kg body weight/day) to streptozotocin induced diabetic rats for 30 days significantly reduced the elevated levels of blood glucose, lipids, plasma insulin and improved altered levels of lipid peroxidation products (TBARS and hydroperoxides) and antioxidant enzymes like catalase, superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione and glutathione peroxidase in liver and kidney. The results confirm the antidiabetic activity of N. sativa seeds extract and suggest that because of its antioxidant effects its administration may be useful in controlling the diabetic complications in experimental diabetic rats.

Int J Diabetes Dev Ctries. 2008 Jan;28(1):11-4. doi: 10.4103/0973-3930.41980.

Effect of Nigella sativa oil on various clinical and biochemical parameters of insulin resistance syndrome.

 This clinical study was undertaken to know the adjuvant effect of N. sativa oil on various clinical and biochemical parameters of the insulin resistance syndrome.


N. sativa oil was found to be effective as an add-on therapy in patients of insulin resistance syndrome. N. sativa oil has a significant activity in diabetic and dyslipidemic patients.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jan 30;121(3):419-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.10.040. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

Nigella sativa inhibits intestinal glucose absorption and improves glucose tolerance in rats.


Nigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae) seeds have been used traditionally for centuries, notably for treating diabetes.


Chronic Nigella sativa treatment improved glucose tolerance as efficiently as metformin. Nigella sativa and metformin also reduced body weight without any toxic effect.


To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that Nigella sativa directly inhibits the electrogenic intestinal absorption of glucose in vitro. Together with the observed improvement of glucose tolerance and body weight in rats after chronic oral administration in vivo, these effects further validate the traditional use of Nigella sativa seeds against diabetes.

Life Sci. 2009 Dec 16;85(23-26):830-4. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2009.10.021. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

Beneficial effects of thymoquinone on hepatic key enzymes in streptozotocin-nicotinamide induced diabetic rats.


The present study was designed to evaluate the antihyperglycemic potential of thymoquinone (TQ), major constituent of Nigella sativa seeds on the activities of key enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism in streptozotocin (STZ)-nicotinamide (NA)-induced diabetic rats.


These results show that TQ at 80mg/kg b.w is associated with beneficial changes in hepatic enzyme activities and thereby exerts potential antihyperglycemic effects.

J Mol Histol. 2009 Oct;40(5-6):379-85. doi: 10.1007/s10735-009-9251-0. Epub 2010 Jan 5.

Protective effects of the volatile oil of Nigella sativa seeds on beta-cell damage in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats: a light and electron microscopic study.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible protective effects of the volatile oil of Nigella sativa (NS) seeds on insulin immunoreactivity and ultrastructural changes of pancreatic beta-cells in STZ-induced diabetic rats. STZ was injected intraperitoneally at a single dose of 50 mg/kg to induce diabetes. The rats in NS treated groups were given NS (0.2 ml/kg) once a day orally for 4 weeks starting 3 days prior to STZ injection. To date, no ultrastructural changes of pancreatic beta-cells in STZ induced diabetic rats by NS treatment have been reported. Islet cell degeneration and weak insulin immunohistochemical staining was observed in rats with STZ-induced diabetes. Increased intensity of staining for insulin, and preservation of beta-cell numbers were apparent in the NS-treated diabetic rats. The protective effect of NS on STZ-diabetic rats was evident by a moderate increase in the lowered secretory vesicles with granules and also slight destruction with loss of cristae within the mitochondria of beta-cell when compared to control rats. These findings suggest that NS treatment exerts a therapeutic protective effect in diabetes by decreasing morphological changes and preserving pancreatic beta-cell integrity. Consequently, NS may be clinically useful for protecting beta-cells against oxidative stress.



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