Benefits of black seed oil for brain

Author: nicodemus
Category: Biological Sciences
Published on: 2022-05-11 13:58:41   Updated On: May-11-2022 14:01:26
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One of the benefits of black seed oil (also called black cumin) is its ability to prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases that affect normal functioning of the brain. These diseases include, Parkinson, Ischemia, Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer, brain injury, brain tumors among other others.

This is because black seed oil has demonstrated ability to protect brain cells or neurons from intoxication that may be brought about by cytotoxic agents whether natural or artificial.

Scientists have proven that black seed oil can protect brain cells against intoxication caused by oxidative stress. This phenomenon is known as neuroprotection. Neuroprotection refers to the preservation of structure and function of neurons found in living organisms (Eltony & Elgayar, 2014).  

Black seed oil is extracted from a plant known as Nigella sativa, which belongs to Ranunculaceae family. Nigella sativa grows in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Western Asia.


Black seed oil has shown ability to protect brain cells from neurodegeneration triggered by toxins. Research findings indicate that black seed oil can protect brain cells against alpha-synuclein intoxication in patients with dementia and Parkinson’s disease (Alhebshi et al., 2013). 

Scientists have demonstrated that thymoquinone present in black seed oil can prevent oxidative stress responsible for the advancement of multiple sclerosis. In this case, researchers have demonstrated that administration of thymoquinone is 90% preventive and 50% curative given its antioxidant property (Mohamed et al., 2009).

Other research findings indicate that regular administration of black seed extract can slow down age-related neurodegeneration of peripheral and central main olfactory organs (Eltony & Elgayar, 2014).

Another health benefit of black seed oil to the brain is that it can help improve memory. This is because the oil contains compounds that exhibit antioxidative property. This helps prevent development of oxidative stress in brain cells caused by accumulation of reactive oxygen species (Gella & Durany, 2009).


It has also been demonstrated that black seed oil administration can lead to improved memory and cognitive functions as well as degree of alertness among the elderly. This observation is attributed to the anti-cholinesterase property of black seed oil (Yassin, 2005). 

Chronic oral administration of black seed oil has been shown to enhance consolidation and recall capability in diabetic animals. This memory enhancing activity of black seed oil was attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory constituents (Jalali & Roghani, 2009).

Oral administration of black seed oil two times per day for a period of nine weeks was shown to exert a positive modulatory effect on the memory of elderly volunteers. According to the findings, it was demonstrated that black seed oil could improve level of attention, cognition, and memory among the elderly population (Sayeed et al., 2013).   

In another study conducted by Sayeed et al. (2014), supplementation with black seed oil was shown to produce mood-stabilizing effect among adolescents aged between 14 to 17 years. In addition, black seed oil supplementation led to decreased anxiety and improved memory among healthy adolescents.  

Consumption of thymoquinone present in black seed oil can remediate brain dysfunction caused by food preservatives such as sodium nitrite. According to a study conducted using animal models, it was reported that consumption of thymoquinone remediated sodium-induced brain damage by several mechanisms such as attenuation of oxidative stress, reduction of apoptosis markers in brain tissues, and blocking elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (Hamdan et al., 2019).  


Thymoquinone present in black seed oil has also demonstrated ability to treat tumors formed in the central nervous system. According to the findings of a study conducted by Farkhondeh et al. (2017), thymoquinone exhibited anti-tumor effects by inducing angiogenesis, inhibiting autophagy, and enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs. 

Researchers have also demonstrated ability of thymoquinone present in black seed oil to treat neurological diseases. Specifically, Pottoo et al. (2022) demonstrated that thymoquinone exhibits anti-neurotoxin attributes, implying its role in deterring occurrence of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Thymoquinone antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help protect brain cells against damage and inflammation.

In yet another study, researchers Isaev et al. (2020) expounded on the potential of black seed oil as a neuro-protector in acute and chronic forms of brain pathology. According to their findings, thymoquinone contained in black seed oil had ability to prevent lipid peroxidation, apoptosis, changes in the potential of mitochondrial membrane, and synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines. These have been identified as the risk factors associated with cerebral or brain pathology.  

In a study conducted to establish the therapeutic effect of basil seed oil and thymoquinone on neurodegenerative diseases, researchers Samarghandian et al. (2018) established that the oil showed protective effects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson, ischemia, epilepsy, encephalomyelitis, depression, Alzheimer, and traumatic brain injury.


Another study done to show the benefit of black seed oil for brain was done by Javidi et al. (2016). Specifically, their study reviewed the neuro-pharmacological effects of black seed oil and its main component, thymoquinone. According to the results, black seed oil was shown to exert several properties including anti-psychotic, analgesic, anti-ischemic, anxiolytic, anti-depressant, and anti-convulsant. In addition, the study found that black seed oil was a potential memory enhancer. The researchers further established that black seed oil exerts protective effects against neurodegenerative diseases including multiple-sclerosis, Parkinson, and Alzheimer.

A study done by Perveen et al. (2009) established that black seed oil has potent central nervous system and analgesic properties. According to the researchers, long-term administration of black seed oil was shown to improve learning and memory in animal models. In addition, long term administration of the oil increased the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical responsible for mood stabilization. The researchers also established that repeated oral administration of black seed oil produced antianxiety-like effects in the animal models.


Researchers Akhtar et al. (2012) demonstrated the neuroprotective effect of black seed oil in cerebral ischemia. The neuroprotective effects of the oil was attributed to its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and free-radical scavenging properties.

Researchers have also used animal models to demonstrate that black seed oil has protective and antioxidant effects in brain injury caused by head trauma (Kamasak et al., 2021). According to this study, black seed oil significantly reduced the occurrence of oxidative stress in secondary brain injury caused by head trauma.  

On the same note, researchers Demir et al. (2020) showed that black seed oil can reduce oxidative stress in brain tissue of mice exposed to complete head irradiation.

In conclusion, the reviewed literature clearly indicates that black seed oil plays a significant role in protecting the brain from neurological damage brought about by either natural or artificial agents.  



Akhtar, M., Maikiyo, A.M., Khanam, R., Mujeeb, M., Aqil, M. and Najmi, A.K. (2012). Ameliorating effects of two extracts of Nigella sativa in middle cerebral artery occluded rat. Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences, 4(1), 70-75. Retrieved from:

Alhebshi, A.H., Gotoh, M., Suzuki, I. (2013). Thymoquinone protects cultured rat primary neurons against amyloid beta-induced neurotoxicity. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 433(4), 362-367. Retrieved from:

Bin Sayeed, M.S., Asaduzzaman, M., Morshed, H., Hossain, M.M., Kadir, M.F., Rahman, M.R. (2013). The effect of Nigella sativa Linn. seed on memory, attention, and cognition in healthy human volunteers. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 148(3), 780-786. Retrieved from:

Bin Sayeed, M.S., Shams, T., Fahim Hossain, S., Rahman, M.R., Mostofa, A., Fahim Kadir, M., Mahmood, S., Asaduzzaman, M. (2014). Nigella staiva L. seeds modulate mood, anxiety, and cognition in healthy adolescent males. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 152(1), 156-162 . Retrieved from:

Demir, E., Taysi, S., Ulussal, H., Kaplan, D.S., Cinar, K. and Tarakcioglu, M. (2020). Nigella sativa oil and thymoquinone reduce oxidative stress in the brain tissue of rats exposed to total head irradiation. International Journal of Radiation Biology, 96(2), 228-235. Retrieved from:

Eltony, S.A. and Elgayar, S.A. (2014). Histological study on effect of Nigella sativa on aged olfactory system of female albino rat. Romanian Journal of Morphology and Embryology, 55(2), 325-334. Retrieved from:

Farkhondeh, T., Samarghandian, S., Hozeifi, S., Azimi-Nezhad, M. (2017). Therapeutic effects of thymoquinone for the treatment of central nervous system tumors: a review. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, 96, 1440-1444. Retrieved from:

Gella, A. and Durany, N. (2009). Oxidative stress in Alzheimer disease. Cell adhesion and Migration, 3(1), 88-93. Retrieved from:

Hamdan, A.M., Al-Gayyar, M.M., Shams, M., Alshaman, U.S., Prabahar, K., Bagalagel, A., Diri, R., Noor, A.O. and Almasri, D. (2019). Thymoquinone therapy remediates elevated brain tissue inflammatory mediators induced by chronic tissue administration of food preservatives. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 7026. Retrieved from:

Isaev, N.K., Chetverikov, N.S., Stelmasshook, E.V., Genrikhs, E.E., Khaspekov, L.G. and Illarioshkin, S.N. (2020). Thymoquinone as a potential neuro-protector in acute and chronic forms of cerebral pathology. Biochemistry, 85(2), 167-176. Retrieved from:

Jalali, M.R. and Roghani, M. (2009). The effect of Nigella sativa on learning and memory in male diabetic rats. Basic Clin Neurosci., 1, 32-34.

Kamasak, K., Basarslan, K., Dagli, A.T., Ogden, M., Alabalik, U., Ekinci, A. and Ceviz, A. (2021). Effects of Nimodipine and Nigella sativa on oxidative stress and apoptosis in serum and brain tissue of rats with experimental head trauma. Turkish Neurosurgery, 31(1), 8-17. Retrieved from:

Mohamed, A., Waris, H.M., Ramadan, H., Quereshi, M., Kalra, J. (2009). Amelioration of chronic relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (cr-eae) using thymoquinone. Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation, 45, 274-279. Retrieved from:

Perveen, T., Abdullah, A., Haider, S., Sonia, B., Munawar, A.S. and Haleem, D.J. (2009). Repeated administration of Nigella sativa decreases 5-HT turnover and produces anxiolytic effects in rats. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 22(2), 139-144. Retrieved from:

Pottoo, F.H., Ibrahim, A.M., Alammar, A., Alsinan, R., Aleid, M., Alshehhi, A., Alshehri, M., Mishra, S., Alhajri, N. Thymoquinone: review of its potential in the treatment of neurological diseases. Pharmaceuticals, 15(4), 408. Retrieved from:

Samarghandian, S. Farkhondeh, T. and Samini, F.A. (2018). A review on possible Therapeutic effect of nigella and thymoquinone in neurodegenerative diseases. CNS and Neurological Disorders Drug Targets. 17(6), 412-420. Retrieved from:

Yassin, M.M. (2005). Prophylatic efficacy of crushed garlic lobes, black seed or olive oils on cholinesterase activity in central nervous system parts and serum of lead in toxicated rabbits. Turk J Biol., 29, 173-180.

About the Author

Nicodemus is an MBA (strategic management) graduate of Egerton University (Kenya). He also holds a BSc degree in botany, zoology and chemistry, from the University of Nairobi (Kenya). He is proficient in the following computer programming technologies - HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Bootstrap, PHP, MySQLi and Python. He is an experienced researcher and writer in the fields of business management, information technology, biological sciences, and social sciences. He enjoys developing computer programs and web applications that address diverse user needs.

*Available for article writing and web design/development projects*
(contact: +254 723 753820, email: [email protected])


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