Black Seed: A Miraculous Ancient Remedy
Black Seed: A Miraculous Ancient Remedy
The medicinal potential of black seed (Nigella sativa) and its components
Advances in Phytomedicine, Volume 2, 2006, Pages 133-153
Hala Gali-Muhtasib, Nahed El-Najjar, Regine Schneider-Stock
The seeds of Nigella sativa L., commonly known as black seed, have been used in traditional medicine by many Asian, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern Countries to treat headache, coughs, abdominal pain, diarrhea, asthma, rheumatism and other diseases. The seeds of this plant are the most extensively studied, both phytochemically and pharmacologically. The aqueous and oil extracts of the seeds have been shown to possess antioxidant, antiinflammatory, anticancer, analgesic and antimicrobial activities. Thymoquinone, the most abundant constituent of black seed essential oil, has been shown to be the active principle responsible for many of the seed's beneficial effects. This review paper describes the seed, its chemical components and popular uses in traditional medicine. The paper also discusses the medicinal potential and therapeutic values of some of the individual components present in the extracts of the seeds.
Levels of selenium, dl-α-tocopherol, dl-γ-tocopherol, all-trans-retinol, thymoquinone and thymol in different brands of Nigella sativa seeds (Black seed)
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Volume 19, Issues 2-3, March-May 2006, Pages 167-175
Iman A. Al-Saleh, Grisellhi Billedo, Inaam I. El-Doush
The seeds of Nigella sativa (black seed) are used commonly in the Middle East as a traditional medicine to treat a variety of health conditions. This paper examines the levels of selenium, dl-α-tocopherol, dl-γ-tocopherol, all-trans-retinol, thymoquinone and thymol in different brands of N. sativa seeds (black seed) purchased from local markets in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Selenium was determined by the inductively coupled plasma spectrometry coupled with the hydride system.dl-α-tocopherol, dl-γ-tocopherol, all-trans-retinol, thymoquinone and thymol were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. The average mean concentrations (mg/kg fresh weight) of selenium, dl-α-tocopherol, dl-γ-tocopherol, all-trans-retinol, thymoquinone and thymol in all tested seeds were 0.17±0.10, 9.02±4.84, 5.42±3.96, 0.27±0.27, 2224.49±1629.50 and 169.35±100.12, respectively. The concentrations of these analytes were significantly affected by the country of origin of the N. sativa. It is concluded that N. sativa (black seed) provides an important source of antioxidants.
The effect of Nigella sativa (Black seed) oil against the liver damage induced by Schistosoma mansoni infection in mice
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 79, Issue 1, February 2002, Pages 1-11
M. R. Mahmoud, H. S. El-Abhar, S. Saleh
It has been reported that Nigella sativa (black seed) oil possesses anticestode and antinematode actions. Besides, it produced a hepatoprotective effect in some models of liver toxicity. Therefore, our aim in this work was to study the effect of the Nigella oil (black seed) on Schistosomiasis mansoni infected mice. The oil was given in two dose levels (2.5 and 5 ml/kg, orally for two weeks) either alone or in combination with praziquantel (PZQ), the drug of choice for the treatment of schistosomiasis. Three aspects of drug action were investigated, the effect on Schistosomiasis mansoni infection, the effect on liver functions, and on redox state. The parasitological investigation included worm distribution, oogram pattern and ova count. Furthermore, liver granuloma diameters were measured. The biochemical parameters were the serum level of -alanine aminotransferase (ALT), γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (AP), albumin (Alb) and total protein. Moreover, to assess the antioxidant capability of the Nigella oil, four parameters were studied, viz., liver lipid peroxide (LPD) and reduced glutathione (GSH) contents and the activity of the defence enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). When the oil was given alone, it reduced the number of S. mansoni worms in the liver and decreased the total number of ova deposited in both the liver and the intestine. Furthermore, it increased the number of dead ova in the intestinal wall and reduced the granuloma diameters markedly. When black seed was administered in combination with PZQ, the most prominent effect was a further lowering in the dead ova number over that produced by PZQ alone. Concerning the biochemical parameters, infection of mice with S. mansoni produced a pronounced elevation in the serum activity of ALT, GGT, with a slight increase in AP level. However, it tended to reduce serum albumin level. These changes were accompanied with an alteration in the liver contents of LPD and GSH along with a significant decline in the activity of the cytosolic SOD and LDH. Administration of Nigella sativa oil (black seed) succeeded partially to correct the previous changes in ALT, GGT, AP activity, as well as the Alb content in serum. However, it failed in the liver to restore either LPD and GSH content or LDH and SOD activities to normal level. These results suggest that Nigella sativa (black seed) oil may play a role against the alterations caused by S. mansoni infection, an effect which may be induced partly by improving the immunological host system and to some extent with its antioxidant effect.
Nigella sativa (Black seed) modulates splenocyte proliferation, Th1/Th2 cytokine profile, macrophage function and NK anti-tumor activity
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 131, Issue 2, 15 September 2010, Pages 268-275
Amin F. Majdalawieh, Reem Hmaidan, Ronald I. Carr
Aim of the study
Nigella sativa, also known as black seed, has long been used in traditional medicine for treating various conditions related to the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems as well as different types of cancers. In this study, the potential immunomodulatory effects of Nigella sativa (black seed) are investigated in light of splenocyte proliferation, macrophage function, and NK anti-tumor activity using BLAB/c and C57/BL6 primary cells.
Materials and methods
Splenocyte proliferation was assessed by [3H]-thymidine incorporation. Griess assay was performed to evaluate NO production by macrophages. ELISA was performed to measure the level of cytokines secreted by splenocytes and macrophages. NK cytotoxic activity against YAC-1 tumor cells was examined by JAM assay.
We demonstrate that the aqueous extract of Nigella sativa (black seed) significantly enhances splenocyte proliferation in a dose–responsive manner. In addition, the aqueous extract of Nigella sativa (black seed) favors the secretion of Th2, versus Th1, cytokines by splenocytes. The secretion of IL-6, TNFα, and NO; key pro-inflammatory mediators, by primary macrophages is significantly suppressed by the aqueous extract of Nigella sativa(black seed), indicating that Nigella sativa exerts anti-inflammatory effects in vitro. Finally, experimental evidence indicates that the aqueous extract of Nigella sativa significantly enhances NK cytotoxic activity against YAC-1 tumor cells, suggesting that the documented anti-tumor effects of Nigella sativa (black seed) may be, at least in part, attributed to its ability to serve as a stimulant of NK anti-tumor activity.
Our data present Nigella sativa (black seed) as a traditionally used herb with potent immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor effects. We anticipate that Nigella sativa (black seed) ingredients may be employed as effective therapeutic agents in the regulation of diverse immune reactions implicated in various conditions and diseases such as cancer.
Immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties of the Nigella sativa L. seed (Black seed)
International Immunopharmacology, Volume 5, Issues 13-14, December 2005, Pages 1749-1770
Mohamed Labib Salem
A larger number of medicinal plants and their purified constituents have been shown beneficial therapeutic potentials. Seeds of Nigella sativa (black seed), a dicotyledon of the Ranunculaceae family, have been employed for thousands of years as a spice and food preservative. The oil and seed constituents, in particular thymoquinine (TQ), have shown potential medicinal properties in traditional medicine. In view of the recent literature, this article lists and discusses different immunomodulatory and immunotherapeutic potentials for the crude oil of N. sativa seeds (black seed) and its active ingredients. The published findings provide clear evidence that both the oil and its active ingredients, in particular TQ, possess reproducible anti-oxidant effects through enhancing the oxidant scavenger system, which as a consequence lead to antitoxic effects induced by several insults. The oil and TQ have shown also potent anti-inflammatory effects on several inflammation-based models including experimental encephalomyelitis, colitis, peritonitis, oedama, and arthritis through suppression of the inflammatory mediators prostaglandins and leukotriens. The oil and certain active ingredients showed beneficial immunomodulatory properties, augmenting the T cell- and natural killer cell-mediated immune responses. Most importantly, both the oil and its active ingredients expressed anti-microbial and anti-tumor properties toward different microbes and cancers. Coupling these beneficial effects with its use in folk medicine, N. sativa seed (black seed) is a promising source for active ingredients that would be with potential therapeutic modalities in different clinical settings. The efficacy of the active ingredients, however, should be measured by the nature of the disease. Given their potent immunomodulatory effects, further studies are urgently required to explore bystander effects of TQ on the professional antigen presenting cells, including macrophages and dendritic cells, as well as its modulatory effects upon Th1- and Th2-mediated inflammatory immune diseases. Ultimately, results emerging from such studies will substantially improve the immunotherapeutic application of TQ in clinical settings.
Neuropharmacological activity of Nigella sativa L. extracts (Black seed)
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 88, Issue 1, September 2003, Pages 63-68
T. B. Al-Naggar, M. P. Gómez-Serranillos, M. E. Carretero, A. M. Villar
Pharmacological studies have been conducted on the aqueous and methanol extracts of defatted Nigella sativa L. seeds (black seed)to evaluate their effects on the central nervous system (CNS) and on analgesic activity. The observations suggest that the two extracts of Nigella sativa (black seed) possesses a potent CNS and analgesic activity (depressant action especially in the case of the methanolic extract).
Antiasthmatic effect of Nigella sativa (Black seed) in airways of asthmatic patients
Phytomedicine, Volume 17, Issue 10, August 2010, Pages 707-713
M.H. Boskabady, N. Mohsenpoor, L. Takaloo
In the present study, the antiasthmatic (bronchodilatory) effect of the boiled extract of Nigella sativa (black seed) in the airways of asthmatic patients was examined.The bronchodilatory effects of 50 and 100 mg/kg of boiled extract in comparison with 6 mg/kg theophylline were studied on 15 asthmatic patients. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) including forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), peak expiratory flow (PEF), maximal mid expiratory flow (MMEF), maximal expiratory flow at 75, 50 and 25% of the FVC (MEF75, MEF50, and MEF25, respectively) and specific airway conductance (sGaw) were measured before administration and repeated , 30, 60, 90 120, 150, and 180 min after administration of the oral extract and theophylline.
The results showed that the extract caused significant increases in all measured pulmonary function tests (PFTs), in most time intervals, (p<0.05 to p<0.001). However, the increase in FEV1, MMEF and MEF50 due to both doses of boiled extract and increase in MEF75 and MEF25 due to its lower doses were significantly lower than those of theophylline (p<0.05 to p<0.001). The onset of brochodilatory effect of extract was similar to that of theophylline beginning 30 min, and the effect of extract decline after 150 min following administration similar to the effect of theophylline. The effect of both doses of the extract was also significantly less than that of salbutamol at 30 minutes post administration (p<0.001 for all cases).
The results of the present study showed that Nigella sativa (black seed) has a relatively potent antiasthmatic effect on asthmatic airways. However, the effects of boiled extract of this plant on most measured PFTs was less than those of theophylline at concentrations used.
Nigella sativa (Black seed) inhibits intestinal glucose absorption and improves glucose tolerance in rats
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 121, Issue 3, 30 January 2009, Pages 419-424
Bouchra Meddah, Robert Ducroc, Moulay El Abbes Faouzi, Bruno Eto, Lahcen Mahraoui, Ali Benhaddou-Andaloussi, Louis Charles Martineau, Yahia Cherrah, Pierre Selim Haddad
Aim of the study
Nigella sativa L. (black seed) have been used traditionally for centuries, notably for treating diabetes.
Materials and methods
We studied the effects of the crude aqueous extract of Nigella sativa seeds (black seed) on intestinal glucose absorption in vitrousing a short-circuit current technique and in vivo using an oral glucose tolerance test.
The aqueous extract of Nigella sativa (0.1 pg/ml to 100 ng/ml) exerted dose-dependent inhibition of sodium-dependent glucose transport across isolated rat jejunum. Maximal inhibition exceeded 80% and IC50 was close to 10 pg/ml. An oral glucose tolerance test was carried out in rats after the initial dose and after a 6-week treatment of Nigella sativa (2 g/(kg day)), and compared to metformin (300 mg/(kg day)). Chronic Nigella sativa (black seed) treatment improved glucose tolerance as efficiently as metformin. Nigella sativa (black seed) and metformin also reduced body weight without any toxic effect.
To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that Nigella sativa (black seed) 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 (black seed) against diabetes.
The anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activity of Nigella sativa (Black seed)
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 76, Issue 1, June 2001, Pages 45-48
M. S. Al-Ghamdi
The aqueous extract of Nigella sativa (black seed) was investigated for anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activities in animal models. The extract has an anti-inflammatory effect demonstrated by its inhibitory effects on Carrageenan induced paw edema. It also produced significant increase in the hot plate reaction time in mice indicating analgesic effect. However, N. sativa (black seed) crude suspension had no effect on yeast induced pyrexia. This study therefore, supports its use in folk medicine both as analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent and calls for further investigations to elucidate its mechanism of action.
Thymoquinone: A promising anti-cancer drug from natural sources
The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Volume 38, Issue 8, 2006, Pages 1249-1253
Hala Gali-Muhtasib, Albert Roessner, Regine Schneider-Stock
There has been growing interest in naturally occurring compounds with anti-cancer potential. Black seed is one of the most extensively studied plants. This annual herb grows in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and India. Thymoquinone (TQ) is the bioactive constituent of the volatile oil of black seed. It has been shown to exert anti-neoplastic and anti-inflammatory effects. The molecular pathways of TQ action are not clear. Nevertheless, TQ is known to induce apoptosis by p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways in cancer cell lines. Growth inhibition is associated with induction of cell cycle arrest. TQ also acts on the immune system by modulating the levels of inflammatory mediators. To date, the chemotherapeutic potential of TQ in the clinic has not been tested, but numerous studies have shown its promising anti-cancer effects in animal models. The combination of TQ with clinically used anti-cancer drugs has led to improvements in their therapeutic index and prevents non-tumor tissues from sustaining chemotherapy-induced damage.
The in vitro effect of aqueous extract of Nigella sativa seeds (Black seed) on nitric oxide production.
Mahmood MS, Gilani AH, Khwaja A, Rashid A, Ashfaq MK.
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, The Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan.
The in vitro effect of aqueous extract of Nigella sativa seeds (black seed) on nitric oxide (NO) production by murine macrophages was studied. Murine peritoneal macrophages were pre-incubated with the extract and then activated with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharride. NO production was measured after 24 hours by spectrophotometry. The plant extract caused a dose-dependent decrease in NO production. Dialyzed preparation of the extract did not affect NO production. However, the boiled fraction of the extract resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of NO apparently comparable to that of the whole extract. These results indicate that the aqueous extract of N. sativa seeds exhibits an inhibitory effect on nitric oxide production by murine macrophages and the active component(s) is/are non-protein in nature. In view of the fact that nitric oxide is a pro-inflammatory mediator, this study validates the traditional use of the Nigella sativa seeds (black seed) for the treatment of rheumatism.
PMID: 13680825 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Neuropharmacological activity of Nigella sativa L. (Black seed) extracts.
Al-Naggar TB, Gomez-Serranillos MP, Carretero ME, Villar AM.
Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Pharmacological studies have been conducted on the aqueous and methanol extracts of defatted Nigella sativa L. seeds (black seed) to evaluate their effects on the central nervous system (CNS) and on analgesic activity. The observations suggest that the two extracts of Nigella sativa (black seed) possesses a potent CNS and analgesic activity (depressant action especially in the case of the methanolic extract).
PMID: 12902052 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Chemopreventive potential of volatile oil from black seed (Nigella sativa L.) seeds against rat colon carcinogenesis.
Salim EI, Fukushima S.
Laboratory of Experimental and Molecular Carcinogenesis, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta 31527-Egypt.
Chemopreventive effects of orally administered Nigella sativa (black seed) oil on the induction and development of 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced aberrant crypt foci (ACF), putative preneoplastic lesions for colon cancer, were investigated in Fischer 344 rats. Starting at 6 wk of age, 45 male rats (groups 1-3) were subcutaneously injected with DMH once a week for 3 wk. Group 1 (15 rats) served as a carcinogen control group without N. sativa administration. Group 2 or 3 (15 rats each) were given the oil in the postinitiation stage or in the initiation stage, respectively. Animals of group 4 (11 rats) were injected with 0.9% saline and received N. sativa oil from the beginning until the termination. At sacrifice, 14 wk after the start, the total numbers of ACF as well as those with at least four crypts were significantly reduced in group 2 (P < 0.01). However, treatment with N. sativa oil (black seed) in the initiation stage (group 3) did not exhibit significant inhibitory effects except on foci with only one aberrant crypt. Immunohistochemical analysis of 5-bromo-2'.-deoxyuridine labeling in colonic crypts revealed the N. sativa oil to have significant antiproliferative activity in both initiation and postinitiation stages and especially in the latter. Histological examination revealed no pathological changes in the liver, kidneys, spleen, or other organs of rats treated with N. sativa (black seed). In addition, biochemical parameters of blood and urine as well as body weight gain were not affected. These findings demonstrate that the volatile oil of N. sativa (black seed) has the ability to inhibit colon carcinogenesis of rats in the postinitiation stage, with no evident adverse side effects, and that the inhibition may be associated, in part, with suppression of cell proliferation in the colonic mucosa.
PMID: 12881014 [PubMed - in process]
Nigella sativa (black seed) ameliorates potassium bromate-induced early events of carcinogenesis: diminution of oxidative stress.
Khan N, Sharma S, Sultana S.
Section of Chemoprevention and Nutrition Toxicology, Department of Medical Elementology and Toxicology, Faculty of Science, Jamia Hamdard, Hamdard University, New Delhi 110 062, India.
Potassium bromate (KBrO3) is a potent nephrotoxic agent. In this paper, we report the chemopreventive effect of Nigella sativa (black seed) on KBrO3-mediated renal oxidative stress, toxicity and tumor promotion response in rats. KBrO3 (125 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) enhances lipid peroxidation, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, hydrogen peroxide and xanthine oxidase with reduction in the activities of renal antioxidant enzymes and renal glutathione content. A marked increase in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine has also been observed. KBrO3 treatment also enhances ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity and [3H] thymidine incorporation into renal DNA. Prophylaxis of rats orally with Nigella sativa (black seed) extract (50 mg/kg body weight and 100 mg/kg body weight) resulted in a significant decrease in renal microsomal lipid peroxidation (P < 0.001), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (P < 0.001), H2O2 (P < 0.001) and xanthine oxidase (P < 0.05). There was significant recovery of renal glutathione content (P < 0.01) and antioxidant enzymes (P < 0.001). There was also reversal in the enhancement of blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, renal ODC activity and DNA synthesis (P < 0.001). Data suggest that Nigella sativa (black seed) is a potent chemopreventive agent and may suppress KBrO3-mediated renal oxidative stress, toxicity and tumour promotion response in rats.
PMID: 12755470 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Delayed apoptosis upon the treatment of Hep-2 cells with black seed.
Corder C, Benghuzzi H, Tucci M, Cason Z.
University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.
Nigella sativa (Black seed, BS) has been used to promote health and fight disease for centuries. The objectives of this investigation were: (1) to study whether agents such as cortisol and LPS alone or in combination induce cellular (Hep-2, laryngeal carcinoma) damage with time in culture (24, 48, and 72 hours) using apoptosis as a marker, (2) to determine if an immune stimulant such as black seed, can protect Hep-2 cells from insult and ultimately thwart the programmed cells death mechanism. A total of 54 Hep-2 cell/tubes (50,000 cells per tube) were divided into six equal groups. Group one served as untreated control, while groups 2-6 were treated with either cortisol (10 ng/ml), LPS (10 micrograms/ml), black seed (25 micrograms/ml), or a combination of LPS and cortisol and cortisol plus LPS plus black seed, respectively. At the end of each phase the cells were harvested, heat fixed and stained with H&E to evaluate morphological changes. Immunohistochemistry, using antibodies against caspace-3 to evaluate cells undergoing apoptosis was conducted in all groups. The results of this study showed evidence of cells undergoing apoptosis at different magnitudes in all groups. However, the most dramatic change was seen in groups containing cortisol and LPS alone or in combination. This was supported by the fact that there were several adaptive responses observed in all phases. In addition, the exposure of black seed to cells pretreated with cortisol and LPS showed evidence of protection against the progressive apoptosis.
PMID: 12724921 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Effect of Nigella sativa (black seed) and oxidative stress on the survival pattern of MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
Farah IO, Begum RA.
Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39217, USA.
N. Sativa L (black seed)., an oriental spice, has long been used as a natural medicine for treatment of many acute as well as chronic conditions. It has been used in the treatment of diabetes, hypertension, and dermatological conditions. There has been very few studies on the effects of N. Sativa (black seed) as cancer prevention/therapy. Our objective therefore, was to expose MCF-7 breast cancer cells to aqueous and alcohol extracts and in combination with H2O2 as an oxidative stressor. Measurement of cell survival under various concentrations and combinations was conducted using standard cell culture techniques, exposure protocols in 96 well plates and Fluoro-spectrosphotometry. Following cellular growth to 90% confluency, exposure to water (WE) and ethanol (AE) extracts of N. sativa (black seed) and H2O2 was performed. Toxicity index (LC50) was calculated from percent survival using regression analysis. Results showed that the alcohol extract and its combinations were able to completely inactivate the MCF-7 cells (LC50 ranged from 377.16-573.79 in descending potency for H2O2 + AE, AE and Mix of WE and AE). H2O2 alone effectively inactivated MCF-7 cells (LC50 = 460.94). The least effective combinations in descending potency were WE + H2O2, WE + AE + H2O2, and WE (LC50 were 725.79, 765.94, and 940.5 respectively. Combinations other than AE + H2O2 showed possible interactions, which lead to reduction in their potency. In conclusion, N. Sativa (black seed) alone or in combination with oxidative stress were found to be effective in vitro in inactivating MCF-7 breast cancer cells, unveiling opportunities for promising results in the field of prevention and treatment of cancer.
PMID: 12724920 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Protective effect of Nigella sativa seeds (Black seed) against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage.
It has been reported that Nigella sativa (black seed) oil possesses hepatoprotective effects in some models of liver toxicity. However, it is N. sativa seeds (black seed) that are used in the treatment of liver ailments in folk medicine rather than its oil. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the aqueous suspension of N. sativa (black seed) on carbon tetrachloride (CCL4)-induced liver damage. Aqueous suspension of the seeds was given orally at two dose levels (250 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg) for five days. CCL4 (250 microl/kg intraperitoneally / day in olive oil) was given to the experimental group on days 4 and 5, while the control group was only treated with the vehicles. Animals treated with CCL4 showed remarkable centrilobular fatty changes and moderate inflammatory infiltrate in the form of neutrophil and mononuclear cells when compared to the controls. This effect was significantly decreased in animals pretreated with N. sativa (black seed). Histopathological or biochemical changes were not evident following administration of N. sativa alone. Serum levels of aspartic transaminase (AST), and L-alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were slightly decreased while lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was significantly increased in animals treated with CCL4 when compared to the control group. LDH was restored to normal but ALT and AST levels were increased in animals pretreated with N. sativa (black seed). In conclusion, N. sativa seeds (black seed) appeared to be safe and possibly protective against CCL4-induced hepatotoxicity. However, further studies may still be needed prior to supporting its use in folk medicine for hepatic diseases.
PMID: 14696675 [PubMed - in process]
Effect of Nigella sativa (black seed) on subjective feeling in patients with allergic diseases.
Kalus U, Pruss A, Bystron J, Jurecka M, Smekalova A, Lichius JJ, Kiesewetter H.
Humboldt University, Berlin, School of Medicine, Institute for Transfusion Medicine, Charite University Hospital, Berlin, Germany.
Nigella sativa (black seed) is an important medicinal herb. In many Arabian, Asian and African countries, black seed oil is used as a natural remedy for a wide range of diseases, including various allergies. The plant's mechanism of action is still largely unknown. Due to the lack of study data on its efficacy in allergies, four studies on the clinical efficacy of Nigella sativa (black seed) in allergic diseases are presented. In these studies, a total of 152 patients with allergic diseases (allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma, atopic eczema) were treated with Nigella sativa (black seed) oil, given in capsules at a dose of 40 to 80 mg/kg/day. The patients scored the subjective severity of target symptoms using a predefined scale. The following laboratory parameters were investigated: IgE, eosinophil count, endogenous cortisol in plasma and urine, ACTH, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol and lymphocyte subpopulations. The score of subjective feeling decreased over the course of treatment with black seed oil in all four studies. A slight decrease in plasma triglycerides and a discrete increase in HDL cholesterol occurred while the lymphocyte subpopulations, endogenous cortisol levels and ACTH release remained unchanged. Black seed oil therefore proved to be an effective adjuvant for the treatment of allergic diseases.
PMID: 14669258 [PubMed - in process]
Anti-metastasis effect of thymoquinone on human pancreatic cancer
Wu ZH, Chen Z, Shen Y, Huang LL, Jiang P.
Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou 325027, China.
Recent studies reported that thymoquinone (TQ), a component derived from the medicinal spice Nigella sativa (also called black seed), exhibited inhibitory effects on cell proliferation of many cancer cell lines. This study was performed to investigate the anti-metastatic effect of thymoquinone on the pancreatic cancer in vitro and in vivo. The results showed that thymoquinone suppressed the migration and invasion of Panc-1 cells in a does-dependent manner. To investigate the possible mechanisms involved in these events, Western blotting analysis was performed, and found that thymoquinone significantly down-regulates NF-kappaB and MMP-9 in Panc-1 cells. In addition, metastatic model simulating human pancreatic cancer was established by orthotropic implantation of histologically intact pancreatic tumor tissue into the pancreatic wall of nude mice. And administration of thymoquinone significantly reduced tumor metastasis compared to untreated control. Furthermore, the expression of NF-kappaB and MMP-9 in tumor tissues was also suppressed after treatment with thymoquinone. Taken together, the results indicate that thymoquinone exerts anti-metastatic activity on pancreatic cancer both in vitro and in vivo, which may be related to down-regulation of NF-kappaB and its regulated molecules such as MMP-9 protein. Consequently, these results provide important insights into thymoquinone as an antimetastatic agent for the treatment of human pancreatic cancer.
PMID: 22007514 [PubMed - in process]
Thymoquinone inhibits the CXCL12-induced chemotaxis of multiple myeloma cells and increases their susceptibility to Fas-mediated apoptosis.
Badr G, Lefevre EA, Mohany M.
In multiple myeloma (MM), malignant plasma cells reside in the bone marrow, where they accumulate in close contact with stromal cells. The mechanisms responsible for the chemotaxis of malignant plasma cells are still poorly understood. Thus, we investigated the mechanisms involved in the chemotaxis of MDN and XG2 MM cell lines. Both cell lines strongly expressed CCR9, CXCR3 and CXCR4 chemokine receptors but only migrated toward CXCL12. Activation of CXCR4 by CXCL12 resulted in the association of CXCR4 with CD45 and activation of PLCβ3, AKT, RhoA, IκBα and ERK1/2. Using siRNA-silencing techniques, we showed CD45/CXCR4 association is essential for CXCL12-induced migration of MM cells. Thymoquinone (TQ), the major active component of the medicinal herb Nigella sativa Linn, has been described as a chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic compound. TQ treatment strongly inhibited CXCL12-mediated chemotaxis in MM cell lines as well as primary cells isolated from MM patients, but not normal PBMCs. Moreover, TQ significantly down-regulated CXCR4 expression and CXCL12-mediated CXCR4/CD45 association in MM cells. Finally, TQ also induced the relocalization of cytoplasmic Fas/CD95 to the membrane of MM cells and increased CD95-mediated apoptosis by 80%. In conclusion, we demonstrate the potent anti-myeloma activity of TQ, providing a rationale for further clinical evaluation.
PMID: 21912642 [PubMed - in process] PMCID: PMC3164673
Effect of Nigella sativa seeds (black seed) on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Bamosa AO, Kaatabi H, Lebdaa FM, Elq AM, Al-Sultanb A.
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 (black seed) 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 (black seed) 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 (black seed) 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 (black seed) 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 (black seed) used in the study did not adversely affect either renal functions or hepatic functions of the diabetic patients throughout the study period. In Conclusion: the results of this study indicate that a dose of 2 gm/ day of Nigella sativa (black seed) might be a beneficial adjuvant to oral hypoglycemic agents in type 2 diabetic patients.
PMID: 21675032 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Antibacterial activity of Thymoquinone, an active principle of Nigella sativa (Black seed) and its potency to prevent bacterial biofilm formation.
Chaieb K, Kouidhi B, Jrah H, Mahdouani K, Bakhrouf A.
Thymoquinone is an active principle of Nigella sativa seed known as "Habbah Al-Sauda (black seed)" in Arabic countries and "Sinouj" in Tunisia. Bacterial biofilms tend to exhibit significant tolerance to antimicrobials drugs during infections.
The antibacterial activity of Thymoquinone (TQ) and its biofilm inhibition potencies were investigated on 11 human pathogenic bacteria. The growth and development of the biofilm were assessed using the crystal violet (CV) and the 2, 3-bis [2-methyloxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl]-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide (XTT) reduction assay.
TQ exhibited a significant bactericidal activity against the majority of the tested bacteria (MICs values ranged from 8 to 32 μg/ml) especially Gram positive cocci (Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and Staphylococcus epidermidis CIP 106510). Crystal violet assay demonstrated that the minimum biofilm inhibition concentration (BIC50) was reached with 22 and 60 μg/ml for Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and Staphylococcus epidermidis CIP 106510 respectively. In addition our data revealed that cells oxidative activity was influenced by TQ supplementation. In the same way, TQ prevented cell adhesion to glass slides surface.
The ability of TQ to prevent biofilm formation warrants further investigation to explore its use as bioactive substances with antibiofilm potential.
PMID: 21489272 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC3095572
Nigella sativa (black seed) extract as a potent antioxidant for petrochemical-induced oxidative stress.
Ashraf SS, Rao MV, Kaneez FS, Qadri S, Al-Marzouqi AH, Chandranath IS, Adem A.
Department of Chemistry, U.A.E. University, Al-Ain, P.O. Box: 17551, U.A.E. salman.ashraf.ac.ae
Various beneficial properties has been attributed to Nigella sativa (black seed), including its antioxidant potential. Previously, it was reported that supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) could be used to obtain N. sativa (black seed) extract rich in antioxidants. In the present study, N. sativa (black seed) extracts prepared using the previously optimized SFE as well as the traditional Soxhlet extraction approaches were analyzed for various known antioxidants. N. sativa extracts were found to prevent protein carbonyl formation as well as depletion of intracellular glutathione (GSH) in fibroblasts exposed to toluene. Furthermore, partially purified SFE and Soxhlet fractions could prevent loss of hepatic GSH in toluene-induced oxidative stressed Wistar rats as well as in L929 fibroblasts. The results showed that SFE-produced N. sativa (black seed) extract is richer in antioxidants than the Soxhlet approach. It was also shown using preparative silica gel and reverse phase chromatography that different fractions of SFE-extracted or Soxhlet-extracted N. sativa (black seed) had different levels of protective effects with regards to GSH depletion in vivo as well as in cell culture. Although fractions rich in thymoquinone were found to be most potent in terms of antioxidant capacity, the data indicates that the protective effects of N. sativa (black seed) may not only be due to thymoquinone, but perhaps other antioxidants.
PMID: 21439125 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Nigella sativa (black seed): reduces the risk of various maladies.
Butt MS, Sultan MT.
Coinage of terms like nutraceuticals, functional, and pharma foods has diverted the attention of human beings to where they are seeking more natural cures. Though pharmaceutical drugs have been beneficial for human health and have cured various diseases but they also impart some side effects. Numerous plants have been tested for their therapeutic potential; Nigella sativa, commonly known as black seed, is one of them. It possesses a nutritional dense profile as its fixed oil (lipid fraction), is rich in unsaturated fatty acids while essential oil contains thymoquinone and carvacrol as antioxidants. N. sativa seeds (black seed) also contain proteins, alkaloids (nigellicines and nigelledine), and saponins (alpha-hederin) in substantial amounts. Recent pharmacological investigations suggested its potential role, especially for the amelioration of oxidative stress through free radical scavenging activity, the induction of apoptosis to cure various cancer lines, the reduction of blood glucose, and the prevention of complications from diabetes. It regulates hematological and serological aspects and can be effective in dyslipidemia and respiratory disorders. Moreover, its immunopotentiating and immunomodulating role brings balance in the immune system. Evidence is available supporting the utilization of Nigella sativa (black seed) and its bioactive components in a daily diet for health improvement. This review is intended to focus on the composition of Nigella sativa (black seed) and to elaborate its possible therapeutic roles as a functional food to prevent an array of maladies.
PMID: 20694927 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Protective effect of Nigella sativa (Black seed) extract and thymoquinone on serum/glucose deprivation-induced PC12 cells death.
Mousavi SH, Tayarani-Najaran Z, Asghari M, Sadeghnia HR.
Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacological Research Centre of Medicinal Plants, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS), Mashhad, Iran.
The serum/glucose deprivation (SGD)-induced cell death in cultured PC12 cells represents a useful in vitro model for the study of brain ischemia and neurodegenerative disorders. Nigella sativa L. (black seed) and its active component thymoquinone (TQ) has been known as a source of antioxidants. In the present study, the protective effects of N. sativa (black seed) and TQ on cell viability and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in cultured PC12 cells were investigated under SGD conditions. PC12 cells were cultured in DMEM medium containing 10% (v/v) fetal bovine serum, 100 units/ml penicillin, and 100 microg/ml streptomycin. Cells were seeded overnight and then deprived of serum/glucose for 6 and 18 h. Cells were pretreated with different concentrations of N. sativa extract (15.62-250 microg/ml) and TQ (1.17-150 microM) for 2 h. Cell viability was quantitated by MTT assay. Intracellular ROS production was measured by flow cytometry using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCF-DA) as a probe. SGD induced significant cells toxicity after 6, 18, or 24 h (P < 0.001). Pretreatment with N. sativa (15.62-250 microg/ml) and TQ (1.17-37.5 microM) reduced SGD-induced cytotoxicity in PC12 cells after 6 and 18 h. A significant increase in intracellular ROS production was seen following SGD (P < 0.001). N. sativa (250 microg/ml, P < 0.01) and TQ (2.34, 4.68, 9.37 microM, P < 0.01) pretreatment reversed the increased ROS production following ischemic insult. The experimental results suggest that N. sativa extract (black seed) and TQ protects the PC12 cells against SGD-induced cytotoxicity via antioxidant mechanisms. Our findings might raise the possibility of potential therapeutic application of N. sativa (black seed) extract and TQ for managing cerebral ischemic and neurodegenerative disorders.
PMID: 20054635 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Determination of oxygen radical absorbance capacity of black seed (Nigella sativa) seed quinone compounds.
Tesarova H, Svobodova B, Kokoska L, Marsik P, Pribylova M, Landa P, Vadlejch J.
Department of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry, Institute of Tropics and Subtropics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamycka 129, 165 21, Prague 6-Suchdol, Czech Republic.
In this study, the antioxidant capacities of main quinone constituents of Nigella sativa seeds (black seed), namely dithymoquinone (1), thymohydroquinone (2) and thymoquinone (3), were compared using DPPH and ORAC methods. The best scavenging activity was produced by 2, which showed a remarkable activity of 2.60 Trolox equivalents (TE) in a concentration range between 1.6 and 6.4 microg/mL and IC50 value of 2.4 microg/mL in ORAC and DPPH assays, respectively. Contrastingly, 3 possessed only weak DPPH scavenging efficacy (IC50 = 170 microg/mL) but significant antioxidative action of 1.91 TE in ORAC assay. No effect has been observed for 1. Additionally, modified protocol for synthesis of 2 has been developed with aim to enhance its availability for further studies as well as for its future potential use. Based on the results of this study, we conclude that 2 could be considered as a compound with prospective antioxidative properties.
PMID: 21425677 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed: The thymoquinone-induced production of reactive oxygen species promotes dedifferentiation through the ERK pathway and inflammation through the p38 and PI3K pathways in rabbit articular chondrocytes.
PubMed: Oleic and linoleic acids are active principles in Nigella sativa and stabilize an E(2)P conformation of the Na,K-ATPase. Fatty acids differentially regulate cardiac glycoside interaction with the pump.
PubMed: Thymoquinone from nutraceutical black cumin oil activates Neu4 sialidase in live macrophage, dendritic, and normal and type I sialidosis human fibroblast cells via GPCR Galphai proteins and matrix metalloproteinase-9.