Nigella sativa & allergy season
Written by Chantelle van der Weyden BPsych (Hons), AdvDip(Nat), AdvDip(NutMed)
Allergies are the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia, with 1 in 5 suffering an allergic disease. Symptoms may be chronic or seasonal (often exacerbated in spring and summer) and typical presentations include asthma, eczema, hayfever and allergic rhinitis. Allergies are not only frustrating but can be quite debilitating. Over the counter antihistamines are often the first line of treatment for allergy sufferers, and while they are effective for some, they are not without side effects.
Nigella sativa, commonly known as black seed or black cumin, has been used in traditional Middle Eastern folk medicine for thousands of years. The seed oil is used medicinally and contains a number of scientifically studied active constituents.
Having been described by the Islamic prophet Mohammed as the “remedy for all diseases except death”, Nigella has many actions and indications. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-parasitic, antiviral, blood sugar lowering and pain-relieving effects; and supports the immune system, lungs, blood vessels and liver.
The seeds have a long history of use in various ailments including allergic rhinitis, asthma, chronic hives, eczema, histamine intolerance, rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, pain, headache and migraine, gastrointestinal disturbance, period pain and male infertility.
Scientific studies supporting the traditional use of this herb have found that supplementation of the seed oil exerts numerous biological effects and benefits in allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma and other histamine related conditions. Specifically, studies have found a reduction in symptoms such as itching, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing (1), bronchial asthma, atopic eczema (2), and chronic hives (3).
Do you suffer from allergies?
Please reach out to your nearest natural health provider to discuss nigella and your allergies https://www.biomedica.com.au/find-a-practitioner
- 1. Nikakhlagh S, Rahim F, Aryani FH, Syahpoush A, Brougerdnya MG, Saki N. Herbal treatment of allergic rhinitis: the use of Nigella sativa. Am J Otolaryngol. 2011 Sep-Oct;32(5):402-7. doi:10.1016/j.amjoto.2010.07.019. Epub 2010 Oct 13. PubMed PMID: 20947211
- 2. Kalus U, Pruss A, Bystron J, Jurecka M, Smekalova A, Lichius JJ, Kiesewetter H (2003). Effect of Nigella sativa (black seed) on subjective feeling in patients with allergic disease. Phytother. Res., 17(10): 1209-1214.
- 3. Al-Snafi AE, Adbul-Ghani M Al-Samarai and Mahmood Al-Sabawi, The effectiveness of. Nigella sativa seed oil in treatment of chronic Urticaria. Tikrit Journal of Pharmaceutical. Sciences, 2005; 1(1): 19-26