Diabetes, Health, Herbs and Spices

Diabetes: A Case for Black Cumin

What is Black Cumin?

Black cumin, also known by its scientific name “Nigella sativa,” is an annual flowering plant indigenous to South Asia. It is used as a spice in many cuisines because of its distinct flavor. The seeds of black cumin constitute numerous health benefits and it has been traditionally used for the treatment of many ailments. These seeds are rich in proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and dietary fibers and can be valuable in maintaining a healthy immune system (Abdelrazek et al., 2018).

Black Cumin as a Miracle Drug

Black cumin is regarded as a miracle drug because of its numerous medicinal properties. This spice is considered effective against diverse illnesses like cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and various pathogenic diseases. Moreover, black cumin has unique antioxidant properties and can be beneficial as a nutraceutical. As an antioxidant, it removes harmful free radicals and prevents the body cells from undergoing permanent damage. Among the long list of its medicinal attributes, black cumin also has anti-diabetic properties (Ramadan et al., 2007).

Black Cumin as an Anti-diabetic

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic metabolic disorders and is associated with a wide range of mild to severe health complications. High sugar levels in the blood for a prolonged time can cause severe damage to the body’s cells. Consequences include organ failure, delayed wound healing, loss of vision, fatigue, and nerve damage. Black cumin regulates the levels of fasting blood sugar in the body. Black cumin seeds are comprised of an active compound named thymoquinone that has been proved to do wonders in diabetic individuals. Furthermore, the compound can also be useful in diabetic patients who are suffering from glucose intolerance, as it can significantly reduce the blood glucose level and its subsequent absorption in the intestines (Yimer et al., 2019).

Black Cumin vs Other Anti-diabetic drugs

Black cumin imitates the release of the insulin from the pancreas, thereby ameliorating glucose intolerance in the body as effectively as other therapeutic drugs e.g., Metformin. Compared to these drugs, this natural spice does not produce any side-effects in the body.

There are multiple therapeutic drugs which are employed for reducing blood sugar levels in the body. Black cumin can perform multiple functions like enhancing insulin and beta cell production as well as reducing pancreatic inflammation. This spice plays an integral role in treating various diabetes-related complications such as nephropathy, atherosclerosis, cataracts, neuropathy, and several blood disorders (Aruoma et al., 2006).

The Bottom Line

While black cumin constitutes numerous health benefits and is quite safe when it is being utilized as a spice, taking it in the form of supplements or oil as medication may induce several risks.  If you are already using anti-diabetic drugs, then it will be best to talk with your doctor before adding black cumin to your daily medications.   

References

  • Abdelrazek, H., Kilany, O. E., Muhammad, M. A., Tag, H. M., Abdelazim, A. M. J. O. m., & longevity, c. (2018). Black seed thymoquinone improved insulin secretion, hepatic glycogen storage, and oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic male wistar rats. 2018.
  • Aruoma, O. I., Neergheen, V. S., Bahorun, T., Jen, L.-S. J. N., & Aging. (2006). Free radicals, antioxidants and diabetes: embryopathy, retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy and cardiovascular complications. 4(3), 117-137.
  • Ramadan, M. F. J. I. j. o. f. s., & technology. (2007). Nutritional value, functional properties and nutraceutical applications of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.): an overview. 42(10), 1208-1218.
  • Yimer, E. M., Tuem, K. B., Karim, A., Ur-Rehman, N., Anwar, F. J. E.-B. C., & Medicine, A. (2019). Nigella sativa L.(black cumin): a promising natural remedy for wide range of illnesses. 2019.