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An Essential Guide to Black Seed: History, Benefits & Uses

An Essential Guide to Black Seed: History, Benefits & Uses
An Essential Guide to Black Seed: History, Benefits & Uses

Have you heard of Black Seed Oil? Black Seed Oil is extracted from the seeds of the Black Cumin plant. For a plant that has been revered for its health-supportive properties for thousands of years, it is surprisingly not that well-known in the United States.*

At Gaia Herbs, we prize Black Seed Oil for its ability to help keep lungs healthy.* With both a heightened immune season and seasonal challenges, it’s more important than ever to prioritize your respiratory health.* If you are worried about your respiratory health and looking for an easy way to add natural support for your lungs, Black Seed Oil could be the perfect herbal ally for you.*

Discover more about Black Seed Oil and why it should be considered an herbal essential all year round to help maintain healthy lungs.*

What is Black Seed Oil?

Black Seed (Nigella sativa) is an annual plant in the Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) also known as Black Cumin Seed and Black Caraway Seed. It should not be mistaken as a relative of Cumin or Caraway, which are both in the Carrot family.

This plant is a small flowering shrub with purple or white-tinged flowers and narrow, threadlike leaves. The shrub produces fruits that contain many tiny Black Seeds.

The Black Seed plant grows wild and is cultivated in parts of northern Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East. This plant thrives in this area of the world, as the seeds can maintain viability in extreme temperatures and sun exposure.

Consuming Black Seeds & Black Seed Oil

Nigella seeds in hand

Black Seeds can be ingested raw or lightly toasted. The Black Seeds can be sprinkled on top of toast, bagels, oatmeal, or yogurt to add to your morning breakfast. Or, you can add the Black Seeds to soups, stir-fries, or pasta dishes to eat at lunch or dinner. Some people also like to grind the Black Seeds and mix them into recipes along with other seasonings.

Black Seed Oil (made from pressed Black Seeds) can be ingested orally and taken by the spoonful, but most people think it has a very strong and bitter taste. That’s why many people mix Black Seed Oil with something sweet such as honey or sugar to try and mask the bitter flavor when consuming it. Some people also prefer to take Black Seed Oil in a capsule format to avoid the unpleasant flavor all together and to make it easier to incorporate into a daily wellness routine.

If you would like to try adding Black Seed to your diet, you can easily purchase Black Seeds and Black Seed Oil at most health stores and pharmacies, as well as online.

Health-Supporting Benefits of Black Seed Oil*

Black Seeds have a unique phytochemical profile. The seeds are rich in essential fatty acids (including oleic, linoleic, and palmitic acids) and terpenes (including thymoquinone, p-cymene, nigellone, carvacrol, and alpha-pinene).

Since the 1960s, there have been over 1,000 clinical studies on the therapeutic benefits of Black Seeds. Black Seeds have been traditionally used for maintaining a healthy immune response and supporting the cardiovascular system, digestion, glycemic response, and the health of the lungs and sinuses.*

Black Seed Oil is considered a nutritive tonic that has been shown to act as a demulcent in the body (meaning it has the ability to soothe and protect).*

Why is Black Seed Oil so beneficial for our health? Because it contains a key component thymoquinone (also known as TQ) which contains high antioxidant properties.*

With its unique and powerful nutrient and phytochemical profile, Black Seed Oil is believed to provide a number of health benefits, which is why it has been relied on by a multitude of medicinal systems throughout the ages.*

Gaia Herbs Commitment to Quality: Organic & Non-GMO Black Seed Oil

Creating the highest quality products starts with the highest quality ingredients. As a Certified B Corporation®, Gaia Herbs is committed to including the environment as a valued stakeholder in all of our decision-making, so sustainable sourcing is always one of our top priorities.

For plants used in our supplements that we source and cannot grow on our own Certified Organic farm, such as the Black Seed plant, we source the plants from where they grow best, and where conditions are ideal to produce the highest possible level of phytochemicals to support health.

We look for farmers who will grow to meet our stringent quality standards and grow either organically or use sustainable farming practices. We also look for suppliers that adhere to environmentally and socially responsible business practices and natural resource conservation.

In our search for a grower and supplier of Black Seeds, we found that many sources of imported Black Seeds were of poor quality that did not meet our stringent quality standards. This is why Gaia Herbs decided to find a source for Black Seeds with a long and respected history, and through this search process, we selected a top-quality grower and supplier in Israel with a leadership team with over 80 years of combined experience with the Black Seed plant.

Our Black Seeds comes from a farmer cooperative growing 220 (Certified Organic and non-GMO) acres of this ancient plant in its native bioregion in Israel. The farmers that belong to this cooperative own shares in what is known as a "kibbutz" system. A kibbutz is a communal settlement, traditionally based on agriculture, in which all wealth is held in common and the profits are reinvested in the settlement.

These farmers are growing specific varieties of Black Seeds that have a genetically higher (2-3x) thymoquinone percentage (TQ%) than other varieties. There is also a non-GMO breeding program to select certain seed varieties that have outstanding, consistent quality with low and high TQ content to standardize the TQ% levels for organic quality oil (such as the organic Black Seed Oil used in Gaia Herbs’ products).

Through vertical integration and managing seed genetics, these farmers are able to grow consistently high-quality Black Seeds, which in turn allows us to produce the most efficacious Black Seed Oil for our customers.

Regenerative Farming & Environmental Practices

Nigella seeds with combine in background

Another important reason that we chose our specific Black Seed supplier is that the farmers providing our Black Seeds practice regenerative farming practices, including crop rotation. They rotate crops on a four-year cycle in their fields as follows: Black Seed, Potato, Carrot, and Wheat before rotating back to Black Seed.

Why does regenerative farming practices matter? In the simplest terms, regenerative farming methods add diversity to the landscape and sequester carbon to the soil, helping to protect and heal the health of our planet. Additional regenerative farming and environmental practices that are utilized include:

  • All manufacturing waste material is recycled as animal feed to minimize on-site waste
  • All farms are irrigated and fully computerized with moisture sensing technology to minimize water consumption
  • Honey boxes are placed in and around fields to promote biodiversity and pollination and to create pollinator habitats
  • Water conservation practices - all facility wastewater is treated, recycled, and used for farm irrigation
  • 45% of the electricity consumed for the production site is generated by solar panels

Not All Black Seed Oil Is Created Equal

At Gaia Herbs, we use cold-pressed oil from these organically grown Black Seeds in our products. The Black Seeds are dried in the farm fields before being cleaned and sent to the pressing facility, which is within walking distance of the farm fields.

These seeds are grown and cold-pressed in the same location, allowing vertical integration of the supply chain, which helps to produce a full spectrum, high quality, and efficacious oil.*

Why Is Cold-Pressed Black Seed Oil Better?

Cold-pressed oil contains the whole lipid phase of the Black Seeds, which keeps the proper ratios and amounts of biological compounds (ex. TQ).

Cold-pressed oil also provides the full-spectrum of constituents, maintaining the plant's natural integrity and balance, and keeping the extract as close to the original plant as possible.

Black Seed Oil for Lung & Respiratory Health*

As mentioned above, Black Seed has been revered for centuries as an Ayurvedic herb that supports lung health and helps to maintain the respiratory system.*

With lung health being a critical focus for many these days, you can provide your lungs with the support that they need with Gaia Herbs’ powerful single herb Black Seed Oil liquid Phyto-Caps®. This formula provides antioxidant support, helping to keep lungs working optimally and efficiently in a convenient capsule format.*

Discover Black Seed Oil

Black Seed in hand

Next time you are looking for natural support for your lung and respiratory health, consider adding Black Seed Oil to your daily wellness regime.*

As mentioned earlier, you can purchase Black Seed Oil online and it can also be found in most health stores. From our supplier search, we did find a lot of low-quality Black Seeds in the market, so it is important to do a little research and know you are buying your Black Seeds or Black Seed Oil from a quality source.

At Gaia Herbs, we’re committed to transparency. We want you to feel confident in the supplements you take. We assure you of the purity, integrity, and potency of our products by allowing you to trace your herbs with our Meet Your Herbs® program, the world’s first herb traceability platform.

You can enter the ID number located on the back of every Gaia Herbs product (including our Black Seed Oil) and instantly learn when your product was manufactured as well as its best by date. Then, take a deeper dive into each herb in your product — where it came from; how it was grown, harvested, and extracted.

You can be assured that our products are safely produced without the use of pesticides and other toxins that can damage our bodies and the earth.

Why are we committed to these efforts? Because you deserve the highest quality, safe, pure, and effective herbal products to support your health and well-being.