Black Cumin, otherwise known as Nigella Sativa and a variety of other names, is a widely used spice Indian, Middle Eastern and Polish cuisines. Historically, it has also seen wide use in traditional medicine as a natural remedy for a number of conditions.
In modern medicine, it has been shown to have a number of health boosting properties and continues to be researched today. Researchers have gone as far as to say it is ‘a miracle herb’. Recently, it has been shown that something as simple as a couple of sprinkles of black cumin a day can cause significant weight loss and reverse liver disease.
As is usual though, we will likely never hear about this commercially or even within the health field because there is simply no incentives for large industries to market this information. In fact, it would be counterintuitive to their interests!
Black Cumin vs Placebo for Weight Loss
In 2016, a randomised controlled trial was conducted in which seventy patients with non-alchoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) were divided in to interventional and non-interventional groups.
The interventional group was given 1g of black cumin in a capsule twice a day while non- interventional group was given a placebo capsule twice a day for three months.
Patients were advised to maintain their life style as usual without any additional regular exercises and dietary changes which could affect the results.
Though the main purpose of the study was to look for benefits of Black Cumin on NAFLD and liver health, the participants’ weight & BMI were also monitored over the 12-week study. This is likely because the major causes of NAFLD are obesity and metabolic syndromes. It’s also perfect for us to see the effect of black cumin on weight loss!
The results? Simply Miraculous.
The Black Cumin group had significant health benefits compared to the Placebo group. The Black Cumin group reduced their:
- Weight on average by 10 kgs (22 lbs) vs 1.7 kgs (3.7 lbs)
- Body Mass Index (BMI) by 2.81 kg/m2 vs 0.51 kg/m2
A ten kilograms reduction in weight over twelve weeks without any changes in lifestyle (including diet and exercise) or adverse effects is incredible to say the least.
The study also found amazing results for sufferers of NAFLD. Note that every participant had some grade of mild, moderate or severe fatty liver disease at the beginning of the trial.
Astonishingly, the Black Cumin participants’ liver functions tests improved and 57.14% regressed to having a normal appearing livers on high-resolution ultrasound on repeat testing for fatty liver disease. This is compared to the placebo group’s 6.7% regression rate.
The results are tabled here:
Adding the ‘Miracle Herb’
Even in this one study, we can see why it is known as “a miracle herb”.
We’ve since added black cumin to a number of our meals. They can be dry-roasted and used to season curries, vegetables and salads. We personally either use it alone as an alternative to pepper or we mix it together with pepper. Using it this way has allowed us to implement a good dose of black cumin into our daily diet.
There are so many ways of using it so we suggest finding out how best you can add black cumin to your plant-based kitchen so that you can too reap its positive health benefits!
Keep In Mind
As always, we should keep in mind that a whole food plant-based lifestyle with regular exercise and mindfulness is the first priority in achieving our health and wellness goals. Adding or excluding specific foods may help us achieve our goals sooner but they should not be the focus of our approach!
- Hussain M, Tunio AG, Akhtar L, Shaikh GS. Effects of nigella sativa on various parameters in Patients of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2017;29(3):403‐407. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29076670/
- Ahmad A, Husain A, Mujeeb M, et al. A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013;3(5):337‐352. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23646296/