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New Studies on Black Cumin Seeds Reveal Healing Powers for Asthma and Cancer

Black cumin oil with seeds

Black cumin oil with seeds

by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News

Black cumin seed (Nigella sativa) is an ancient natural healing remedy from the Mideast and India. Its phenomenal healing powers for so many ailments and diseases inspired the phrase “black seed cures everything but death.”

This year, 2018, two peer-reviewed published studies on black cumin seed were added to the long list of international studies confirming its safety and efficacy. The diseases tested using Nigella sativa (N. Sativa) are enough to fill a medical manual.

The two recent studies focused on asthma and renal (kidney) cancer. Both were concluded with positive results.

The Asthma Lab Culture and Animal Study Using Black Cumin Seed (Nigella sativa)

Four researchers collaborated in Jarkata, Indonesia and Japan for the study Nigella sativa as an anti-inflammatory agent in asthma [1], published online on October 19, 2018, by BioMedCentral (BMC).

The researchers knew about the positive pharmacological effects of Black cumin seeds and oils from prior research literature. They also knew of the dangers of asthma medications prescribed for asthmatics. 

From the study:

Treatment of asthma by an agent with sufficient safety level is important and under intensive investigation. With the known pharmacological action of N. Sativa, it is necessary to determine the toxicity aspect at the cellular level. 

Notice how they mentioned the “known pharmacological action of N. Sativa.” They were referring to the abundance of evidence from anecdotal, scientific research studies and clinical applications over the years. They used references of clinical human studies among asthmatics in their report.

The researchers crushed Nigella sativa seeds and extracted a solution using an ethanol solvent three times for 12 hours. Then the solution was filtered for purity to remove all traces of ethanol.

The study combined both lab culture (in vitro) and animal (in vivo) experiments. The lab culture procedures were undertaken to determine the effects of N. sativa extract on mast cells, which are immune cells that migrate from the blood into connective tissue. 

Mast cells are immune system white blood cells that contain high amounts of histamine, a chemical that responds with inflammation as a response to pathological antigen assault, infection, or injury. They contain large amounts of histamine granules to contain inflammatory substances. They play key roles in allergic reactions. (Source) [2]

For the animal study, they used Wistar rats, which are bred for biomedical research, to confirm the efficacy and toxicity results of their in vitro (lab cultures) study. 

From the study:

Mast cells played important role in the inflammation of airway in asthma due to their capacity to release histamine. We showed in this study that N. sativa was effective in the inhibition of histamine release by mast cells.

The study showed that N. sativa ethanol extract effectively inhibits histamine release from peritoneal [abdominal cavity] Wistar rat mast cells proportionally to its concentration. 

N. sativa is effective as an anti-inflammation on mast cells by inhibition of histamine release and has no toxic effect on mast cell. N. sativa could be considered as a potential therapy for asthma therapy and prevention. [emphasis added] (Source) [1]

The Other 2018 Black Cumin Seed Study on Cancer

This study was part of a search to find a solution for a type of cancer that is “insensitive to many conventional treatments.” 

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancer, comprising 80 percent of kidney cancer cases. Carcinoma is the type of cancer the occurs with epithelial cells [3].

Because the surgical and chemotherapeutic remedies offered have a dismal record with RCC, this research was part of a movement, at least in China and nearby regions, to examine the therapeutic possibilities of plant-based medicines.

Even as new cancer immunotherapy and targeted therapies have been developed, the outcomes have been poor and the treatments expensive and inaccessible for most. The search was on for a new renal cell carcinoma therapeutic approach that “costs less and performs better.”

This Chinese research group decided to test thymoquinone (TQ), the bio-active compound extracted from N. sativa or black cumin seeds, on RCC with both in vitro (lab culture) and animal (in vivo) experiments.

Their study, Thymoquinone inhibits the metastasis of renal cell cancer cells by inducing autophagy [4] via AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway, was published by Cancer Science. 

They thoroughly studied the biochemical activities of thymoquinone on cultures of RCC cell lines. Then they induced cancer in 10 male nude mice, which were divided equally into a control group that wasn’t treated with TQ and a group treated with TQ for 30 days after tumors were noticed.

It didn’t matter what kind of tumors the treated mice had. The in vitro studies with cultured RCC cells proved the efficacy of TQ on renal cell carcinoma. The mice served as metastatic tumor models that could be observed for metastasis and allow further tumor analysis after the tumors were removed.

Then the weights of each group’s removed tumors could be compared to determine if the TQ effectively reduced tumor size. The tumors from the TQ treated mice were lighter than the tumors from the untreated control group.

The tumor cells were also stained and analyzed to examine their metastatic properties. This is where they observed the tumor cells in the treated mice had undergone autophagy, which is explained in their report.

Their results:

These results suggest that TQ effectively inhibits migration, invasion and the EMT process in RCC cells in vitro. (in vivo) staining of lungs revealed a significant decrease in the number of metastatic nodules in the lungs of TQ-treated mice compared to the control group. These data indicate that TQ inhibits RCC cell growth and metastasis in vivo.

Moreover, the tumors in the TQ-treated group showed higher expression of E-cadherin and lower expression of N-cadherin, which concurred with our findings in vitro. We further established a metastatic tumor model and the results indicated that TQ significantly inhibited metastasis compared with the control group, which was consistent with our expectations. (Source) [5]

Cadherins are cell adhesion molecules that are vital for binding cells with each other and to epithelial surfaces that are characteristic of carcinoma cancer cells. It’s what renal cell carcinoma is. The researchers concluded:

These findings indicated the potential role of TQ‐induced autophagy in cancer treatment and suggested that combining TQ with autophagy inhibitors might enhance its cancer suppression effects. (Source) [5]

The researchers explained why autophagy inhibitors were recommended. Autophagy is a natural recurring catabolic cellular process [6] that eliminates useless or dysfunctional cell constituents to create new cells that will maintain tissue and organ health.

According to the study report, autophagy prevents metastasis during early cancer stages. But it can also function to advance tumor growth during later stages the way autophagy does with normal cells in healthy tissue. The researchers considered anti-autophagy agents as a solution.

Commentary

The fact that both studies were done with the intention of finding plant-based solutions to replace pharmaceutical drugs instead of trying to find active ingredients for pharmaceutical companies to synthesize and sell at high prices is unique. 

It’s also interesting that this sort of endeavor is going on outside the USA and most Western nations. The fact is that this ancient Mideast remedy has been thoroughly researched over the past few decades with positive results for many ailments and diseases that are common today. 

The literature is there, the “science is in,” but it’s willfully ignored by mainstream medicine and media on this side of the Pacific. Black cumin seed empowers one to take responsibility for one’s own health. See:

Black Cumin Seeds Better Than Drugs? A Look at the Science [7]