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Nigella sativa

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The acute toxicity of Nigella sativa fixed oil was investigated in mice. LD50 values, obtained by single doses, orally and intraperitoneally administered in mice, were 28.8 ml/kg body wt. p.o. [26.2-31.6] and 2.06 ml/kg body wt. i.p. [1.86-2.26], respectively. [1]
Chronic toxicity was studied in rats treated daily with an oral dose of 2 ml/kg body wt. for 12 weeks. Changes in key hepatic enzymes levels, including aspartate-aminotransferase, alanine-aminotranferase, and gamma-glutamyltransferase and histopathological modifications (heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas) were not observed in rats treated with Nigella sativa after 12 weeks of treatment. The serum cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose levels and the count of leukocytes and platelets decreased significantly, while hematocrit and hemoglobin levels increased significantly. A slowing of body weight gain was also observed in Nigella sativa treated rats[1]
The oil decreases blood pressure and increases respiration. [2]
Two cases of contact dermatitis in two individuals have been reported following topical use of Nigella sativa oil containing ointment. [3],[4]
Effect on
or Carcinogen-
icity Data:
thymoquinone,a natural main constituent of the volatile oil of Nigella saliva seeds, inhibited benzo(a)pyrene-induced forestomach tumours in female Swiss albino mice[5]
Oral administration of Nigella sativa exhibited potent chemopreventive activity against ferric nitrilotriacetate (FeNTA)- induced renal carcinogenesis in Wistar rats.[6]
supplementation of diet with honey and Nigella sativa has shown to have a protective effect against methylnitrosourea-induced carcinogenesis in sprague-dawley rats.[7]
volatile oil of N. sativa exhibited the ability to inhibit colon carcinogenesis of rats in the postinitiation stage[8]
Nigella sativa inhibited initiation/promotion of dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced skin carcinogenesis and 20-methylcholanthrene induced- soft tissue sarcomasin mice[9]
N. sativa administration exerts potent inhibitory effects in the post-initiation phase on rat tumor development and on cellular proliferation in multiple organ sites(lung, esophageal and forestomach)[10]
Fertility: In an clinical trial, It was proved that daily intake of 5 ml N. sativa oil for two months improves abnormal semen quality in infertile men without any adverse effects[11]
Breast Feeding: aqueous and ethanolic extracts of N. sativa can stimulate milk production in rats.[12]
1. Zaoui A et al, Acute and chronic toxicity of Nigella sativa fixed oil. Phytomedicine 2002; 9: 69–74.
2. Ali BH, Blunden G, Pharmacological and Toxicological Properties of Nigella sativa. Phytother. Res. 2003; 17:299–305.
3. Zedlitz S, Kaufmann R, Boehncke WH, Allergic contact dermatitis from black cumin (Nigella sativa) oil containing ointment. Contact Dermatitis 2002; 46: 188.
4. Steinmann A et al, Allergic contact dermatitis from black cumin Nigella sativa oil after topical use. Contact Dermatitis. 1997;36:269.
5. Badary OA et al, Inhibition of benzo(a)pyreneinduced forestomach carcinogenesis in mice by thymoquinone. Eur J Cancer Prev. 1999;8(5):435-40.
6. Khan N, Sultana S, Inhibition of two stage renal carcinogenesis, oxidative damage and hyperproliferative response by Nigella sativa. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2005;14(2):159-68.
7. Mabrouk GM et l, Inhibition of methylnitrosourea (MNU) induced oxidative stress and carcinogenesis by orally administered bee honey and Nigella grains in Sprague Dawely rats. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2002;21(3):341-6.
8. Salim EI, Fukushima S, Chemopreventive potential of volatile oil from black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) seeds against rat colon carcinogenesis. Nutr Cancer. 2003;45(2):195-202.
9. Salomi MJ, Nair SC, Panikkar KR, Inhibitory effects of Nigella sativa and saffron (Crocus sativus) on chemical carcinogenesis in mice. Nutr Cancer. 1991;16(1):67-72.
10. Salim EI, Cancer chemopreventive potential of volatile oil from black cumin seeds, Nigella sativa L., in a rat multi-organ carcinogenesis bioassay. Oncology Letters 2010;1: 913-924.
11. Kolahdooz M et al, Effects of Nigella sativa L. seed oil on abnormal semen quality in infertile men: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytomedicine 2014;21(6):901–905.
12. Hossein H et al, Effect of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Nigella sativa seeds on milk production in rats. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 2013;6(1):18–23.