Standardized black seed oil may support healthy blood pressure: Study

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Marc Bruxelle
© Getty Images / Marc Bruxelle

Related tags: Nigella sativa, Blood pressure

Supplementation with a standardized oil from black cumin (Nigella sativa) may significantly reduce blood pressure, suggests data from a small non-randomized clinical trial.

Data published in Food Science & Nutrition Research​ indicated that six weeks of supplementation with 500 mg of the branded black seed oil ThymoQuin (standardized to 3% thymoquinone, TriNutra) may reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) by over 10% in people with elevated blood pressures.

“Taking all subjects into account, an initial significant decline in BP was also measured after two days of treatment and exhibited the rapid effect of ThymoQuin,” ​wrote scientists from Natural Medicine of Stillwater (USA), TriNutra (Israel), and Pharmaseed (Israel).

“A return to relative baseline levels of BP was observed once treatment with ThymoQuin was halted and a placebo was administered instead. Recent publications have noted the beneficial effects of Nigella Sativa on blood pressure in clinical trials. This study supplied an additional proof that black seed oil, ThymoQuin, is an effective treatment for lowering blood pressure.”

The study was funded by NS Oils and the Israel Innovation Authority.


The seed and oil of black cumin have been used extensively in traditional medicine in many Middle Eastern and Asian countries for the treatment of a range of conditions, including some immune and inflammatory disorders.

According to the 2018 herbal supplement market report from the American Botanical Council (Herbalgram 123, pp. 62-73​), sales of Nigella-containing supplements grew 21.1% in 2018 in the natural channel, but sales remain relatively small at $5.84 million (#19 on the top selling herbal supplements list for 2018).

Study details

The study involved 19 volunteers (average age of 55 and average BMI of 29.6) with baseline resting blood pressure measuring between SBP 135-159 mmHg and DBP 85-99 mmHg.

All of the participants were 500 mg of ThymoQuin 3%, containing 15 mg thymoquinone, for the first six weeks. This was followed by a three-week washout period (no intervention), and then placebo for another six weeks.

Results showed that during the six-week black seed oil period, the participants experienced average decreases of 11.2% in SBP and 12.2% DBP.

Blood pressure © Getty Images artisteer
© Getty Images / artisteer

The researchers also reported an increase in heart rate. Commenting on this, Morris Zelkha, CEO of TriNutra, told us that the increase was not significant. 

“Almost a third of the adult population in America experience hypertension, and natural products, including ​Nigella sativa oil, have long been considered as a therapeutic remedy in many traditional medicine practices across the world,”​ said Zelkha.

“This study demonstrated how ThymoQuin can help provide significant improvement towards healthy blood circulation measurements, which has not been seen from other more common varieties of black seed oil.”

The study’s findings were welcomed by Chris Holland, VP of Sales at Barrington Nutritionals, which distributes ThympQuin in the US.

“The research supporting black seed oil supplementation for multiple facets of health continues to grow,” ​said Holland. “The results of this study add to the arsenal of over 50 additional clinical trials demonstrating the benefits of black seed oil, it’s no wonder this powerful ingredient has been gaining increased awareness and interest over the last few years.

Source: Food Science & Nutrition Research
2020; Volume 3​, Issue 1: 1-5
“Effects of Standardized Black Seed Oil Cold Press Supplement Over A Six Week Period on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate in Healthy Patients: A Nonrandomized Clinical Trial”
Authors: B. Bush et al.

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