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Tool For Finding The Best Organic Eggs Vs. Ones Masquerading As Organic

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Photo Credit: www.mothernature.com

Shopping for eggs these days has become quite complicated. Not only do we have to consider egg size, we now have a choice of organic, free range, certified human, cage-free, raised without hormones, on so forth. Clearly, if you can afford it, you want to buy organic eggs. But if you plan to spend $4-$6, how do you know that you’re buying the best organic eggs?

USDA Organic Doesn’t Always Mean Ethical

Producers now use a variety of labels and terms for marketing eggs. This has made it more difficult discerning authentic healthy eggs from conventional factory farm eggs disguised with marketing jargon. Even if a producer adheres to USDA standards for organic, they could be cutting corners. They could still mistreat the animals and offer less-than-desirable living conditions.

To quality as organic, eggs must come from chickens that are fed only organic feed and given antibiotics only when sick. Also no growth hormones are allowed. Furthermore, chickens must live in a cage-free environment and have access to the outdoors.

Regardless of these standards, some factory farms still raise tens of thousands of hens in one building. Yes, the buildings are cage free, but they are filled wall-to-wall with birds. Moreover, access to the outdoors is limited. The “outdoors” is often a screened in porch, tiny in proportion to the number of hens in the building. Below is a video that shows these misleading farming practices.

Finding The Best Organic Eggs

Cornucopia recommends that you start with your farmer’s market if you want to find healthy eggs. When shopping locally, you will be supporting small, family farmers in your local community. For all grocery store shoppers, the Institute created the Organic Egg Scorecard. This online database rates the different egg brands based on organic farming practices and ethics. Hopefully, you will find this tool for finding the best organic eggs as useful as I did.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

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10 Signs You Are Deficient In Magnesium (And What To Do About It)

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Photo Credit: Truth Theory

Mandy Froelich, Truth Theory

Did you know? A whopping 90% of humans are estimated to be deficient in magnesium. Considering the mineral is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, as well as impacts blood pressure, metabolism, and immune function, obtaining adequate stores of the nutrient is vital.

What, Exactly, Is Magnesium? 

Magnesium is a mineral found in the Earth, sea, plants, animals, and humans. The majority (60%) of magnesium is found in your bones, while the rest is in your muscles, soft tissues, and fluids. Every cell in your body needs magnesium to function. In fact, one of magnesium’s main roles is acting as a cofactor or “helper molecule” in the biochemical reactions performed by enzymes, reports Healthline.

Magnesium is involved in energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movements, and nervous system regulation. Therefore, obtaining adequate amounts of magnesium should be on everyone’s priority list.

Why Is Magnesium Deficiency So Widespread?

Good question, as there are several reasons.

  • Depleted soil conditions mean that plants (and animals that are fed from those plants) are lower in magnesium.
  • The use of chemicals, such as fluoride and chlorine, bind to magnesium, making the water supply low in the mineral, as well.
  • Common substances — such as sugar and caffeine — deplete the body’s magnesium levels.
  • Stress also taxes the endocrine system, depleting levels of magnesium

Folks who live near the ocean (good source of magnesium), eat foods grown in magnesium-rich soil, and drink magnesium-rich water don’t necessarily have to worry about being deficient. However, that doesn’t apply to the majority of people living on Earth.

You Might Be Deficient In Magnesium If…

As Wellness Mama points out, risk factors for low magnesium vary. However, the following are clues that you might need more magnesium:

  1. You’re addicted to sugar
  2. You take calcium supplements
  3. You drink soda and other sugar-filled drinks
  4. You suspect or have been diagnosed with celiac disease or other digestive disorders (like Crohn’s disease)
  5. You consume a lot of processed food and conventional dairy
  6. You have a water softener or drink city water
  7. You have Type 2 diabetes
  8. You avoid green vegetables, leafy greens, and raw, unprocessed nuts and seeds
  9. You are an older adult or take prescription medications
  10. You eat food grown in depleted soils (the majority of the population)
10 Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency

Some experts claim that magnesium deficiency is the single largest health problem in our world today. Following are symptoms that you may be experiencing a deficiency of the vital mineral.

  1. Calcification of the arteries, Unfortunately, this is one of the first symptoms to appear, as well as one of the most serious. Calcification of the arteries can occur from low magnesium levels. As a result, one’s preposition to develop coronary problems, like heart attacks, heart failure, and heart disease, is increased. Magnesium’s ability to prevent over-calcification is one reason why the Framingham Health Study found that consuming enough magnesium lowers the risk of coronary heart disease. Believe it or not, half of all heart attack patients received injections of magnesium chloride to help stop the blood clotting and calcification.
  2. Muscle Spasming & Cramping This is one of the most notable symptoms of being deficient in magnesium. Just as calcification can cause stiffening of the arteries, it can cause stiffening of muscle tissue, as well. This can result in awful cramps and spasms. Fortunately, consuming enough magnesium (or supplementing the nutrient) can reduce the incidence of this symptom.
  3. Anxiety & Depression Anxiety and depression affect millions of people. Could something as simple as magnesium helps to reduce the blues? Research suggests “yes.”Psychology Today explains one possible reason: “Magnesium hangs out in the synapse between two neurons along with calcium and glutamate. If you recall, calcium and glutamate are excitatory, and in excess, toxic (link is external). They activate the NMDA receptor. Magnesium can sit on the NMDA receptor without activating it, like a guard at the gate. Therefore, if we are deficient in magnesium, there’s no guard. Calcium and glutamate can activate the receptor-like there is no tomorrow. In the long term, this damages the neurons, eventually leading to cell death. In the brain, that is not an easy situation to reverse or remedy.”
  4. Hormone Imbalances If you experience crazy “ups” and “downs” before or after your period, it’s likely your body is deficient in magnesium. The higher the estrogen or progesterone levels in a woman’s body, the lower the magnesium. This is also why pregnant women experience more leg crampsAccording to Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of the book The Magnesium Miracle, muscle cramps related to the menstrual cycle can also be related to magnesium levels. She recommends women with bad PMS and cramps take magnesium early in their cycles before the symptoms begin.
  5. High Blood Pressure / Hypertension A Harvard study with over 70,000 people found that those with the highest magnesium intake had the healthiest blood pressure numbers. A follow-up meta-analysis of available studies showed a dose-dependent reduction of blood pressure with magnesium supplementation. That’s not all — a University of Minnesota study found that the risk for hypertension was 70% lower in women with adequate/high magnesium levels.
  6. Pregnancy Discomfort Similar to hormone problems, low magnesium levels can adversely affect pregnancy health and mood. Some women report less morning sickness during pregnancy when supplementing with transdermal magnesium. Magnesium can also reduce hypertension and muscle cramps during pregnancy. Supplementation can also help to ward off preterm labour and alleviate headaches.
  7. Low Energy You may remember from biology class that magnesium is required in the reactions that create ATP energy in cells. As Wellness Mama summarizes, ATP or adenosine triphosphate is the main source of energy in the cells. To be active, it must bind to a magnesium ion. In other words, without magnesium, you literally won’t have energy on a cellular level. This can show up as fatigue, low energy, lack of drive, and other problems.
  8. Bone Health Most people regard calcium as the most important mineral for healthy bones. While it is important, magnesium may even be more so! In cases of magnesium deficiency, the bone suffers in the following ways:
    1. Vitamin D Absorption Magnesium is essential for vitamin D to turn on calcium absorption. That’s why magnesium supplementation may be necessary when taking vitamin D (or else levels may become even more depleted).
    1. Proper Calcium Use Magnesium is required to stimulate the hormone calcitonin which draws calcium out of the muscles and tissues and into the bones. This helps explain why magnesium helps lower the risk of osteoporosis, arthritis, kidney stones, and heart attack.
  9. Sleep Problems Melatonin, chamomile, and lavender are all helpful aids to snooze peacefully. However, magnesium is the ultimate relaxation mineral, as Dr. Mark Hyman says. Magnesium helps to relax the body and the mind, which both contribute to restful sleep. Furthermore, magnesium is required for the proper function of the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is the neurotransmitter that allows the brain to transition to a restful state.
  10. Other Symptoms A number of vitamins and minerals work synergistically and magnesium tops the list. It is needed for the proper utilization of calcium, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin D, and other nutrients. By using magnesium externally or transdermally (“across the skin”), the body can absorb what it needs without absorbing too much.
The Best Ways To Boost Your Magnesium Levels 

Believe it or not, magnesium deficiency is actually quite simple for the body to resolve with the right form of magnesium. Most of the supplements on the market are pills or solutions taken internally. Though these can be effective, they can also cause digestive disturbances or stress the kidney (definitely not ideal during pregnancy). Furthermore, experts estimate that magnesium absorption in the digestive system ranges from 20-55%, depending on the source. That means more than half of the magnesium leaves the body as waste.

Research currently shows that a combination of oral magnesium (in the right form) and topical magnesium is ideal for boosting low levels. A slow-release option can have an absorption rate up to 85%. This one, for example, has been formulated to decrease digestive distress. It also contains B vitamins.

Foods Abundant In Magnesium

If supplements aren’t for you — no worries! There are plenty of nutrient-dense foods that are rich sources of magnesium. The following contain high levels of the anti-stress mineral:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Nuts and seeds (specifically pumpkin seeds)
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Leafy greens (kale, spinach, and chard)
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Himalayan pink sea salt
  • Sea vegetables
  • Sprouts
  • Grass-fed dairy (though controversial in certain dietary camps)

For recipe ideas, visit Life in Bloom.

About the Author

Mandy Froelich is an RHN, plant-based chef, journalist, Reiki master therapist, world traveller and enthusiast of everything to do with animal rights, sustainability, cannabis and conscious living. She share healthy recipes on my blog Life in Bloom.

Summary

Nearly everyone is magnesium deficient. However, it is a relatively simple deficiency to correct — if you take action to eat more magnesium-rich foods or supplements. If you experience any of the symptoms above, consult with your doctor and/or receive a blood panel to determine if you are deficient. At the very least, consuming more magnesium-rich foods will reduce your chances of experiencing the hardening of the arteries, enhance your sleep, and help balance your mood.

Sources:
  1. Aarhus University. (2013, October 4). Research reveals the mechanism of the sodium-potassium pump. ScienceDaily.
  2. Shea MK, Holden RM. Vitamin K status and vascular calcification: evidence from observational and clinical studies. Adv Nutr. 2012;3(2):158-65.
  3. Hruby A et al., Magnesium intake is inversely associated with coronary artery calcification: the Framingham Heart Study. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2014;7(1):59-69.
  4. Sun Ha Jee, et al., The effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. American Journal of Hypertension 2012;15(8):691–696.
  5. Zofková I, Kancheva RL. The relationship between magnesium and calciotropic hormones. Magnes Res. 1995;8(1):77-84.
  6. Rude RK, Olerich M. Magnesium deficiency: possible role in osteoporosis associated with gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Osteoporos Int. 1996;6(6):453-61.
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Top 7 Health Benefits Of Flax Seeds

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Photo Credit: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Flax seeds or linseed are tiny brown or yellow seeds that have been used therapeutically for centuries. They have some excellent nutritional and medicinal benefits and can help with various health conditions, such as constipation, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and digestive disorders. Flax seed has a unique combination of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and plant compounds, which make them a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

1. Prevents Constipation

Flax seeds are an excellent source of dietary fibre. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, which contribute to digestive health by preventing both constipation and diarrhoea. Two tablespoons of ground flax seed provide 16% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of fibre for the whole day. They act as a stool softener, stimulating the digestive system and easing bowel movements. Flax can also help improve the micro biome of the bowel by nourishing good bacteria.

2. Lowers Cholesterol

Flax seeds lower cholesterol for a few reasons. First, soluble fibre is proven to lower LDL cholesterol levels by binding to the cholesterol and preventing it from entering the bloodstream. Flax seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA prevents plaque build-up in the blood vessels due to high cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

Fatty acids, lignans, and fibre all work together to treat and prevent hypertension or chronic high blood pressure. In one study, 110 hypertensive patients were given either flax seed or a placebo every day for six months. The test group showed a significant reduction in blood pressure compared with the control group. This study suggested flax seed has some of the most potent dietary blood-pressure-reducing effects.

4. Balances Blood Sugar

Flax seeds may affect blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, flax seed possesses hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties thanks to its abundant omega-3 and antioxidant and low carbohydrate content. The study noted a nearly 20% reduction in fasting blood glucose levels in subjects supplementing with flax seed.

5. Fights Cancer

Flax seed possesses powerful antioxidant properties that can help prevent the growth of cancer cells. One of the anti-cancer components of flax seed is lignans — phytoestrogens found in many fibre-rich plants. Flax seed contains as many as 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. In addition to aiding cancer prevention, flax seed may also reduce tumour growth in late stages of carcinogenesis among postmenopausal women with breast cancer, and could be beneficial in the treatment of colon, lung, and skin cancer.

6. Fights Inflammation

The omega-3 fatty acids and lignans abundant in flax seed can help reduce inflammation, improving symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. One study shows that flax seed may reduce inflammatory markers in people with obesity.

7. Improves Symptoms of Menopause

Some studies indicate flax seed supplementation can reduce the occurrence of hot flashes in women going through menopause by up to 50%. This may be due to the presence of lignans, which have estrogenic effects. Other studies do not prove the efficacy of flax seed in reducing menopausal symptoms, but experts agree that there are no adverse effects of supplementing with flax seeds.

A Brief History Of Flax Seeds

Sometime between 4000 and 2000 BC, flax cultivation became a common practice in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and in regions of the Middle East, and there is some evidence that flax cultivation may have started even thousands of years earlier, during the Neolithic Era of approximately 10,000 BC. From the very beginning, the value of flax was both culinary and domestic, since flax fibres could be spun into linen to provide clothing and other textile-related products.

To this day, flax cultivation has remained both culinary and domestic, although crop production has become more specialized and wide scale. In the United States and Canada, most commercial flax production involves oilseed varieties of flax, in which the seeds will eventually be dried and crushed and used to produce different grades of oil. Non-food grade flax seed/linseed oil is used in wood finishes, paints, coatings, and other industrial supplies. Food grade flax seed/linseed oil can as be used in livestock feed, or as a culinary oil. (It is much more common, however, for livestock feed to contain flax seed meal versus flax seed oil.) Oilseed varieties of flax are typically classified as oilseed crops along with soybeans, rapeseed, cottonseed, sunflower seed, and peanuts. Canada is the world’s largest producer of oilseed flax, followed by Russia, France, and Argentina.

Tips For Adding Flax Seeds To Your Diet

Consume ground seeds rather than whole.

Opt for ground flax seeds, as they are easier to digest.

You won’t reap as many benefits from whole flax seeds, as your intestines cannot break down the tough outer shell of the seeds.

That being said, you can still buy whole flax seeds, grind them in a coffee grinder and store the ground flax seeds in an airtight container.

What About Flax Seed Oil?

The resurgence of the use of flax seed oil is due to its nutritional properties and health benefits.

It’s usually extracted by a process called cold pressing.

Given that oil is sensitive to heat and light, it’s best kept in dark glass bottles and stored in a dark, cool place like a kitchen cabinet.

Because some of its nutrients are heat sensitive, flax seed oil is not suitable for high-temperature cooking.

Nevertheless, some studies have shown that using flax seed oil in light stir-frying of up to 350°F/177°C did not cause any reduction in the quality of the oil (Trusted Source).

It’s worth noting that flax seed oil contains more ALA than flax seeds. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds contains 1.6 grams, while one tablespoon of flax seed oil contains 7 grams.

Nonetheless, flax seeds contain a host of other beneficial nutrients that are not included in its extracted oil, such as fibre. To fully reap the health benefits of flax seeds, ground flax seeds will make a great first choice.

How Much Do You Need?

The health benefits noted in the studies above were observed with just 1 tablespoon (10 grams) of ground flax seeds per day.

However, it’s recommended to keep serving sizes to less than 5 tablespoons (50 grams) of flax seeds per day.

With many proven health benefits and possibly more, there’s no better time than now to grab some flax seeds from your local grocery store.

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5 Top Vegan Foods Packed With Protein

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5 Top Vegan Foods Packed With Protein
Photo Credit: www.health.com

If you’re working on reducing your intake of meat and dairy products to improve your health, or have decided to give these types of foods up altogether, you may find it challenging to find new sources of protein.

One of the most common arguments against vegetarianism and veganism is the lack of sufficient protein needed by the human body. But adding protein to a meatless diet is much easier than many people think, even if you want to cut out dairy as well. Many vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains are abundant in protein, as long as you know what to look for.

Here’s a short list of foods packed with protein even vegans can eat. I’ve included some suggestions for products to help you fill your pantry, but don’t forget to look in your healthy grocer’s bulk food bins for many of these protein-packed food.

1. Quinoa

It doesn’t matter if you think quinoa is a seed or a grain, it is one of the best sources of vegan protein. Native to South America, this widely popular grain is a delicious and highly-nutritious substitute for modern wheat, and is very versatile to cook with. Considered one of the world’s greatest superfoods, quinoa is extremely high in protein and calcium and is thus highly valuable to vegetarians and vegans. Frequently prepared as a side dish and used in salads, this grain can also be used to make breads, pastries and pasta dishes.

Recommended Products:

Organic whole grain quinoa from truRoots
Organic pre-ground quinoa flour from Bob’s Red Mill
Organic quinoa pasta from Tresomega

Resources:

Cooking With Quinoa: the Supergrain by Rena Patten
500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury

2. Hemp Seed

Hemp seeds offer easily digestible protein and all the essential omega-3 and 6 fatty acids needed by the human body. Hemp seeds are also rich in antioxidants, fibre, various minerals, such as zinc, and many vitamins including a hefty dose of vitamin E. They have been used to reduce dry skin and hair, help with muscle regenerations, reduce inflammation, ward off heart disease, and improve immune system function. When blended with water, hemp seeds make a great replacement for cow’s milk.

Recommended Products:

Organic hemp protein from Nutiva
Raw shelled organic hemp seeds from Manitoba Harvest
Organic Hemp Milk Making Kit from Handy Pantry

3. Nuts (Almonds and Peanuts)

If you’re looking for a hefty serving of protein and calories without a lot of bulk, then nuts are a perfect solution. You can have them as a snack, or add them to all types of dishes. Soak them overnight and then blend with different amounts of water to create nut milks and cheeses. Nuts offer plenty of protein, as well as other nutrients like vitamins A and E, phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium, fibre and essential fatty acids. The top four nut varieties with highest protein content include:

  • Almonds at 21.2g of protein per 100g serving
  • Pistachio nuts at 21g of protein per 100g serving
  • Brazil nuts at 14.3g of protein per 100g serving
  • Peanuts at 24.4g of protein per 100g serving

Recommended Products:

Almond meal/flour from Bob’s Red Mill
Nut milk bag fine mesh strainer from Best Health
Raw unpasteurized organic almonds from Terrasoul Superfoods
Organic raw Brazil nuts (no shell) from Food to Live
Organic raw almond butter from Artisana
All natural smooth peanut butter (GMO-free) from Teddie

Resources:

DIY Nut Milks, Nut Butters, and More: From Almonds to Walnuts by Melissa King

4. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great way to add protein, iron, zinc and especially magnesium to your diet. When small, they can be toasted and eaten whole as a snack or topping, while larger seeds can be shelled and can be ground up to use in baking.

Recommended Products:

Organic shelled pumpkin seeds from Green Bulk
Dry roasted premium pumpkin seeds with Himalayan salt from Farm Fresh Nuts

5. Sprouts

Sprouted seeds, commonly called sprouts, such as alfalfa, mung bean and clover, are packed with protein and many vitamins such as A, B, C, E and K and minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium. Sprouts are best if eater raw, so put them on your salads, stir fries and in smoothies. It’s easy to grow your own sprouts at home. Here are a few resources to get you started.

Recommended Products:

Organic alfalfa sprouting seeds from Handy Pantry
Mung bean organic sprouting seeds from Handy Pantry
4-Tray kitchen seed sprouter from Victorio

Resources:

Build Your Own Automatic Seed Sprouter by Suburban Barnyard
The Magic of Sprouts by Dueep J. Singh
Alfalfa Sprout Greats: The Top 35 Alfalfa Sprout Recipes by Jo Franks

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Benefits Of Black Seed Oil, Is It A Miracle Curative?

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Benefits Of Black Seed Oil, Is It A Miracle Curative?
Photo Credit: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Black seed oil, also called black cumin seed oil, is the oil derived by pressing or cold extracting the seeds from the Nigella sativa species. This variety is not related to the Cuminum cyminum species known as cumin, nor the cumin-related species Bunium bulbocastanum, also referred to as “black cumin.

The herbaceous N. sativa seed plant is common to Mediterranean locations as well as south-western Asian countries like India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The ground seeds are a utilized spice in these regions, especially in Middle Eastern and Indian foods. They don’t taste anything like “regular cumin” but have a pungent flavour that is usually combined with other spices.

Historical evidence of black seeds dates back to Ancient Egypt, often popularized as one of the found items in King Tut’s tomb. Other references to the use of the seeds are noted by Hippocrates for digestive issues and in Bible text as the curative “black cumin” or “ketzah.” The pressed oil is also reported to have been one of Cleopatra’s beauty secrets for the hair and skin.

But what is black cumin seed oil and are its many claimed benefits based on truth or hype?

What is Black Seed Oil?

Black cumin seed oil is basically a nutritive as well as medicinal type of oil and definitely tastes like one. If you’ve ever used fresh thyme or oregano, it has a very similar bitter and slightly spicy quality. In fact, it also happens to have some of the same beneficial properties as the oil derived from both of these herbs.

Unlike other healthy dietary fats you might use more liberally like coconut oil, olive oil or hemp seed oil, the oil from black seed is used for supplemental purposes in small amounts. A one teaspoon portion of black cumin oil, or 3 soft gel caps, is the typical dose amount recommended daily for average effectiveness.

A relatively new oil product to hit the health food scene, it is extensively marketed and sold now by over 70 different company’s since only a few years ago. We were a little sceptical upon our first experience with it due to all the hype and “believe-it-or-not” health claims. But, as it turns out, after over six months of using it off and on for several weeks at a time, we can see that there is some valid evidence to support its proposed benefits.

Health Benefits Of Black Seed Oil

May Help to Clear Sinuses and Improve Respiratory Issues

Black seed oil is in fact composed of several volatile oils such as carvacrol and thymol, also found in the herb oregano, as well as linalool, p-cymene and thymol, also found in the herb thyme. Thymol is a known disinfectant used in mouthwashes and is a natural monoterpenoid phenol identified for its aromatic scent and antiseptic nature.

As we mentioned, black seed oil consequently has some very similar properties to that of both of these herbs. One being that it has potent antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral qualities that can be great for sinus infections, allergies and clearing the respiratory tract.

When taking the oil in the morning before vigorous exercise, we personally noticed it helped to open up the lungs allowing for deeper respiration during running sessions. We also found it to be quite useful during California wildfire season when the outdoor air quality can become drastically impaired. For this purpose, it can help to ease breathing as well as boost immune response.

In a 2018 article, published in Integrative Medicine Research, we discovered that the fixed seed oil has actually been investigated for its therapeutic potential for the management of sinusitis. It was shown to be helpful for alleviating nasal congestion, inhibiting inflammation in the respiratory airways as well as lessening microbial infection in these regions.

In other unofficial reports, it has also been utilized for chronic dry coughs and its sinus clearing effects have likewise been reported by some individuals to have a positive impact on getting a better night’s sleep.

Working as a natural antihistamine, documented research on the oil also provides some evidence that it may be good for those with allergies and/or asthmatic conditions. In one study, it was shown that symptoms such as nasal itching, congestion and sneezing attacks were reduced in patients suffering from allergic rhinitis after 2 weeks of N. sativa treatment.

In a 2017 double-blind, placebo-controlled study, it was additionally shown that the anti-asthmatic influence of black cumin oil supplementation improved “asthma control with a trend in pulmonary function improvement” and a “remarkable normalization of blood eosinophilia“, or certain disease-fighting white blood cells. It was, however, concluded that more research on asthmatics is needed.

Is Black Cumin Seed Oil A Miracle Curative?

There have been hundreds of scientific studies conducted on black cumin seed and its derived oil, especially since the 1990’s.

Because of all this accrued investigation and subsequent evidence on the benefits of the seed, the oil and the thymoquinone compound for many health conditions, it is often viewed as a type of “miracle curative” that, as we mentioned, has been highly marketed.

However, anyone with a little common sense about diet and lifestyle choices might agree that there is usually a bit more involved to achieving one’s health goals than simply taking an herb or dietary supplement.

That being said, black cumin oil might indeed be one of those super food fats to consider adding to the diet for intermittent periods, if appropriate.

The oil, according to our research, does in fact appear to contain a potent amount of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory constituents that may be of benefit to a wide range of health issues.

Black Seed Oil, Antioxidants & Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Black seed oil is not only potentially useful for inflammatory conditions of the sinuses and respiratory pathways, but is also viewed as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent for other bodily conditions.

The most studied components identified in black seed oil are thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone (also called nigellone) as well as the mentioned thymol.

  1. Thymoquinone
  2. Thymohydroquinone or Nigellone
  3. Thymol

The compound thymoquinone, however, is found in the largest concentration and thus one of the most researched constituents.

All of these bioactive ingredients are known to possess strong ant oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.

Since inflammatory-related issues are often considered to be at the root of many diseases and health conditions, we can see how black seed oil can be perceived as a type of “cure-all” for many common ailments.

Again, this is not to say, however, that supplementation should go without remedying the initial cause of inflammation.

List of Other Researched Health Benefits

This is the “scientific” information we have gathered in our current findings on the oil and its potential benefits. It is important, however, to seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional before using black seed oil supplementation for the following health conditions.

Digestive Aid and Stimulant – As a carminative it is known to be good for stomach upset, bloating, flatulence and heartburn; its bitter component may help to improve digestion. Its warming and pungent attributes can have an energizing effect on the bodily systems.

Immunity Enhancer and Antimicrobial – Black cumin seed oil can encourage improved immune response, potentially beneficial for autoimmune conditions (*), and can inhibit microbial infections. It is known to be effective against certain “superbugs” which have developed a resistance to antibiotic treatments, like MRSA infection (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). (*)

Gastrointestinal Health and Parasites – May offer a protective influence to gastrointestinal tract and inhibit parasitic infections. (*) It is shown to combat E. coli and infections caused by Schistosoma mansoni, an intestinal blood parasite. (*) As an antifungal, it is often a recommended dietary supplement for candida overgrowth.  

Analgesic and Anti-Neurodegenerative Actions – Its anti-inflammatory actions can also help to reduce associated pain and can have a protective effect on neurotoxicity as a AChE inhibitor, which may be beneficial for certain nervous system disorders. (*)

Antidiabetic Properties – Thymoquinone has been shown to have a potentially protective effect against the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. (*)

Heart Health and Blood Pressure – The seeds have been identified to help to balance cholesterol, lowering LDL and increasing HDL. (*) In other evidence the oil shows it may be helpful for reducing blood pressure in adults. (*

Protective Effects to Liver and Kidney – Shown to have positive effects against kidney diseases, according to 2018 research. (*) It was likewise recognized to have a protective influence on liver and renal tissues due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. (*)

Fungal Skin Issues – Used topically for fungal infections and skin issues like psoriasis. (*) Thymol, one of the active ingredients in black seed oil, has been used in medications for the treatment of tinea or ringworm.

Fats in Black Seed Oil & Other Nutrients

According to the book, Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Spices: Modern Uses for Ancient Medicine, the main fatty acids in black seed oil include:

  • Linoleic Acid (Omega-6) – 55.6%
  • Oleic Acid – 23.4%
  • Palmitic Acid – 12.5%

Although is high in unsaturated fats, it is not a good source of Omega-3’s or ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).

The seeds, according to some nutrition fact labels, contain some vitamin C as well as some minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron.

How To Use

Black seed oil is used as a dietary supplement and, in our opinion, should not be used liberally on foods or as a cooking oil. The unsaturated omega fats are especially sensitive to high heat.

One to two teaspoons of oil is the typical dose recommended for daily consumption.

Because it has a stronger flavour some people prefer to take it in soft gel capsule form.

The herb-like flavour of the oil goes well in salad dressings blended with olive oil. It can also be poured directly onto foods in small amounts.

The oil can also be used topically as a skin or hair treatment.

We recommend refrigerating bottled oils after opening to preserve nutrients.

The dark black seeds are traditionally ground and added to food or mixed into honey as a medicinal preparation. They can be steeped as a tea or blended into drinks.

Precautions:

Black seed oil may cause skin irritation when used topically. It should be avoided when pregnant  as it is known to stimulate uterine contractions, especially when used in large quantities. Consult your health care practitioner before using black seed oil if you are nursing, have a serious medicinal condition or are taking prescribed medications.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

This article (Benefits Of Black Seed Oil, Is It A Miracle Curative?) was originally published at SuperfoodEvolution and is re-posted here with permission.

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