Black Cumin Seed For High Blood Pressure

black seed lowers blood pressure

Black cumin, or black seed, is one of the more effective natural remedies for high blood pressure. Also known as Black Coriander, Black caraway, Blessed Seed, Kalonji, Nigella, or simply as Black Seed, black cumin seed powder and black seed oil have been used for centuries to treat numerous health problems. Black seed powder and black seed oil are popular natural remedies for hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol levels and to damp down inflammation. Research supports its traditional use, with good evidence that black cumin seed and black seed oil can lower a high blood pressure.

Black cumin seed for high blood pressure

The aromatic seed of Nigella sativa is used as a spice with a pungent flavour that is described as a cross between black pepper, onions and oregano. Black cumin seed powder is made by grinding black cumin seeds, while black cumin seed oil is extracted by pressing the seeds, or by using a solvent. This black seed oil has a rich, medicinal scent similar to that of eucalyptus or tea tree oil. You can tell it’s doing you good!

Research published in the Journal of Hypertension assessed the effectiveness of black seed in lowering blood pressure by combining the results from 11 clinical trials involving 860 people. Some of these studies used black seed powder while some used black seed oil, and compared their effectiveness in lowering blood pressure against an inactive placebo. The trials lasted from 4 to 12 weeks.

On average, those taking any black seed supplements saw their blood pressure fall by 3.26/2.80 mmHg compared with placebo. When they looked at the type of black seed supplements used, taking black seed powder lowered blood pressure by 3.57/2.23 mmHg, while taking black seed oil supplements lowered blood pressure by an average of 3.55/4.76 mmHg.

Some of the people in the studies had a normal blood pressure, while some had hypertension. When they analysed these two groups separately, they found the greatest effects in people with high blood pressure, whose readings fell by 7.66/4.89 mmHg after eight weeks of taking black seed supplements. Those using black cumin seed powder appeared to have a slightly greater reduction than those taking black cumin seed oil, although this was not certain.

The difference between black seed powder and black seed oil for high blood pressure was not so great that I can recommend one over the other.

How does black seed lower blood pressure

The way in which black cumin seed lowers a high blood pressure it not fully understood. Black cumin seed is believed to have a relaxant effect on smooth muscles and may act like a calcium channel blocker to dilate blood vessels. Other researchers suggest black seed extracts may help the heart pump more efficiently, or that black seed has a diuretic action.

Black cumin seed also contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, flavonoid polyphenols and soluble fibre all of which can have beneficial effects on blood pressure control. Black seed also contains a unique alkaloid called nigellicine which may account for some of its blood pressure lowering effects.

Black seed supplements

When selecting black cumin seed supplements, most people prefer those that are grown organically.

Those made to a pharmaceutical standard known as GMP will have the purest medicinal quality and provide a consistent dose each time you take them.

If you choose to take black cumin seed oil, select an oil that is cold pressed without the use of chemical solvents, and which as no additives or additional oils to dilute its benefits.

It’s also important to select a black seed oil that is stored in dark glass to protected it from light to ensure it does not lose potency or go rancid. Alternatively, black seed oil protected within capsules are available which many people find easier to take.

You can also add freshly ground black cumin seeds to home-made curries, chilli and other spicy dishes.

Black seed and black seed oil dosage for high blood pressure

In clinical trials using black seed powder, the doses used varied between 500mg, 1g, 1.5g and 2g per day.

In studies using black seed oil, doses varied between 5ml, 200mg and 3g oil per day.

In general, higher doses had a greater effect. I suggest starting with a lower dose and then slowly increasing within the manufacturer’s recommended intake. Some products are more concentrated than others, so do not exceed stated doses.

Black seed oil side effects

None of the clinical studies have reported serious side effects. A few people have experienced mild nausea which  resolves on lowering the dose.

Image credit: mountainhills/wikimedia; gojalpiscan/pixabay;

About DrSarahBrewer

Dr Sarah Brewer MSc (Nutr Med), MA (Cantab), MB, BChir, RNutr, MBANT, CNHC qualified from Cambridge University with degrees in Natural Sciences, Medicine and Surgery. After working in general practice, she gained a master's degree in nutritional medicine from the University of Surrey. Sarah is a registered Medical Doctor, a registered Nutritionist and a registered Nutritional Therapist. She is an award winning author of over 60 popular self-help books and a columnist for Prima magazine.

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10 thoughts on “Black Cumin Seed For High Blood Pressure

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      As black seed can lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels, theses combinations should be used with caution as your doses of medication may need to be reduced. Keep a close eye on your readings and check with your doctor. Best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Patilosa, Researchers have found several beneficial effects of black cumin on digestive health, including reducing non-ulcer dyspepsia, and black seed is used to reduce acid reflux – some combnine it with manuka honey for this. HOpefully you shoudl find it OK to use – you could try starting with a low dose and see how you go. If in doubt, or if your symptoms persist, consult your own doctor. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Denise

    Hi! Do you know of any interaction between liquid chlorophyll and black seed oil? I currently take liquid chlorophyll every morning upon waking and would like to add black seed oil. Thank you in advance!

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      HI Denise I have not found any reports of interactions between liquid chlorophyll and black seed oil. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Pam

    My BP is up at the moment around 260/110. Has been like this for more than 10 years, usually around 220./10. I do not take meds as did try 3 sorts, each made me so ill I couldn’t carry on.
    Had started taking Black seed oil 1 tsp once daily but this morning cheeks are very red, pulse not good so know how high it will be from past experience. Highest its been 270/120.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Pam, Please contact your doctor immediately, or go to hospital if your blood pressure is this high. It is so important that it is brought down. There are lots of different medicines available, in at least 6 different classes of drug, and there will be a combination that suits you. You also need your kidney function checked urgently – please seek help immediately as you need specialist advice to bring your blood pressure down. Best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Jill, in clinical trials, the doses used varied from 1 teaspoon (5ml) oil to 3g black cumin seed oil per day, and for powder, from 500mg to 1,500mg per day. Doses will depend on the strength/concentration of the product, so follow manufacturers guidelines. Best wishes, Sarah B