We reformulated our certified organic skin care products recently to improve their anti-aging, protective and nutritional benefits to the skin. One ingredient we found particularly intriguing has been used in ancient cultures for thousands of years - and western medicine is only just catching on! Black cumin seed oil, also known as black seed oil, extracted from the seeds of Nigella sativa, is included in two of our key products. Read on to see why this remarkable ingredient had to be part of our range!
Black cumin seeds have a delightful spicy flavor and are native to the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
Medicinal properties of black cumin seed oil
The black cumin seed has been used for centuries in India and the Middle East in food and medicine for a variety of conditions, ranging from asthma and bronchitis to skin disorders and arthritis. Scientific investigations have shown that it has numerous biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant, and more recently, anti-cancer activity has been reported (summarised in 1). Much of this effect has been attributed to the potent effects of thymoquinone, a polyphenol antioxidant, which is retained in black cumin seed oil (2).
How can black cumin seed oil help my skin?
Black cumin seed oil is unusually high in linoleic acid (around 50%) an omega-6 essential fatty acid that is extremely helpful in promoting a healthy skin barrier (read about it here). In addition, it is rich in anti-inflammatory sterols, particularly beta-sitosterol (3) as well as vitamin E. In addition, because of its thymoquinone content, the oil has potent anti-oxidant activity, and as we know, antioxidants protect against the ageing effects of free radicals. Thymoquinone is thought to be the primary mediator of black cumin oil’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects, all of which help keep your skin calm and protect it from the damaging effects of inflammation.
Which Mokosh products contain black cumin seed oil?
At Mokosh, we take the approach that you can have too much of a good thing. Although our certified organic black cumin seed oil has fantastic properties that make it wonderful to promote healthy skin, it doesn’t contain everything you need for your skin. For example, it doesn’t contain significant amounts of beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), or some of the antioxidants and unique phytonutrients you will find in our other precious oils. For this reason, we like to formulate our products like a well-balanced diet, using a carefully formulated blend of ingredients that will deliver a broad range of nutrients to your skin.
We have included certified organic black cumin seed oil in our Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil and our Elderberry & Chia Seed Beauty Serum to help boost their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and skin barrier-boosting effects. Many of our customers tell us these two products are amongst their favourites in our range - perhaps black cumin seed oil has something to do with that? If you have tried them, what has been your experience?
1. Ahmad, A. et al. (2013) A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 3: 337–352.
2. Nameer, K.M. et al. (2016) The Effects of Different Extraction Methods on Antioxidant Properties, Chemical Composition, and Thermal Behavior of Black Seed (Nigella sativa L.) Oil. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016: 6273817
3. Cheikh-Rouhoua, S. et al (2008) Sterol composition of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) and Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) seed oils Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 21:162-168