Black Cumin Oil

Schwarzkümmelöl in Flasche neben Kümmelsamen
  • Active Oil
  • INCI: Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 2
  • Composition: Linoleic acid (up to approx. 55 %), oleic acid (up to approx. 24 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 15 %), stearic acid (up to approx. 3 %), eicosadienoic acid (up to approx. 3 %), essential oil (up to approx. 1 %), phytosterols, tocopherols, flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids.
  • Iodine number: 107 – 123.
  • Cosmetic use: Blemished, oily, dry skin; hair care.
  • Shelf life: Approx. 12 months.



The annual black cumin belongs to the Ranunculaceae family and grows up to 50 cm tall. The plant has a branched stem and is slightly hairy. The white, pink to bluish flowers are arranged individually and terminal and bloom from June to September. When ripe, the black cumin forms multiple fruit capsules containing numerous dark seeds. The small seeds are blackish, triangular and taste bitter at first, then peppery. They contain up to 1.5 % essential oil and between 20 % and 30 % fatty oil.

Schwarzkümmel Blüte

Extraction of black cumin oil

This brownish-yellow black cumin oil is extracted from the seeds of the black cumin. The seeds are first separated from the fruit capsules and freed of foreign matter. Cold pressing is then carried out under high pressure and natural carbonic acid. To preserve the essential fatty acids and other valuable ingredients, it is important to keep the temperature as low as possible. Black cumin oil can also be obtained by solvent extraction with hexane or with a chloroform/methanol mixture.

Cosmetic use of black cumin oil

Black cumin oil is suitable for internal and external use. If taken regularly over a longer period, it reduces allergic reactions. This is due to the oil’s ingredients promoting synthesis of the body’s prostaglandin. This substance helps to regulate the immune system. As a result, psoriasis or neurodermatitis can be reduced.
For cosmetic uses, essential unsaturated fatty acids as well as nourishing and skin-soothing properties make black cumin oil a popular skincare product. The oil moisturizes the skin and provides it with important, vital substances. Black cumin oil contains essential oil which is said to have antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. It is therefore also suitable for the care of irritated and blemished skin as well as eczema. Black cumin oil has also proven itself to be a simple and effective remedy against brittle hair. For this purpose, the oil is massaged into the hair tips after washing.

Schwarzkümmelöl in Flasche neben Kümmelsamen

Benefits of black cumin oil for skin

  • provides skin with moisture
  • well suited for irritated and blemished skin
  • has antioxidant and antimicrobial effects
  • regulates the immune system of the skin
  • soothes allergic reactions of the skin and respiratory tract (taken internally)
  • promotes healing

Internal use of black cumin oil

Already in ancient Egypt black cumin was used for its healing properties. They used it to treat digestive problems, headaches, toothaches and more. In folk medicine today, black cumin oil is used as a “panacea” so to speak (acne, high blood pressure and joint pain). Medical studies show a positive effect of black cumin seed oil in rheumatoid arthritis and allergic rhinitis.

According to Woo et al., the thymoquinone contained in black cumin oil helps with inflammatory diseases and cancer on several regulatory levels. The anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing effects (including pancreatic cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer) have in some cases only been proven in animal experiments or in in vitro studies. However, the antibacterial and fungicidal effect has already been proven by several studies.

Buy black cumin oil – what to consider?

When buying black cumin seed oil, it is important to pay attention to good quality. The plants of the product should be organic and from certified producers. You should also make sure that the black cumin seed oil is cold pressed and unfiltered.

Cold pressing does not involve high temperatures that could affect the quality the oil. Thus all important nutrients and vitamins are preserved.

Black cumin seed oil can be purchased both filtered and unfiltered. The unfiltered version is often referred to as pure black cumin oil. The unfiltered product contains a very high amount of healthy plant substances. With the filtered version, however, some of these healthy substances are lost.

However, the unfiltered version often has a more tart and spicy taste compared to the filtered version. Therefore you have to choose between a more pleasant taste and an oil with a larger amount of healthy plant substances. For cosmetic purposes the decision is of course easy, the taste is irrelevant here.

Also the origin of the black cumin seed oil plays a large role. Here the sort “Kara Siva” from Egypt or Syria is considered as particularly high-quality. Accordingly, you have to dig a little deeper into your pockets.

Sources: Krist, Sabine (2013): Lexikon der Pflanzlichen Öle und Fett. Vienna: Springer Verlag. | Braunschweig, R. (2020): Pflanzenöle - über 50 starke Helfer für Genuss und Hautpflege. Wiggensbach: Stadelmann Verlag.

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