Black seed or Nigella sativa enjoys legendary or even mythical fame as a magical remedy for diabetes. Here is the low-down on the black seed benefits and how they provide relief to people with diabetes.
Black Seed Benefits for Diabetes Patients
Diabetes is an enduring disease that is rapidly spreading around the world. People living in developing as well as developed countries develop this health problem at any age. The WHO estimates that as recently as 2014, around 422 million people had diabetes. In extreme, diabetes can give rise to other health issues such as heart disease, kidney problems, stroke, and blindness. In many cases, death occurs due to excessive glucose levels in the blood. Fortunately, Nigella sativa or the black seed benefits the body by lowering blood glucose levels and provides relief in chronic cases of diabetes.
What is in it? – Thymoquinone
Black seed is known by various other common names, including onion seed and black cumin. It is a commonly used spice in eastern cuisine and has a distinctive aroma and taste. It grows naturally in western Asia, India, and the Mediterranean region. The beneficial properties of black seed have intrigued people from the times of the Ancient Greeks.
Today, modern medical research has offered evidence to support many traditional claims and beliefs about black seed as a diabetes cure.
The main source of black seed benefits is a compound known as thymoquinone, which makes it useful as a medicinal plant as well. Several Asian and European cultures believe that the black seed helps to cure a range of diseases, including diabetes and even cancer. Thymoquinone is known to have several useful properties, which make it a good natural diabetes cure. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound.
Does it work?
As a natural cure for diabetes, thymoquinone protects and restores the liver and pancreas that participate in the production of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood. In a person with diabetes, the liver produces less insulin than the body needs to keep glucose levels within a normal range.
Therefore, by ensuring that the liver performs optimally, thymoquinone helps to prevent glucose levels from shooting up. At the same time, thymoquinone speeds up the process by which cells pick up glucose from the bloodstream.
Is It Even Better Than Regular Diabetes Medication?
Conventional diabetes medication includes insulin injections, synthetic drugs, and other herbal remedies. These can often lead to many side effects including headaches, muscular aches, flushing, and heartburn. One of the most important black seed benefits is that it does not produce side effects when taken in small quantities.
Generally, taking 2 grams or half a teaspoon of black seeds a day produces good results in Type 2 diabetes. However, in excessive quantities, it can produce allergies as well as minor damage to the liver and kidneys.
With regular consumption in moderate amounts, black seed benefits generally begin to appear within 4 weeks. The best way to measure progress is by testing the fasting glucose level.
According to a study conducted a research team in Saudi Arabia, fasting glucose levels in type 2 diabetes patients came down by 62 mg per 100 ml after four to six weeks of regular consumption. Black seeds also reduce the production of harmful by-products of glycation in the blood. In high concentrations, these compounds can damage the liver and kidneys. Studies have also shown black seeds to reduce the formation of cataracts, a common occurrence in diabetes.
It is important to always consult a physician before taking black seeds because taking too much of them when your body does not actually need it can result in glucose levels crashing down. Also, avoid taking black seed if you are already taking regular medication for diabetes. Far from enjoying black seed benefits, you could make your condition even worse.
As You Like It
Traditionally, one can consume the black seeds whole (as seeds) or in the powdered form. As whole seeds, you can add them to salads and curries after roasting for a few seconds. They are easy to swallow but it helps if you use water to wash them down your throat.
In several traditional recipes, people mix the powdered black seeds with other useful herbs such as oregano marjoram and watercress seeds. However, it is preferable to have black seeds right before a meal as this helps to prevent fluctuations in glucose levels right after a meal.
Black Seed Oil
You can take the Black seed oil directly from the bottle. One teaspoon a day is sufficient to lower glucose levels in moderation. The best time to do this is before breakfast as this gives the oil sufficient time to regulate insulin production. Rubbing black seed oil over the body is a popular traditional anti-inflammatory remedy and diabetes cure.
Nowadays, capsules of powdered black seed as well as black seed oil are also easily available from herb shops. If you are buying powdered black seed capsules, then two capsules are sufficient for a daily dose. If you are getting black seed oil capsules, then just one capsule is enough as the oil is more potent than powdered black seeds.
Some of the benefits of regular use of black seed oil are:
- Black seed benefits apply equally to Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
- It reduces fasting glucose levels in the bloodstream.
- The oil helps to increase the production of insulin by the pancreas.
- It regulates the level of glucose in the bloodstream to prevent dramatic spikes and falls.
- The oil reduces the intake of glucose by the intestine.
- It offers other benefits such as reducing inflammation.
Getting the Best Results
Although black seeds produce some excellent results on glucose levels, they should not be the only remedy you rely on. Always consult with your doctor about dietary, lifestyle and medication changes that are necessary to get the best results out of the black seed. By switching to a low-carb diet, kicking smoking and drinking off your routine, and getting more exercise, you can maximize black seed benefits for diabetes.
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