While not the most popular or well-known oil on the market, black seed oil is a potent one nonetheless. Derived from the tiny black seed of the Nigella sativa plant, this oil comes in capsule or liquid form boasting culinary, beauty, and health benefits. To learn more about these, read this brief but thorough shopping guide on black seed oils. We've also included our top product recommendations, like Heritage Products' organic, cold-pressed black seed oil perfect for recipes and DIY beauty treatments. Uses and benefits of black seed oil Beauty: Anecdotal evidence suggests that black seed oil, when applied topically, can address and clear up skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dry/rough skin. You can use black seed oil as a hair mask to deeply moisturize hair. Black seed oil also has antibacterial properties and may speed up recovery of minor scrapes and wounds. Health: Black seed oil may have anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and antioxidant properties. For these reasons, some people use it as a supplement to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, relieve upset stomach, and to treat diabetes, asthma, fungal growth, and male infertility. Always check with your doctor before starting a supplement. Culinary: Cooking with black seed oil can add nutritional value to your favorite dishes. Black seed oil is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants. It can be added in small quantities to salad dressings or stir fries. Because it has a strong, somewhat bitter flavor, be sure to taste it first and use sparingly. Considerations when choosing black seed oils Form: Black seed oil is available in capsule and liquid form. Capsules are designed to be swallowed for health benefits and come in medicinal doses. The liquid form, which is packaged in bottles, is better for cooking and beauty applications. Seeds are also available, though the extracted oil is more potent. Packaging: When purchasing a liquid form of the oil, select dark-colored bottles that will protect the oil from oxidizing from light exposure. Better yet, select UV-filtered, darkened glass to preserve the oil and keep it from degrading. Purity: It's best if the product is 100% pure black seed oil and doesn't contain unnecessary fillers, preservatives, or additives. Safety: While there are no scientific studies backing up the health claims of black seed oil, people report that it has helped them with their chronic illnesses and conditions. We strongly advise against using it as a substitute for already-prescribed medications or ingesting it in large doses. Features Organic: For a product free of agrochemicals, select a black seed oil with USDA organic certification. If you're using black seed oil as a health supplement, we'd recommend an organic product to eliminate unnecessary, toxic chemicals. Cold-pressed: If you want a black seed oil that isn't chemically extracted, opt for a cold-pressed oil. The extraction process also doesn't involve heat, which results in a higher quality oil. Price Black seed oils in capsule form start at $0.10 a pill and go up to $0.75 a pill. Black seed oils in liquid form start at $1.50 for a fluid ounce and go up to $10 a fluid ounce. FAQ Q. Is black seed oil safe to ingest? A. In small amounts, yes. However, if you're taking supplemental doses please check with a qualified healthcare practitioner because large doses can cause kidney or liver damage. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it altogether as should people going into surgery or with any blood disorders. Q. Are there any risks involved in using black seed oil topically? A. Some people have an allergic reaction to topical use of black seed oil. It's always best to perform a skin test before using it over large swathes of your body. Black seed oils we recommend Best of the best: Heritage Store Black Seed Oil Our take: An organic black seed oil from a highly reputable company known for quality. What we like: 100% pure. Cold pressed. Sustainably grown and harvested without the use of pesticides. Popular for DIY treatment of health ailments. Perfect for cooking. What we dislike: Side effects include nausea and itching in a minority of users. Best bang for your buck: Healths Harmony Blackseed Oil Softgel Capsules Our take: Affordable black seed oil softgels with a pure, high-quality formula. What we like: Potent 500 mg softgels. Contain no fillers, GMOs — just pure, cold-pressed black seed oil. What we dislike: Reports of causing nausea and stomach upset. Choice 3: Maju Superfoods Black Seed Oil Our take: A high-quality, clean black seed oil that comes at a good price point. What we like: Free of pesticides and herbicides, and less expensive than oils labeled organic. Mild flavor. High concentration of beneficial thymoquinone. What we dislike: While many users find this product highly effective, it had no effect for others. Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds. BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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