Nigella sativa Treats Type-2 Diabetes
Medical research has found that the seeds of Nigella sativa improve glycemic control among diabetics. The study gave 94 human diabetics either one gram, two grams or three grams per day of Nigella sativa in capsules for three months.
The patients’ glycemic control was tested before, during and after the treatment period using fasting blood glucose, blood glucose levels after eating, and glycosylated hemoglobin levels. They also measured C-peptide levels, insulin resistance, beta-cell function and changes in weight among the patients.
After only four weeks, the researchers, from Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal University College of Medicine, found that two grams per day of the Nigella sativa seed significantly reduced fasting and post-meal blood glucose levels, and glycosylated hemoglobin levels. The improvement increased at eight weeks and 12 weeks.
For example, fasting blood glucose levels went down by 45 mg/dl at four weeks, 62 mg/dl at eight weeks, and 56 mg/dl after 12 weeks of taking the Nigella sativa seed.
Other diabetic parameters also improved during the treatment. Insulin resistance reduced, and Beta-cell function improved significantly with the two grams/day treatment program.
The one gram/day also led to improvements, but not as significant as the improvements found using two grams per day.
The researchers also found no adverse side effects from the natural treatment.
Nigella sativa seed is an ancient herb that has been used by traditional medicines around the world for thousands of years. It has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, as well as the traditional medicines of the Middle East for many centuries. It is often used to treat skin and breathing conditions.
Nigella sativa contains a number of constituents, including beta-sitosterol, nigilline, damascene, melanthin and thymoquinone.
Medical researchers from Thomas Jefferson University documented that Nigella sativa helps treat a number of immunity and inflammatory disorders, and their research found that it blocks and kills pancreatic cancer cells. Their study determined that Nigella sativa’s thymoquinone stimulates the p53 tumor suppressor gene within human pancreatic cancer cells, effectively forcing the death of the cancer cells.
Bamosa AO, Kaatabi H, Lebdaa FM, Elq AM, Al-Sultanb A. Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Oct-Dec;54(4):344-54.
Chehl N, Chipitsyna G, Gong Q, Yeo CJ, Arafat HA. Anti-inflammatory effects of the Nigella sativa seed extract, thymoquinone, in pancreatic cancer cells. HPB (Oxford). 2009 Aug;11(5):373-81.