Black Seed: The Link Between Allergies, Detox, and Liver Health

Black Seed: The Link Between Allergies, Detox, and Liver Health

Written by Dr. Jewel Alfoure, ND

According to research, seasonal allergies may be improved by lowering inflammation, regulating the immune system and decreasing immunological markers (1). People often attempt to maintain immune health and overall wellness by undergoing seasonal detoxes. However, when it comes to seasonal detoxes and weight loss, people who suffer allergies and immune manifestations should be very cautious (2). The necessary detox may cause moderate to severe allergic symptoms. The mobilization of toxins and the release of fatty acids into the bloodstream due to fat breakdown might be the trigger. This mobilization of toxins may affect the health of virtually all body organs. However, detox organs like the liver and the kidney deserve extra attention (3, 4). Taking steps to calm the immune system, maintain a healthy anti-oxidant load, and shield the organs from toxins may all help to make the procedure smoother and more manageable.

Introduction: What is Black Seed Oil?

Scrambling through Middle Eastern classic texts of medicine reveals that the benefits of black seed oil are endless. It has been used for centuries in the Middle East and India as a natural remedy for almost every ailment. As one of the most vastly studied botanicals, scientific evidence points towards the true medicinal versatility of the botanical (5, 6).

Scientific Evidence (Human Clinical Trials)

The lung

 

The respiratory benefits of black seed oil have been well studied in clinical trials. Though many of the respiratory benefits of black seed oil are linked to the immune balancing properties of the plant. According to the ancient doctors of the Middle East, it’s the intense flavour that heals the lungs (7).

When it comes to the lung as an organ, some studies show improvement in lung function and an enhancement in the filling and stretching of the lung. Other studies link the lung benefits to a decrease in inflammation, leading to a decrease in the thickness of secretion and thus better oxygen exchange (7).

The oil of the black seed is a bronchodilator that can help with asthma symptoms. It has also been linked to an improved post-nasal drip, sore throat, and allergic rhinitis (7,8,9).

The Heart

Black seed oil is a natural and healthy adjunctive agent that may (after the consultation of a medical practitioner) be paired with many of the modern medications used for cardiovascular diseases. Many studies have been conducted on the potential heart benefits of black seed oil. But the most compelling evidence comes from a study published in Science Direct, in the year 2016. The study showed that black seed oil significantly reduced cholesterol levels and improved the fat profile of participants (10-13).

Since then, other studies have also shown that it can reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.

The Liver

Black seed oil is a natural product that can help improve liver function and reduce the effects of liver toxins. Due to its flavour and use for blood sugar irregularities, the plant has been used for centuries as a hepatoprotective agent in traditional medicine. In addition, it has been shown to have potent other anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the effects of liver toxins by reducing inflammation in the body (14,15). 

The anti-inflammatory properties also help improve liver function in hepatitis and other tissue-injuring diseases. It can also help prevent liver damage by decreasing the amount of fat deposits that accumulate around the organ (14).

Several studies on the detox potential of black seed oil demonstrate that thymoquinone is protective against natural toxins like aflatoxin (common in fungus-infected peanuts). It also appears to protect the liver from hepatotoxicity due to metals, antibiotics, and chemical agents (like ethanol). The protection offered by thymoquinone expands from hepatoprotection to nephroprotection, cardio protection, gastrointestinal protection, and pulmonary protection (16). 

The mechanism of protection is thought to be multifactorial and encompasses

  • Inhibition of free radical formation

  • Restoration of the antioxidant system

  • Preservation of the activity of antioxidant enzymes

  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic activity

  • Lipid peroxidation protection

  • Mitochondrial health enhancement

  • Anti-apoptotic

  • Suppression of renal binding of oxidants

  • Regulation of organ-specific immune mediators

  • Enhancement of energy production (16)

Hormone Regulation

Studies show that black seed oil has an effect on weight regulation and maintaining metabolic health due to its hormone-regulating effects. It has been shown to regulate weight, improve hormone levels, and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Endocrinology studies demonstrate that black seed oil can play a significant role in gradually restoring pancreatic beta-cell regulation. Those are the cells that are responsible for secreting insulin. The healthy function of beta-cells is one of the most important regulators of glucose levels (16). Physical activity is shown to result in better weight loss when combined with the supplementation of black seed oil. Several clinical trials demonstrate that black seed oil significantly reduces body mass index (BMI). Blackseed oil can provide some of the highest quality weight management, blood sugar management, and detox support for those with elevated blood sugar (17). 

How Does Black Seed Help With Weight Management? 

  • Blood sugar control

  • fewer cravings

  • Anti-inflammatory 

  • It helps mobilize toxins trapped in-between fat cells, reducing inflammation

  • Anti-hyperlipidemic

  • It decreases blood fat levels

  • Blood fats usually increase as we lose weight as the fat is mobilized

  • It reduces the transient increase in blood fat

  • It helps the body maintain health

  • Fewer weight-loss side effects (15-20)

Neurological Health

Black seed oil is rich in healthy fatty acids, essential for brain health and nerve health. The oil also contains antioxidants and phytochemicals that help protect the brain from high sugar levels. The anti-inflammatory properties also help protect the nerves from injury due to diabetes or other nerve diseases (16, 20). Thymoquinone has been shown to have significant neurological effects and has been used to improve epilepsy memory and relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms (21). Preliminary effects on mental health have also been observed in some clinical trials (22).

Immune conditions

Studies demonstrate good efficacy for using black seed oil to protect the body against an over-active immune system, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases like celiac disease.

For those suffering from gastrointestinal sensitivity, studies demonstrate an improvement in both gut and skin symptoms when it comes to celiac disease. Additionally, other studies show a tangible change in inflammatory markers (24, 25).

Respiratory Effects
  • Upper Respiratory Effects
    • Improves allergic rhinitis
    • Improves sore throat 
    • Improves post-nasal drip

  • Lower Respiratory Effects
    • Improves asthma symptoms
    • Bronchodilator
    • Improves allergic symptoms
Cardiovascular Support
  • Reduces cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Improves fat profile
Hepatoprotective Effects
    • Reduces the effects of liver toxins
    • Improves liver function for hepatitis patients
    Metabolic Effects
      • Promotes weight regulation
      • Improves sperm parameters
      Neurological Effects
      • Improves epilepsy
      • Improves memory
      • Helps with opioid withdrawal
      Immune Effects
        • Improves auto-immune disease symptoms
        Dermatological Effects
          • Decreases vitiligo lesions
          • Relieves eczema
          • Improves celiac disease-related skin manifestations
          Gastrointestinal Effects
            • Gastric Effects
              • Improves stomach ulcer symptoms
              • Reduces dyspepsia

            • Intestinal Effects
              • Anti-parasitic
              • Improves Celiac symptoms

            Black seed oil is a natural way to detox the body. It can help with liver health, and it can also help with weight loss (19, 23, 24).

            The Science of Detox

            Detoxing is the process of removing accumulated byproducts from the body. It is a natural process in the liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin. The liver is one of the most important detox organs in our body. It filters out toxins from our blood and sends them to be excreted by other organs like the kidneys and lungs. The liver also produces bile, which helps break down fats and cholesterol in our diet. The kidneys are another vital organ for detoxification because they filter out waste products from our blood and send them to be excreted by urination or through sweat (26, 27). 

            Some organs have their own pathways for detox. The brain, for example, uses the time spent sleeping to break down toxic metabolites. Likewise, the lungs detoxify the body of gases. Toxic gases are expelled through respiration (27, 28). 

            The Science of Seasonal Allergies (Link to Detox)

            Detox aggravation: 

            • Mobilization of toxins in the blood to be eliminated

            • Interaction with organ-function

            • Feeling tired or sluggish 

            • Increase in oxidation

            • Increase in allergies and intolerances 

            When healthy weight loss or fasting autophagy takes place,

            • The body activates the process of breaking down to rebuild

            • The body gets rid of cellular waste.

            Challenges of weight loss

            • Fats dumped into the blood

            • Blood sugar fluctuations in blood glucose

            • Toxins built into the composition of the body are mobilized

            When we start a seasonal detox, we are ultimately looking to mobilize toxins (29, 30 ,32). When freed, those toxins are dumped into the bloodstream. Factors that may make detox more stressful include toxicity load, toxin type, and organ function. The mobilization of toxins from tissues causes an overload on our organs and can worsen symptoms such as fatigue and unregulated immunity. Remember that the toxins can disrupt organ function, alter cellular signaling, and even over sensitize the immune system due to their inflammatory nature. For some individuals, the process leads to a worsening of symptoms (27).

            Black Seed for Detox Conclusions 

            Black seed oil can help with seasonal allergies by decreasing inflammation, balancing the immune system, decreasing immune markers and calming over-immunity. It also acts as an immune anti-oxidant. Sometimes the highly-needed detox can trigger moderate to severe allergy symptoms and immune manifestations. The trigger may be linked to the toxins’ mobilization and the fatty acid that enters the blood due to fat breakdown. Calming the immune system, ensuring a healthy anti-oxidant load and protecting the organs from toxins may significantly help make the process smoother and tolerable for an extended amount of time. Paying extra attention to the designated detox organs of the body can dramatically facilitate a healthy and impactful detox! 

            References 

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