Black Seed Oil or Seeds?

Nigella sativa seed pods black seeds

…should I take black seed oil or seeds?

This is one question many people ask before taking Nigella sativa products.  We will compare black seed oil to seeds and try to draw some conclusions at the end to answer the question of black seed vs. black seed oil.

Black seed of the Nigella sativa plant
Nigella sativa seeds: but which is better black seed oil or black seeds?

Black Seed Oil

Black seed oil is the pressed lipid component of the Nigella sativa plants tiny black seeds. Nigella seed oil is liquid at room temperature. In order to produce 1 spoon of black seed oil around 7 spoons of whole black seed are required, as such the components in black seed oil are highly concentrated compared to a similar volume of whole black seed.

Taking black seed oil enables you to consume the concentrated lipid contents of a much larger volume of black seeds. Scientific analysis has found that the black seed oil contains high concentrations of many different healing components.

Golden green colour of pure black seed oil

Black Seeds

Nigella sativa seeds have a warm nutty peppery taste and are eaten across the world in many different dishes from toppings on bagels or naan bread to curry, spice mixes and pizza.

The skin and pulp of the nigella sativa seed contain unique healing compounds of their own. One example is the compound Nigellone which is a powerful anti-histamine and is found in particularly high concentrations in the skin of the black seed.

Nigella sativa seed magnified
Nigella sativa plant seed seen under high magnification

The whole nigella seed has been proven to be beneficial for a number of different health conditions. Studies looking at the effects of black seeds consistently find a dose dependent effect. In other words the more black seeds taken the more the benefits.


  • Black seed oil is more concentrated that the equivalent volume of seeds and contains a higher proportion of thymoquinone and other proven powerful healing components
  • Most of the studies of Nigella sativa isolate and extract a specific active components from the seed oil such as thymoquinone. These are found in much higher concentrations in the black seed oil than a similar volume of black seed
  • The solid components of the seeds also contain high concentrations of certain unique compounds which have benefits (a higher proportion of the solid component is retained in unfiltered black seed oil)

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