Black Seed Oil for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Black seed oil and its components are showing promise as therapy for a range of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease in which the bodies immune system mounts a response against its own connective tissues. The abnormal immune response results in inflammation of the tissues. If untreated inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis recurs and causes tissue damage.
The connective tissue affected in rheumatoid arthritis is commonly in the joints however it can affect other parts of the body including the lungs, skin, heart. Traditionally rheumatoid arthritis was treated with steroids to dampen the inflammation and suppress the abnormal immune response.
Long term control of the disease often requires use of dugs which modify the immune system (immunomodulator therapy). Although these drugs help to preserve function and reduce flare-ups of the condition they come with a large number of potential side effects including liver damage.
Black seed oil possesses many properties which make is a potential natural therapy for patients with rheumatoid arthritis: –
- Analgesic (pain relieving)
- Immunomodulator (regulates immune system)
- Hepato / reno – protective (protects liver / kidneys)
Studies examining the effects of black seed oil on rheumatoid arthritis…
A lab based study examined the effects of thymoquinone (volatile oil of black seed oil) in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis. 
The results of this study confirmed that clinical and radiological signs of rheumatoid arthritis were suppressed in arthritis in rats who took the extract of black seed oil.
A randomised placebo controlled study on patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis 
The beneficial effects of black seed oil on all the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis was confirmed. The study found that the rheumatoid arthritis disease activity score improved in group of patients taking black seed oil. The number of swollen joints and the duration of morning stiffness all improved significantly more in the group taking Nigella sativa oil compared to placebo.
A study which aimed to examine the molecular mechanisms which make black seed oil extract thymoquinone protective against rheumatoid arthritis 
The study examined isolated human rheumatoid arthritis fibroblast-like synoviocytes (joint lining cells) and a rat adjuvant-induced arthritis model of rheumatoid arthritis.
The main aim of the study was to investigate the influence of thymoquinone on the major signalling pathways involved in disease changes in rheumatoid arthritis. The study concluded that thymoquinone abolishes a number of factors known to be involved in rheumatoid arthritis and that it is a clinically valuable agent in the prevention of joint diseases.
Additionally, black seed oil is proven in many studies to protect the liver and the kidneys from damage, this effect could prove protective for those taking conventional drugs for rheumatoid arthritis.
1. Tekeoglu I, Dogan A, Ediz L, et al. Effects of thymoquinone (volatile oil of black cumin) on rheumatoid arthritis in rat models. Phytother Res. 2007 Sep;21(9):895-7. 2. Gheita TA, Kenawy SA. Effectiveness of Nigella sativa oil in the management of rheumatoid arthritis patients: a placebo controlled study. Phytother Res. 2012 Aug;26(8):1246-8. 3. Vaillancourt F, Silva P, Shi Q, et al. Elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying the protective effects of thymoquinone against rheumatoid arthritis. J Cell Biochem. 2011 Jan;112(1):107-17. doi: 10.1002/jcb.22884.