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The powerful black seed known as nigella sativa strikes again! This time proving that food can be a powerful asthma medication alternative.
A new study published in the journal Phytotherapeutic Research reveals that a powerful little black seed known as nigella sativa -- once referred to as "the remedy for everything but death" -- may provide a powerful alternative to pharmaceutical medicine in the treatment of asthma. This is extremely promising for the millions of chronic asthma sufferers who are still taking medications like long-acting beta agonist which the FDA warned back in 2006 actually increased the risk of dying from asthma.
The study, titled “Nigella sativa Supplementation Improves Asthma Control and Biomarkers: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial,” was a placebo-controlled RCT performed on 80 asthmatics, with 40 patients in each treatment and placebo groups. The researchers pointed out that “Nigella sativa oil (NSO) is used traditionally for many inflammatory conditions such as asthma.” NSO capsules were administered 500 mg twice daily for 4 weeks. The placebo group received an equal dose of olive oil.
The patients were monitored and measured for the following outcomes:
“The primary outcome was Asthma Control Test score. The secondary outcomes were pulmonary function test, blood eosinophils and total serum Immunoglobulin E.”
After 4 weeks, ten patients had withdrawn from each group, leaving 30 remaining in each group.
The results were reported as follows:
“Compared with placebo, NSO group showed a significant improvement in mean Asthma Control Test score 21.1 (standard deviation = 2.6) versus 19.6 (standard deviation = 3.7) (p = 0.044) and a significant reduction in blood eosinophils by -50 (-155 to -1) versus 15 (-60 to 87) cells/μL (p = 0.013). NSO improved forced expiratory volume in 1 second as percentage of predicted value by 4 (-1.25 to 8.75) versus 1 (-2 to 5) but non-significant (p = 0.170).” [emphasis added]
The conclusion of the study was reported as follows:
“This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial demonstrated that NSO supplementation improves asthma control with a trend in pulmonary function improvement. This was associated with a remarkable normalization of blood eosinophlia. Future studies should follow asthmatics for longer periods in a multicentre trial.” [emphasis added]
The study provides insight into why nutritionally-based interventions are superior to conventional drug-based ones. With the 2006 discovery by asthma drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline that asthma medications actually increase the risk of death from the very condition being treated, the need for safer and more effective asthma solutions has never been clearer.
One of the primary criticisms of monotherapy with long-acting beta agonists is that they do not address the underlying inflammation that is closer to the root cause of asthma. This is why conventional approaches now default to combining corticosteroids with beta-agonists. Corticosteroids, however, have a wide range of adverse health effects, including immunosuppression and even severe psychiatric side effects. The fact that black seed oil extract can improve overall clinical parameters of asthma, as well as significantly reduce blood eosinophil levels (the target of steroid drugs) to the point of “normalization,” is amazing.
Food, of course, is several orders of magnitude safer and more affordable than prescription drugs, and unlike the dozens of known side effects that occur with virtually all FDA-approved pharmaceuticals, foods like black seed have dozens of side benefits. To take a look at the robust body of research on the potential health benefits of black seed oil in over 100 different conditions, visit our nigella sativa research portal. Additionally, GreenMedInfo.com contains a vast storehouse of research on natural interventions for asthma prevention and treatment which you can peruse at our Asthma Research portal.
In 2014, the Global Asthma Report estimated that about 334 million people worldwide are afflicted with asthma and that it is therefore becoming a global health priority. Please help alleviate unnecessary suffering by sharing this article and our research far and wide. Please consider becoming a member to support our entirely user-funded research and advocacy platform. A friend membership starts as low as 21 cents a day.