5 Best Black Seed Oils: Our Review for 2020

5 Best Black Seed Oils: Our Review for 2020

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This ancient ingredient from Middle Eastern traditional medicine is skyrocketing in popularity as more of its science-backed benefits are being revealed. The black seeds that produce the oil are the seeds of the black cumin plant. The plant has other names as well and it has a rich history, but we’ll get to that later.

Black seed oil isn’t a panacea, but it can certainly help with some conditions. However, it’s important to get the best black seed oil available to you. Whenever a product starts to gain traction, low-quality options quickly start to show up on the market.

For this article, we’ve combed through a multitude of options to narrow it down to five oils that will get the job done. You’ll find reviews of each one along with pros and cons to help you make a decision at a glance.

Quick Look at our Top Picks

Here’s an outline of the best black seed oil contenders along with their main benefits.

Best choiceBest choiceZhou Usda Certified Organic Black Seed OilCLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Best Tasting OilBest Tasting OilSweet Sunnah Non-Gmo Unrefined & Unfiltered Black Seed OilCLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Editor's ChoiceEditor's ChoiceBest Naturals Black Seed OilCLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Budget OptionBudget OptionHealth Thru Nutrition Black Cumin Seed OilCLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Best CapsulesBest CapsulesPure Naturals 100% Pure Black Cumin Seed OilCLICK HERE FOR PRICE

The Best Black Seed Oil Brands

Best Overall: Zhou USDA Certified Organic Black Seed Oil

Zhou USDA Certified Organic Black Seed Oil

This is one of the best black seed oils currently available on the market. It’s 100% pure, organic black seed oil.

The Zhou black seed oil is cold-pressed. Cold pressing is a slower way of oil extraction, but it results in higher retention of active compounds. It’s manufactured in FDA certified facilities following the guidelines of Good Manufacturing Practices. Zhou products are regularly tested in their Utah-based laboratory to maintain quality standards.

Completely unrefined, this oil retains a lot of the distinctive taste of black cumin seeds, which some people enjoy. Buying oil instead of capsules also gives you the benefit of topical application. Using it on skin and hair has its own benefits and you can even use it in an aromatherapy vaporizer.

Zhou sources their black cumin seeds from Israel, adhering to the strictest quality guidelines. Every step of the process is designed to make sure that only the best black seed oil makes it into every bottle. If you’re new to black seed oil and looking for a place to start, look no further – Zhou has the best value for the money.

Pros

  • USDA certified
  • 100% pure, cold-pressed oil
  • Manufactured in FDA certified facilities
  • Seeds from reputable sources

Cons

  • The strong taste may not appeal to everyone

Best Tasting Black Seed Oil: Sweet Sunnah Non-GMO Unrefined & Unfiltered Black Seed Oil

Sweet Sunnah Non-GMO Unrefined & Unfiltered Black Seed Oil

The folks over at Sweet Sunnah take black seeds very seriously. Their main business is black seed oil and they make sure that every bottle meets the highest quality standards.

This is probably the best black seed oil for people looking to get into the game. It has a very mild taste and no lingering aftertaste. By selecting an exclusive, non-GMO variety of the Nigella Sativum seeds, they’re able to produce nearly flavorless oil.

Plastic bottles storing oils have been shown to leech estrogenic compounds into their contents. That’s why Sweet Sunnah chooses glass bottles for their black seed oil. The tinted bottle also prevents the photo degradation of the compounds in the oil.

Sweet Sunnah only sells the purest, first-pressed oil from their seeds. This results in a product with extraordinarily high thymoquinone potency. Thymoquinone is the most prominent ingredient in black seed oil and the one that has been most researched. All signs point to it being the main compound in black seed oil, so the more of it you can get the better.

It’s among the pricier options out there, but it’s manufactured in the USA in GMP-certified facilities.

Pros

  • Mild taste perfect for first-time users  
  • Glass bottle protects the integrity of the oil
  • First-pressing has the highest nutrient content
  • No additives, only 100% black seed oil

Cons

  • One of the higher-end options

Editor’s Choice: Best Naturals Black Seed Oil

Best Naturals Black Seed Oil

This black seed oil hits all the right notes at just the right volume. It’s 100% pure, virgin-pressed black seed oil from a reputable dealer in an affordable package.

Best Naturals have been in the game for a while, and they’ve gained a reputation for being a quality supplier of dietary supplements of every kind. Their black seed oil is no exception. They’re Good Manufacturing Practices-compliant across the entire catalog.

This oil contains no solvents, alcohols, or other additives. It’s just pure black seed oil, and it has the taste to prove it. It contains a minimum of 0.95% thymoquinone which is above average for what’s available.

Additionally, Best Naturals are committed to defeating malnutrition across the globe. A portion of every sale goes to their Vitamin Angels initiative to deliver vitamins to malnourished children.

Pros

  • Trusted dealer of dietary supplements
  • Good thymoquinone content
  • No additives of any kind

Cons

  • The strong flavor might not appeal to all users

Budget Option: Health Thru Nutrition Black Cumin Seed Oil

Health Thru Nutrition Black Cumin Seed Oil

For those who can’t quite stomach the taste of black seed oil, capsules are a better option. Health Thru Nutrition’s capsules are both convenient and wallet-friendly while still delivering all the benefits of black seed oil.

They start with pure, cold-pressed black seed oil from the highest-quality seeds. The concentrated oil is then packed into easy-to-digest capsules for a potent nutritional boost in a tiny package. And it all happens in cGMP-certified facilities.

The capsules are 35% more concentrated than black cumin seeds themselves. Moreover, the capsules deliver nutrients much better than raw seeds because they’re easier for your body to digest. It’s a quick and effortless way to add all four Omega oils to your diet. Just two capsules a day are enough to start seeing benefits.     

Pros

  • Convenient capsules avoid the taste of black seed oil
  • Great value for money
  • Produced under strict regulations in the US

Cons

  • Not a vegan product

Best Oil in Capsule Form: Pure Naturals 100% Pure Black Cumin Seed Oil

Pure Naturals 100% Pure Black Cumin Seed Oil

If you’re in the market for the best black seed oil capsules, this is the product for you. Pure Naturals delivers on their promise of the purest and highest-quality black cumin oil in every capsule.

These capsules contain nothing but the best black seed oil. No sweeteners, dilutions, or additives of any kind. They’re manufactured in the USA following cGMP, and all Pure Naturals products are independently tested to ensure quality and potency. These softgels are also vegetarian-friendly.

Every capsule has 1,000mg of black seed oil. Recommended daily values are not established, but 1,000mg is enough to satisfy current findings of efficacy. Just one pill a day is enough to provide all the black seed oil you need.

Pros

  • 1,000mg of oil in every capsule
  • Strict manufacturing standards
  • Vegetarian-friendly softgels

Cons

  • Some users found them difficult to digest

What Is Black Seed Oil?

Now you know what the best black seed oil products are. But you’re probably still not entirely clear on what black seeds are and all the benefits that they offer. You’re not alone, black seed (or black cumin seed) oil is just starting to become a real contender.

Black cumin, black caraway, black onion, and kalonji are all names for the same plant – Nigella Sativa. In fact, it’s not even in the same family as cumin or caraway, but their seeds are similar, albeit black.

The black seeds of the Nigella plant have been used for thousands of years in traditional Middle Eastern medicine. The famed 10th-century physician, Avicenna, mentions black cumin seeds as a remedy for fatigue and lack of energy. They have also been found in and around King Tut’s tomb and have been linked to other famous figures of the ancient world.

So, this begs the question – if we’ve known about its properties for so long, why are we just now starting to use it at significant rates? Well, the truth is that many people around the world have been, but it takes longer for this type of thing to take root in the Western world.

This is changing rapidly, however. The pharmacological properties of black cumin seeds are being explored with fervor. Since 1960, over 400 research reports have been posted on various databases about the effects and qualities of thymoquinone. If you’ll recall, this is the “main ingredient” that’s suspected to have the largest hand in the beneficial effects of black seed oil.

All this research is causing a groundswell of support around black seeds and there are many ardent believers in its properties. The number of products available on the market has nearly tripled in the last few years.

Unfortunately, some people are taking advantage of the situation and ascribing properties to the seeds that aren’t evidence-based. So, here are the real, science-backed benefits that black seed oil does have.

The Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil

There is a lot remaining to prove about this oil, but some benefits are already well-documented. Chief among them is its ability to regulate blood pressure. Ingesting the oil reduced the blood pressure of mildly hypertensive subjects within two months of use.

The oil, as well as crushed seeds, also seems to have positive effects on cholesterol levels. They have high levels of healthy fats which work to reduce bad cholesterol buildup. The effect on cholesterol seemed to be different based on the origin of the seeds.

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Black oil benefits are well-documented. They have the ability to regulate high blood pressure and can reduce it within two months of use.

Black seed oil has a number of powerful antioxidants. While antioxidants are known to have a slew of beneficial effects, few of those effects have been directly studied as they relate to black seed oil. However, there is some evidence to suggest that it can reduce the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

One of the oldest uses of black cumin seeds was to reduce the effect of an upset stomach. And there are good reasons to believe that this is effective. Both the oil and crushed seeds may aid in relieving stomach problems.

Finally, thymoquinone has been proven to be somewhat effective in reducing the growth of tumors in lab rats. This could potentially suggest some anti-cancer properties, but there has been no human testing insofar.

Now, of course, none of this suggests that black seed oil should be used as a substitute for professional medical attention. Consult your physician about potential benefits you could get from black seed oil.

In terms of its external applications, black seed oil has some proven beneficial qualities there as well. A 10% black seed oil lotion reduced the incidence of acne in the participants of one study after two months of use.

Applying the oil directly on the skin has been successful in reducing the incidence of psoriasis plaques and moisturizing skin. When applied to wounds, the black seed oil seemed to reduce inflammation and the presence of bacteria around the affected area, as one study found.

How to Choose the Right Black Seed Oil

When looking for the best black seed oil that marries quality with efficacy, there are a few factors to consider.

You’ll be surprised to know that price isn’t necessarily one of them. Some very good black seed oils aren’t all that expensive, while some inferior oils go for far more than they’re worth. Instead, you should focus on these characteristics when shopping for the best black seed oil.

Organic Certification

There is no reason for black cumin seeds to be genetically modified. They grow well in many climates and have no overt disease problems. If it doesn’t have organic certification, something’s either wrong or the distributor hasn’t bothered to acquire it.

Glass Bottles

This isn’t a strict requirement, but if you’re buying oil in liquid form avoid plastic bottles. Ideally, you’d buy only oils that come in amber glass bottles. The reason is that plastic bottles can leach chemicals into the oil over time. If you do buy oil in a plastic bottle, make sure it was bottled less than 6 months prior to the purchase. Amber glass also prevents the oil from being damaged by exposure to light.

Cold-Pressed Oil

The extraction process is important when selecting oils. The hot press method involves heating the seeds to liquefy the oils and sometimes even adding chemicals to aid in extraction. This process can have detrimental effects on the nutrient content and the acidity of the oil. Always choose cold-pressed black seed oil, whether you’re buying liquid or softgels.

The Source Matters

Black cumin seeds have different compositions depending on where they’re grown. Egypt and Israel produce some of the best quality seeds with the highest amounts of thymoquinone. If at all possible, try to buy black seed oil that is sourced from those regions for the greatest effects.

Nitrogen Flushed

Flushing the oil with nitrogen removes oxygen built up in the oil before it’s bottled. Removing the oxygen prevents oxidation and makes the oil last longer. If you’re buying oil in capsules, and it hasn’t been nitrogen-flushed, chances are it contains some sort of preservatives.

Ways to Use Black Seed Oil

If you buy black seed oil capsules, you’ve got a pretty straightforward path. However, if you like buying the real deal, you’re left with the choice of how to add the oil to your diet.

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Adding the oil to curries or soups is a great way to mask the bitter flavor and still get the benefits.

A small number of people can never get used to the taste. They prefer to get it over with a spoonful in one go. But most people do learn to like it. It’s a very peculiar taste but not unpleasant, meaning there are better ways to consume it than just swallowing it by the spoonful.

The bitter taste of the oil can easily be masked if you don’t like it. Use equal parts oil and honey with a squirt of lemon juice for a much more palatable experience.

If you don’t mind the flavor, or better yet if you like it, you can sprinkle the oil on salads as you would any other oil. Vinegar, black seed oil, and pepper make a very quick and convenient salad dressing that pairs well with arugula and other peppery greens. You can also sprinkle it over pieces of bread or bagels to add flavor.

A good way to avoid the flavor almost entirely is to add it to meals that have strong flavors. Adding the oil to curries or soups is a great way to mask the bitter flavor and still get the benefits. Just make sure you add it at the end of the cooking process. You don’t want to cook with the oil as that will destroy many of the beneficial compounds in it.

You can also add it to smoothies. Make your favorite smoothie and top it off with a shot of black seed oil. If the taste is too strong, you can counteract it pretty effectively with honey.

Finally, if you have whole seeds, you can mix them with peppercorns and grind them into meals along with the pepper. This won't affect the flavor of your food much at all, but you’ll still be getting some of the benefits.

If you’re using the oil to help with skin conditions, apply a thin, even coat directly on the affected area up to three times per day. Depending on the condition you’re treating, you should start to see results within a couple of weeks.

For some people, the pure oil is a bit too strong for their skin. If that’s the case for you, dilute it in water. Add about 10 ml of oil into 250 ml of water in a sealable container. Then, seal the container and shake it vigorously right before applying the mixture on the skin.

Avoid Complications

Black cumin seed oil is generally recognized as safe by the USDA. But, it’s always better to be conservative when adding something new to your diet or health regiment. Exercise caution, and if you begin to see some undesirable side effects, stop using it immediately.

There is no evidence to suggest that there is any benefit in taking more than three tablespoons of the oil a day. So, while you’re welcome to consume more than that, it isn’t likely to improve your health in any way, shape or form.

If you have any preexisting conditions, consult with your doctor about potential side effects of taking black seed oil.

The Best Black Seed Oil We Found

As you can see, there are many benefits to be had from black seed oil. A lot of them are well researched, but others are a bit overstated. The key is to choose a high-quality black seed oil product. That’s your best bet to get as many benefits as you can from it.

Zhou USDA Certified Organic Black Seed Oil

With that in mind, your best option is the Zhou USDA Certified Organic Black Seed Oil. It’s good quality, pure, cold-pressed oil with no additives. It’s great oil for both long-time users and newcomers. And, it’s manufactured under the strictest standards in FDA-certified facilities, so you know you’re getting the best-quality product.

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