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Our researchers are investigating whether black seed and black seed oil could help address major health conditions.

Have you heard of black seed? No? Don’t worry, you’re probably not alone. It’s also known as black caraway, black cumin and as the pretty flower, Love in a Mist. However, it’s universally and more commonly known as Nigella sativa (N. sativa).

Black seed and black seed oil have been used for centuries as condiments for their perceived ability to bolster immune systems. In fact, there is evidence the seed was first cultivated 3000 years ago. The Egyptian Pharoah, Tutankhamun, even had the seeds buried in his tomb.

Australian first science

N sativa contains active phytochemical compounds. One of these compounds, thymoquinone (TQ) is of particular interest to us. 

Our senior research scientist Dr Regine Stockmann is the separations and product development specialist leading our research on black seed oil and TQ.

Reggie has been helping black seed oil manufacturer Hab Shifa investigate ways to successfully extract, enrich and formulate black seed oil for use in foods and supplements.

“We wanted to ensure Hab Shifa’s extraction methods tick all the boxes. Namely, environmental sustainability, scalability and cost effectiveness – without compromising the bioactivity of TQ,” Reggie said.

“We have now identified a successful method to prepare prototype extracts. Next they’ll undergo testing to assess their performance in foods and supplements.

“When it comes to the processes for extraction of botanicals, this is an Australian first. We’re excited to be pioneering in this space with Hab Shifa,” she said.

A photo of two people in white lab coats who are developing black seed oil

Trial evidence

Dr Malcolm Riley, our disease transmission specialist and nutritionist, has finished a perusing survey into the wellbeing impacts of dark seed.

“Distributed clinical preliminary proof shows that N sativa seed, or its oil, is being scrutinized for a wide range of medical issue. The outcomes are blended, however mostly certain,” Malcolm said.

“For instance, for individuals with type 2 diabetes or metabolic disorder, a large portion of the distributed preliminaries showed an improvement in glucose control.”

“N sativa seed and its subsidiaries have all the earmarks of being promising regular items on which to do additionally explore,” he said.

Back to black

When Hab Shifa entered the Australian retail market in 2010, many Aussies had never heard of black seed. They weren’t aware of its possible health benefits or tried it out for themselves. 

Azam Kassim, Hab Shifa Founder, said there is much interest in the potential beneficial effects of black seed.  

“It’s important that our company evolves, stays on top of latest research findings, and collaborates when it comes to bringing new concepts to consumers,” Azam said. 

“We want to ensure we’re leading the charge and developing products for our customers that support latest market research.”

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