Black seed, commonly known as black cumin, has been used to support various health issues since ancient times. Black seed oil has traditionally been used for inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders, and immune support.
Numerous black seed supplements are on the market; however, only a few meet high-quality standards for overall effectiveness and safety.
In this article, we’ll discuss the best black seed supplements, their important qualities, and how black seed supplements may boost your health.
Table of Contents
- The Best Black Seed Supplement Brands:
- What is Black Seed?
- Potential Health Benefits of Black Seed:
- What Form of Black Seed is Best?
- Black Seed Dosage:
- How are Black Seed Supplements Made?
The Best Black Seed Supplement Brands:
Black seed supplements must be adequately tested, ethically sourced, and properly dosed to produce an effective and safe product.
We’ve researched the best black seed supplements available online and identified five brands that meet our editorial standards.
1. Amazing Herbs
Amazing Herbs is the best all-around black seed supplement. This formula includes cold-pressed, non-GMO, organic liquid black seed oil containing 1.2% thymoquinone – the active ingredient proven to support digestion, soothe inflammation, and boost the immune system.
Additionally, each serving contains omega-3,-6, and -9 oils to encourage optimal overall health.
Amazing Herbs is a highly trusted company that has been creating black seed oil products explicitly for over 20 years. All their products are created in-house (in a US, FDA-registered and inspected facility) and sent to a third-party lab for safety, purity, and effectiveness testing.
They source their black seed from trusted organic, sustainable, and pesticide-free farms that exclusively grow black seed for Amazing Herbs.
Additionally, this company produces black seed oil dietary supplements for dogs.
This supplement is our “Editor’s Choice” for Best Overall Product, given the quality of the product and reputation of Amazing Herbs.
- Third-party tested
- Effective dose
- Non-GMO and Vegan
- Increased absorbability
- Offers multiple supplement forms
- Trusted, experienced company
- Clinically-researched form of black seed
- Strong taste
- Low thymoquinone content (compared to other brands)
- Packaging sometimes compromised during shipping
2. Gaia Herbs
Gaia Herbs offers the best high-quality, liquid black seed capsules. These vegan capsules contain 400mg of cold-pressed black seed oil with 2.5% thymoquinone per capsule.
Gaia markets these capsules for respiratory support; however, consumers have claimed other benefits, like immune, heart, and joint support.
Gaia Herbs is a highly reliable, B Corp-certified company and a leading sustainable brand in the herbal industry for 35 years. Every product is tested for purity, and the company is continuously transparent about their sourcing.
If they aren’t growing their herbs at their Certified Organic farm in Brevard, NC, they source their herbs from quality farms that “share [their] commitment to quality, sustainability and ethicality.”
This Gaia Herbs supplement is our category winner as the “Best Black Seed Capsules” as they’re convenient to take (especially for busy lifestyles), and the liquid “phyto-caps” break down more readily in the stomach compared to softgels.
- B Corporation certified company
- Effective liquid Phyto-Caps® technology
- Above average thymoquinone dose
- Easy to take (for busy lifestyles)
- Environmentally-friendly packaging
- Only available in capsules
- May not absorb as quickly as oil
- More expensive than other capsules
- Capsules contain soy lecithin
3. Mary Ruth’s
Mary Ruth’s has the best organic black seed liquid drops for those interested in taking a USDA Organic liquid supplement. The recommended dose is 20 drops daily, which contains 600mg of black seed oil.
These liquid drops are easy to take, alcohol-free, and may help with immune, cardiovascular, brain, and skin health, as well as weight control.
Mary Ruth’s is a B Corp-certified company that creates vegan, non-GMO products formulated in a cGMP facility and tested by a third-party lab to ensure integrity and quality.
In addition to offering various USDA Organic supplements, Mary Ruth’s is currently working on getting their products certified by the Clean Label Project. This non-profit organization certifies formulas that meet testing standards while drawing awareness to how environmental contaminants affect products.
These organic black seed liquid drops are our choiuce as the “Best Organic Black Seed Product”.
- USDA Organic
- B Corporation certified
- Dairy, nut, gluten, soy, and sugar-free
- Alcohol-free tincture
- Women-owned (mother-daughter) business
- Only available in liquid drops
- Doesn’t list thymoquinone levels
- No mention of extraction method
- May not last 3 months as claimed
The black seed supplement with the highest thymoquinone amounts comes from a company called Triquetra. This company creates a 15:1 extract with a recommended daily dose of 2ml, which contains 1500 mg of low-temperature extracted black seed oil with 5% thymoquinone. There is 100 mg of thymoquinone in each serving and 30 servings in each bottle.
Since thymoquinone is the main health-boosting constituent in black cumin, a higher percentage may leader to fast health benefits.
Triquetra’s black seed oil supplement is vegan and made from non-GMO, pesticide-free plants. Each bottle is produced by a cGMP-certified manufacturer and rigorously tested by a third-party lab to ensure quality and safety standards are met. There are no preservatives in this product.
This Triquetra supplement contains the “Highest Levels of Thymoquinone” with 5% per serving.
*Before purchasing this product, it’s important to consider starting with a lower level of thymoquinone and working up to avoid adverse effects.
- High thymoquinone content
- Soy and dairy-free
- Clean, chemical-free extraction
- Lack of transparency on sourcing
- Low-temperature extracted tincture (more energy required than cold-pressed and may not contain as many health benefits since heat is added to the extraction process)
- “New” company – only around 10 years old (less experienced compared to other companies listed)
5. Mountain Rose Herbs
Mountain Rose Herbs offers the best eco-friendly black seed oil on the market. This cold-pressed, unrefined oil is sourced sustainably and is created by a reliable company that leads the herbal industry in practice and quality transparency.
Mountain Rose Herbs black seed oil is the “Best Low-Impact, Environmentally-Friendly Black Seed Oil” due to the company’s unwavering dedication to sustainable and ethical practices.
They’re transparent about their process and energy consumption and always “prioritize [shipping] materials derived from renewable biological sources.”
- Unrefined oi
- USDA Organic, Earth Kosher, Fair For Life, and Zero Waste certified
- Extracted in the US
- Transparent sourcing
- Sustainable shipping materials
- Only available in oil
- Doesn’t list thymoquinone levels
- Refrigeration recommended after opening
What is Black Seed?
Regarding herbal supplements, black seed or black cumin refers to the oil pressed from the Nigella sativa seeds. This plant is native to Eastern Europe and is often called black cumin or simply black seed.
Numerous medicine systems, like traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Ayurveda, and traditional Arab and Islamic medicine (Unani), use black cumin as a supportive, highly-revered herb. These systems use black cumin for inflammation, respiratory support, digestive issues, and the immune system.
Black seed contains many different active constituents, like fatty acids, terpenes, and alkaloids. The terpene, thymoquinone, is the main active constituent and contains the greatest therapeutic benefits. Due to its effects, black seed supplements are standardized to contain the highest thymoquinone percentage possible (per serving).
If you’d like to learn more about this incredible herb, read our full black seed profile here.
Potential Health Benefits of Black Seed:
Black seed has numerous potential health benefits, all scientifically backed by clinical studies.
The potential benefits of black seed include:
1. May Reduce Inflammation
One of black seed’s most prominent, well-researched effects is its anti-inflammatory properties, especially for joints. Black seed’s active constituent, thymoquinone, has demonstrated an ability to reduce inflammation within the body. This suggests that black seed may be helpful for those who struggle with arthritis, allergies, asthma, and may also support hair growth.
2. May Support Skin Health
Black seed is also known for its ability to support skin health. Evidence shows that thymoquinone contains antimicrobial properties, which help prevent and eradicate bacterial, viral, and fungal skin infections. Additionally, black seeds’ anti-inflammatory activity supports those with dermatological disorders like psoriasis and acne. Black seed oil also contains 50-60% linoleic acid, which has shown to improve skin barrier function and lock in moisture. Black seed’s antiviral properties are also thought to benefit herpes simplex virus.
3. May Strengthen the Immune System
Numerous studies have discovered black seeds’ positive effects on the immune system. Along with thymoquinone, the fatty acids and vitamins in black cumin are thought to be responsible for these immune-boosting effects. Thymoquonine balances out the immune system by regulating the inflammatory response and increasing immune cells’ ability to ingest and eradicate pathogens.
4. May Encourage Weight Loss
Nigella sativa may also be helpful for those interested in weight loss. Research shows that black seed oil supplementation and exercise increase weight loss potential. Some studies also demonstrated black seed extract’s ability to significantly suppress appetite, suggesting it may be helpful for those interested in losing weight.
5. May Have Gastro-Protective Properties
Black seed supplements have demonstrated gastro-protective effects by preventing ulcers and inflammation of the mucous lining. The active constituent, thymoquinone, is thought to produce antioxidant activity, protecting the stomach lining from stress-induced issues. In addition to its gastro-protective qualities, black cumin supplements are also used to support digestion.
What Form of Black Seed is Best?
The best form of black seed is cold-pressed oil, as it’s the purest form, and its active constituents are preserved during the process. However, it’s important to consider the flavor when deciding which form of black seed is best for you. Since black seed has a pungent and spicy taste, extracts (like oils and tinctures) may be difficult for some to take consistently.
However, although softgel capsules aren’t as strong and the taste doesn’t linger in the stomach, users often find they aren’t as effective as the liquid supplements. To ensure optimal effects, it’s essential to choose supplements with adequate levels of thymoquinone (~49 mg daily).
Black Seed Dosage:
The recommended dosage for black seed supplements depends on the product form. However, for optimal benefits, the general black seed dosing guideline is:
- Capsules: 300 to 1000 mg (standardized with around 2% thymoquinone) up to twice daily
- Oil: 1 teaspoon (standardized with around 2% thymoquinone); twice daily
- Tincture: 0.7 ml (standardized with around 2% thymoquinone); once daily
Some products, like the Triquetra supplement listed above, contain higher levels of thymoquinone (5%), so it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional to ensure you’re taking the appropriate dose.
Learn more about the most beneficial time of day to take black seed supplements here.
How are Black Seed Supplements Made?
Black seed supplements are made by extracting oil from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant. After the flowers die off, a pod with seeds is left to dry. Once dry, the seeds are harvested and pressed to squeeze out the oil.
Once the oil is extracted, it’s sold as oil or processed into liquid or soft gel capsules. Black seed oil is also blended with other beneficial oils, like flax and pumpkin seed oil, to promote further holistic health and mask the intense flavor.
*It’s important to source black seed supplements from brands that cold-press their seeds, as adding heat to the extraction process can degrade the nutritional and therapeutic benefits. Sourcing organic plants is also essential, as pesticides and fertilizers can affect quality.
Is Black Seed Safe to Take?
Black seed is described as “well tolerated” and is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.
Although adverse side effects are usually rare and mild, discomfort may occur if the recommended dosage is exceeded. Potential side effects may include:
Black seed interacts with pharmaceuticals, like Warfarin (treats and prevents blood clots) and Metoprolol (heart conditions), which are processed through cytochrome p450 enzymes and may affect those with pre-existing conditions.
It’s essential to consult your primary care physician before implementing black seed into your daily regimen to avoid potential complications.
How Does Black Seed Work in the Body?
Black seed is rich in various health-supporting compounds, like fatty acids, terpenes, alkaloids, flavonoids, and minerals. The main active constituent, thymoquinone, works with the immune system by inhibiting the pro-inflammatory response, and in turn, mitigating excessive inflammation.
Along with their ability to soothe inflammation, black seed compounds also work to mitigate the effects of oxidative stress. These two activities support numerous heart, lungs, joints, stomach, and skin functions.
Black seed supplements are incredibly popular for easing joint pain, supporting the immune system, and promoting healthy skin – along with numerous other health benefits. Various scientific studies have demonstrated black seed’s ability to balance and improve numerous processes.
Before implementing a black seed supplement into your routine, it’s essential to consider the product quality and consult with a professional physician. Choosing a supplement from a reputable company will ensure you safely receive the optimal benefits of black seed.
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