Black Seed Oil for Herpes

Black seed oil is used for many different conditions due to its wide variety of potential health effects, such as antiviral, anti-diabetic, and anti-fungal activities. Among these, there has been …

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Written by: Jack Cincotta, MS
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Medical Review by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Black seed oil is used for many different conditions due to its wide variety of potential health effects, such as antiviral, anti-diabetic, and anti-fungal activities.

Among these, there has been a growing interest in the potential use of black seed oil for herpes treatment.

In this article, we’ll go over what the research says about black seed oil’s benefits for herpes, the possible mechanisms, and how to use black seed on a regular basis for best results.

black seed oil as an herbal remedy for herpes simplex viruses

Black Seed Oil Overview:

Black seed oil is a supplement made from the Black Cumin (Nigella sativa) plant. This shrub is found in several parts of the world, such as Northern Africa, the Mediterranean, and Southwest Asia.

Black Cumin’s flowers are filled with an abundance of seeds, which is where the plant gets its name. Importantly, these seeds contain a high concentration of bioactive compounds, such as:

  • Thymoquinone 
  • Thymohydroquinone
  • Thymol
  • Fatty acids
  • Various vitamins & minerals

Benefits of Black Seed Oil for Herpes:

Research shows that black seed oil has much antiviral activity in general. Within this, certain studies also provide evidence that black seed oil may have benefits for herpes virus.

Herpes is one of the most common viral infections in humans. According to the World Health Organization, the most common variations that affect humans are Herpes simplex 1 and Herpes simplex 2, although there are other variations that can affect humans.

Herpes simplex type 1 is the main cause of oral herpes and affects up to 67% of the population; whereas herpes simplex 2 is the main cause of genital herpes and affects up to 13% of the population worldwide.

Herpes is spread through skin to skin contact or through oral or genital secretions. It can cause painful and/or itchy lesions or sores on the mouth, eyes, rectum, or genitals. Additionally, some individuals may have fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a general feeling of fatigue or being unwell.

In one animal study, black cumin seed oil showed strong antiviral properties against murine cytomegalovirus infection (a type of herpes virus) and decreased viral damage to the spleen and liver with greater efficacy compared to the control treatment. The researchers also noted that black seed oil increased the concentration of certain cytokines, which are important immune compounds. 

In an in vitro study, black seed oil had moderate inhibitory activity against herpes simplex virus.

Another cell culture study compared the antiviral effects of black seed oil and tromantadine hydrochloride (an antiviral pharmaceutical). The researchers found that both compounds had significant virucidal activity against herpes simplex virus. 

Lastly, an in vitro study showed that black cumin seed oil had notable antiviral activity against a type of herpes simplex virus called laryngotracheitis. 

black cumin seed oil as an herbal remedy for herpes simplex viruses

How Does Black Seed Oil Work for Herpes?

Black seed oil seems to fight against herpes by activating innate immune responses, inhibiting viral replication, and limiting the overall severity and damage of viral effects on the body.

Additionally, black seed oil has wide-ranging antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, which may also help to maintain cellular health and overall health. This could potentially increase the body’s ability to fight off viruses. Click here to learn more about the additional benefits of black seed’s anti-inflammatory effects.

Overall, all of these effects seem to be due to thymoquinone and several other bioactive compounds that occur naturally in black seed oil.

These anti-inflammatory effects are also thought to possess benefits that support pet health.

Mechanism of Action:

Black seed oil is thought to benefit herpes simplex viruses by promoting the body’s ability to fight off viruses through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

How Long Does it Take for Black Seed Oil to Work for Herpes?

Black seed oil seems to exert significant antiviral effects in just three days, and may rid the body of the virus in as little as 10 days in some cases. However, this is all based on only animal studies, so it’s not clear if the effects will be similar in humans. 

Therefore, this timeframe is tentative and should be interpreted with caution since there haven’t been any clinical trials done yet.

Based on the overall evidence, though, one can be confident that black seed oil starts to work against herpes simplex virus soon after initial ingestion. What’s less clear is how long one will have to take black seed to rid the body of the virus entirely.


Black seed may start showing benefits for herpes simplex viruses in as little as 3 days, however it is important to note that this finding is based on animal studies and should be interpreted with care.

How Much Black Seed Oil Should I Take for Herpes?

Evidence gathered from clinical trials shows that doses of 1 to 3g in powdered form (or 1 to 3 teaspoons in liquid form) of black seed oil are effective for various health conditions.

There aren’t any clinical trials on black cumin seed oil and herpes simplex virus specifically. However, since there is a clear effective dosage range for many other health concerns, it’s likely that this range is also beneficial for people with herpes.

You can read more about our top recommended black seed oil supplements and suggested dosages here.


Daily supplementation of 1g to 3g of black seed powder or 1tsp to 3tsp of black seed oil liquid is thought to be an effective black seed dosage.

How to Take Black Seed Oil for Herpes:

Given that herpes simplex virus is an external condition, it is likely best to use black seed oil topically by applying it to the affected area daily. 

Some individuals also combine black seed oil with honey, given that this combination may provide even greater skin-healing effects. One can combine equal parts honey and black seed oil and apply directly to the skin. You can learn more about the benefits of black seed for skin health here.

Black seed oil can also be taken orally using capsules or powder. If done in this way, stick to the recommended dosage of 1-3g daily. 

Regardless of which method one uses, it’s best to consistently take black seed oil every day to achieve maximum benefits and clear the virus out effectively. By clicking here, you can read more about the best time of day to supplement with black seed oil.

Keep in mind that this is general advice. Always consult your doctor or other healthcare practitioner before taking black seed oil in order to determine if it’s a safe, effective option. 

Click here to read more about the safety and side effects of black seed oil.

antiviral and antioxidant activity of black cumin seed oil


Black seed oil has potential antiviral properties against herpes simplex virus. While clinical trials are needed to confirm the benefits, a variety of animal and cell-based studies have shown that black seed oil can inhibit herpes virus replication, boost the body’s immune responses, and limit the overall damage from the herpes simplex virus on the body.

These effects seem to happen rather quickly, although it’s unclear what the optimal time frame is for supplementation in humans based on lack of clinical trials. With that said, based on how black seed oil has been used for other health concerns in clinical trials, taking 1-3g per day (or 5 to 10mgL in liquid form) is likely effective for herpes, especially when taken consistently.

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About Jack Cincotta, MS

Jack has a Master of Science degree in Psychology and is also an AADP® Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and AFPA® Certified Holistic Health Coach. His passion is to help people develop optimal levels of health, particularly mental health.