Black seed is a traditional herb in use for thousands of years by people of Middle East, Africa and Asia for promoting their health. It is known for its curative properties in the treatment of many diseases. Black seed is helpful in promoting digestion, metabolism, lowering blood sugar level and treatment of diabetes. Its ability to improve digestion, stimulate and regularise bile and flushing out the worms and parasites of the intestine helps in diabetes management. There have been many studies on black seed and diabetes complications and the results show the good effects of the herb on the symptoms of the disease.
Black seed extracts restrict the absorption of glucose in the intestine. They improved the glucose tolerance of lab animals as reported in a study published in 2009 issue of Journal of Ethnopharmacology. This was corroborated by another study published in the Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology which reported that Nigella sativa extracts prevent to some extent the damage to beta cells in the pancreas. These cells are responsible for insulin production, and preventing their damage lowers the risk of type 1 diabetes, the study concludes.
Another study reaffirmed these findings by stating that the substance called thymoquinone found in black seeds helps in preventing the development of type 1 diabetes. The sensitivity of liver cells are also increased, and this helps to prevent type 2 diabetes. The antioxidant activity of black seed extracts is helpful in protecting the pancreatic cells from the impact of free radicals.
Though it is advisable to start taking black seeds for preventing the complications, diabetics should be wary of the potential side effects. There have not been extensive studies on the side effects of taking black seeds but in some cases, allergic rashes and contact dermatitis have been reported after the use of black seed oil and ointments. According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, administration of high doses of black seeds in lab animals resulted in kidney and liver damage. The researchers said that this may well occur in humans too.
If you are on drugs such as erythromycin, codeine, cyclosporin and acetaminophen, their effect can be reduced by supplements of black seeds. The cellular concentration of these drugs is lowered by black seeds. So, before thinking about preparing some black seed diabetes recipes, learn about the ideal dosage for treatment of your condition from your doctor.
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