Black Cumin Kills Cancer Cells

Black cumin, or Nigella sativa, has been a staple in Middle Eastern and African traditional healing for centuries. Now another study seems to support the use of black cumin seeds in the treatment and prevention of certain types of cancer.

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a natural process through which the body rids itself of unnecessary cells. But cancer cells generally lack this “programming” and that’s one reason they multiply so readily. Getting cancer cells to “self-destruct” is a major area of cancer study.

Enter black cumin. Researchers know that extracts made from the seeds of N. sativa contain a phytonutrient known as thymoquinone. In some experiments, thymoquinone has successfully induced apoptosis in human cancer cells. In this study, researchers added an extract of black cumin to human cervical cancer cells and found that the extract successfully caused cell death of the cervical cancer cells.


Shafi, G., et al. (2009). Induction of apoptosis in HeLa cells by chloroform fraction of seed extracts of Nigella sativa. Cancer Cell International.



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