Black Seed Oil Blamed For Severe Skin Injuries

It's not an essential oil, but black seed oil, known also as black cumin oil, is the latest "good fat" to find itself pushed into the spotlight by folks trying to make a buck. Black seed is, say the folks hawking it, a treatment (or even a cure) for a variety of medical conditions, including:

  • Asthma
  • Bacterial infections, including MRSA
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Eczema
  • Hair loss
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Infertility
  • Jaundice
  • Obesity
  • Wounds

Is black seed oil dangerous?
Doctors in France warn dermatologists to look out for severe skin injuries caused by black cumin oil. The oil, known also as black seed oil, is a popular carrier in aromatherapy.

Science is still sorting out exactly how miraculous black cumin actually is but the potential dangers for some users became clear for a team of doctors at Henri Mondor Hospital in Paris. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, these doctors document three cases of severe acute contact dermatitis caused by the product.

All three of the patients were women who sought treatment between 2009 and 2017 and all three had what the doctors described as "severe impairment". Blisters, plaques and skin detachment were also noted.

The doctors believe that the women suffered skin apoptosis, or cell death, that was triggered by a severe case of contact dermatitis. Exactly how common such severe reactions might be is unknown but doctors believe they have identified the two compounds in black cumin oil that are responsible.

They urge other doctors to report similar cases.

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