History of Black Seed Oil
Black Seed comes from the fruits of a small plant with pale purple, blue, or white flowers that can be found in Eastern Europe, Western Asia and the Middle East. The plant is called Nigella Sativa, but the seed has many different names such as Black Cumin, Black Caraway, Black Onion Seeds and Kalonji. This seed is also mentioned in the bible in Isaiah:27
Black seed has been used as remedies for thousands of years as well as used to spice food and drinks such as pickles, curries, salads, vegetable dishes and bread. The high quality of black seeds is used for food and drinks.
Black seeds have many benefits for the skin, hair and overall health of the body and form part of the ingredients for many beauty products, for example; Shampoo, Massage oils, fragrances, etc.
What is it?
Black seed oil is obtained from the seed using a cold compression method This allows the purest and highest potency nutrients from the seed retain in the oil; the darker the oil, the higher the purity. Black seed oil contains thymoquinone. Thymoquinone is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that may have tumour-reducing benefits.
Black seed oil is also high in fatty acid, but low in Omega 3 and rich in polyunsaturated fat, which means it is great for the heart.
Benefits for the Hair
Studies have shown that black seed oil helps to grow and strengthen the hair shaft diameter (fight against thinning hair) as well as adding shine to a lacklustre and lifeless hair. Black seed oil reduces dandruff, soothes itchy scalp and help fight against greyness.
Benefits for the Body
Black Seed has many health benefits both in the application and when indigested (capsule).
A 2013 study shows that black seed oil reduces the severity of eczema compared to prescribed medication. It can also help with acne according to different research because black seed oil contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to recent studies, black seed oil may help with treating cancer as thymoquinone found in the oil may be able to kill off cancer cells found in leukaemia, breast and brain cancers. These researchers didn’t conduct on human, but on cancer uses cells. A research conducted on rats in 2013 shows that the oil may reduce liver and kidney disease complication and improve these organ structures. An article from the Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that black seed oil may contain anti-diabetic properties and improve blood sugar. This sounds great for diabetics- but remember that these researches happen with animal participants and not humans. There is great news for men who want to have children but finds it hard. Research conducted in men found that the oil increases sperm mobility and sperm count. It may also help with Rheumatoid Arthritis and muscle spasms. The oil may aid in lowering Cholesterol (and supporting the health of the heart) as well as easing toothache
Black seed oil may cause a rash in some individual, so it is very important to do a patch test before using it.
The oil should not be used near the eyes, nose or other sensitive areas of the body.
Consuming black seed oil may cause stomach problems such as constipation, stomach upset and vomiting.
If you are pregnant or breastfeed, please seek medical advice before using.
Naturally Curly; Berley, S (2019); Natural Hair Growth Remedy: Black Seed Oil; https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/kinky-hair-type-4a/hair-growth-remedies-black-seed-oil
Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322948#takeaway
Natural Food Series; Jessimy, M (2019); Black Seed Oil Benefits: For Health, Skin, Hair and Side Effects; https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-health-benefits-black-seed-oil/
Healthy Hubb: https://www.healthyhubb.com/black-seed-oil-benefits/
Beauty Best Care; Smith, J (2020); How To Use Black Seed Oil For Hair Growth; https://www.beautybestcare.com/black-seed-oil-for-hair-growth
Fresh, Body Mind; Ellie (2019); The Amazing Black Seed Oil Benefits for Hair; https://freshbodymind.com/black-seed-oil-benefits-for-hair/
Naturally Daily (2019); Black Seed Oil For Hair: 10 Benefits of Kalonji Oil; https://naturallydaily.com/black-seed-oil-for-hair/
Organic Facts; Staughton, J (2020); 5 Amazing Benefits Of Black Seed Oil For Hair; https://www.organicfacts.net/black-seed-oil-hair.html
NCBI; Yousefi, M, et al (2013); Comparison of therapeutic effect of topical Nigella with Betamethasone and Eucerin in hand eczema; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23198836
What is Olive Oil?
Olive Oil is an oil that derives from its fruits rather than its seeds. This oil comes from the olive fruit which growths on the olive tree around the Mediterranean regions; Olive oil has been part of the Mediterranean lifestyle and beauty regimen since 5000BC (before this, the oil was used as a fuel to light the lamp and for religious ceremonies) as well as getting mentioned in the bible.
Why is Olive Oil good for the hair?
Olive oil has very high levels of monounsaturated essential fatty acids (the good, healthy fat) and vitamin E, it also has many great acids such as Palmitic acid, Oleic acid, Squalene and Terpenes; these acids act like balms which are believed to soften and smooth the hair by creating a layer on the surface of the hair that helps it to lubricate the hair. This decreases any tangles and snagging of the hair. These acids also naturally condition the hair.
Vitamin E helps to fight free radicals from the sun and the pollution in the atmosphere that may damage the hair.
Olive oil is great at alleviating itching and inflammatory scalp and reduce and flaky scalps, therefore reducing all symptoms associated with dandruff.
It nourishes, softens and locks in the moisture in the hair by penetrating the hair shaft and therefore reducing split ends and strengthen the hair. A softer hair can mean more manageable hair since the hair is hydrated.
Olive Oil may be able to aid hair retention and growth as it helps control the sebum on the scalp. Excess sebum can sometimes block the growth of new follicles.
Why is Olive Oil good for the body?
Olive oil helps to moisture the skin and keep its supple as well as (it may) prevent it from premature ageing.
It also helps to soften the dry skin and soothes some skin rash.
If store properly and consume (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), it has cardiovascular and liver-protective benefits and may prevent some cancer.
Olive oil goes rancid very quickly when exposed to oxygen and light.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of Olive Oil or and other oil in terms of food and the body, please check these links out.
Nagdeve, M. (2020); 10 Health Benefits Of Olive Oil; Organic Facts; https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/health-benefits-of-olive-oil.html
Hirst, K.K. (2019); The Ancient History of Making Olive Oil; ThoughtCo; https://www.thoughtco.com/ancient-history-of-making-olive-oil-4047748
ExploreCrete; (17/02/2020); History of Olive Oil; https://www.explorecrete.com/nature/olive-oil-history.html
Leech, J. (2018); 11 Proven Benefits of Olive Oil; Healthline; https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-olive-oil
Nall, R. (2018); Is olive oil good for your hair? Medical News Today; https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323581
Reward Me (17/02/2020); Count On Olive Oil For Common Hair Care Problems; Reward Me; https://www.rewardme.in/beauty/hair/10-amazing-hair-care-benefits-of-olive-oil
Lagadien, S. (17/02/2020); Benefits of Olive Oil for Hair; Leaf; https://www.leaf.tv/13714760/the-health-benefits-of-oil-pulling/
Cutler, N. (2011); Liver Pros and Cons of Olive Oil; Liver Support; https://www.liversupport.com/liver-pros-and-cons-of-olive-oil/
Billian, S. (17/02/2020); Olive Oil Advantages & Disadvantages; Live Strong; https://www.livestrong.com/article/375120-olive-oil-advantages-disadvantages/
Photo by Frank Albrecht on Unsplash
Photo by Frank Albrecht on Unsplash
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is a very thick and sticky oil that comes from the seed of the Ricinus Communis plant. The oil colour is between clear to very light yellow and, it has a very mild odour. The Ricinus Communis plant can be found in Africa and Asia and, it’s believed that the Egyptians were the first to discover the benefit of this oil. They used it not only in their beauty regimen and as medicine (eye irritation, stimulate labour in pregnant women) but also for other practical day-to-day activity and living necessity (such as an oil for burning their lamps). The oil is non-toxic, biodegradable and most importantly renewable.
Why is Castor Oil good for both the hair and skin?
Castor oil has many anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties that help to treat things like ringworm, dandruff, dry itchy scalp and skin. The Ricinoleic acid (12-Hydroxyoleic Acid) in castor oil consists of roughly 90% of the fatty acid; this helps to balance the pH of the scalp and creates an environment that is unsuitable for dandruff.
This oil is a humectant, which means it attracts and traps the moisture (water particles) from the air into the skin and hair. Just like all other oils, castor oil locks in the moisture (water) in the hair, which helps to keep the hair hydrated for longer; the longer moisture stays on the hair strands, the less like it will be prone to breakage and split ends as hydrated hair is flexible, manageable and, healthy. Castor oil penetrates the hair outer layer and fills in any damaged keratin on the strands. This locks in the moisture, keeps the hair hydrated and therefore, making the hair soft and manageable. It also adds shine and lustre to the hair as it forms a protective layer on the hair shaft; this helps to reduce frizz and premature greying, hair thinning and hair loss.
Castor oil is commonly used in today’s modern world as a laxative for constipation, uneven skin tone, acne and many other skin conditions.
How to use Castor Oil on hair?
Like with all oils, castor oil is best applied on wet or damp hair as it seals in the moisture. Due to the thickness of the oil, only the smallest amount needs to be applied to the hair.
Possible disadvantage of using Castor Oil?
Castor oil has few side effects if consume or absorb in a large amount such as:
- Muscle cramps
- Abdominal cramps
- Shortness of breath and chest pain
- Skin rash
- Throat tightness
- We highly recommend that medical advice should be sought as there might be underlying health issues when using castor oil for hair loss.
- Stained clothes (best to wear an old t-shirt or unwanted clothes)
Resources and References:
Tadimalla, R.T; 2020; 9 Side Effects Of Castor Oil You Should Be Aware Of; StyleCraze; https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/side-effects-of-castor-oil-you-should-be-aware-of/#gref
Kandola, A; 2018; Benefits of castor oil for the face and skin; Medical News Today; https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319844.php
Wong, C; 2019; Using Castor Oil for Hair Growth; Very Well Health; https://www.verywellhealth.com/using-castor-oil-for-hair-growth-4172190
Winney; 2019; Benefits Of Using Castor Oil On 4C Hair; LovingKinkyCurls; https://lovingkinkycurls.com/benefits-of-adding-castor-oil-in-your-4c-hair-care-routine/
Walton, N; 2014; How to Use Castor Oil for Natural Hair Growth; Naturally Curly; https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/ingredients/how-to-use-castor-oil-for-natural-hair-growth
Hartfield, W; 2020; Castor Oil For Hair Loss Study Review; Hairguard; https://www.hairguard.com/castor-oil-benefits-for-hair/
Heather; 2012; 8 Benefits of Castor oil for natural hair & a warning!; Neno Natural; https://www.nenonatural.com/hair-blog/8-benefits-of-castor-oil-for-natural-hair-a-warning
Jostylin; 2019; My Experience Using Castor Oil to Grow Natural Hair | 4C Afro Hair Review; Jostylin; https://jostylin.com/how-to-use-castor-oil-to-grow-natural-hair-4c-afro-hair
Kelly AJ1, Kavanagh J, Thomas J; 2013; Castor oil, bath and/or enema for cervical priming and induction of labour; NCBI; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23881775
Photos by: CDC on Unsplash
These are summaries of oils that are great for natural hair and provides an excellent environment for hair growth, hair strength and thickness as well as length retention.
In the future, each oil will get explored in more detail.
Grapeseed Oil: This oil is lightweight and great to use as natural hair protection as it has a high boiling point.
Olive Oil: This heavy oil, is magnificent at conditioning the hair and with its anti-inflammatory property, it can help prevent dandruff.
Coconut Oil: This lightweight oil can penetrate the hair shaft with its antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties it can help prevent hair loss.
Argan Oil: Argan oil contains omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E; this lightweight oil absorbed into the hair, providing great shiny and manageable hair.
Sweet Almond Oil: This oil is full of so much goodness, such as fatty acids, magnesium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, and antioxidants. It helps to seal in the moisture in the hair (keeping it hydrated for longer) and therefore providing elasticity without the greasy feeling.
Jojoba Oil: This is the only oil that is similar to the sebum oil (the natural oil the scalp produces). It is an excellent sealant as it locks in the moisture (water) into the hair.
Castor Oil: Castor Oil is a very thick oil that helps to thicken the hair strands and prevent thinning hair, breakage and hair loss.
Avocado Oil: This is another super oil that contains folic acid, amino acids, fatty acids, copper, iron, magnesium, proteins, and vitamins A, B, D, and E. It protects the hair from sun damages and good to use as a hot oil treatment.
Rapeseed Oil: Conditions the hair and helps to prevent hair loss, split ends and dandruff. It is rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 as well as vitamin E.
Mustard Seed Oil: This is another excellent hot oil treatment and support hair growth as it stimulates and encourages blood flow to the scalp.
Black Seed Oil (Nigella Sativa Seed): It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant promoting a healthy scalp (creating a fantastic environment for hair growth) and reducing dandruff.