The oil of black seed (Nigella sativa) also known as black cumin has been used by traditional healers for centuries. In the Middle East and across the Islamic world it is regarded as one of the greatest healing medicines of all, with a wide variety of applications. The old Latin name for black seed was “panacea” meaning cure all. Modern herbalists use it most commonly in assisting with the treatment of asthma, cancer and diabetes.
A Turkish study in 2003 set out to understand the mechanisms that black seed uses to increase insulin production and found that hypoglycaemic action of black seed could be partly due to amelioration in the β-cells of pancreatic islets causing an increase in insulin secretion.
A 2010 Random Control Trial study by Bamosa et al involving 94 patients found Nigella sativa at a dose of 2 gm/day caused significant reductions in fasting blood glucose. The researchers concluded “Nigella sativa might be a beneficial adjunct to oral hypoglycemic agents in type 2 diabetic patients“.