A Secret Skincare Ally: Black Cumin Seed Oil

Black Cumin Seed Oil, also known as Black Seed Oil, is produced from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant. This plant is commonly called black caraway, black cumin or black seed, and has been used for over 3,000 years as a medicinal plant to heal an exorbitant number of ailments. Below we share with you its history, uses and the Ayurvedic perspective of this underutilized skincare ally. 


Native to Southern Europe, North Africa and Southwest Asia, the Nigella sativa is an annual plant of the Ranunculaceae family that has white, yellow, pink, purple or light blue petals and delicate leaves. This medicinal plant bears fruit and within the fruit lies the black seeds that are cold-pressed to make Black Cumin Seed Oil. Nigella sativa and its seeds have been used for over 3,000 years to heal various ailments throughout the world. 

Beginning with the Egyptians, Black Cumin Seed Oil was used to heal digestive upset, respiratory conditions, infections and to keep the skin youthful, toned and supple. Cleopatra herself has been cited as incorporating this precious oil into her beauty rituals. Additionally, ancient Greek physicians like Hippocrates recommended Black Cumin Seed Oil to their patients to heal from debility, headaches, pains and congestion. During the Middle Ages, European nobles were said to have applied the oil onto their bodies to help protect them from viruses and bacterial infections. Further, Indian and Arabian civilizations have utilized Black Cumin Seed Oil and the seeds themselves in both food and medicine. For example, traditional medical systems like Ayurveda, Unnani and Siddha, use Nigella sativa as plant medicine to heal digestive upset, low agni (digestive fire), asthma, inflammation, respiratory issues and imbalances in the skin. 

oil dropping out of serum top


Modern-day research has confirmed what ancient healing traditions and indigenous peoples have known for centuries- that Black Cumin Seed Oil is a miraculous herb with versatile applications! 

What science has now discovered is that there are over 100 active chemical compounds found in Black Cumin Seed Oil and 2 chemical compounds in particular, namely Crystalline nigellone and Thymoquinone, have been the most studied thus far. Research has pinpointed that Crystalline nigellone is responsible for Black Cumin Seed Oil’s efficacy at strengthening the immune system and treating respiratory issues like coughs, asthma, bronchitis and allergic reactions. Moreover, as scientific researchers explain in the book Nutraceuticals: Efficacy, Safety & Toxicity, thymoquinone is also a potent chemical compound that “exhibits outstanding antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and other important biological activities”. What is even more amazing about thymoquinone is that so far it has only been found in the Nigella sativa plant. Needless to say, this medicinal plant is a gift to the earth. Its healing potential is boundless and we are incredibly grateful to work with this oil daily in the PAAVANI apothecary


As mentioned above, Black Cumin Seed Oil has been traditionally used in Ayurveda to heal digestive and respiratory issues, but it has also been used in Ayurvedic dermatology as a topical remedy to promote the health, integrity and luminosity of the skin. Let’s take a look at why we include Black Cumin Seed Oil in our Vata SerumPitta Serum AND Clarify Serum.


Black Cumin Seed Oil is a godsend for vata type skin, which is naturally dry, thin and predisposed to premature wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. Jam-packed with nutrient-dense vitamins, minerals and amino acids like Vitamin B1, B2, and B3, Vitamin E, copper, zinc, phosphorus, folic acid, iron, calcium and magnesium, Black Cumin Seed Oil is one of the most nourishing and protective oils available today. Moisturizing, antioxidant-rich and also chock full of fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which help to produce the skin’s natural oil barrier, critical in keeping the skin hydrated, plump and youthful. If you have dry, thin vata type skin, we suggest you experience the rejuvenating effects of Black Cumin Seed Oil in our Vata Serum.


Thanks to Black Cumin Seed Oil’s containment of thymoquinone and essential fatty acids, it contains anti-inflammatory properties and may protect against sun damage which provides much needed relief to sensitive and overheated pitta type skin. What’s more, it can also help keep the pitta type complexion free from acne, pimples and breakouts due to its antibacterial properties and ability to combat multiple strains of acne-causing bacteria. If you have red, sensitive and sometimes oily, pitta type skin, we recommend you feel for yourself the soothing effects of Black Cumin Seed Oil in our Pitta Serum


Black Cumin Seed Oil is truly a secret weapon in our Clarify Serum. It actively works by penetrating into the skin’s layers, unclogging pores and (as mentioned above) combating multiple strains of acne-causing bacteria while simultaneously helping to balance excess sebum production (which is also an unruly component of blemishes and acne). Alongside its powerful purifying effects, Black Cumin Seed Oil is also nutrient-rich (see above for vata skin benefits), helping to restore skin health long after the blemishes and acne are dispelled. If you struggle with blemishes and acne on your skin, please consider unlocking the magic of Black Cumin Seed Oil in our Clarify Serum


Black Cumin Seed Oil provides immense benefits for all types of skin but is often underutilized when it comes to skincare. We hope that through sharing the many healing properties of this beloved natural, plant-based ingredient, we help to encourage the use of more pure, earth-based options in your skincare routine. We are confident that you will enjoy the many benefits of Cleopatra’s safely kept skincare secret in our PAAVANI Facial Serums! 

Shop our PAAVANI Facial Serums

Nigella sativa plant photo by Skyler Ewing: https://www.pexels.com/photo/blooming-nigella-with-green-leaves-5748818/


@Nadya Yes, black cumin seed oil is also known as black seed oil. Black cumin seed oil may help reduce blood sugar levels and aid in weight loss. Please consult with your healthcare provider for more information.

PAAVANI Ayurveda April 07, 2024


I have two questions for you if I may
Is black seed cumin oil Same as black seed oil ?
Does black seed cumin oil ibalance sugar levels and helps with weight loss
I look forward to hearing from you
Kind regards

Nadya vella April 07, 2024

@Mary Thank you so much for sharing with us how the Vata Skincare line and Coconut Milk Bath have helped your skin, body and mind! We absolutely love hearing how the herbal wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine has supported our customers. We hope that you are enjoying your Body Oil as well. Sending love!

PAAVANI Ayurveda October 25, 2022

I am using the skincare for my dry skin, the oil for “Vata” types. I have noticed a huge difference in my 70 year old face. Not only is it less dry, but it seems to look more relaxed and less tired. Even the very dark circles I have donned for most of my life have diminished. I am more than impressed with the entire line of facial products I am using from Paavani. I am about to order the body oil and am most excited to see the result. Finally, I’m not sure how I have managed all these years without the coconut bath salts. I have had many problems with my intestines and this combination of herbs and coconut milk have made helped my whole body to relax as well as heal. Any soreness in muscles or bodily injuries feel 100% better after a soak in this mixture. I highly recommend to all “Vatas” to add this ritual to your nighttime routine. You will find that your entire body and mind are deeply relaxed, prepared for a sound night of peaceful sleep. Mary Scattergood

mary scattergood October 25, 2022

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