black seed oil

4 Powerful Health Benefits of Applying Black Seed Oil Externally

4 Powerful Health Benefits of Applying Black Seed Oil Externally

Black seed oil (Nigella sativa), a member of the Ranunculaceae family, is a small shrub with rosaceous white and purplish flowers. The fruit contains tiny black seeds packed with fixed and essential oils. 

Thymoquinone is a major component with a very low degree of toxicity and potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Also present are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, thymohydroquinone, vitamins, and minerals.

These potent bioactive compounds give rise to several health properties, including:

  • Black seed oil is rich in antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals and deal with oxidative damage. They can also help slow down the aging process and act against skin disorders.
  • Thymoquinone helps inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines and enzymes and treats conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Thymoquinone displays strong activity against gram-positive bacteria, including staphylococcus aureus and staphylococcus epidermidis, which cause skin infections.

While black seed oil is mostly ingested for health benefits, the topical application can address various dermatological concerns.

Let’s explore this holistic approach more and understand the benefits of black seed oil, along with methods of external application and essential precautions!

External Application of Black Seed Oil

Before applying black seed oil externally, you should understand the application process and how it interacts with your skin. The methods of application include:

  • Topical Use: Black seed oil can be applied directly to the skin to reap its benefits. If you have sensitive skin, dilute it with other carrier oils like jojoba oil.
  • Massages: Massage improves the absorption potential of oil and offers therapeutic benefits. The oil will penetrate deeper into your skin, promote circulation, and reduce muscle tension.
  • Poultices: Poultices are herbal pastes made by mixing black seed oil with clay or herbs. They can be applied to the skin and covered with a cloth to attain healing effects.

Black seed oil is lightweight and can easily penetrate the stratum corneum to be absorbed into the skin. Thymoquinone can exert its potential at the cellular level and contribute to overall wellness.

Health Benefits

The health benefits of black seed oil are plenty when applied externally. Utilize correct techniques and formulations to enjoy its powers (backed by scientific evidence):

1. Psoriasis Relief

Psoriasis is a hyperproliferative, autoimmune skin disorder when the immune system becomes overactive, causing quick multiplication of skin cells. It can be painful and itchy, and the anti-psoriatic effects of black seed oil are evident when applied externally.

  • An experimental study utilized the ethanol extract of Nigella sativa seeds for psoriasis. The control group was given traditional treatments. The epidermal thickness of people with black seed usage was increased.
  • Another research compared the anti-psoriatic effects of black seed extract and asiaticoside. The better results of N. sativa were obtained when applied in ointment form.

2. Acne Vulgaris Management

Acne vulgaris is an infectious disease characterized by open or closed comedones, inflammatory papules, nodules, or pustules. The impact of black seed oil is evident due to numerous scientific evidence.

  • A detailed study comprising 62 mild acne patients compared the efficacy of 20% N. sativa oil extract and 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion. People who used N. sativa oil lotion showed reduced inflammation and decreased number of lesions. More than 50% of patients showed good results with black seed oil. 

3. Vitiligo Support

Black seed oil was shown to be effective for hypopigmentation disorder vitiligo. This autoimmune disorder causes patches of skin to lose pigment or color due to a lack of melanin. The white patches on the skin may cause psychological morbidity.

  • study compared black seed oil and fish oil for the treatment of vitiligo lesions. The size of lesions was reduced in the upper extremities, including the trunk, head, and neck regions, and no side effects were reported.

N. sativa is capable of distributing melanin within the skin. For vitiligo patients, the intensity of melanin is increased due to the high sensitivity of receptors. Hence, the external application of thymoquinone can deal with skin pigmentation issues.

4. Hair Nourishment

Black seed oil can keep your scalp moisturized and help manage issues like dandruff. Due to the presence of amino acids, it can seal the moisture in hair shafts.

It promotes hair growth and combat thinning due to increased blood circulation. Also, the oil is great for regulating telogen effluvium.

  • In a 2013 study, 20 women were treated with a lotion containing 0.5 percent black seed oil. Significant improvement in hair growth was shown. However, due to the small sample size, further research is needed.

If you suffer from scalp flakiness and sensitivity, black seed oil may soothe you due to its fatty acid content. The oil’s antioxidants prevent oxidative stress and cellular damage. It also neutralizes free radicals and provides support against follicle damage.

Black seed oil regulates the hair growth cycle and balances the natural balance of scalp oils. 

  • study indicated that when black seed oil is mixed with coconut oil, improvement in the participant’s hair growth was shown with no side effects.

5. Joint Support

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes chronic pain in joints like the knees, hips, fingers, and spine, especially in older people. 

Aromatherapy is a common way to manage pain. It uses aromatic oils from plants to ease the symptoms. Black seed oil is quite effective in this regard, as it is safe to use with the fewest side effects.

  • study investigated the analgesic effect of black seed oil on knee pain. Along with routine prescription, black seed oil was massaged to the knees three times a week for one month. The pain severity of geriatric individuals was reduced compared to the control group.

Safety and Precautions

Black seed oil is generally safe for external use. However, as with any natural remedy, it may cause side effects or allergic reactions.

  • The possible side effects include skin irritation, redness, or itching. Although uncommon, it may lead to allergic reactions and cause hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling. Discontinue the use and seek medical attention immediately.

If you have sensitive skin, dilute the oil and add any other carrier oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil. This will reduce the concentration and make it gentler on the skin.

  • Patch Test: Before using black seed oil on the entire face or large skin area, do a patch test on a small area like the inner forearm to check for reactions. Wait for 24 hours, and then you can use it the way you like.


Applying black seed oil externally offers plenty of health benefits for muscles, skin, and hair. The efficacy in dermatological concerns is due to anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and regenerative capabilities.

By adding black seed oil to your skincare regime, you can experience relief. Understand the mechanism of action and application methods of black seed oil, and you’ll pave the way for healthier skin!

Disclaimer: Consult a licensed healthcare professional before starting any new skincare routine. None of this article’s content is a substitute for medical advice. The individual response to black seed oil may vary, so seek personalized medical guidance based on your health condition.


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