Q. Dear Terry, “I was reading an article online about black seed oil being able to kill cancer cells. I’m not really familiar with black seed oil, but I’m considering taking it for cancer prevention. What are your thoughts on black seed oil?” – Omar H., Alberta, Canada
A. Dear Omar, When it comes to cancer prevention, I think diet and lifestyle play a huge role in our individual risk. Some cancers have a strong genetic component, but the majority of cancer relates to our diet and lifestyle. Nature has also provided us with some very powerful anticancer ingredients.
In Middle Eastern and Asian traditional medicine, black seed oil (black cumin) was prescribed as a tonic for virtually everything, including respiratory diseases, infections, digestive disorders, muscle pain, and many other conditions. In fact, one of the old sayings about black seed oil was that it “cured everything but death.” Black seed oil contains a compound called thymoquinone, which has been shown to be anticancer, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and also shown to protect the brain and memory, and stop pain.
I think one of the most exciting uses for black seed oil is its potential to slow tumor formation and stop cancer. Studies on cancerous cells show that thymoquinone disarms that cancer cell’s ability to defend itself from our body’s natural cancer killing systems. Thymoquinone has also been shown to increase the activity of our own tumor suppressor gene, the p53 pathway, which prevents and/or stops the formation of harmful cells. Even more impressively, black seed oil is able to selectively target cancerous cells and simultaneously protect our normal and healthy cells.
When it comes to cancer prevention, I think there are several other ingredients that you could consider: curcumin blended with turmeric essential oil, grape seed extract, boswellia, and andrographis.
Terry . . . Naturally
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