Alternative & Integrative Medicine

ISSN: 2327-5162

Open Access

Neuropsychiatric Effects of Nigella sativa (Black Seed) A Review


Mohammad Akram Randhawa and Shehab Ahmed Alenazi

Nigella sativa (N. sativa) seed, commonly known as ‘Black Seed’ in English and ‘Al-Habba Al-Sauda’ in Arabic, had been frequently used as a folk medicine for a large number of diseases since ancient times. N. sativa seed, its oil, various extracts and active components are reported to possess very useful pharmacological effects to include: immune stimulation, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, hypoglycemic, antihypertensive, anti-asthmatic, antimicrobial and anti-parasitic, etc. Some authors have reviewed these pharmacological activities in general but their neuropsychiatric effects are not separately and adequately described. The literature search has revealed a lot of publications pertaining to the actions of N. sativa in neurological and psychiatric problems, e.g., the control of pain, epilepsy, Parkinsonism, anxiety and drug dependence, as well as improvement of learning and memory, alertness, elevation of mood and feeling of good health, etc. Besides, because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other useful actions, was shown to provide neuro-protection from spinal cord injury and prevent damage to brain cells from various nerve toxins in experimental animal models. Moreover, black seed showed promising prophylactic and therapeutic effects on murine toxoplasmosis and demonstrated excellent antimalarial activity against various Plasmodium species in in vivo experiments, including Plasmodium falciparum strains notorious for causing cerebral malaria. The present article is intended to briefly review the valuable efforts of scientists to investigate the pharmacological activities and therapeutic potential of this precious natural herb pertaining to the neuropsychiatric diseases. It is hoped that the present manuscript would be of particular interest to the neurologists and psychiatrists, and the information provided would also benefit general physicians, medical students and the community.


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