Getting an invigorating massage with your favorite essential oils is a great way to end a tough week. To get the most out of essential oils, they should be mixed with a good carrier oil to ensure that the essential oils don’t hurt your skin or evaporate without providing any benefit.
Black cumin seed is a particularly good carrier oil because it is rich in antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
History of Black Cumin Seed Oil
Black cumin seed has a long history as a therapeutic herb. The prophet Mohammed once said that the black seed was capable of curing “anything but death.” Additionally, there were black cumin seeds found in the tomb of King Tut, and there are references to it in the Old Testament.
Black cumin seed, or Nigella sativa, grows natively in Southwest Asia, and it has seen a resurgence in interest recently, as several studies have highlighted that it could have pharmaceutical uses.1
Nigella sativa is of interest to the scientific community because it contains thymoquinone, which is a powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent.2 In addition, the oil also contains palmitic acid and octadecanoic acid, as well as alpha longifolene and beta-caryophyllene.3
Uses for Black Cumin Seed Oil
Fights Skin Infections
Black cumin seed oil is a light oil that is suitable for use on the skin, and it has been found to have antimicrobial effects which can be helpful for combating staphylococcal pustular infections. It can be used to help with acne and other conditions.4
Improves Hair Health
Studies into the cosmetic potential of black cumin seed oil have found that it can help nourish and support hair health and also improve the health of the scalp. The oil is good for giving your hair improved shine and texture.5
Moisturizes the Skin
Palmitic acid, one of the fatty acids found in black cumin seed oil, is a good emollient and moisturizing agent.6 Black cumin seed oil has low toxicity and is something that can be applied daily, making it a good choice for skin care blends.
Acts as a Base for Massage Oils
If you want to massage other essential oils into your skin for a soothing, relaxing, or refreshing effect, then you will need to mix them with a carrier oil. Most essential oils are volatile and evaporate quickly. In addition, some will irritate the skin or cause photosensitivity if applied without dilution.
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Diluting the oils allows you to apply them to the skin without causing irritation and also means that the oil will take longer to evaporate; therefore, it will have more time to be absorbed by the skin and actually have a therapeutic effect.
Works as a Homemade Perfume
If there’s an essential oil that you really love and that you want to wear as a perfume, mix up a few drops with some black cumin seed oil, and you have a ready-to-wear perfume. The aroma of the oil itself is mild enough that the scent of your chosen essential oil should shine through.
Best Essential Oils to Pair with Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil
Black cumin seed oil can pair with many other oils. If you want to make a great moisturizer that will nourish the skin, mix black cumin seed oil with sweet almond, jojoba, borage, and rosehip oils. Each of these has a slightly different fatty acid profile, so together they will more effectively nourish your skin together.
If you want something that makes a great skin scrub, try combining black cumin seed oil with honey, a little sea salt, and some tea tree oil. Honey is known to have numerous medicinal properties, and tea-tree oil is anti-fungal and antibacterial, so it is great for the skin.7,8
Safety and Precautions
Black cumin seed oil is considered to be safe for use both orally (in small quantities) and topically. Some people do suffer from allergic reactions, but these are fairly rare. To see if you are allergic to the oil, apply a small amount of the oil to your forearm and cover that area with a bandage. Wait several hours. If a rash develops, wash the oil off and do not use it again.
It is good practice to perform spot tests like this for your essential oil blends as well (mix each oil with a carrier oil that you know you are not allergic to and test the oils one by one).
There are some contraindications with this oil. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use large amounts of black cumin seed oil. Individuals who have low blood pressure, bleeding disorders, or diabetes should be wary of using the oil orally too. Topical applications should be safe for most people. but it is a good idea to check with your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.9
When making dilutions, be sure to confirm the concentration that you are aiming for. There are only a couple of essential oils that can be applied to the skin without dilution. Most oils should be used at a concentration of around two percent, which is just two drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil. In some cases, you can make dilutions of up to ten percent, but seek advice from an aromatherapy professional before making a blend that strong for topical use.
Black cumin seed oil is a great light carrier oil that you can use for perfumes, massage oils, and more. It is a versatile oil, and it can even be used in cooking. Why not give it a try as a change from coconut or olive oil, and see why the Egyptians saw fit to bury King Tut with black cumin seeds. This carrier oil is a great luxurious oil that can be used as a part of almost any homemade essential oil recipe.
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