Prof. Ibrahim Oreagba of the Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, has affirmed the health benefits and medicinal potentials of black seeds.
Oreagba stated this in his paper presentation at the 10th Obafemi Awolowo University, Muslim Graduates’ Association (UNIFEMGA), honour’s day in Ilorin.
Speaking on: “Prophetic medicines and the medicinal potentials of black seeds”, the expert in drugs formulation described prophetic medicines in Islam as actions, words and prescriptions specifically of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) with regards to sickness, treatment and hygiene.
Quoting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on black seeds, he said: Utilise the black seeds, for without a doubt, it is a cure for all sicknesses aside from death”.
He said that the research by the Holy Prophet had actually opened the floodgates of scientific research into the health benefits and medicinal potentials of the black seeds leading to array of discoveries.
“It includes both physical for body ailments and spiritual prescription known as ruqya for demonic exorcism, ” he said.
According to him, some of these prophetic medicines include honey, dates, olive, cinnamon, siwak and black seeds.
He noted that research on black seeds, also known as Nigella Sativa, had been carried out worldwide with promising results.
The don said there were three natural phytochemical compounds in black seed oil, including Thymoquinone (TQ), Thymohydroquinone (THQ) and Thymol (THY).
“There have been well over 600 peer reviewed scientific articles which relates to the benefits of black seeds oil ranging from its potentials for cancer treatments to its ability to reduce blood pressure and the symptoms of rheumatism,” he said.
Oreagba explained that black seeds has a wide spectrum of pharmacological actions that have been supported by science.
He listed some of the these actions to include anti-cancer, immunomodulator, analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and spasmolytic.
Others are bronchodilator, hepato-protective, renal protective, gastroprotective and anti-oxidant.
The expert on drugs noted that treatment of rats with the seeds extract for up to 12 weeks had been reported to induce changes in the haemogram that include increase in both the packed cells volume, haemoglobin and decrease in plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose.
He therefore urged government to establish a separate database for the safety monitoring of herbs to document their adverse effects profile.
Oreagba also called for establishing of “home grown” clinical trial consortium for Nigerian herbals with verified claims and subsequent standardisation of dosages.