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Author Topic: updated literature-based review: Nigella sativa  (Read 435 times)

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Online Jim Allen

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updated literature-based review: Nigella sativa
« on: April 18, 2019, 11:51:08 am »
This is not news as such, however its a write-up based on a recent 2019 published review.

I thought i would be worth sharing as i am sure many of use still come across nonsense stories or false claims online about Nigella sativa (black caraway, cumin) and HIV. These claims are harmful and, even here we have had a few misguided members over the years.

In Dutch:
Published by hivvereniging.nl
April 16th 2019


Google translate into English:


HIV and 'black seed oil'
Published: April 16, 2019 by Editors

Articles and stories circulate on the internet telling that the oil from black cumin (Nigella Sativa, also known as nutmeg flower, onion seed and kalonji) can ensure that HIV is suppressed or that people are even cured of the virus. But does it really work?

What is 'black seed oil'?
Black cumin has been used as a medicine since ancient times. The part of the plant that is used the most is the oil that is extracted from the seeds. It is not certain whether this 'black seed oil' has a positive effect on the immune system: the results are contradictory. 'Black seed oil' has been used for a long time in Africa, Asia and the Middle East to treat arthritis, diabetes, asthma and high cholesterol, among other things.

Does it work against HIV?
No. 'Black seed oil' does not work against HIV, not for suppressing the virus and not as a cure. It has never been proven that a drink, herb or supplement has an effect on suppressing the virus. You may feel better if you use herbs or supplements in addition to your HIV medication, but the effectiveness for treating HIV has never been demonstrated in scientific research. HIV medication is sufficient to suppress the virus, you do not need anything else for this.

But why is this on the internet?
Sometimes you hear or read stories about people who do not take HIV medication and still have a suppressed virus, or even cure HIV. Always wonder if what you read on the internet is true. A lot of money is sometimes earned on the sale of herbs and supplements. It has never been shown that this has caused someone to heal from HIV or to suppress the virus.

Two articles have been published in magazines about people who are supposedly cured after using 'black seed oil'. However, the treatment was not performed in a controlled setting, and there are no studies that can confirm this. So there is no reason to believe that 'black seed oil' can be used to cure someone from HIV.

Can you use 'black seed oil' in addition to your HIV medication?
Yes, the use of 'black seed oil' can be combined with HIV medication. Always tell your HIV practitioner or consultant if you use this or something else alongside your HIV medication, because some supplements and herbs cannot be combined with medication. There may be an interaction that causes the HIV medication to not work well enough or to work properly and become toxic. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about this.

Suppressed virus without medication?
There is a small group of people who do not take medication and still keep a suppressed virus. This may be because these people have taken medication in the past and now have 'post-treatment control'. This means that there was very little virus when treatment started, and it takes a very long time for the virus to replicate again. There are also 'elite controllers'. These are people who keep suppressed viruses for a long time despite not taking medication.

Ultimately the amount of virus increases with both 'post-treatment control' and 'elite controllers'. They too can eventually get AIDS if the amount of virus becomes very large. HIV testing will always show that they have HIV with 'post treatment controllers' and 'elite controllers'.


'Black seed oil' is not an alternative to HIV medication and does not work as an HIV cure. If you wish to use it in addition to your HIV treatment for other reasons, report this to your doctor or pharmacist to check any interaction with other substances.


Islam, MT, Khan, MR, & Mishra, SK (2019). An updated literature-based review: phytochemistry, pharmacology and therapeutic promises or Nigella sativa L. Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine, 1-15.

Liu, JP, Manheimer, E., & Yang, M. (2005). Herbal medicines for treating HIV infection and AIDS. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3).

Onifade, AA, Jewell, AP, & Adedeji, WA (2013). Nigella sativa concoction induced sustained seroreversion in HIV patient. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 10 (5), 332-335.

Onifade, AA, Jewell, AP, & Okesina, AB (2015). Seronegative conversion of an HIV positive subject treated with Nigella sativa and honey. African Journal of Infectious Diseases, 9 (2), 47-50.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 11:55:32 am by Jim Allen »
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