Black seed oil benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss, improve skin conditions, heal wounds and fight infections like MRSA. Its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties are attributed to the plant’s thymoquinone content. Numerous placebo-controlled studies support thymoquinone’s ability to scavenge free radicals, inhibit certain cancer cell growth, support healthy blood pressure and help with digestion.

The oil comes from seeds of Nigella sativa, also known as black caraway, black cumin, or kalonji. It’s pressed from the crushed seeds, and it can be used topically or taken orally. The supplement is considered Generally Recognized as Safe by the Food and Drug Administration, but it’s best to check with a doctor before beginning any new supplements or herbs, including black seed oil.

In one small study, people put drops of black seed oil in their noses for 6 weeks to treat mild, moderate or severe allergic rhinitis (hay fever). The results showed that 9 out of 10 patients experienced less sneezing and itching, and the symptoms improved.

Another black seed oil benefit is its ability to aid in hair growth. In one study, women who applied the oil to their scalp saw increased thickness and volume of their hair. It also hydrated the hair, reducing frizz and taming flyaways.

However, the oil hasn’t been tested on all hair types or in long-term trials, so it’s not clear how effective it is. Black seed oil may also cause allergic rashes and upset stomach, and it can interfere with blood-clotting medication.