Nigella Sativa: A Natural Remedy for COVID-19 Backed by Randomized Controlled Trials

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In the ongoing search for effective treatments against COVID-19, a humble herbal remedy, Nigella sativa or black cumin seed, has emerged as a promising candidate, backed by evidence from randomized controlled trials

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that Nigella sativa, an affordable and widely available herbal medicine, significantly reduced the risk of mortality and improved viral clearance in COVID-19 patients compared to placebo or standard care. However, more large-scale trials are needed to confirm these findings.


The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a global search for effective treatments, with herbal remedies garnering interest as potentially affordable and accessible options. One such remedy is Nigella sativa, commonly known as black cumin seed, which has a long history of use in traditional medicine for various ailments.1 A recent meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) has shed light on the potential of N. sativa in treating COVID-19 patients.2

Study Design and Methods

Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs investigating the use of N. sativa for the treatment of COVID-19 compared to placebo or standard care. They searched several databases to identify relevant studies and used RevMan 5.4 software for statistical analyses.2 The primary outcomes of interest were all-cause mortality, viral PCR positivity, hospitalization rate, and recovery rate.


The meta-analysis included a total of seven RCTs. The results showed that N. sativa significantly reduced the risk of all-cause mortality in COVID-19 patients compared to the control group (RR 0.27, 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.72).2 Additionally, N. sativa was found to significantly reduce the rate of viral PCR positivity (RR 0.62, 95% CI: 0.39 to 0.97), indicating improved viral clearance.*2

However, the analysis did not find a significant difference in the risk of hospitalization (RR 0.26, 95% CI: 0.04 to 1.54) or the rate of non-recovery (OR 0.48, 95% CI: 0.20 to 1.15) between the N. sativa and control groups.2

Implications for Natural Healing

The findings of this meta-analysis suggest that N. sativa may be an effective natural remedy for treating COVID-19 patients. The significant reductions in mortality risk and viral load are particularly promising, as they indicate the potential of N. sativa to improve clinical outcomes. 

As an affordable and widely available herbal medicine, N. sativa could be a valuable addition to the global arsenal of COVID-19 treatments, particularly in resource-limited settings. However, it is important to note that the results of this meta-analysis are limited by the small number of RCTs available, and further large-scale trials are needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of N. sativa in treating COVID-19.


The meta-analysis of RCTs investigating Nigella sativa for the treatment of COVID-19 patients has provided evidence supporting the potential of this herbal remedy in reducing mortality risk and improving viral clearance.* While more research is needed to fully understand the anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects of N. sativa against SARS-CoV-2, these findings highlight the promise of natural remedies in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the health benefits of Black Seed (Nigella Sativa) on our database on the subject here.

Learn about natural approaches to Coronavirus infection here.

*An alternative view is not that Nigella sativa is "anti-viral" and that the perceived reduction in 'viral load' through PCR tests is accurately portraying a reduction in the number of viral particles present, rather, that the number of cells being damaged or undergoing apoptotic or necrotic death is reduced through the action of Nigella sativa, reducing the amount of cellular debris (including nucleic acids released into the plasma) resulting in false positives via PCR testing. 

IMPORTANT NOTE ON 'GERM THEORY' AND COVID-19: Discussion of COVID-19 and infectious disease often comes with a wide range of unexamined assumptions, including the presumed lethality of viral particles, or even that viruses per se exist as classically defined by virologists. This is not something that should go without discussion and debate, as the topic deserves a much deeper exploration than is presently being conducted by the mainstream media and conventional medical authorities. In order to rectify this conspicuous lacunae, Sayer Ji has presented an alternative perspective which calls into question conventional models of infectious disease and contagion attributed to viruses, replacing it with what he calls the Xenogen Hypothesis. Learn more by watching his two presentations on the topic. 1) Covid-19: is it really about a virus? And 2) A New Biophysical Paradigm: Viruses, Exosomes, & Infection with Sayer Ji



1. Ahmad A, Husain A, Mujeeb M, et al. A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013;3(5):337-352. doi:10.1016/S2221-1691(13)60075-1

2. Umer M, Naveed A, Maryam Q, et al. Nigella sativa for the treatment of COVID-19 patients: A rapid systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Food Sci Nutr. 2023;12(3):2061-2067. doi:10.1002/fsn3.3906

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