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Black cumin oil, also known as black seed oil, is an intensive, spicy-tasting oil that is extracted from the black seeds of black cumin (Nigella sativa). The oil is said to have a repellent effect against mosquitoes and ectoparasites such as ticks, fleas, lice, and mites.
Using synthetic repellents is one of the most effective ways to protect against biting bugs. These man-made synthetic bug repellents contain highly effective anti-parasitics, chemicals that act specifically on insects and spiders. Side effects are very rare and often less dangerous than ” the damage” caused by the diseases that they can help avoid.
Nevertheless, many users fear side effects and prefer organic alternatives that are obtained from plant products. Black Seed, Nigella Sativa, also known as black caraway or black cumin is such a natural product, more precisely the oil obtained from the seed.
What is Black Seed Oil
Black Seed, Nigella sativa is an annual flowering plant that is native to North Africa and southwestern Asia. The seeds and the oil from the seeds have been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for centuries. It is used worldwide as a spice oil and adds amazing flavors to many dishes. And in traditional medicine and naturopathy, it is credited with many medicinal benefits and has been used for everything from just treading toothache and gum disease, to skin diseases to boosting the immune system.
Extraction of Black seed oil
The oil is obtained from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant. After flowering, the annual plant forms fruit capsules in which the seeds are. When the plant has died, the fruit capsules are harvested and dried. The seeds are extracted from the fruit capsule and are freed from impurities.
The seeds are then mechanically cold-pressed to obtain high-quality black cumin oil. The black cumin oil obtained in this way is characterized by a strong, pleasant smell and taste.
Nigella Sativa oil (Black seed oil) mainly consists of unsaturated fatty acids, essential oils, a variety of vitamins, and other trace elements.
The compounds that are said to give Nigella oil its insect and tick-repellent properties are the naturally occurring terpenes Carvacrol and Thymol found in many plants that act as a deterrent to insects.
Does black cumin oil work as mosquito and tick repellant?
Terpenes are organic compounds are produced by many plants to ward off herbivorous insects and parasitic diseases. Carvacrol and Thymols found in Nigella sativa have toxic and repellent properties against ticks and mosquitoes. Carvacrol shows ovicidal and larvicidal activity against ticks.
How to use Nigella Sativa oil as a repellent
The essential oil of Nigella Sativa can easily be applied topically to clothing and skin to repel ticks and mosquitos.
Dogs can also be treated, simply rub black cumin oil into the fur to protect your pet against ticks, fleas, and other parasites.
- Nigella Sativa is a natural and easily available product
- Used as food for over two thousand years
- Easy topically applied to the skin
- No serious side effects are known
- Helps to repel ticks and reduces the risk of tick bites
- Works as a repellant for mosquito bites and prevents mosquito-borne diseases
- Can be sprayed in the yard to keep the ticks off
- Blackseed oil can be used as a carrier oil for homemade insect- and tick repellent
- It is anti-inflammatory, ointments can be used to treat conditions
- Not as effective as a synthetic repellent
- May cause allergic skin reactions in rare cases
- Strong smell
- Must not be used on cats as it is toxic to cats
Before first use, do a patch test on a small area of the skin to check for hypersensitive skin reactions. Don’t use if itching or other skin reaction occurs. In rare cases, topically applied Nigella Sativa can cause allergic reactions.
Some people may not like the characteristic smell of the oil. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are advised to consult their physicians before using Nigella Sativa essential oil.
Blackseed oil and bug repellent
Ticks and mosquitoes are major causes of vector-borne diseases in humans and animals. Precautions should be taken to avoid mosquito and tick bites, especially when in areas where these insects are cause for concern. Lyme disease, malaria, and dengue fever are serious and life-threatening diseases.
Nigella sativa oil can be used as an organic alternative to synthetic repellents. Blackseed oil has been used traditionally for a multitude of applications it is considered safe and there are no serious side effects known.
Keep in mind there is no 100% protection, so depending on where you are, and if there is a high risk to contract mosquito or tick-borne illness, it may be advisable to resort to more effective means of protection.
A study on: Repellency to ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) of extracts of Nigella sativa