Enhanced Travelers Wellness with Black Seed Products Available at Onsite ProntoCare Clinics in Hotels, Resorts and Spas
by Adel Eldin, MD, FACC, FACP, MBA, GGA and Frederick J. DeMicco, Ph.D., RDN, HAFIA
Given the current and future pandemics, challenges for travelers and their wellness are imminent. It is imperative to develop strategies to enhance immune system and traveler wellness to prevent infection and disease. Black Seed Intake reduces coronavirus infection rate and its complications.
Thus, it would be a great advantage for travelers to have enhanced wellness and safety by having black seed products at onsite ProntoCare clinics at hotels, resorts and spas giving that extra lodging advantage.
A large proportion of travelers are elderly with chronic diseases and challenged immune systems. Black seed has immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties; however, N Sativa and its active constituents have also been noted to provide anti-ischemic effects in several organs, including the brain, kidney, heart, liver, and intestines. Such evidence strongly suggests that N. Sativa seeds and their active constituents may have significant therapeutic potential against COVID-19 and its complications.
COVID-19 has caused a global health crisis, with excessive inflammation, oxidation, and exaggerated immune leading to cytokine storm. Cytokine storms lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDs), which can be fatal. So far, few effective drugs have emerged to assist in the treatment of patients with COVID-19, though some herbal medicine candidates may assist in the fight against COVID-19 deaths. Thymoquinone (TQ), the main active ingredient of black seed oil, possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, and anticoagulant activities. TQ also increases the activity and number of cytokine suppressors, lymphocytes, natural killer cells, and macrophages, and it has demonstrated antiviral potential against several viruses, including murine cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus, and other coronaviruses. Recently, TQ has demonstrated notable antiviral activity. TQ could potentially inhibit COVID-19 development through binding to the receptor-binding domain on the spike and envelope proteins of SARS-CoV-2, which may hinder virus entry into the host cell and inhibit its ion channel and pore-forming activity. Other studies have shown that TQ may have an inhibitory effect on SARS CoV2 proteases, which could diminish viral replication, and it has also demonstrated good antagonism to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors, allowing it to interfere with virus uptake into the host cell. Several studies have also noted black seed’s potential protective capability against numerous chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, asthma, renal dysfunction, and malignancy. TQ has recently been tested in clinical trials for the treatment of several different diseases.
With immunomodulatory actions, black seed may offer prophylactic therapy to prevent infection and to help contain diseases within communities promoting faster post-infection healing Nigella sativa seeds also offer a natural product with multiple potential pharmacological activities including antidiabetic, anticancer, immunomodulatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, a bronchodilator, renal and gastro-protective, and antioxidant properties.
Several studies support the potential antiviral activity of TQ against various viral infections, which is mainly attributed to its multiple beneficial effects, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects in addition to possible direct viral eradication.
Molecular docking studies have already shown that TQ could potentially inhibit COVID-19 by binding to the receptor-binding domain on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which would hinder virus entry into the host cell. Additionally, it may bind to the SARS-CoV-2 envelope protein and inhibit its ion channel and pore formation activity. Other studies have shown that TQ might display inhibitory action against the SARS CoV2 protease, which would halt viral replication.
Thrombotic complications have become a major problem in COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 studies have shown that infected patients develop thrombocytopenia with higher D-dimer levels, much higher rates in patients with severe COVID-19 Viral infections often cause systemic inflammatory responses and interfere with the balance of procoagulants and anticoagulants and in severe or critically ill patients, large quantities of inflammatory mediators, hormones, and immunoglobulin are released, leading to blood hypercoagulability. The level of interleukins, especially IL-6, IL-7, IL-2, granulocyte colony-=stimulating factor, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, macrophage inflammatory proteins 1-alpha, and TNFα, has been similarly found to be increased in patients with COVID-19.
TQ, in black seed, interferes with blood clotting by directly decreasing factor Xa activity in the blood coagulation pathway and by down-regulating TNFα, a cytokine that plays a critical role in the link between inflammatory and thrombosis pathways.
Various supportive treatments such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) render COVID-19 patients at increased risk of liver and kidney toxicity. TQ has been shown to counteract acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity, as well as NSAID-associated nephrotoxicity and gastrointestinal side effects.
As of June 2022, there are 7 published studies from 5 different countries of nigella sativa for treatment and prevention of COVID-19 (c19ns.com). Nigella sativa is ranked No. 2 in this COVID-19 drug league table for ‘early treatment studies’ from the C19 early database.
Based on 4 early treatment studies on 437 patients, nigella sativa found in black seed managed to reduce the risk of death and hospitalization by 83%. This is one nutrient you can consider seriously to add to the growing number of strategies you can use to treat COVID-19.
Australian researchers have found that seeds of the plant, Nigella sativa, better known as Kalonji, could be utilized in the treatment of COVID-19 infection. Black seed oil is extracted from Nigella sativa seeds and has been used in traditional medicine for over 2,000 years due to its many therapeutic benefits.
Another study from Iraq indicates the value of the black seed in reducing infection rates among the participants. Cross tabulation was performed to describe the association between the black seed group and levels of exposure to the risk of catching covid19. The results showed that the lowest incidence of infection was seen at the intermediate 12(17.6 %) and the low 0% levels compared to those at the high level 56 (82.4%) group,
A clinical trial conducted in Pakistan showed promising results of honey and black seed mitigating the severity of symptoms in COVID-19 patients Both moderate and severe COVID19 cases were included in the study. The experimental group was given a mix of 1 g honey and 80 mg/kg of body weight of black seed daily. This mixture was divided into 2-3 doses per day. After roughly 3 months of symptom observation and regular PCR testing, it was found that symptoms resolved in patients given the honey and black seed earlier than those receiving the placebo.
The Taibah University anti-COVID-19 treatment (TaibUVID) has been studied in Saudi Arabia as a novel COVID-19 treatment. The TaibUVID mixture consists of “1 small spoonful (teaspoonful) of nigella sativa oil (or 2-gram Nigella Sativa seeds) mixed with 1 gram of ground anthemis hyalina mixed with 1 large spoonful of natural honey.” (The mixture is recommended orally or can be inhaled as a vapor.
The study found that regular consumption among infected patients led to reduced COVID-19 symptoms, and in 70% of patients, there was a faster recovery time of 1-4 days.70% of those who had contact with COVID-19 infected patients did not result in any positive PCR tests during the 4 months of testing and thus black seed could play an important role in prophylaxis against COVID-19 infection.
Another Study on Honey and Black seed from India show Pharmacological properties which is useful in the treatment and prevention of Corona Virus as well as any types of flu viral disease because the black seed enhances the immune system of our body, and it acts to fight disease. Honey is responsible for killing germs by withdrawing every particle of water from the germs cell then it becomes dead and beneficial to make healthy gut flora in our intestine Without any adverse effects.
A study from UAE documented that Children with COVID-19 may use N. Sativa seeds or oil as adjunctive therapy along with standard care for prevention and treatment. The overall incidence of coronavirus infections and death shows a lower incidence in the Muslim -majority countries with higher consumption of black seed compared to the Western countries with exception of New Zealand due to a higher consumption rate of pure honey!
Black seed oil is available either in the form of capsules or oil. Black seed oil is expected to bolster remarkable growth. With the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a shift in the way consumers are buying supplements especially those that help to strengthen their immune system with supplements and help fight against various infections not just coronavirus. Increased demand from different applications including drug manufacturing, cosmetic products such as facial creams, body lotions, face washes, body washes, and functional foods. The high rate of consumption of black seed oil in a variety of applications can be attributed to the ease of formulation and use.
The available evidence of the anti-inflammatory effects of thymoquinone, the major active compound isolated from Nigella sativa L., via inflammatory signaling pathways in atherosclerosis. A potential role of thymoquinone in managing atherosclerosis which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and peripheral artery disease.
Thus, modulating these inflammatory signaling pathways to produce anti-inflammatory actions may serve as potential therapeutic targets for atherosclerosis management.
Nigella sativa and thymoquinone (being active ingredients in Black Seed) exhibited beneficial cardiovascular effects on cardiotoxicity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and atherosclerosis. These effects were probably due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Nigella sativa. It seems that Nigella sativa could have therapeutic value in cardiovascular diseases. A multi-center randomized trial from Canada, Pakistan, Chile, and United States has shown that Black seed and honey are able to treat moderate and severe COVID-19 patients.
Children with COVID-19 may use N. Sativa seeds or Black Seed oil as adjunctive therapy along with standard care to prevent complications and hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Children including myocarditis. Thymoquinone (TQ) can have a potential role in preventing the cardiovascular complications of COVID-19 by viral inhibition, antioxidant potential, vascular effect, and cardiac protection. Black Seed could also prevent the risk of COVID-19 infection in people at Risk.
Increasing consumer awareness regarding physical fitness and the growing adoption of a healthy dietary lifestyle has driven consumer attention towards the inclusion of immunity-boosting ingredients in their daily diet, which should, in turn, boost the demand for black seed oil and promote market growth globally.