Among both alternative health and weight-loss circles of TikTok, an unsuspecting product is growing in popularity: black seed oil. In the videos utilizing the hashtag #blackseedoil, which currently has 18.7 million views, dozens of people are documenting their experiences taking black seed oil supplements and citing a variety of results, from rapidly dropping several pounds to even making their dick bigger. Whether it can actually produce these miracles is one thing, but more importantly, is it even safe?
Black seed oil is made from the seeds of a plant in the Buttercup family, and while it may be new to many of the people being introduced to it on TikTok, it has a long history of use. The seed itself, often called black caraway or black cumin, is commonly used in Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern foods. In addition to being found in the tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamun, archeological excavations and early pharmaceutical texts further highlight centuries-old uses of black seed for asthma, congestion, intestinal issues and more. A quote that black seed is medicine for everything except death is often attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, and black seed continues to be used in Ayurvedic and other traditional systems of medicine.
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Much of black seed’s history is cited among these TikToks and their comments, and because of its ancient usage, many feel confident in the safety of black seed oil and its efficacy compared to contemporary Western medicine. From this Western standpoint, though, there is some evidence to back it up, too.
In the U.S., the FDA recognizes black seed as generally safe when used as a spice or seasoning. While the FDA doesn’t approve the efficacy of supplements, black seed is permitted to be used in them by the FDA so long as it’s not claimed to cure specific ailments. Various scientific studies have asserted some benefits of taking large doses on black seed oil as is being done on TikTok: One found that people with asthma who took 1,000 milligrams per day had significantly improved asthma control; another found that overweight women who took 3,000 milligrams per day along with a low-calorie diet lost more weight than those who took a placebo; and multiple studies have shown that it can help with eczema and dry skin when applied topically.
Nevertheless, black seed oil and its benefits are generally considered under-studied, and while some studies may have led to positive results, the research isn’t yet comprehensive enough to validate these claims for certain. That said, there also isn’t much evidence to state that taking large doses of black seed oil could cause any serious side effects, though there is at least one instance of someone with type 2 diabetes being hospitalized for kidney failure from taking black seed oil for six days.
More commonly, black seed oil has just been found to give people stomach aches. As one TikToker put it, “Black seed oil makes you pee out of your butthole.” In a different TikTok, where another user claims that ingesting black seed oil will remove the mucus from the body and can make your dick bigger when applied topically, they also state, “When you first start taking black seed oil, you’re going to feel sick as fuck.”
Most TikToks about black seed oil don’t discuss any side effects at all though, except for an unpleasant taste. Instead, they just document the number on the scale decreasing each day. Whether it’s effective for weight loss or solving health issues is debatable, and considering something as innocuous as grapefruit can be dangerous for people on certain medications, it’s important to consult with a doctor about whether taking such a supplement is safe if you have any prescriptions or health problems.
As for black seed oil making your dick bigger, you’re probably just giving yourself a moisturized, spicy-smelling dick.