Dual properties of Nigella Sativa: Anti-oxidant and Pro-oxidant

Nadia Wajid, Fatima Ali, Muhammad Tahir, Abdul Rehman, Azib Ali


Nigella sativa [NS] or Black seed has been used for the treatment of various disorders for centuries. Experimentally, seed extract or thymoquinone [TQ] which is the main constituent of its oil has been reported to have anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic and anticancer properties. Interestingly, the published data demonstrates that NS acts as anti-oxidant in various diseases simultaneously it behaves like a pro-oxidant for cancer cells. Here, we have summarized the dual properties of this medicinal plant. Current review is systematic, based on search from PubMed. Pubmed data indicated that NS has both anti-oxidant and pro-oxidant properties in different cell types hence should be used carefully because it acts as a cytoprotective or cytotoxic agent in inflammatory and malignant conditions respectively.

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