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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946

Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo vol.51 no.3 São Paulo May/June 2009 



Clinical and therapeutic applications of Nigella in the management of tropical infectious disorders besides Schistosomiasis



Shailendra Kapoor, M.D.

Correspondence to:



January 3, 2009


The recent article by EL SHENAWY et al. was highly interesting4. The authors have clearly demonstrated the efficacy of Nigella as an effective agent against Schistosomiasis. The findings of EL SHENAWY et al. are highly important as they further add to the rapidly expanding role of Nigella in the management of tropical infections.

For instance, Nigella has recently been shown to be effective against other helminths such as Hymenolepis nana3. It performs this function by augmenting host immunity. Similar protective effects are seen against other worms such as Trichinella spiralis and Aspiculuris2. The protective effects of Nigella are not just limited to helminths. For instance, Nigella demonstrates anti-parasitic effects against infectious agents such as Plasmodium (malaria) as well as viruses such as Cytomegalovirus1,5.

The above examples clearly illustrate the massive therapeutic potential of Nigella in the management of tropical parasitic infections. Researchers should focus on further studies to evaluate the efficacy of Nigella against other tropical parasitic as well as viral infections.




1. ABDULELAH, H.A.A. & ZAINAL-ABIDIN, B.A.H. - In vivo anti-malarial tests of Nigella sativa (Black Seed) different extracts. Amer. J. Pharmacol. Toxicol., 2: 46-50, 2007.         [ Links ]

2. ABU EL EZZ, N.M. - Effect of Nigella sativa and Allium cepa oils on Trichinella spiralis in experimentally infected rats. J. Egypt. Soc. Parasit., 35: 511-523, 2005.         [ Links ]

3. AYAZ, E.; YILMAZ, H.; OZBEK, H.; TAS, Z. & ORUNC, O. - The effect of Nigella sativa oil against Aspiculuris tetraptera and Hymenolepis nana in naturally infected mice. Saudi med. J., 28: 1654-1657, 2007.         [ Links ]

4. EL SHENAWY, N.S.; SOLIMAN, M.F. & REYAD, S.I. - The effect of antioxidant properties of aqueous garlic extract and Nigella sativa as anti-schistosomiasis agents in mice. Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo, 50: 29-36, 2008.         [ Links ]

5. SALEM, M.L. & HOSSAIN, M.S. - Protective effect of black seed oil from Nigella sativa against murine cytomegalovirus infection. Int. J. Immunopharmacol., 22: 729-740, 2000.         [ Links ]



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