Black cumin belongs to the buttercup family and is therefore not related to its namesakes, caraway and cumin from the umbelliferae family. At the latest when you put a seed in your mouth, you will notice the difference: its taste is more reminiscent of sesame. Therefore, black cumin is also increasingly used as a spice, especially in the Orient, or in the medical field of naturopathy. Because the oil obtained from it is said to have a positive effect on skin diseases (such as neurodermatitis or psoriasis) and allergies. However, what nobody knew until 2014 is that black seed oil can help against ticks in dogs. A young high school student found this out by accident.

The year is 2014: Alexander Betz is 18 years old, goes to high school in Regensburg, Bavaria and has a dog named Filou. In order to treat his pet’s allergies, the student mixes black cumin oil into the dog food – and after a short time notices that these are actually improving. But that’s not all: he hardly ever finds any ticks in his Labrador’s fur. But instead of accepting this random observation as a positive side effect, the 12th grader begins to investigate.

Alexander takes a towel, walks across a meadow with it and catches several ticks. He then transports the bloodsuckers into a Y-shaped vessel that he made himself. There are blood and sweat samples in the two forks – one with and one without black cumin oil in small quantities. No matter how many times he repeats the experiment, the result is always the same: the ticks avoid the fork in which the prepared oil mixture is located. The 18-year-old student comes to the conclusion that black cumin oil helps against ticks.

Following his groundbreaking discovery, Alexander submitted his newly gained knowledge to the “Jugend forscht” competition and took third place.

Even if there are still no scientific studies on the effect of black cumin oil on ticks, the experience of many dog ​​owners has shown that not every animal remains 100 percent parasite-free after being administered the cold-pressed oil – however, the number of bloodsuckers, found in the fur are significantly reduced. So if you want to administer the natural repellent to your dog, use the black cumin oil as follows: Mix eight to a maximum of ten drops (never more) under the food or in the drinking water of the four-legged friend. Alternatively, you can drip the oil directly onto the dog’s collar or fur, the same dosage is recommended here. Massage the drops into the skin so it doesn’t get caught on the hair. There are no known side effects so far, but you can consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about use or dosage.

Tip: Researchers at the FU Berlin found out that coconut oil against ticks is also an effective remedy for humans and animals.

Veterinarians strongly advise against giving black seed oil for ticks to cats as well – as they lack an important enzyme to break down certain phytochemicals that contain essential oils. In other words, the animals could get breathing difficulties from the administration, suffer severe liver and kidney damage or, in the worst case, even die from it. Because black cumin oil acts on the velvet paws like a poison.

Due to its positive effect on the human immune system, black cumin oil is said to help alleviate allergies or skin and digestive problems. It can either be applied directly to the skin and rubbed in like a lotion, or taken orally: either pure or in the form of capsules. External use makes sense above all if you want to treat neurodermatitis or psoriasis. Direct intake, on the other hand, is the better choice for gastrointestinal complaints or high blood pressure. Here, take three teaspoons or two capsules daily.

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