Studies on the antimicrobial activity of Nigella sativa seed (black cumin)

J Ethnopharmacol. 1991 Sep;34(2-3):275-8. doi: 10.1016/0378-8741(91)90047-h.


Filter paper discs impregnated with the diethyl ether extract of Nigella sativa seeds (25-400 micrograms extract/disc) caused concentration-dependent inhibition of Gram-positive bacteria represented by Staphylococcus aureus. Gram-negative bacteria represented by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli (but not Salmonella typhimurium) and a pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. The extract showed antibacterial synergism with streptomycin and gentamicin and showed additive antibacterial action with spectinomycin, erythromycin, tobramycin, doxycycline, chloramphenicol, nalidixic acid, ampicillin, lincomycin and sulphamethoxyzole-trimethoprim combination. The extract successfully eradicated a non-fatal subcutaneous staphylococcal infection in mice when injected at the site of infection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Seeds
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Plant Extracts