Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) is the most common manifestation of atopic reaction to inhaled allergens. It is a chronic inflammatory disease which may first appear at any age, but the onset is usually during childhood or adolescence. Up to date there is no curative treatment for this disorder and most of the drugs that were used for treatment only can induce symptomatic relief and some of them have side effect and can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Objective: To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of the Nigella sativa (NS) extract as treatment approach for allergic rhinitis.
Patients & methods: A total of 68 patients with AR were included in the study, of them 19 patients were with mild symptoms, 28 patients were with moderate symptoms and 21 patients were with severe symptoms. Each group was subdivided into active and control subgroups. To prove that the patient's symptoms were allergic in nature, skin test was performed for all patients. Any individual with negative skin test was excluded. The individuals in the active group received N. sativa oil and the control group individuals received ordinary food oil in the form of nasal drops for 6 weeks.
Results: After the 6 weeks treatment course, 100% of the patients in the mild active group became symptoms free; while in moderate active group 68.7% became symptoms free and 25% were improved; while in severe active group 58.3% became symptoms free and 25% were improved. In addition, 92.1% of total patients in the active group demonstrated improvement in their symptoms or were symptoms free, while the corresponding value was 30.1% in the control group (P=0.000). At the end of 6 weeks of treatment with topical use, the improvement in tolerability of allergen exposure in active group became 55.2% which was significant (P=0.006) as compared with control group which was accounted for 20% at the same time.
Conclusion: Topical application of black seed oil was effective in the treatment of allergic rhinitis, with minimal side effects.