An Overview of Hepatoprotective Effects of Thymoquinone

Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric. 2018;9(1):14-22. doi: 10.2174/2212798410666180221105503.


Background: Liver diseases are globally recognized as major medical problems. Several species of herbal medicine have been investigated for the management of liver-related diseases.

Objective: In this context, Thymoquinone (TQ) as the main constituent of Nigella sativa has long been focused for the treatment of liver diseases in recent years. To suppressing liver diseases, it was reported that TQ exhibits hypolipidic effects, which prevented the fatty acid accumulation in the hepatocytes. The other activity of TQ, not only in the management of chronic liver diseases but also regarding the carcinogenesis, is its potent antioxidant effects, which affect several signaling pathways.

Result: The effect of TQ on NF-κβ is the hepatoprotective effect of this flavonoid. Recently, a few patents of TQ derivatives for protective effects have been developed. This article also discusses our findings with the patents for this agent.

Conclusion: The present review purposed that although the experimental studies indicated the beneficial effects of TQ against liver diseases, more designed clinical trials in human are needed to confirm the safety and efficacy of TQ.

Keywords: Thymoquinone; hepatic cancer; hepatic fibrosis; inflammation; liver injuries; oxidative stress; steatohepatitis; steatosis..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benzoquinones / chemistry
  • Benzoquinones / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Nigella sativa / chemistry
  • Patents as Topic


  • Benzoquinones
  • thymoquinone