Potential Implications of Black Seed and its Principal Constituent Thymoquinone in the Treatment of COVID-19 Patients

Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2021;22(10):1315-1324. doi: 10.2174/1389201021999201110205048.


Background: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the current pandemic of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19). The progression of COVID-19 is related to an excessive host inflammatory immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, which is considered a major cause of disease severity and death. Dysregulated immune response produces huge amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines called "cytokine storm". Moreover, the activation of microthrombi formation plays an important role in multiple organ failure.

Methods: Keeping into consideration the potent anti-inflammatory activity of black seed and its major constituent Thymoquinone (TQ), we hypothesize their potential implication in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. A literature search was performed in PubMed, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar and Scopus electronic databases using the terms, including black seed, N. sativa, thymoquinone, SARSCoV- 2, COVID-19 and inflammatory immune response.

Results: Various studies confirmed that Black seed and TQ reduced the thrombus formation, the expression of tissue factor and the immune activation. Furthermore, TQ demonstrated the broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity that may be effective in controlling the secondary infections in COVID-19 patients.

Conclusion: Keeping into consideration the multi-targeting nature of the black seed and TQ, they may be used as a potential therapeutic formulation or as an adjunct therapy in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; cell signaling pathways; immunopathogenesis; secondary infections.; thymoquinone.

MeSH terms

  • Benzoquinones
  • COVID-19*
  • Cytokines
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Seeds


  • Benzoquinones
  • Cytokines
  • thymoquinone