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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 724658, 13 pages
Review Article

Therapeutic Implications of Black Seed and Its Constituent Thymoquinone in the Prevention of Cancer through Inactivation and Activation of Molecular Pathways

1Department of Medical Laboratories, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia
2Basic Health Science, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Qassim University, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia
3Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

Received 5 January 2014; Revised 26 February 2014; Accepted 16 April 2014; Published 18 May 2014

Academic Editor: Shrikant Anant

Copyright © 2014 Arshad H. Rahmani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The cancer is probably the most dreaded disease in both men and women and also major health problem worldwide. Despite its high prevalence, the exact molecular mechanisms of the development and progression are not fully understood. The current chemotherapy/radiotherapy regime used to treat cancer shows adverse side effect and may alter gene functions. Natural products are generally safe, effective, and less expensive substitutes of anticancer chemotherapeutics. Based on previous studies of their potential therapeutic uses, Nigella sativa and its constituents may be proved as good therapeutic options in the prevention of cancer. Black seeds are used as staple food in the Middle Eastern Countries for thousands of years and also in the treatment of diseases. Earlier studies have shown that N. sativa and its constituent thymoquinone (TQ) have important roles in the prevention and treatment of cancer by modulating cell signaling pathways. In this review, we summarize the role of N. sativa and its constituents TQ in the prevention of cancer through the activation or inactivation of molecular cell signaling pathways.