A review of ethnobotany, phytochemistry, antimicrobial pharmacology and toxicology of Nigella sativa L.

Md Sanower Hossain, Ashik Sharfaraz, Amit Dutta, Asif Ahsan, Md Anwarul Masud, Idris Adewale Ahmed, Bey Hing Goh, Zannat Urbi, Md Moklesur Rahman Sarker, Long Chiau Ming

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Nigella sativa L. is one of the most extensively used traditional medicinal plants. This widely studied plant is known to display diverse pharmacological actions, including antimicrobial activities. Current literature has documented its multi-target mode of antimicrobial actions. N. sativa or its bioactive compounds, such as thymoquinone, can induce oxidative stress, cell apoptosis (by producing reactive oxygen species), increase membrane permeability, inhibit efflux pumps, and impose strong biocidal actions. Despite its well-documented antimicrobial efficacy in the experimental model, to the best of our knowledge its antimicrobial mechanisms highlighting the multi-targeting properties have yet to be well discussed. Is N. sativa or thymoquinone a valuable lead compound for therapeutic development for infectious diseases? Are N. sativa's bioactive compounds potential antimicrobial agents or able to overcome antimicrobial resistance? This review aims to discuss the antimicrobial pharmacology of N. sativa-based treatments. Additionally, it provides a holistic overview of the ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, and phytochemistry of N. sativa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112182
Number of pages25
JournalBiomedicine & Pharmacotherapy
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Antibacterial agent
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Bioactive molecules
  • Medicinal plant
  • Natural products
  • PhytochemistryToxicology

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