Generic placeholder image

Current Nutraceuticals


ISSN (Print): 2665-9786
ISSN (Online): 2665-9794

Research Article

Nanosizing Nigella: A Cool Alternative to Liberate Biological Activity

Author(s): Mariza Vaso, Wesam Ali, Muhammad Irfan Masood, Muhammad Jawad Nasim, Rainer Lilischkis, Karl-Herbert Schäfer, Marc Schneider, "> Vilma Toska Papajani and Claus Jacob*

Volume 2 , Issue 1 , 2021

Published on: 30 September, 2020

Page: [37 - 46] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/2665978601999200930143010


Background: Seeds of Nigella sativa, commonly referred to as “black cumin”, are rich in a spectrum of biologically active substances and thus associated with a range of potential health benefits. Unlocking the activity of these phytochemicals traditionally requires solvent extraction. Previously, we have explored nanosizing as an alternative to liberate the biological activity of natural products, such as Solanum incanum, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Loranthus micranthus and Cynomorium coccineum.

Objectives: Nanosizing natural products may increase their activity for a number of reasons ranging from an improved bioavailability to physical nano-toxicity. Because Nigella sativa is amenable to being “milled down”, this spice has been employed to explore the underlying causes of increased activity upon mechanical particle size reduction.

Methods: Nigella sativa seeds were pre-milled employing a household flour mill followed by extensive grinding exploiting a planetary ball mill. The particles were characterized employing Laser Diffraction, Photon Correlation Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy connected with Energy Dispersive X-ray Diffraction. Finally, the samples were evaluated for sterility profile, and nematicidal and antioxidant activities.

Results: Suspensions containing fairly uniform particles of Nigella sativa showing diameters in the range of 100-1000 nm have been obtained. These nanosuspensions are characterized by considerably reduced microbial contamination when compared to the bulk material and reasonable antioxidant and nematicidal activities when employed at higher concentrations. This activity is comparable to the one of the ethanolic extract of the seeds and is significantly higher when compared to the one of aqueous extracts. A combination of “sterilization and extraction by milling”, improved liberation of soluble substances from small particles, surface activity and physical nano-activity of the particles itself is likely responsible for the activities observed.

Conclusion: Nanosizing of the entire natural products provides an interesting alternative to solvent extraction as it results in the liberation of active ingredients and certain additional activities. The resulting nanosuspensions can be investigated further and optimized for applications in Nutrition, Agriculture, Medicine, and Cosmetics.

Keywords: Antioxidant activity, ball milling, heat-sterilization, nanoparticles, nematodes, Nigella sativa.

Graphical Abstract
Muniafu, M.; Kahindi, J.H.P. Phytochemicals, natural products at a crossroad: Current and future directions. Planta Med., 2013, 79, 874-875.
Pavlović, I.; Khateb, S.; Milisav, I.; Mahajna, J. Nutraceuticals for promoting longevity. Curr. Nutr., 2020, 1, 1-18.
Ramalingum, N.; Mahomoodally, M.F. The therapeutic potential of medicinal foods. Adv. Pharmacol. Sci., 2014, 2014354264
Wang, T.; Wang, Q.; Li, P.; Yang, H. Temperature-responsive ionic liquids to set up a method for the simultaneous extraction and in situ preconcentration of hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds from medicinal plant matrices. Green Chem., 2019, 21, 4133-4142.
Griffin, S.; Tittikpina, N.K.; Al-marby, A.; Alkhayer, R.; Denezhkin, P.; Witek, K.; Gbogbo, K.A.; Batawila, K.; Duval, R.E.; Nasim, M.J.; Awadh-Ali, N.A.; Kirsch, G.; Chaimbault, P.; Schäfer, K-H.; Keck, C.M.; Handzlik, J.; Jacob, C. Turning waste into value: nanosized natural plant materials of solanum incanum L. and pterocarpus erinaceus poir with promising antimicrobial activities. Pharmaceutics, 2016, 8, 11.
Griffin, S.; Masood, M.I.; Nasim, M.J.; Sarfraz, M.; Ebokaiwe, A.P.; Schafer, K.H.; Keck, C.M.; Jacob, C. Natural nanoparticles: A particular matter inspired by nature. Antioxidants, 2017, 7, 1-21.
Griffin, S.; Alkhayer, R.; Mirzoyan, S.; Turabyan, A.; Zucca, P.; Sarfraz, M.; Nasim, M.; Trchounian, A.; Rescigno, A.; Keck, C.; Jacob, C. Nanosizing cynomorium: Thumbs up for potential antifungal applications. Inventions, 2017, 2, 24.
Griffin, S.; Sarfraz, M.; Farida, V.; Nasim, M.J.; Ebokaiwe, A.P.; Keck, C.M.; Jacob, C. No time to waste organic waste: Nanosizing converts remains of food processing into refined materials. J. Environ. Manage., 2018, 210, 114-121.
Sarfraz, M.; Griffin, S.; Gabour Sad, T.; Alhasan, R.; Nasim, M.J.; Irfan Masood, M.; Schafer, K.H.; Ejike, C.; Keck, C.M.; Jacob, C.; Ebokaiwe, A.P. Milling the mistletoe: Nanotechnological conversion of african mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus) intoantimicrobial materials. Antioxidants, 2018, 7, 1-10.
Dizaj, S.M.; Vazifehasl, Z.; Salatin, S.; Adibkia, K.; Javadzadeh, Y. Nanosizing of drugs: Effect on dissolution rate. Res. Pharm. Sci., 2015, 10, 95-108.
Al-Kassas, R.; Bansal, M.; Shaw, J. Nanosizing techniques for improving bioavailability of drugs. J. Control. Release, 2017, 260, 202-212.
Lai, F.; Schlich, M.; Pireddu, R.; Corrias, F.; Fadda, A.M.; Sinico, C. Production of nanosuspensions as a tool to improve drug bioavailability: Focus on topical delivery. Curr. Pharm. Des., 2015, 21, 6089-6103.
Schrader, I.; Warneke, J.; Neumann, S.; Grotheer, S.; Swane, A.A.; Kirkensgaard, J.J.K.; Arenz, M.; Kunz, S. Surface chemistry of “unprotected” nanoparticles: A spectroscopic investigation on colloidal particles. J. Phys. Chem. C, 2015, 119, 17655-17661.
Conde, J.; Dias, J.T.; Grazu, V.; Moros, M.; Baptista, P.V.; de la Fuente, J.M. Revisiting 30 years of biofunctionalization and surface chemistry of inorganic nanoparticles for nanomedicine. Front Chem., 2014, 2, 1-27.
Biener, J.; Wittstock, A.; Baumann, T.F.; Weissmuller, J.; Baumer, M.; Hamza, A.V. Surface chemistry in nanoscale materials. Materials (Basel), 2009, 2, 2404-2428.
Gatoo, M.A.; Naseem, S.; Arfat, M.Y.; Dar, A.M.; Qasim, K.; Zubair, S. Physicochemical properties of nanomaterials: Implication in associated toxic manifestations. BioMed Res. Int., 2014.
Turci, F.; Tomatis, M.; Lesci, I.G.; Roveri, N.; Fubini, B. The iron-related molecular toxicity mechanism of synthetic asbestos nanofibres: A model study for high-aspect-ratio nanoparticles. Chem Eur. J,, 2011, 17, 350-358.
Ahmad, A.; Husain, A.; Mujeeb, M.; Khan, S.A.; Najmi, A.K.; Siddique, N.A.; Damanhouri, Z.A.; Anwar, F. A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb. Asian Pac. J. Trop. Biomed., 2013, 3, 337-352.
Kooti, W.; Hasanzadeh-Noohi, Z.; Sharafi-Ahvazi, N.; Asadi-Samani, M.; Ashtary-Larky, D. Phytochemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutic uses of black seed (Nigella sativa). Chin. J. Nat. Med., 2016, 14, 732-745.
Mohammed, N.K.; Muhialdin, B.J.; Hussin, A.S.M. Characterization of nanoemulsion of Nigella sativa oil and its application in ice cream. Food Sci. Nutr., 2020, 8, 2608-2618.
Muthumanickkam, A.; Subramanian, S.; Sathiyaraj, M.; Preethi, P.; Ashwini, M. Development of herb based (Nigella sativa) eri silk nanofibrous mat for biomedical applications. Mater. Today Proc., 2020, 22, 585-588.
Forouzanfar, F.; Bazzaz, B.S.F.; Hosseinzadeh, H. Black cumin (Nigella sativa) and its constituent (thymoquinone): A review on antimicrobial effects. Iran. J. Basic Med. Sci., 2014, 17, 929-938.
Mukhtar, H.; Qureshi, A.S.; Anwar, F.; Mumtaz, M.W.; Marcu, M. Nigella sativa L. seed and seed oil: Potential sources of high-value components for development of functional foods and nutraceuticals/pharmaceuticals. J. Essent. Oil Res., 2019, 31, 171-183.
Islam, M.T.; Khan, M.; Mishra, S.K. An updated literature-based review: Phytochemistry, pharmacology and therapeutic promises of Nigella sativa L. Orient. Pharm. Exp. Med., 2019, 19, 115-129.
Estevam, E.C.; Griffin, S.; Nasim, M.J.; Denezhkin, P.; Schneider, R.; Lilischkis, R.; Dominguez-Alvarez, E.; Witek, K.; Latacz, G.; Keck, C. Natural selenium particles from Staphylococcus carnosus: Hazards or particles with particular promise? J. Hazard. Mater., 2017, 324, 22-30.
Manikova, D.; Letavayova, L.M.; Vlasakova, D.; Kosik, P.; Estevam, E.C.; Nasim, M.J.; Gruhlke, M.; Slusarenko, A.; Burkholz, T.; Jacob, C.; Chovanec, M. Intracellular diagnostics: Hunting for the mode of action of redox-modulating selenium compounds in selected model systems. Molecules, 2014, 19, 12258-12279.
Castellucci Estevam, E.; Witek, K.; Faulstich, L.; Nasim, M.J.; Latacz, G.; Dominguez-Alvarez, E.; Kiec-Kononowicz, K.; Demasi, M.; Handzlik, J.; Jacob, C. Aspects of a distinct cytotoxicity of selenium salts and organic selenides in living cells with possible implications for drug design. Molecules, 2015, 20, 13894-13912.
Shimamura, T.S.Y.; Yamazaki, T.; Tada, A.; Kashiwagi, T.; Ishikawa, H.; Matsui, T.; Sugimoto, N.; Akiyama, H.; Ukeda, H. Applicability of the DPPH assay for evaluating the antioxidant capacity of food additives - inter-laboratory evaluation study. Anal. Sci., 2014, 30, 717-721.
Loganayaki, N.; Siddhuraju, P.; Manian, S. Antioxidant activity and free radical scavenging capacity of phenolic extracts from Helicteres isora L. and Ceiba pentandra L. J. Food Sci. Tech. Mys., 2013, 50, 687-695.
Moteriya, P.; Padalia, H.; Chanda, S. Characterization, synergistic antibacterial and free radical scavenging efficacy of silver nanoparticles synthesized using Cassia roxburghii leaf extract. J. Genet. Eng. Biotechnol., 2017, 15, 505-513.
Benzie, I.F.; Strain, J.J. The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of “antioxidant power”: The FRAP assay. Anal. Biochem., 1996, 239, 70-76.
Arokiyaraj, S.; Bharanidharan, R.; Agastian, P.; Shin, H. Chemical composition, antioxidant activity and antibacterial mechanism of action from Marsilea minuta leaf hexane: Methanol extract. Chem. Cent. J., 2018, 12, 1-11.
Zarrouk, A.; Martine, L.; Grégoire, S.; Nury, T.; Meddeb, W.; Camus, E.; Badreddine, A.; Durand, P.; Namsi, A.; Yammine, A.; Nasser, B.; Mejri, M.; Bretillon, L.; Mackrill, J.J.; Cherkaoui-Malki, M.; Hammami, M.; Lizard, G. Profile of fatty acids, tocopherols, phytosterols and polyphenols in Mediterranean oils (argan oils, olive oils, milk thistle seed oils and nigella seed oil) and evaluation of their antioxidant and cytoprotective activities. Curr. Pharm. Des., 2019, 25, 1791-1805.
Fathima, J.B.; Pugazhendhi, A.; Venis, R. Synthesis and characterization of ZrO2 nanoparticles-antimicrobial activity and their prospective role in dental care. Microb. Pathog., 2017, 110, 245-251.
Pandiyan, N.; Murugesan, B.; Sonamuthu, J.; Samayanan, S.; Mahalingam, S. Facile biological synthetic strategy to morphologically aligned CeO2/ZrO2 core nanoparticles using Justicia adhatoda extract and ionic liquid: Enhancement of its bio-medical properties. J. Photochem. Photobiol. B, 2018, 178, 481-488.
Schlesinger, M.E.; King, M.J.; Sole, K.C.; Davenport, W.G. Chapter 3 - Production of high copper concentrates – Introduction and comminution. In: Extractive Metallurgy of Copper (Fifth Edition); Schlesinger, M.E.; King M.J.; Sole, K.C.; Davenport, W.G.; eds.; Elsevier: Oxford, 2011, pp. 31-49..
Huber, D.L. Synthesis, properties, and applications of iron nanoparticles. Small, 2005, 1, 482-501.
Robertson, J.D.; Rizzello, L.; Avila-Olias, M.; Gaitzsch, J.; Contini, C.; Magon, M.S.; Renshaw, S.A.; Battaglia, G. Purification of nanoparticles by size and shape. Sci. Rep., 2016, 6, 1-9.
Liu, X.F.; Kang, J.M.; Liu, B.; Yang, J.H. Separation of gold nanowires and nanoparticles through a facile process of centrifugation. Separ. Purif. Tech., 2018, 192, 1-4.
Xiong, B.; Cheng, J.; Qiao, Y.X.; Zhou, R.; He, Y.; Yeung, E.S. Separation of nanorods by density gradient centrifugation. J. Chromatogr. A, 2011, 1218, 3823-3829.

© 2022 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy