Background: From the past few decades, remarkable awareness has laid on the use of
herbal medicines in pharmaceutical research. Thymoquinone (TQ), the main chemical constituent of
Nigella Sativa (NS) plant, has been extensively explored, and revealed an array of therapeutic benefits,
in different in vitro, and in vivo conditions. This review provides brief outline of the diverse therapeutics
actions of TQ, and NS, viz. anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, gastroprotective,
hepato-protective, anti-microbial and anti-histaminic. Besides, a special emphasis has given
on the use of colloidal drug delivery systems exploited hitherto, for the effective delivery of TQ
Objective: The main objective of the review was to include an intensive patent literature, available on
TQ and NS, for its usefulness in different therapeutic conditions.
Methods: We embarked an organized search of bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research
literature and patent databases. The characteristics of screened papers were described, and a rational
qualitative content analysis approach was applied to analyze the interventions and findings of included
studies using a theoretical framework.
Results: In the past, various studies have carried out which undoubtedly vouch for the multifarious
therapeutic roles of TQ in an array of different diseases. More than 670 research papers and around 50
review articles are available on TQ and NS in PubMed database until now, suggesting its high significance.
Around 12 review articles published only on the anticancer potential, while the others on its anti-
inflammatory and anti-oxidant potential. Around 120 papers included in the review revealed the
therapeutic benefits of TQ. In addition to this, an intensive patent literature is also available on TQ
and NS, for its usefulness in different therapeutic conditions.
Conclusion: The findings of this review confirm the effectiveness of TQ in various pathologies viz. inflammation,
cancer, diabetes, gastric, hepatic, microbial and allergies. However, the complete clinical benefit
of TQ has not yet been realized, owing to its poor biopharmaceutical properties. Nevertheless, colloidal
drug delivery carrier systems, could be impending in bringing forth this potential molecule to reality.