Nigella damascena / Juffertje in t groen

Juffertje-in-het-groen (Nigella damascena) is een eenjarige plant uit het plantengeslacht Nigelle (Nigella) uit de ranonkelfamilie (Ranunculaceae). De soort wordt in tuinen als sierplant toegepast.

Nigella komt van het Latijnse nigellus: zwartachtig kleur, hetgeen doelt op het zwart van de zaden. damascena = van Damascus, waarschijnlijk naar de streek, waar de plant het eerst is gevonden.

Nigella damascena L belongs to Ranunculaceae family and is mentioned in Eastern traditional medicine for the treatment of high temperatures, regulation of menstruation or catarrhal affections. The anti-inflammatory activity of compounds present in the essential oil obtained from seeds of this plant can be found in literature, however no studies on immunomodulatory activity are provided. Hence, in this work anti-inflammatory activity of N. damascena seed essential oil as well as damascenine and main compound β-elemene was evaluated on ex-vivo lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human neutrophils. For isolation of damascenine fast and efficient protocol was elaborated using high performance countercurrent chromatography technique for the first time. Also detailed spectroscopic characteristic of damascenine was provided for the first time. Damascenine was separated from the essential oil in a mixture of petroleum ether/acetonitrile/acetone (2:1.5:0.5 v/v/v) in reversed phase mode in 12 min with 99.47% purity. Essential oil, damascenine and β-elemene presented immunomodulatory activity evaluated in LPS-stimulated neutrophils ex vivo. All studied samples significantly inhibited release of interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) and interleukin 8 (IL-8). What is more, damascenine and β-elemene decreased matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) production similar to dexamethasone. The release of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) was also inhibited in all range of concentrations, however the activity was weaker then activity of dexametasone. The previously reported anti-inflammatory activity of damascenine and β-elemene investigated in murine models was confirmed in our study on human neuthrophils suggesting their possible strong inhibitory effect on inflammatory response progression.

Phytother Res. 2004 Jun;18(6):468-70. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1454.

Biological Screening of Nigella Damascena for Antimicrobial and Molluscicidal Activities

G Fico 1, L Panizzi, G Flamini, A Braca, I Morelli, F Tomè, P L Cioni

The essential oil, various extracts at different polarity, fractions, and pure compounds obtained from Nigella damascena plants and seeds were screened for biological activity. Antimicrobial tests showed the essential oil to be active only against Gram positive bacteria; among the extracts, the BuOH was active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Molluscicidal activity was absent.


expand article infoMarina P. Efremova, Aelita V. Ivasheva, Mikhail Viktorovich Korokin


Introduction: Literature data, rich chemical macro-microelement composition set the stage for experimental pharmacological study of adaptogene and lipid protective activity of Nigella damascena essential oil. Objectives: study of pharmacological activity of Nigella damascena essential oil while simulating pathology on laboratory animals. Methods: irritant action – HET-CAM test and DRAIZE-test, acute toxicity, open field test, simulated hypoxia method, swimming with the load, No-way-out and Rotating-rod tests, acute lipid pathology under Tween 80 (tween lipid pathology), vitamin D2 hyperlipidemia, simulated chronic heart failure (CHF). Results and Discussion: Nigella damascena essential oil have low irritant effect along with almost non-toxicity. Nigella oil increase life duration with the presence of hypoxia and endurance while swimming-with-the-load test. Course administration of Nigella oil normalize hormone-mediatore metabolism on the background of acute stress. Course administration of Nigella damascena essential oil normalize lipids on the background of CHF, acute tween and subchronic vitamin D2 hyperlipidemias. Conclusion: stress protective, actoprotective and adaptogene properties of Nigella damascena essential oil was pharmacologically proved. It was substantiated experimentally that Nigella damascena essential oil has an impact on lipid metabolism on the background of chronic heart failure (CHF), acute tween, subchronic vitamin D2 lipid pathologies and blood serum lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity.