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Turmeric with Black Pepper vs. Turmeric with Black Seed Oil: What's Best?

Black pepper and black seed have been used for thousands of years…

In ancient Greece, black pepper was traded as a sacred currency. In Egypt, black seeds were found in King Tut’s tomb.

And now two thousand years later, these two ingredients are just as noteworthy. Not only can they transform a dish in the kitchen. They can transform your health, too.

However, when it comes to your turmeric supplement, we believe that one of these spices is better than the other. That’s why, in August of 2022, we decided to change our four-year-old turmeric formula to include black seed oil instead of black pepper.

In this article, you’ll learn the difference between black pepper and black seed oil and why we changed our turmeric supplement in the first place.

The Difference: Black Pepper vs. Black Seed Oil

Black pepper comes from the dried fruit of the vine Piper nigrum. Recognized worldwide for its flavor and health benefits, black pepper has been shown to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, gastro-protective, and antidepressant activities. Its main active ingredient is piperine, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Black peppercorns in wooden bowl on table. Pile of ground black pepper.

The health benefits of black pepper include the following:

  • Improved brain function and memory (1, 2)
  • Improved blood sugar
  • Lowered cholesterol
  • Slowed aging (3)
  • A boost in nutrient absorption (4)
  • Improved digestion (4)
  • The potential to help fight or slow the growth of cancer (4, 5)
  • Soothing of joint swelling caused by arthritis (6)
  • Soothing of inflammation caused by allergies (7)


Black seed oil is derived from the seeds of the plant, Nigella sativa. The seeds have been used as a spice and food preservative, and as a diuretic, anti-hypertensive, muscle relaxant, and immunity enhancer in immune-compromised people. It’s so well-known for its health benefits that in old Latin, it’s called “Panacea” meaning “cure-all” (8).

Clear jar of black seed oil, wooden spoon full of black seeds, and purple Nigella Sativa flower on white wooden board.

The oil itself consists of 24.9% carbohydrates, 26.7% proteins (and eight of the nine essential amino acids), 28.5% fats, and significant levels of iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, and folic acid (9, 10). Its main active ingredient is called thymoquinone. Like piperine, thymoquinone is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties (11). This may help improve brain health, slow the growth of cancer, and protect against heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and neurodegenerative diseases (12, 10, 13).


The health benefits of black seed oil include the following:

  • Reduced body mass index (BMI), weight, and waist size in those with type 2 diabetes, obesity, or metabolic syndrome (14, 15)
  • Decreased LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels (16, 15)
  • Improvement of chronic headache and back pain (10)
  • Improvement in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms (17)
  • Improved asthma symptoms (18)

Why We Changed Our Turmeric Formula

When NativePath first started, we made a promise to ourselves and our customers to offer only the best ingredients found in nature.

That’s why we never stop researching, learning, and improving. When we release a product, we don’t settle. We continue to tweak and re-tweak our formula to ensure that we’re delivering the most effective supplement so that you can look and feel your very best.

When we initially formulated our turmeric product, we included black pepper. For a long time, black pepper was seen as the gold standard ingredient to pair with turmeric—and for many who aren’t closely following the latest research, it still is. This is because piperine, pepper’s main active ingredient, can increase the bioavailability of curcumin (the compound in turmeric responsible for the bulk of its health benefits). The more bioavailable something is, the better absorbed it is by the body (19, 20, 21).

From what we know about inflammation thus far (that it’s a major cause of several ailments including arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and even central nervous system (CNS)-related diseases like depression and Parkinson’s disease), we can rest in the fact that turmeric curcumin and black seed oil—two potent anti-inflammatory ingredients—will help alleviate the symptoms these conditions bring with them (22).

The Bottom Line

Black pepper and black seed oil both offer a wide range of benefits. But when it comes to increasing the effectiveness of your turmeric supplement, black seed oil, paired with micellar curcumin, stands apart from the rest.

If you’re wondering, “Where can I buy black seed oil with turmeric?”, we have you covered. With a daily serving of just two softgels, you’re consuming 500mg of full spectrum curcumin and 500mg of black seed oil, giving you the most effective turmeric supplement on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does black seed oil taste like?

Black seed oil has a strong taste that many would consider bitter. In our turmeric supplement, the black seed oil is formulated into softgels—giving you all the benefits without the bitter taste.

How much black seed oil should I take?

Because research on black seed oil is still in early stages, there aren’t always standard recommended doses for each health issue. If you’re in doubt, ask your doctor how much you should take. If you want to take black seed oil for asthma benefits, 1,000mg appears to be a helpful dose in addition to your usual asthma medications (23).

When it comes to weight loss and reducing blood sugar, 2,000 to 3,000mg per day have shown to be helpful in studies (15, 24).

What do allergies, autoimmune disease, and brain fog all have in common? They can all be caused by leaky gut syndrome.

As a writer, editor, and wellness seeker, Claire has written for Self, Health, Prevention, CNN, Mic, Livestrong, and Greatist, just to name a few. When she's not writing, she specializes in traveling, getting lost in health-related research rabbit holes, and finding new ways to spoil her cat.

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Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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