One of my second cousins is a nutritionist, and early this year she championed black seed oil. She told me that black seed oil contains the anti-oxidant thymoquinone and has proven health benefits. Apparently it is a natural anti-inflammatory, helping to fight cancer and infection, and it keeps the skin, hair and liver in good order. Along with these it also combats diabetes and balances cholesterol, and relieves cold and ‘flu symptoms.

Well, as you can imagine I was anxious to try it. I bought the recommended Inspiriko cold pressed organic black seed oil at the end of January, and started off with 5 drops of it in my morning lemon and ginger tea. The taste did take some getting used to, but I persevered. Eventually I did increase this to the current 7 drops every morning over the following few weeks, which is less than the recommended dose, but I am always careful enough not to overdo things and take too much. This is the only supplement I take every morning because I prefer to eat healthy food rather than take tablets, and it’s the only supplement that so far has not disagreed with me and caused me to stop taking it.

By August I started to feel the effects of it; when I caught the one and only cold I’ve had so far this year, it was milder than I’ve ever had. I always tend to be quite unwell with colds and have trouble breathing sometimes, but this time I did not need a nebuliser. Even stranger… last week I had one morning where I had a sore throat and ear ache, but then by the afternoon all symptoms had vanished.

I’m used to the taste of it now, and I’m glad I persevered. Even Sam takes it now in his tea (also lemon and ginger). I’m not sure how it would fare in ordinary tea and coffee, because we don’t drink either of these. A bottle of the oil costs about £18, but it lasts for months. You have to keep the bottle in the dark, and so I keep mine in one of my kitchen cupboards. For me it beats having to take all those expensive supplements that manufacturers recommend us middle-agers to take. Anything that lessens the symptoms of the common cold is okay with me!