CUMIN, Cuminum cyminum


Latin name:        Cuminum cyminum

English name:   Cumin seeds

Sanskrit name: Jeeraka, Jarana, Ajaaji, Sugandha

Indian name: Jeera

Medicinal parts used: Seeds

Cumin seed, also spelled cummin or jeera are seeds of flowering plant Cuminum Cyminum. This plant, native of east India and east Mediterranean, belongs to family Apeaceae. The herbaceous plant Cuminum Cyminum grows to a height of 20- 30 cms. Leaves of this plant are pinnate and bear thread like leaflets. Cumin is hotter to the taste, lighter in colour, and larger than caraway (Carum carvi), another umbelliferous spice that is sometimes confused with it.

Cumin seeds contain a relatively large percentage amount of iron. However, unless one would eat about 15 grams (1/2 oz) per day, cumin is not likely to be a significant dietary source of iron.

This spice has been praised as jeeraka, jarana and ajaaji for its medicinal qualities in ayurvedic texts. These names refer to its carminative and digestive properties. According ayurvedic principles these seeds balance vata and kapha.

Therapeutic use:

  • It reduces superficial inflammation and pain.
  • Apart from kindling appetite, it digests food and normalizes vata in digestive system.
  • Reduces pain experienced during indigestion, flatulence or heaviness of stomach.
  • It purifies blood.
  • Cumin seeds act on female reproductive system by reducing inflammation of uterus.
  • It is eulogized for its galactogouge properties. (Increases milk production in lactating mothers).
  • As it normalizes vata and kapha it acts as an aphrodisiac.
  • It is a skin friendly herb and reduces itching.

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