Why should you use Cumin Seeds?


Cumin seeds – The spice trail by Kumud Gandhi

In Asian cuisine cumin seeds are used in many different food preparations either, as a whole seed or in a ground form. Although we call them cumin seeds they are actually the fruit of the cumin plant. Cumin seeds are a very staple ingredient in many spice blends and recipes. My preference is to roast the seeds slightly to bring out the aroma and infuse its natural oil before using.

Medicinal Values of cumin

Cumin is used for illnesses of the digestive tract, to treat coughs and chest colds, and to relieve pain. Three pain-relieving compounds have been found in cumin, along with seven that are anti-inflammatory and four that combat swelling. Cumin invigorates the entire digestive system and alleviates flatulence and bloating.

As a child I recall my mother giving me a teaspoon of ground cumin and jaggery to aid what I had descibed as tummy ache, but what was probably wind or indigestion.

Cumin is rich in iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium, Vitamins A and B. Its seeds contain 3-5% thiamine in volatile oil and the smell and taste, in cumin seeds, is present because of thiamine. Its seeds help to increase milk production of nursing mothers, Cumin paste of the seeds is applied to muscles, which are stiff and painful.

Home Remedies for the treatment of various disorders

To control dysentery and diarrhea – mix half a teaspoon of ground cumin powder to yoghurt.
Boil ground cumin powder in water for 10 minutes, add some jaggery or palm sugar and drink this as a tonic for 14 days, preferably in the morning and evening, to energize and invigorate the body if you are listless and run down.
For digestion or flatulence – take a teaspoon of ground roasted cumin powder with some jaggery to settle the stomach if you have indigestion.
Cumin seed is an excellent repeller and preventer of insects in a warm climate. Tie up the cumin seeds in a muslin cloth and place in cup-boards, near books etc..
In jaundice – soak a tbsp of cumin seeds in a glass of warm water overnight. Sweeten this infusion with jaggery in the morning and drink it to increase urine output and to reduce fever.
For scorpion bite effects – Paste of cumin, ghee and salt will eliminate scorpion bite effects. Before going to bed, take a teaspoonful of cumin to have the worms expelled and continue for 2-3 days.
Pregnant ladies should not use jeera in excess, as it could potentially be hazardous to the unborn child.
In colds and fevers – Water boiled in cumin and ginger is used as a beverage to clear the infection. To make the drink, place 2 tsp cumin seeds, half inch of grated ginger into a heatproof cup or glass, add 200 ml of boiling water. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before straining and drink immediately.
For insomnia – to induce sleep, mix a teaspoon of roasted cumin with a little mashed banana and consume before bedtime.


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