Botanical Name - Cuminum

English Name - Cumin

Origin, Distribution and Composition

The plant has aromatic seed like fruit commonly known as cumin seed. It has a peculiar strong and heavy odour. The dried seeds form an essential ingredient of curry leaves curry powder.

The analysis of seeds shows them to consist of 17.7% protein, 23.8% fat, 6.2% moisture, 9.1% fibre, 35.5% carbohydrates per 100 g.

The mineral and vitamin content are calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C.

Nutritional and Health benefits of Cumin

The fruit is a rich source of thymol. Thymol is used against hookworm infections and also as an antiseptic in many proprietary preparations. It is a stimulant, which increases the secretion and discharge of urine and relieves flatulence. It strengthens the function of stomach.

Digestive disorders

Cumin seeds are very useful in digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, biliousness, morning sickness, indigestion, atonic dyspepsia, diarrhoea, mal-absorption syndrome and flatulent colic. One teaspoon of cumin seeds is boiled in a glass of water and mixed with 1 teaspoon or fresh coriander leaf juice and a pinch of salt. This can be taken daily after meals for diarrhoea.


Black cumin is beneficial in piles. Take about 60 g of the seed, roast half of it and then ground together. Take 3 grams of this with water every day.


Cumin is helpful in relieving sleeplessness. A teaspoon of roasted powder of cumin seeds mixed with the pulp of ripe banana can be taken at night to induce sleep.

Renal Colic

Black cumin seeds mixed with caraway seeds and black salt is useful in renal colic. About 20 g of cumin seeds, 12 g of caraway seeds and 6 grams of black salt are ground together and mixed with little vinegar. 3 g of this mixture can be taken every hour for relief.

Common Cold

Dilute cumin water is an antiseptic beverage and very useful in common cold and fevers. To prepare cumin water, a teaspoon of cumin is added to boiling water, is allowed to simmer for a few seconds and set aside to cool. If the cold is with sore throat, few small pieces of dry ginger should be added to the water.

Breast Milk Secretion

The decoction of cumin seeds mixed with milk and honey, taken once daily during the entire period of pregnancy, helps in the healthy development of the fetus, eases childbirth and increases the secretion of breast milk.


Cumin seeds are very good in amnesia or dullness of memory. Black cumin seeds are mixed with pure honey and lick to help in sharpening the memory.


Black cumin powder mixed with water is applied as the paste over the boils helps in relieving the pain.

Other Uses

The cumin seed are used in spices and for flavouring curries, soups, sausages, bread and cakes. Is an ingredient of curry powder pickles and chutneys. It is also used as a carminative in Indian medicine

List of herbs

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