Cumin (Jeera / Zeera in Hindi) is an indispensable spice for Indian cuisine. It is also a popular ingredient in the cuisines of South Asia, North Africa, and Latin America.
Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum from the Umbelliferae family that includes caraway, parsley, and dill. It’s no wonder, then, that cumin is often mistaken for its cousin, caraway.
Seeds excavated at archaeological sites in Syria and Egypt date the use of cumin from the second millennium BC. In fact, cumin was used as a preservative in mummification in ancient Egypt. This little seed is even mentioned in both the New and Old Testaments of the Holy Bible.
Cumin is not just a dominant ingredient in many cuisines. This little seed has great potential as a health aid in the ways mentioned below:
Uses in aromatherapy:
The main components of cumin are the cuminalldyhde compounds and comin alcohol that give cumin its strong and distinctive flavor. Cumin essential oil is extracted from dried and crushed seeds by steam distillation. Cumin oil is not only used in aromatherapy because it is very spicy; It mixes well with the essential oils of Angelica, Caraway, Chamomile and Coriander and can be used in small doses. Cumin essential oils are good for relieving anxiety and lowering stress. They also tone muscles, tissues and skin.
Cumin is a very good digestive that stimulates both the digestive and excretory systems, it contains thymol that favors the secretion of digestive enzymes, bile and stomach acids responsible for the digestion of food in the stomach and small intestine. Cumin is also a carminative that prevents gas formation, flatulence, and stomach pain.
Useful to treat piles or hemorrhoids:
Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure on the veins of the anus and rectum. The pressure causes swelling, pain, and even bleeding. Hemorrhoids are a common ailment in almost 75% of people who suffer from them for various causes: constipation, pregnancy, obesity or a low fiber diet. Cumin is rich in fiber. As we already mentioned, it is a good digestive. It is, therefore, very useful in the treatment and prevention of piles. Cumin is also used in Ayurveda to treat severe digestive disorders that result in piles.
Helps you breathe easy:
The richly aromatic and penetrating oils of cumin make it a great decongestant. They act as expectorants: they eliminate phlegm and mucus accumulated in the upper respiratory tract when coughing and sneezing.
They are also good disinfectants and help fight viral infections like the common cold. Cumin also contains vitamin C that strengthens our immune system and defends us against toxins and, therefore, infections.
A great recipe for cold and cough relief would be to boil a tablespoon of cumin with a small piece of crushed ginger in 2 cups of water. Cook over low heat and then strain. Drink this decoction a few times to relieve a sore throat or to relieve a cold.
Good for breastfeeding:
Cumin is a boon for nursing mothers. It contains 900 mg of calcium and 66.4 mg of iron per 100 g. Calcium is an important component of milk and iron is essential for the body to produce blood, both of which are important when a woman has given birth and is feeding her baby.
The thymol in cumin stimulates glandular secretions. This includes the secretion of milk from the mammary glands after childbirth. Cumin is good for increasing the quantity and quality of milk in nursing mothers.
Help for skin care:
Cumin essential oils are good antifungal agents and therefore good disinfectants. They help prevent microbial and fungal infections of the skin.
The vitamin E in cumin acts as an antioxidant and is beneficial for the skin. It can help keep signs of premature aging like wrinkles and age spots at bay. A mask made of finely ground cumin and turmeric in a 1: 3 ratio, added to honey or yogurt and applied to the face gives you glowing skin. Just keep the pack on until it dries and washes off gently with lukewarm water.
The iron in cumin helps in the production of hemoglobin, the protein in the blood that carries and transports oxygen to the cells of our body. Cumin is a good supplement to treat anemia or insufficient red blood cells.
Protect our kidneys:
The cuminaldehyde, thymol, and phosphorous that are present in cumin are good detoxifying agents. They help eliminate toxins from the body through the excretory system and thus help our kidneys. Cumin oil also protects kidney tissue from oxygen free radicals that could otherwise damage cell membranes.
The following are some suggestions to help you magnify the benefits you can get from using cumin.
1. Buy organic cumin, free of harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticide residues, that is not contaminated with preservatives. Do not diminish the goodness of this wonderful seed.
2. Prefer whole seeds to cumin powder, as they stay fresh longer and cannot be adulterated as easily as powder.
3. Grind the lightly roasted cumin at home and then into powder. Keep in a tightly closed bottle to preserve the aroma. If your use of the powder is limited, you can even store it in the tightly closed freezer.
Sow the seeds of good health and wellness – go for organic cumin right away.