Cumin, also spelled as cummin, is a flowering plant that belongs to the family of Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to India. It has many uses as a traditional medicinal plant. Cumin seeds, in whole and ground form, are used in cuisines. It is used as a spice for its distinctive flavour and aroma. Dried cumin seeds are used for medicinal purposes. India is the major producer and consumer of cumin in the world. Cumin is a drought-tolerant, tropical or subtropical crop.
Cumin is a diploid species with 14 chromosomes. It is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. It belongs to the kingdom Plantae. Cumin is a cross-pollinator, that is, the breeds are already hybrids.
Cumin seeds are rich in iron, however, they have to be consumed in large quantities to serve as a significant dietary source. 100 grams of cumin seeds have the following nutritional value.
• Energy - 375 kilocalories
• Carbohydrates - 44.24 grams
• Fat - 22.27 grams
• Protein - 17.81 grams
• Vitamins - Beta-carotene, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, E, K, Choline
• Minerals - Calcium, iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc
• Water - 8.06 gram
Like most spices, cumin contains a very high concentration of antioxidant compounds. Cumin has been used to promote general well-being, and treat various diseases and disorders, for thousands of years. Cumin helps to enhance immunity. Following are some of the other health benefits of cumin.
• Cumin is very good for digestion. It helps to prevent and treat digestive disorders. Cumin contains Cuminaldehyde, an aromatic-organic compound and Thymol. Cuminaldehyde helps to activate the salivary glands that facilitate the digestion of food. Thymol stimulates the glands which is responsible for secreting acids, enzymes, and bile that are responsible for the complete digestion of the food. Cumin helps to build up an appetite and helps to relieve gas troubles. The magnesium, essential oils, and sodium content in cumin help to provide stomach-ache relief, when taken with hot water.
• Cumin can be used to treat respiratory disorders, asthma, and bronchitis. It contains aromatic essential oils that act as a decongestant.
• Cumin contains dietary fiber and has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Adding cumin to your diet will help to heal wounds and infections in the digestive and excretory system. This helps to prevent/treat hemorrhoids.
• Cumin is rich in Vitamin E. It helps to keep the skin young, and healthy.
Cumin helps to add an earthy and warm feeling to food. It is a staple ingredient in certain soups and stews. It is also used in some pastries and pickles. No matter how you take it, you will be able to reap its health benefits, if you make it part of your daily diet.