Cumin seeds are known as Jeeraka in Sanskrit. The word is derived from Jeerna – digestion. Hence Jeeraka means that which digests. Cumin seed is very good in treating digestive track disorders.
Botanical name – Cuminum cyminum Linn.
Family – Umbelliferae
Hindi name: Safed Jeera, Jeera
Bangali name – Jeera
Marathi name – Jire
Gujarathi name – jeeru
Tamil name – Cheerakam
Telugu name – Jeelakari
Kannada name – jeerige
Malayalam name – Jorekam
Arabbain name – kammun, Avyaja
Farsi name – Jeera e safed
Sanskrit Synonyms: Jeeraka, Ajaji – Cumin – Cuminum cyminum, Kana, Jarana
Charaka Samhita – Shoolaprashamana – herbs that relieve abdominal pain
Sushruta and Vagbhata – Pippalyadi group of herbs
Distribution: It is widely cultivated across India.
Cumin seeds medicinal qualities:
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dry)
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent)
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion) – Katu (pungent)
Veerya (potency) – Ushna (hot)
Effect on Tridosha – Kaphavatahara – balances Kapha and Vata, increases Pitta.
Ruchya – improves taste
Deepana, Agnivardhana – Improves digestion strength
Grahi, Sangrahi – absorbant, useful in malabsorption syndrome and diarrhoea,
Medhya – improves intelligence
Garbhashaya Vishuddhikrut – cleanses and detoxifies uterus. Hence it is widely used in post partum care of the mother.
Jvaraghna – Useful in fever
Pachana – carminative
Vrushya – natural aphrodisiac
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Chakshushya – good for eyes, improves vision power
Ruchya – improves taste
Useful in the treatment of
Gulma – Abdominal tumor, bloating
Adhmana – bloating, gaseous distension of abdomen
Atisara – diarrhoea, dysentery
Grahani – malabsorption syndrome
Krumi – worm infestation
Chardi – vomiting
Kshaya – chronic respiratory disorders leading to emaciation
Kushta – skin diseases
Visha – Aconitum ferox
Jvara – fever
Cumin powder along with Kala namak (Sochal salt) is used as a remedy to counter side effects of excess intake of sour mango. (Bhava Prakasha). Read more about sour mango benefits
Dose – 3 -6 grams
Hingwastak Churna – useful in indigestion
Dhatri Rasayan – useful in indigestion, cold, cough, asthma etc.
Jeerakarishtam – useful in post natal care of the mother
Yogaraj Guggul – useful in various joint disorders.
Cumin contains thymol, that helps promote the production of saliva, bile and other enzymes responsible for food digestion. The aromatic compound Cuminaldehyde helps to induce secretion of digestive juices just by the aroma.
Cumin is a rich source of iron.
A spoonful of cumin is useful to reduce body fat and thus useful in weight loss treatment.
Cumin contains high levels of the substance melatonin, which helps regulate sleep cycles.
Cumin is anti-congestive agent and is a good expectorant, due to its rich essential oils. Hence useful in cough, cold and bronchitis.
Cumin contains riboflavin, vitamin B6 and niacin – useful in improving cognitive functions of brain.
Research carried out by the Cancer Research Laboratory in South Carolina, USA, found that cumin can help fight cancer, due to cuminaldehyde, which have been shown to slow the growth of tumors. It also has characteristics that accelerate the production of detoxifying and
Cumin contains Vitamin E, hence useful to improve skin tone and texture.