Cumin Seed Benefits, Usage, Side Effects – Ayurveda Details

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
Classical categorization:
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.

Cumin seed benefits:
cumin health benefits

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

Ayurvedic medicines:
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 benefits:
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 anticarcinogenic enzymes, which can aid the prevention of colon cancer.
Cumin contains Vitamin E, hence useful to improve skin tone and texture.

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  1. Thanks Doctor for the useful info
    We normally use Jeera in dal everyday (fry with Ghee) .. Is there some other way we can use it for indigestion ?

  2. please write something about black jeera and its uses

  3. Respected sir,
    Mostly I have found online that CUMIN is advisable for PITTA people.
    I am a pitta person and to me it tastes bitter and certainly not pungent. Does it really increase PITTA ?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, as you can see in the verse section, all the ancient Authors concur that it is hot in nature, and has digestive and carminative properties, there is no doubt in its hotness.

  4. seemabaveja says:

    I read smwhere its concoction can be used for obesity. Can it be taken in summers.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, if someone is not allergic to it, then its concoction can be taken for obesity. Because it is hot in potency, it can be taken for limited during summer.

  5. Mohamed asif says:

    Tamil language ?

  6. Shubham says:

    Dear Dr,

    What are the effects of Ajwain as compared to Cumin?

  7. Lakshmi says:

    Our elders had the habit of chewing roasted cumin seeds. Do the roasted ones carry the same benefit as the raw cumin

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes. But even in Ayurveda, cumin is just a bit roasted, before consuming. It helps in better digestion

  8. Dr. mangal Prasad GUPTA says:

    Highly useful information about cumin.

  9. Dr. Rajalaksmi Gopalan says:

    Highly useful. My husband regularly takes warm cheerakam + dhaniya soaked water. Urea in blood and urine is always negative and creatinine well within limits.

  10. S. K. Jha says:

    Thank you for giving this useful information. If i soak the cumin seeds for 30 min and then boil it and mix a little bit of lemon juice and honey, what are the benefits and side effects ?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      No problem with it. You can do this. But better to add lemon juice and honey, after the boiled cumin seeds cool down a little. It appears to be a good remedy to improve digestion strength, reduce nausea and vomiting.

  11. Y N Sadana says:

    Thank you for extremely useful information. I read regularly your articles and I appreciate your efforts. Thanks once again.

  12. Nishrin says:

    Thankyou, information here is very useful. My daughter has digestion problems. Her stools are very sticky has bubbles and loose. What natural remedy do you suggest? Should I give her cumin powder to improve digestion? Pl. Help as she is just 5years old and I have to give her medicines very often which is not good in long run.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Cumin powder – 1 pinch, mixed with a cup of water, 2 times a day can be useful.
      For personal health advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      If you want my help in finding a good Ayurveda doctor for you, then let me know your place.

      For email advice (not a reliable option, we do not promise any cure), please write to our health experts here (paid service) –

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