Cumin or Jeera as it is popularly known in India has a history of over 5,000 years old of use. No one knows where the spice originated from but it was commonly used by Egyptians, only as a spice but also an ingredient in the mummification process. The Greeks and Romans also used cumin and regarded it as one of the most essential spices. Used medicinally as a digestive aid, it was added into cosmetics to create a wan, pale and pallid complexion, often regarded as a sign of intelligence and a great scholar.
Today it is commonly associated with Mexican and Indian food.
We often forget the significance of something that we use on a regular basis and cumin happens to be one of them. Generally the first ingredient used in Indian cooking, it is an excellent source of iron, manganese and other vitamins and minerals. Research shows that cumin has antioxidant properties, helps in digestion and protects against memory loss among many other things.
According to Ayurveda, cumin is one of Nature’s best overall tonic. In Sanskrit, cumin is known as Jiraka, which means “that which helps digestion”.
Some of the common healing properties Cumin is attributed with:
- treating cancer
- increasing concentration
- enhancing memory
- reducing cholesterol
- weight loss
- relieve stress
- pain reliever
- eliminating free radicals in the body
- detoxify liver
- reduce menstrual cramps
- increases lactation in new mothers
Ayurvedic remedies with cumin:
- Cumin is an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants and anti-flatulent properties and is a great remedy to cure constipation, gas, bloating, heaviness etc.
- Chew a few cumin seeds to cure constipation.
- Mix half a spoon of powdered cumin into a glass of pomegranate juice to get relief from IBS.
- Mix equal amounts of powdered cumin and cardamom and take this three times a day to get relief from bloating due to gas.
- Make cumin tea with a piece of ginger to boost weak immune system affected by common cold. To maintain the immune system you can also replace normal water with cumin water by boiling one tsp cumin in 5 liters of water and drinking that instead.
- An excellent source of iron for people with anemia.
- Consumption of cumin also helps regulate sleep pattern, especially for people who suffer from insomnia.
- Add powdered cumin to boiled water, allow it to cool and add a pinch of cardamom to it. Gargle with this water to keep your mouth fresh and free from any smell or mouth diseases.
- Consumption of cumin has also been known to helpful to people suffering from respiratory problems like bronchitis and asthma.
Cumin can be taken in either roasted, raw or powdered form. Of the three types of seeds, black cumin has more potent medicinal values. Take precaution not to burn the seeds while roasting them; seeds should be roasted on low heat until they become warm to the touch and release a nice aroma. This will help prevent any loss of medicinal properties of the seeds.
Consumption of cumin may not be suitable for everyone, especially if you have never tried it before as some people have been know to have allergic reactions. If you are unsure whether cumin is right for you, please contact your Ayurvedic practitioner to find out how you can incorporate this potent natural herb to perfect your health.