“To eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art.” La Rochefoucauld.
As per the Ayurveda Text, Nighantu, Cumin seeds are known for its quick action in the body. It has the power to ignite our digestive fire. Apart from its role in the culinary, Cumin seeds are immensely useful in maintaining better health. Charak Samhita has described cumin seeds beneficial for digestion.
For history lovers, as per the Wikipedia, Originally cultivated in Iran and the Mediterranean region, cumin is mentioned in the Bible in both the Old Testament (Isaiah28:27) and the New Testament (Matthew 23:23). The ancient Greeks kept cumin at the dining table in its own container (much as pepper is frequently kept today), and this practice continues in Morocco. Cumin was also used heavily in the ancient Roman cuisine. In India, it has been used for millennia as a traditional ingredient in innumerable recipes and forms the basis of many other spice blends.
As per the Nutritionvalue.org Cumin seeds are nutritionally rich food:
Health benefits of Cumin Seeds are plenty:
The science of Ayurveda by Acharya Balakrishna states:
- 4-6 grams powdered roasted cumin seeds along with yogurt or diluted salted Lassi gives immediate relief in diarrhea.
- Boil 5-7 gm of cumin seeds in 400 ml of water, boil it till it is reduced to one fourth. This is useful for worm infections. Take twice a day.
- Cumin seeds are also useful in urinary diseases.
Organicfacts.net list several benefits of Cumin Seeds:
- Regulates Digestion: Cumin is extremely good for digestion and related problems. The very aroma, which comes from an organic compound called Cuminaldehyde, the main component of its essential oil, activates the salivary glands in our mouth, which facilitates the primary digestion of food. Next is thymol, a compound present in cumin, which stimulates the glands that secrete acids, bile, and enzymes responsible for complete digestion of the food in the stomach and the intestines. Due to its essential oils, magnesium, and sodium content, cumin promotes digestion and also gives relief from stomach-aches when taken with hot water.
- Cures Piles: Cumin, because of its dietary fiber content and carminative, stimulating, antifungal and antimicrobial properties, acts as a natural laxative in powdered form.
- Prevents Diabetes: The early studies report that cumin, among a number of other spices, can have a powerful effect in preventing diabetes by reducing the chances of hypoglycemia.
- Treats Insomnia: It is a stimulant as well as a relaxant at the same time. Some of the components of cumin essential oil are hypnotic in nature and have tranquilizing effects, which also help to relieve stress and anxiety that commonly causes insomnia.
- Treats Asthma & Bronchitis: The presence of caffeine (the stimulating agent), and the richly aromatic essential oils (the disinfectants) make cumin an ideal anti congestive combination for those suffering from respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis.
- Increases Lactation: Cumin is rich in iron and thus very good for lactating mothers, as well as for women who are undergoing menses or who are pregnant since they are in need of more iron.
- Prevents Anemia: As stated above, cumin is very rich in iron (more than 66 mg. in every 100 grams) which is more than 5 times the daily requirement of iron for an adult. This iron is the main constituent of hemoglobin in the red blood corpuscles. It is hemoglobin which transfers oxygen (as the oxide of iron) to the body cells and whose deficiency causes anemia.
- Decreases Cognitive Disorders: The amount of iron in cumin leads to an increased hemoglobin production and subsequent prevention of anemia, but the increased blood flow has other benefits as well.
- Skin Care: The essential oils present in cumin have disinfectant and antifungal properties. This prevents any microbial and fungal infection from affecting the skin.
- Treats Boils: Those who regularly use cumin in food have a significant reduction in the occurrence of boils, rashes, pimples, and other signs of excess toxin content.
- Prevents Cancer: Cumin itself has detoxifying and chemo-preventive properties, and accelerates the secretion of detoxifying and ant carcinogenic enzymes from the glands, as it also does to other secretions. Furthermore, it has beneficial antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A within its chemical makeup, in addition to those essential oils. Besides having countless other benefits, the antioxidants have ant carcinogenic properties too, and those found in cumin are particularly good for colon cancer
Cumin seeds are also beneficial for hair loss problems and help in long and shiny hair.
There is also a claim by some Ayurveda practitioners that cumin seeds go a long way in the effort to cut fat which has collected around the abdomen. This sort of fat is known to be very hard to get rid of and is widely reputed to be especially bad for health.
Cumin water or cumin teas are the ideal way, apart from cooking ingredient, to consume cumin seeds. Just boil cumin seeds in water for some time and drink it. Consume it in moderation and enjoy the health benefits.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates