Cumin – The spice with a magic wand
Cumin is a flowering plant which belongs to the family Apiaceae. It is native from the east Mediterranean to East India. In India, Cumin is called by a different name called ‘jeera’ or ‘jira’.
The spice is native to Arabic-speaking Syria, where cumin thrives in its hot and arid lands. The use of cumin is very common in Indian and Pakistani foods. In India, cumin seeds are an important component of curry powder and garam masala. Besides its culinary uses, this aromatic spice has been known for its medicinal properties since ancient times.
Did You Know ? Each cumin seed has a typical stripe pattern of nine ridges and oil canals. It is brownish in colour and oblong shaped. Cumin seeds are of three different colours namely amber, white and black.
Helps to prevent Skin Disorders & Boils
Cumin is good for the skin. It has a high concentration of vitamin E which keeps your skin healthy and glowing. The essential oils present in cumin possess disinfectant and anti fungal properties, which helps to prevent any microbial and fungal infection from affecting the skin. Externally applied as a paste, cumin helps to treat skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema and dry skin. It helps to get rid of burn marks and wrinkles too.
Boils are considered as outlets for the removal of toxic substances and foreign matters such as microbes from the body. Hence, they are symptoms which show that a high amount of toxic substances have accumulated in the body. The presence of good detoxifying agents like cuminaldehyde, thymol, and phosphorus in cumin help in the regular removal of toxins from the body. The healthy way of removing toxins is through the excretory system. This regular use of cumin in food may significantly reduce the occurrence of boils, rashes, pimples and other skin disorders.
Good for digestion
Cumin stimulates appetite and it is a great herb for digestive disorders with some antiseptic properties. The cumin seeds are rich in iron and are thought to help stimulate the secretion of enzymes from the pancreas, which plays a key role in absorbing nutrients (vitamins & minerals) into the system. It enhances the liver’s ability to detoxify the human body.
Cumin contains two important aromatic organic compounds called Cuminaldehyde and thymol. Cuminaldehyde activates saliva secretion thereby facilitates the primary digestion of food. Thymol stimulates the glands that secrete acids, bile and enzymes responsible for complete digestion of the food in the stomach and the intestines. Cumin is also Carminative, which means that it relieves you from gas troubles and thereby improves digestion and appetite. It gives relief from stomachache when taken with hot water.
Provides relief against Insomnia
Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder in which patients are not able to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired. Since cumin is a stimulant as well as a relaxant at the same time, it provides relief for Insomnia patients.
This property cannot be attributed to a single component alone. Studies show that a proper intake of vitamins (particularly B complexes) and a good digestion help induce a sound sleep. Cumin helps both of these. Some of the components of the essential oil are hypnotic in nature and have tranquilizing effects.
Effective against Anaemia
Anaemia is a condition in which there is a deficiency of red cells or of haemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness. 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 of blood. Hemoglobin transfers oxygen (as the oxide of iron) to the body’s cells and whose deficiency causes anaemia. So, cumin can be a nutritious additive to the daily diet of anaemic people and avoid the symptoms of anaemia like fatigue, anxiety, cognitive malfunction, and digestive issues.
The presence of iron, essential oils, vitamin-C and vitamin-A in cumin boosts our immune system. Vitamin-C is one of the most important antioxidant in our body. It also stimulates the activity of white blood cells.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights the detrimental effects of free radicals, which are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism. They are constantly being created in the body, and therefore, must be constantly eliminated. Antioxidants like vitamin-C neutralize free radicals that lead to many diseases and increases our immunity.