Cumin, having a botanical name Cuminum Cyminum is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae.
Cumin – The aromatic seeds
Cumin, the dried seed of the herb Cuminum Cyminum also relates to parsley family. Native to Iran and Mediterranean region, it has been used since ancient times.
It was introduced in America by the Spanish and the Portuguese colonists. Now it is mostly grown in China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Mexico, Chile and India.
The main producer and consumer of Cumin is India. It produces 70% of the world production and consumes 90% of its own production.
The pungent, sharp and slightly sweet seeds are used in the cuisines of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form. It adds an earthy and warming feeling to food, making it a staple in certain stews and soups, as well as spiced gravies such as chilli. The black and green seeds are famous among the several types of Cumin and both are extensively used in Persian cuisine.
It is used as a spice for their distinctive flavour and aroma, due to its essential oil content. It is globally popular and an essential flavouring in many cuisines, particularly South Asian, Northern Africa and Latin American cuisines.
It is a special ingredient in Leyden Cheese, traditional breads of France, Mexican style chilli powder, Indian’s Garam Masala, Bahaarat in Myanmar and some pickles and pastries.
It is widely used in traditional Brazilian Cuisine.
As a Traditional Medicine
Cumin is known as Jeera that which helps digestion. In Ayurveda, dried cumin seeds are powdered and used in decoction, fermented decoction, tablet, and pills and also processed with medicinal ghee.
Jeera water popular in Southern India is beneficial for heart disease, swellings, tastelessness, vomiting, poor digestion and chronic fever.
Health and Nutrition
It has ability to aid in digestion, improve immunity and treats piles, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, lactation, anaemia and skin disorders
As it is an excellent source of Iron, it plays many vital roles to keep body healthier. It is purely known as seeds of good digestion as it may stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, compounds necessary for proper digestion and nutrient assimilation.
As it may also have anti-carcinogenic properties, it’s good for cancer prevention.
It is also good source of Manganese, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Vitamin B1