Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – Cuminum Cyminum

Jeera (also called Cumin Seeds in English and botanically, Cuminum Cyminum) is Indian Spice as well as ayurvedic medicine used for several diseases of the digestive, respiratory, circulatory and reproductive system. It becomes an important part of spices in Indian food because it promotes healthy digestion and prevents many diseases related to digestion and abdominal organs. In ayurvedic medicine, it is used because of its carminative, antispasmodic, digestive stimulant, antacid, astringent, anodyne, diuretic actions. It can help to treat acid peptic disorders, flatulence, abdominal distension, intestinal gas, worm infestation, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, irritable bowel syndrome etc.

Botanical Description

Botanically, Jeera (cumin) is Cuminum Cyminum and a member of Apiaceae family (parsley family).

Synonyms & Vernacular Names

Botanical NameCuminum Cyminum
Botanical SynonymCuminum Odorum
English NameCumin, White cumin
Hindi NameJeera, Jira, Safed Jeera
Sanskrit NameJeerak, Deeraghjeerak, Jaran
Ayurvedic NameJeerak

Botanical Classification (Plant Taxonomy)

KingdomPlantae
Sub-KingdomViridiplantae
Infra KingdomStreptophyta (Land Plants)
Super DivisionEmbryophyta
DivisionTracheophyta (Tracheophytes – Vascular Plants)
Sub DivisionSpermatophytina (Spermatophytes – Seed Plants)
ClassMagnoliopsida
Super OrderAsteranae
OrderApiales
FamilyApiaceae
GenusCuminum – cumin
SpeciesCuminum Cyminum (C. Cyminum) – cumin

Plant Description

Type of PlantAnnual herbaceous plant
Native RangeIndia and other Asian countries
HeightGrows up to 30 to 50 cm
HabitatTemperate climate
StemGray or dark green color slender branched stem
LeavesPinnate or bipinnate 5 to 10 cm long
FlowersUmbel white or pink flowers
FruitsFruits contain 2 mericarps and a single seed. Fruits are ovoid achene or lateral fusiform – 4 to 5 mm long.
SeedsSeeds are longitudinally ridged, oblong in shape and having yellow-brown color.

Medicinal Parts

Jeera is a name given to Jeera plant seeds, also called cumin seeds. Jeera or cumin seeds are the main medicinal part of cumin plant. Jeera churna (ground cumin powder) is used in ayurvedic medicine and seeds as a whole can be used in food as condiment. Jeera powder is found in many ayurvedic medicines as an important ingredient.

Phytochemistry (Chemical Composition)

Jeera (cumin) seeds contain 2 to 4% essential volatile oil, also called cumin oil. The main phytochemical present in the cumin oil are as follows:

  • CUMINALDEHYDE
  • CINNAMALDEHYDE
  • 8-CINEOLE
  • CUMINYL ALCOHOL
  • LIMONENE
  • LINALOOL
  • PERILLALDEHYDE
  • TERPINEN-4-OL
  • TERPENOID ALDEHYDES – CUMINIC ALDEHYDE & SOMERIC MENTHADIEN CARBOXALDEHYDES
  • MONOTERPENES – BETA-PINENE, P-CYMENE & GAMMA-TERPINENE

CUMINALDEHYDE is a principle active constituent in the volatile oil of cumin, which can be present ranges from 45 to 50%. (Reference)

Cumin Seeds Nutrition Analysis

Jeera (cumin) is a good source of iron, manganese, vitamin B1, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Major Nutrients

Major NutrientValue per 10 g% of RDA
Total Calories37.52000
Calories from Fat18.6
Total Fat2.2 g3.4%
Protein1.8 g
Total Carbohydrate4.4 g1.5%
Water0.8 g

Carbohydrates

CarbohydratesValue per 10 g% of RDA
Total Carbohydrates4.4 g1.5%
Dietary Fiber1 g4.2%
Sugar230 mg
Starch

Fat, Lipids & Fatty Acids

LipidsValue per 10 g% of RDA
Total Fat2.2 g3.4%
Saturated fat150 mg0.8%
Monounsaturated fat1.4 g
Polyunsaturated fat330 mg
CholesterolNil
Trans fatNil
Omega-3 fatty acids17.6 mg
Omega-6 fatty acids310 mg

Vitamins

VitaminsValue per 10 g% of RDA
Vitamin A, IU127 IU2.5%
Vitamin C0.77 mg1.3%
Vitamin D
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.33 mg1.7%
Vitamin K0.54 mcg0.7%
Thiamin0.06 mg4.2%
Riboflavin0.03 mg1.9%
Niacin0.46 mg2.3%
Vitamin B60.04 mg2.2%
Folate1 ,cg0.2%
Vitamin B12
Pantothenic Acid
Choline2.47 mg
Betaine

Minerals

MineralsValue per 10 g% of RDA
Calcium, Ca9.31 mg9.3%
Iron, Fe6.64 mg36.9%
Magnesium, Mg36.6 mg9.2%
Phosphorus, P50 mg5%
Potassium, K178 mg5%
Sodium, Na16 mg0.7%
Zinc, Zn0.48 mg3.2%
Copper0.09 mg4.3%
Manganese0.33 mg16.7%
Selenium0.52 mcg0.7%
Fluoride

Pharmacological Actions

Jeera (Cumin) modulates the secretion of acid in the stomach, improves appetite and reduces gas formation. It provides strength to the stomach, intestine and liver, according to Ayurveda.

Medicinal Properties

Jeera (Cumin seed) has following healing properties.

  • Aam Pachak (Detoxifier)
  • Analgesic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Carminative
  • Anthelmintic
  • Stomachic
  • Antiemetic
  • Cardiac stimulant
  • Diuretic
  • Antibacterial & Antimicrobial
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Antihyperlipidemic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-lithiatic
  • Antioxidant
  • Antipruritic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Cholagogue
  • Depurative (purifies blood)
  • Febrifuge
  • Galactagogue
  • Astringent
  • Uterine detoxifier
  • Antiallergic
  • Anti-platelet aggregation
  • Antihyperglycemic

Ayurvedic Properties

RASA (Taste)KATU (Pungent)
GUNA (Main Quality)LAGHU (Light), RUKSHA (Dry)
VIRYA (Potency)USHNA (Hot)
VIPAKA (Resultant)KATU (Pungent)
PRABHAVA (Action)Digestive
DOSHA KARMA (Effect on Humors)Pacifies Kapha Dosha & Vata Dosha And Increases Pitta Dosha and Pitta detoxifier (reduces SAMA PITTA condition)
Dhatu (Tissue) EffectRASA, RAKTA, MEDAS &  SHUKRA
Organs EffectStomach, Intestine & Liver

Therapeutic Indications

Jeera (Cumin seed) has a wide range of indications and uses. Some of them are listed below:

Digestive Health
  • Loss of appetite or poor appetite
  • Loss of desire to eat
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal colic
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Piles
  • Worm infestation
Heart & Blood Vessels
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Atherosclerosis
Kidney & Urinary System
  • Dysuria
  • Pyuria – white blood cells or Pus in urine
  • Kidney stones
Women’s Health
  • Leucorrhea
  • Low breast milk supply

Jeera (Cumin) Benefits & Medicinal Uses

The medicinal effects of Jeera (cumin seed) appear on three main organs in the body i.e. stomach, intestines, and liver. According to Ayurveda, it provides strength to these organs and reduces chances of infections by fighting off microbes and bacteria. In ancient India, it was included in food and now becomes a part of many recipes as a condiment to prevent water-borne diseases and gas formation in the abdomen. It is a most suitable home remedy for all symptoms occurring due to gas accumulation in the abdomen.

Loss of Appetite (Poor Appetite)

Jeera (cumin seed) has appetizer effects, which are due to its action on stomach and liver. In the stomach, it modulates the secretion of gastric acid. It also increases the pancreatic juices from the panaceas. Furthermore, it acts on the liver and increases the bile flow into the intestine. Through all these mechanisms, it improves appetite, increases the digestive powder and enhances the absorption of the food. For the best results, Jeera is used along with Pippali (Long Pepper) powder in following way.

Jeera Churna (Ground Cumin)2000 mg
Pippali (Long Pepper) – Piper Longum250 mg
The dosage of this Jeera mixture is repeated twice daily and taken with warm water 30 minutes before food.

Loss of Desire to Eat & Loss of Taste

Jeera (cumin seed) is an excellent ayurvedic remedy to improve the desire to eat and loss of taste. According to Ayurveda, it occurs due to AMA (toxins) accumulation in the body and Jeera reduces these toxins and promotes appetite, increases the desire to eat, and improves the taste of mouth. In this condition, alone Jeera can be taken in dosage of 1/2 teaspoon with warm water.

If it occurs due to fever or infections and continues even after the treatment, then Jeera churna should be taken with coriander seed powder and Chirayata (Swertia Chirata) powder in following way.

Jeera Churna (Ground Cumin)1000 mg *
Dhania (Coriander) Seed Powder – Coriandrum Sativum500 mg *
Chirayata (Swertia Chirata) powder250 mg *
* Twice daily
Best Time to Take: 30 minutes before food

Acid Peptic Disorders

Acid Peptic Disorders indicate to the diseases occurring due to excessive acid secretion from the stomach and reduced mucosal defense. The diseases include:

  • Hyperacidity
  • Dyspepsia, Heartburn, Indigestion
  • GERD (Acid Reflux)
  • Peptic Ulcers

According to Ayurveda, Jeera provides strength to the stomach, which also means to improve the mucosal defense of the stomach and other organs. It is more likely to be effective in cases of SAMA PITTA condition related with following symptoms:

  1. Sour Belching
  2. Foul Smell
  3. Burning sensation in the throat
  4. Heartburn (burning sensation in the chest)
  5. Burning sensation in abdomen
  6. Feeling of heaviness in the body
  7. Sour vomitus

In all diseases and symptoms under acid peptic disorders, the following Jeera combination is useful and effective.

Jeera Churna (Ground Cumin)1 gram *
Dhania (Coriander) Seed Powder – Coriandrum Sativum1 gram *
Misri (Crystallized Sugar) Powder – Saccharum Officinarum2 grams *
* Twice daily
Best Time to Take: 30 minutes before food

Nausea & Vomiting

Jeera (cumin seed) has antiemetic characteristics, so it can help to treat nausea and vomiting. It can be used in following way.

  • Jeera Arq (Cumin distillate): 10 ml twice daily before a meal. It can be used in all cases of nausea and vomiting.
  • Jeera Churna with coriander seed powder if vomitus is sore and acidic in nature.
  • Jeera churna with Trikatu Churna if the patient feels the sweet taste in mouth, excessive salivation, drowsiness, and heaviness.
  • Jeera churna with Sendha Namak if mouth dryness, hoarseness, and vomiting with the loud sound of belching.

Diarrhea

Jeera (cumin) is effective in diarrhea because of its antimicrobial and antidiarrheal properties. It is more effective in diarrhea when mucus content is present in the stools.  Jeera (cumin) has antibacterial activity. A study indicates its effects against many genera. (Reference, Reference)

Roasted Jeera Churna or cumin seed powder along with Ajwain (Carom Seeds), Sendha Namak, Sonth (dried ginger), and Saunf (Fennel seeds) is helpful for diarrhea. This mixture should be taken with water in a dosage of 1 teaspoon twice or thrice daily.

Jeera Churna (ground cumin) can also be added in curd (yogurt) to get relief from mild diarrhea.

Flatulence & Bloating

The antiflatulent and carminative properties of Jeera (cumin seeds) help to cure the flatulence, bloating or abdominal distension. It prevents gas formation in the intestines and reduces the AMA (toxins) formation in the alimentary canal. This action also makes it an effective solution for flatulence with the bad or foul smell. In Ayurveda, the Namkeen Jeera and Jeerakadi Churna are used for antiflatulent and carminative benefits.

Abdominal colic

Jeera (cumin) has antispasmodic action and prevents gas accumulation in the intestine. It is effective when abdominal pain occurs mainly due to the accumulation of gas in the abdomen and occurring along with heaviness in the abdomen. The Namkeen Jeera can be used for the same purpose.

Pruritus (Itching)

Constipation or excessive intake of salt, sugar and green pepper can cause itching and make the skin dry. This type of itching becomes worse at night. In such case, a half teaspoon of Jeera Churna (cumin powder) should be taken with water thrice daily. Massage should be done with pure mustard oil processed with Neem Leaves or Nalpamaradi Thailam (Oil).

Postpartum Debility

In Indian tradition, Jeera along with Ajwain (carom seeds) and jaggery (Gur) is given to women after delivery to restore the health and treat the postpartum debility. Pancha Jeeraka Gudam prepared from Jeera is advised by ayurvedic doctors for the treatment of weakness, debility or fatigue.

Arsenic Poisoning

Jeera (cumin seed) powder is effective to reduce the burning sensation and headache that occurs in acute arsenic poisoning.

Chronic Low-Grade Fever

Jeera Churna and Kala Jeera (Caraway/Carum Carvi) can be taken with jaggery (Gur) for 2 to 3 weeks in chronic low-grade fever accompanies with fatigue and malaise. This mixture reduces fever, fatigue, malaise and weakness.

Jeera Churna (Ground Cumin)1 gram *
Kala Jeera (Caraway/Carum Carvi)1 gram *
jaggery (Gur)2 grams *
* Twice daily
Best Time to Take: an hour after food

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Jeera Churna (Cumin Seed Powder) along with Shuddha Hing (Purified Asafetida) is used for the management of irritable bowel syndrome. This mixture is effective when the patient has diarrhea with mucus in the stool as the main concern. It is also helpful to give relief from abdominal cramps, gas and bloating associated with IBS. It can be used as follows:

Jeera Churna (Ground Cumin)3 grams *
Shuddha Hing (Purified Asafetida)50 mg *
* Twice daily
Best Time to Take: Immediately after food

Polydipsia (Excessive Thirst)

Jeera along with Dhania (Coriander), black salt (Kala Namak) and ginger helps to reduce the excessive thirst.

Low Breastmilk Supply

After delivery, many women are worried about low breastmilk supply. Jeera (cumin seeds) has galactagogue action, which promotes the production of milk. It also improves the quality of the milk, which makes the milk easily digestible for the baby and improves the digestive health of the baby. According to Ayurveda, DOOSHITA STANYA can result in many diseases in the baby basically digestive problems. Jeera detoxifies the milk and enhances its taste and improves the milk quality.

Amyloidosis

Amyloidosis indicates the deposition of waxy translucent complex protein, called amyloid in the tissues or organs. It is generally a secondary condition to multiple myelomas, rheumatoid arthritis or tuberculosis. The cumin oil contains the anti-amyloidogenic compound, which may help to prevent or treat amyloidosis. (Reference)

Chemopreventive Potentials

Jeera (cumin) has strong chemopreventive potentials, which may be due to modulation of metabolism of carcinogens by certain phytochemicals present in the cumin and its antioxidant potential. (Reference)

Dosage & Administration

Jeera (cumin) is used in different forms. The dosage of the most commonly used forms is discussed below:

Jeera (Cumin) Seed Dosage

The general dosage of Jeera (Cumin) Seed (whole) is as follows.
Children1/4 to  1/2 teaspoon *
Adults1/2 to  1 teaspoon *
Maximum Possible Dosage2 teaspoons Per Day (in divided doses)
* Twice a day with water or in veggie
Best Time to Take: After Food or with food

Jeera Churna (Cumin Seed Powder) Dosage

The general dosage of Jeera Churna (Cumin Seed Powder) is as follows.
Children500 mg to 1500 mg *
Adults3 to 6 grams *
Maximum Possible Dosage12 grams Per Day (in divided doses)
* Twice a day with appropriate adjuvant
Best Time to Take: After Food

Roasted Jeera (Cumin) Dosage

The general dosage of Roasted Jeera (Cumin) is as follows.
Children1/6 to 1/4 teaspoon *
Adults1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon *
Maximum Possible Dosage1 teaspoon Per Day (in divided doses)
* Twice a day with water or in veggie
Best Time to Take: After Food or with food

Jeera Water (Cumin Water) Dosage

The general dosage of Jeera Water (Cumin Water) is as follows.
Children20 to 100 ml *
Adults50 to 200 ml *
Maximum Possible Dosage400 ml Per Day (in divided doses)
* Twice a day with appropriate adjuvant
Best Time to Take: After Food or 30 minutes before food

Cumin Tea Dosage

The general dosage of Cumin Tea prepared with 1 teaspoon Jeera and 250 ml water is as follows.
Children20 to 100 ml *
Adults50 to 200 ml *
Maximum Possible Dosage400 ml Per Day (in divided doses)
* Twice a day with appropriate adjuvant
Best Time to Take: After Food

Safety Profile

Jeera or Cumin Seeds in natural form and ground cumin (Jeera Churna or Cumin Seed powder) are considerably safe in food as well as in medicinal amounts discussed above.

Side Effects

Jeera (Cumin) is well tolerated and there are no side effects reported with the use of cumin seeds.

Ayurvedic Formulations of Jeera (cumin)

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