Cumin is a big part of Indian and Chinese cuisine. As with most spices used by these cultures, cumin is a powerful natural medicine.
According to Web MD, people take cumin for digestion problems including diarrhea, colic, bowel spasms, and gas. Cumin is also used to increase urine flow to relieve bloating (as a diuretic); to start menstruation; and to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac) (1).
Here are ten more additional health benefits of cumin you might not be aware of:
Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues (2). It’s often caused by iron deficiency.
Cumin is incredibly high in iron, in fact, 1 tablespoon is enough to supply 22% of your daily value of iron (3). Use it to season meat or vegetables or add it to soups and salad dressings for a kick of flavor.
Acid reflux can be an incredibly uncomfortable condition, but cumin can solve it it just a few minutes.
To use, simply place a pinch of cumin on your tongue and keep in your mouth for 2-3 minutes, then swallow it.
You can also combine cumin, coriander and raw sugar in equal amounts and take it with a glass of water every morning for chronic acid reflux.
Cumin can be used as a diabetes treatment to reduce FBS (Fasting Blood Sugar) and lower glucose levels in the blood and tissue lipids (4).
Diabetics can enjoy these benefits by adding a teaspoon of ground cumin in a glass of water and drink twice a day.
4. Liver Detox
The University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine suggests the use of cumin tea as a part of their “Detoxification to Promote Health Program” (5).
To make the tea , steep 1⁄2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, 1⁄2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds and 1⁄2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds in a cup of boiled water. Steep for 10 minutes and enjoy after each meal.
Constipation is quite common but can quickly develop in to a serious condition if left untreated. To relieve constipation and associated abdominal pain, try the following recipe:
- Mix equal amounts of cumin, black pepper, dry ginger and curry powder (1/4-1/2 teaspoon works well).
- In a small sauce pan, slowly melt one tablespoon of butter.
- Once melted, remove from heat and add spices and a pinch of salt.
- Serve over a cup of rice followed by 2 glasses of water an hour after the meal.
6. Cough and Colds
Cumin has anti-viral (6) properties, meaning that it can help fight off a cold or other viral infection.
If taken as a tea, it will help ease chest pain and loosen phlegm. It’s also high in vitamin C, which helps to boots the immune system and prevent future infection.
Just steep a 1/2 tablespoon of cumin seeds per cup of boiled water for around 10 minutes. If you’re suffering from a sore throat, add a few slices of ginger too.
To treat and prevent indigestion, grind equal parts of rock salt, black pepper, dried ginger and cumin.
Take a tablespoon in a large glass of water after meals. It will also help relieve post-meal flatulence and bloating.
In a recent study, cumin was found to help treat all symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), including diarrhea, fecal urgency and the presence of mucus in the stool (7).
All you need is to mix 5 grams of roasted, ground cumin to a glass of yogurt and take 2-3 times a day until symptoms are relieved.
Chronic vomiting can be easily controlled by ingesting a tablespoon of fine powder of roasted cumin mixed with honey after each meal.
If vomiting persists for 2-3 days, it’s important to go visit a doctor and try to stay hydrated.
Iron deficiency can lead to sleep disorders (8). Because of it’s high levels of the mineral, cumin seeds can help ensure a proper night’s sleep.
Simply combine 1/2 teaspoon of roasted cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon of honey and a mashed banana.
It’s always best to use organic whole cumin seeds and grind them with a mortar and pestle.
Whole seeds stay fresh for a year if stored in a cool, dark place, and can be roasted before use.
Cumin powder is more convenient but will only last about 6 months before it expires.