Nutrition Expert- Saba Shaikh, Mumbai.
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L) is a leafy plant that grows low to the ground in China, India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean region. The fruit of the plant is called the cumin seed, and it’s popular all over the world as a spice. Cumin has become the subject of medical research, as anecdotal evidence claims it has all kinds of health benefits.
Most of cumin’s claimed benefits have to do with your digestion, immune system, and circulation. Some benefits of cumin can be demonstrated with clinical studies, while some remain hard to prove.
1. Promotes Digestion
Cumin is one of the most gut-friendly herbs, and promotes pancreatic enzymes, assisting in the digestion process. Cumin seeds contain thymol and essential oils that stimulate the salivary gland, thereby easing digestion. People with a weak digestive system are recommended to drink jeera water early in the morning on empty stomach for better digestion and to decrease flatulence.
Cumin is also Carminative i.e. relieves you from flatulence and thereby improves digestion and appetite. The presence of essential oils, magnesium, and sodium content provides relief from stomach ache when taken with hot water.
2. Treats Haemorrhoids
Cumin is a rich source of dietary fiber, exhibits carminative, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties. The essential oils cumin aldehyde and pyrazines in jeera act as a natural laxative, aids in curing infections or wounds in the excretory system and relieves haemorrhoids.
3. Weight Loss
A study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice reveals the benefits for those on diet. Cumin not only helps in losing weight quickly but also influences the body’s fat profile in a positive way by reducing the levels of harmful lipids in the blood.
4. Fights cancer
Cumin possesses detoxifying and chemo preventive properties. As per the study conducted by the Cancer Research Laboratory USA, the active compound cumin aldehyde found in cumin aids in retarding the growth of a tumour.
5. Treats Insomnia
The essential oils in cumin are hypnotic in nature and have tranquilizing effects, which eases stress and anxiety that commonly causes insomnia. Moreover, jeera contains melatonin, the sleep-regulating hormone, as well as significant amounts of iron and magnesium, which are all essential for regulating brain activity and inducing sleep in a timely manner.
6. Relieves asthma and cold
The powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of cumin seeds, making it a wonderful remedy for treating asthma and cold. It acts as an expectorant, loosens up the phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tracts and makes it easier to eliminate. The essential oil acts as a disinfectant and helps ward off infections and boost immunity.
7. Better memory
Packed with a bunch of minerals and vitamins such as riboflavin, vitamin B6, zeaxanthin, and niacin consuming cumin is beneficial for the brain to function properly. Cumin helps in promoting better mental health and sharpens the memory by nourishing the brain cells.
8. Soothes the Skin & Treats Acne
Cumin well known for its anti-inflammatory properties can help you in getting instant relief from allergies and stings. It soothes the skin and assists in controlling any inflammation caused due to allergies. The anti-bacterial properties of cumin aid in killing the bacteria on the skin and cures acne. Washing your face with cumin water quite often during the day can keep skin infections at bay.
Three Quick-Fix Jeera Concoctions To Ease Your Tummy Troubles:
1. To counter loss of appetite, add 1 teaspoon of jeera (cumin) powder and ¼ teaspoon of pepper powder in a glass of warm water, and consume it half an hour before meals. This will effectively stimulate your taste buds and also improve the absorption of ingested food.
2. To neutralize stomach acidity, add 1 teaspoon of jeera powder and ½ teaspoon of dhania (coriander) powder, to half a glass of lukewarm water along with some sugar, and drink it twenty minutes before meals.
3. A teaspoon of roasted jeera powder along with some dried ginger and 3-4 saunf (fennel seeds) in warm water, taken thrice a day after meals, helps to relieve diarrhoea.