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Herb 101: Cumin

by Uldreich Sam Crisostomo November 07, 2017

Herb 101: Cumin

Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to South Asia. Its seeds are used in the cuisines of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form. Cumin is an herb that many associate with Mexican and Spanish foods, but it is also widely used in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. It has a very distinct flavor, and in the US is most often used in packaged taco seasonings. It is mostly ground to the powder. In Indian recipes, cumin is frequently confused with caraway, which it resembles in appearance though not in taste, cumin being far more powerful. This is due to a misunderstanding of the Indian word jeera. The term usually means cumin, but can occasionally mean caraway, so in doubtful cases, cumin is generally to be understood.

Cumin is high in iron and vitamin C so it will help support healthy immune function to fight colds and flu and other infections. Cumin is beneficial for improving digestion, and has anti-fungal properties. Cumin also helps the liver detoxify and can help relieve insomnia. Studies have also shown that cumin may have cancer-fighting abilities. Cumin is also used to increase urine flow to relieve bloating as a diureti, to start menstruation, and to increase sexual desire.

Just some trivia here. Cumin was known to the Egyptians five millennia ago. The seeds have been found in the Old Kingdom Pyramids. The Romans and the Greeks used it medicinally and cosmetically to induce a pallid complexion.
Uldreich Sam Crisostomo
Uldreich Sam Crisostomo



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