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Health Benefits of Cumin Seeds

Cumin seeds belong to the same family as caraway seeds, parsley, chervil and dill. This biological family is known as Umbelliferae. Cumin seeds, integral to Indian and Middle Eastern food, are known for their piquant taste and for their health benefits.

The taste is described as peppery with citrus overtones. It can be used as a seed or ground up and used as a powder. It releases maximum flavor when it is dry roasted before adding to curries and salads.

These seeds are long ridged and yellow-brown in color. Its nutrition makes it an important ingredient in garam masala or curry powder. Iron is contained in cumin seeds and this makes it good for hemoglobin in the body and for boosting the immunity system. Cumin should be an important part of the diet for women as they lose a lot of blood regularly during menstruation. They need natural iron to create more blood.

Research has shown that cumin seeds even have properties to prevent cancer but this is still being researched and has no medical veracity. Mythology has references that cumin seeds have been used in Egypt during mummification. Like most spices, at one time, cumin was good currency and is said to have been used extensively in the Middle Ages. Its therapeutic qualities make it a great inclusion in food today.

Digestive Problems:

  • Cumin seeds have also been noted and used for their role in digestion. It helps secrete enzymes in the pancreas that help in digestion. This function not only helps in digestion but also proper nutrition assimilation. They are also used as an antiseptic and as a digestion aid.
  • They have been known to help diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, morning sickness, and of course, indigestion. You can boil one teaspoon of seeds with one glass of water and drink this concoction, once cooled.
  • They are also great for acidity, and regular consumption of cumin seeds ensures that your stomach functions properly.
  • Digestion is improved and you are relieved of any kind of uneasiness.

Cold & Flu:

The antiseptic properties of cumin seed make it a favored spice for home remedies for common cold and flu. Boil the seeds in water along with ginger and drink the concoction to soothe your fuzzy throat. You can drink this tonic as many times as you like as it will also reduce the symptoms.

Skin Problems:

Its antiseptic qualities also help when you apply cumin seeds like a salve on burns and boils. It prevents the skin from forming a black film. The spice also acts as a great immunity booster and helps keep chronic diseases and its symptoms in check.

Weight Loss:

Cumin seeds are also used in the diet for weight loss. It is a spice that is low in calories and can act as a replacement for salt. You can add seeds to salads and main dishes or sprinkle it over your food. It will also help you build immunity and keep your digestion intact. It is a spice high in fat but it is fat that is good for you.

Kidney Stones:

Cumin seeds can even help in the treatment for kidney stones. A good home remedy for kidney stones is to add ground cumin along with turmeric to the bread or rotis you eat. This improves your digestive system and slowly helps in dissolving the kidney stones naturally.


Cumin seeds are also sometimes used for treating colitis. Black cumin, in particular, is used for ulcerative colitis. Black cumin oil has also been known to provide relief. This method of treatment is mostly used in Ayurveda–an alternate form of therapy that relies on natural ingredients. Colitis affects digestion, and cumin seeds are known to improve and regulate digestion.

Nutritional Value of Cumin Seeds

They have a lot of nutrition.  Its nutritional value is usually of medicinal value. About 1 teaspoon cumin contains a lot of iron and manganese. You would have to eat a lot of cumin, as  it provides you with your daily intake of iron and manganese.

Nutrition Benefits Of Black Cumin Seeds

There is another type of cumin seeds, frequently used in cooking and known for their distinct look and flavor. These are black cumin seeds and are also called ‘Nigella seeds’ or ‘Nigella sativa’. These seeds also have immense health benefits. Cumin is very aromatic, but black cumin seeds are not always aromatic.


Black cumin has been used historically with honey to cure bronchitis. This may be an old ladies’ tale, but like cumin, it definitely can help improve the breathing function and reduce the symptoms of bronchitis.

  • These seeds also boost bone marrow and immunity.
  • The seeds are also believed to help increase the body muscle tone, regulate menstrual flow, and even help nursing mothers nurse better.
  • Nursing mothers should consult doctors before using this home remedy as there could be some contraindications.
  • A combination of cumin seeds with a ripe banana can induce peaceful sleep.
  • Cumin is also known to improve metabolism.
  • Cumin seeds have also been used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • This spice is known to keep the liver working well and increasing your appetite.

Nutritional Value of Black Cumin

It contains many compounds that are good for you, including thymoquinone, linolenic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, protein, folic acid, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorous. Like in the case of cumin, you would have to eat large quantities of these seeds in order to receive proper nutritive value from them.


These seeds are not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, but they can still be used like a spice, especially as a substitute for pepper.

Nutrient Count:

In about 100 grams of cumin seeds, you will get 17.8 grams of protein and over 10 grams of dietary fiber. It even helps improve concentration and retention power.

Black Cumin Oil Benefits

Black cumin seeds also are the source for black cumin oil. There are many health benefits of black cumin oil.
  • This oil helps quell colic in babies.
  • It calms the nervous system, stimulates urine production, improves digestion, and helps keep blood pressure under control.
  • History has mentions of these seeds being used to cure headaches and toothaches.

Breathing-Related Conditions:

  • Like for bronchitis, it is also very effective for asthma.
  • Black cumin mixed with honey has been a time-tested cure for breathing troubles.
  • Sometimes honey and garlic are added to the mix. Black cumin and black cumin oil are also effective to combat allergies.


Extracts of black cumin, like cumin, have shown some progress in laboratories to combat different cancers. Of course there is no treatment as yet. This extract has shown that it can inhibit leukemia but this is still only in laboratories.

Skin Problems:

Black cumin has been known to improve your skin and its elasticity. A mixture of apple cider vinegar and black cumin helps prevent and deal with acne and other skin eruptions. Black cumin oil can be applied like a lotion, regularly and as many times as needed.   

Tips Before Using:

  • You can add the seeds to your food to fortify. Mix it with salads, dips, on bakes, roasts or even in casseroles and breads.
  • Black cumin can also be taken in capsule form but this should be bought from a certified manufacturer.
  • When you purchase black cumin oil, you need to make sure it is the correct oil. Black sesame oil is also sometimes sold as black oil.
Submitted on January 16, 2014