Cumin Seed Benefits, Usage, Side Effects – Ayurveda Details

Cumin seeds are known as Jeeraka in Sanskrit. The word is derived from Jeerna – digestion. Hence Jeeraka means that which digests. Cumin seed is very good in treating digestive track disorders.

 Botanical name – Cuminum cyminum Linn.
Family – Umbelliferae

Vernacular names

Bengali name – Jeera, Sadajeere, Shahajeere, Jeere
Hindi name: Safed Jeera, Jeera, Sada jeera, Sadarana jeera
Marathi name – Jire, Pandare jeere
Gujarati name – Jeeru, Shakanu jeerum, Sadu jeerum, Gholu jeerum
Tamil name – Cheerakam, Shiragam,
Telugu name – Jeelakari, Jelakara, Jeela karara
Kannada name – jeerige
Malayalam name – Jeerakam
Arabbain name – kammun, Avyaja
Farsi name – Jeera e safed

Sanskrit synonyms

Jeeraka, Ajaji – Cumin – Cuminum cyminum, Kana, Jarana

Classical categorization:

Charaka Samhita – Shoolaprashamana – herbs that relieve abdominal pain
Sushruta and Vagbhata – Pippalyadi group of herbs
Distribution: It is widely cultivated across India.

Medicinal qualities

Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dry)
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent)
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion) – Katu (pungent)
Veerya (potency) – Ushna (hot)
Effect on Tridosha – Kaphavatahara – balances Kapha and Vata, increases Pitta.

cumin health benefits

Properties as per Bhojana Kutuhalam

According to Bhojana kutuhalam as mentioned in the section of sambhara, Jeeraka is pungent in taste, hot in potency, improves taste perception, stimulates the digestive fire and promotes digestion, It is fragrant, improves intellect, alleviates kapha dosha, helps in treating vomiting, diarrhoea, gulma, colicky pain, any abdominal disorders, intestinal worms and dental problems.

Cumin seed benefits

Ruchya – improves taste
Deepana, Agnivardhana – Improves digestion strength
Grahi, Sangrahi – absorbant, useful in malabsorption syndrome and diarrhea,
Medhya – improves intelligence
Garbhashaya Vishuddhikrut – cleanses and detoxifies uterus. Hence it is widely used in post partum care of the mother.
Jvaraghna – Useful in fever
Pachana – carminative
Vrushya – natural aphrodisiac
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Chakshushya – good for eyes, improves vision power
Ruchya – improves taste

Indications, dose

Jeera is the useful in the treatment of
Gulma – Abdominal tumor, bloating
Adhmana – bloating, gaseous distension of abdomen
Atisara – diarrhea, dysentery
Grahani – malabsorption syndrome
Krumi – worm infestation
Chardi – vomiting
Kshaya – chronic respiratory disorders leading to emaciation
Kushta – skin diseases
Visha – Aconitum ferox poisoning
Jvara – fever

Dose – 3 -6 grams – once or two times a day after food. It can be taken along with hot water or honey or even with ghee. 

How to use cumin as per Ayurveda:
Cumin is dry fried on a pan. Only then it is used. If it is not dried, there will be some amount of stickiness to it. Its reference for frying is mentioned in Vaidya yoga ratnavali book, published by impcops.

Research

  • Cumin powder along with Kala namak (Sochal salt) is used as a remedy to counter side effects of excess intake of sour mango. (Bhava Prakasha). Read more about sour mango benefits
  • In fever it is used along with jaggery to improve appetite, cleanse the bowel and relieve burning sensation.
  • Cumin is used with curd in diarrhea.
  • Cumin along with lime juice is beneficial in vomiting of pitta dosha origin during pregnancy.
  • Bathing with decoction of cumin seeds is used to cure itching.

Cumin according to Dosha

How to take cumin based on your Dosha?

For people with high Vata, Cumin seeds are administered along with sesame oil. It can be fried in sesame oil and taken. 

Cumin for Pitta – 
Cumin is hot in nature, so also Pitta Dosha. Hence, you need to take it with coolant and that balances Pitta powerfully. For this purpose, Cumin is fried with ghee or coconut oil for Pitta.
Ghee is told as the best remedy for Pitta. It counters the gastric irritation effect of Jira. Read ghee benefits
Coconut oil, being nourishing and cooling is very effective in countering hotness of cumin and Pitta Dosha. Read coconut oil benefits

Cumin for Kapha –
Cumin naturally balances down Kapha Dosha. Hence, dry fried cumin can be readily given to Kapha persons. If you wish to enhance the taste of cumin, then you can administer along with honey. Of all the liquids for Kapha balance, honey is said to be the best. Read related: Honey benefits

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurveda medicines

Hingwastak Churna – useful in indigestion
Dhatri Rasayan – useful in indigestion, cold, cough, asthma etc.
Jeerakarishtam – useful in post natal care of the mother
Yogaraj Guggul – useful in various joint disorders.

Chemical constituents, nutritional facts

Cumin contains thymol, that helps promote the production of saliva, bile and other enzymes responsible for food digestion. The aromatic compound Cuminaldehyde helps to induce secretion of digestive juices just by the aroma.

Cumin is a rich source of iron.
A spoonful of cumin is useful to reduce body fat and thus useful in weight loss treatment.
Cumin is anti-congestive agent and is a good expectorant, due to its rich essential oils. Hence useful in cough, cold and bronchitis.
Cumin contains riboflavin, vitamin B6 and niacin – useful in improving cognitive functions of brain.

Research

Research carried out by the Cancer Research Laboratory in South Carolina, USA, found that cumin can help fight cancer, due to cuminaldehyde, which have been shown to slow the growth of tumors. It also has characteristics that accelerate the production of detoxifying and anti carcinogenic enzymes, which can aid the prevention of colon cancer.(1)
Cumin contains Vitamin E, hence useful to improve skin tone and texture.

Cumin with Coriander seed

Cumin powder and coriander – is a very good combination. It is useful to improve digestion strength but still has mild coolant effect. This is ideal to improve digestion strength in people with sensitive stomach, who cannot tolerate hard spices such as ginger or black pepper.
The best way to take it is – Mix them together in equal quantities. Take a teaspoon of it, soak in water at night. Filter and drink it the next day morning, on empty stomach.

25 thoughts on “Cumin Seed Benefits, Usage, Side Effects – Ayurveda Details”

  1. Thanks Doctor for the useful info
    We normally use Jeera in dal everyday (fry with Ghee) .. Is there some other way we can use it for indigestion ?

    Reply
    • Hi, as you can see in the verse section, all the ancient Authors concur that it is hot in nature, and has digestive and carminative properties, there is no doubt in its hotness.

      Reply
    • Hi, if someone is not allergic to it, then its concoction can be taken for obesity. Because it is hot in potency, it can be taken for limited during summer.

      Reply
  2. Our elders had the habit of chewing roasted cumin seeds. Do the roasted ones carry the same benefit as the raw cumin

    Reply
  3. Thank you for giving this useful information. If i soak the cumin seeds for 30 min and then boil it and mix a little bit of lemon juice and honey, what are the benefits and side effects ?

    Reply
    • No problem with it. You can do this. But better to add lemon juice and honey, after the boiled cumin seeds cool down a little. It appears to be a good remedy to improve digestion strength, reduce nausea and vomiting.

      Reply
  4. Thank you for extremely useful information. I read regularly your articles and I appreciate your efforts. Thanks once again.

    Reply
  5. Dear Doctor, It is mentioned that Jeeraka increases Pitta Disha. Does it mean people with excess pitta problem should not consume it?

    B Sudheer

    Reply
    • Hi, it is hot, but not as hot as pepper, ginger etc. People with very high Pitta should avoid it.

      Reply
  6. Dear Dr. Hebbar,

    Is cumin compatible with milk (not talking about boiling with milk, just taken along)?

    Thanks.

    Reply

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