Cumin, or cumin, is a spice from Egypt, which – thanks to its properties – has found wide application in medieval Europe, both in medicine and in cuisine. Currently, cumin (Roman cumin) is grown in Morocco, Iran, Turkey, India, China and the Americas. Most popular in Mediterranean cuisine because of its taste and aroma.
Cumin (Roman cumin) – health properties
Cumin is an excellent source of iron – 100 g of spice exceeds the daily requirement of an adult for this mineral element more than six times. Thanks to this, cumin both prevents and supports the treatment of anemia. Iron is important, among others for menstruating women who lose iron during bleeding.
In addition, cumin has a positive effect on the immune system due to the high content of iron, vitamins C and A.
Cumin reduces the levels of bad LDL cholesterol, triglycerides in the blood and increases the concentration of good HDL cholesterol in the blood. An improvement in blood lipid profile was observed in overweight and obese people as well as in people with hypercholesterolemia.
Cumin soothes digestive disorders. Stimulates the secretion of enzymes by the pancreas that condition the absorption of nutrients. Thymol contained in cumin stimulates the secretion of bile and digestive enzymes responsible for digesting food.
Animal studies have shown that cumin contributes to lowering blood glucose levels in individuals with hyperglycemia and losing weight. In addition, a decrease in blood urea levels has been observed. Cuminaldehyde and cuminol contained in cumin have also been found to increase insulin secretion. In another study, it was observed that the methanolic extract of cumin seeds causes a decrease in blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, creatinine, urea and an increase in blood insulin in diabetic rats.
Cumin, due to the presence of aromatic essential oils and disinfectants, acts as an expectorant, causing thinning of the phlegm in the respiratory tract and facilitating its elimination by coughing and spitting. It is therefore recommended for inflammation of the respiratory tract (e.g. bronchitis), as well as in the course of asthma.
Cumin can cause skin allergies and allergic respiratory reactions. People taking, among others antifungal, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, analgesic or supplemental iron medications should use cumin with caution and consult your doctor for safety.
Studies have shown that the extracellular use of cumin oil essential has significantly reduced the incidence of pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures (PTZ). In addition, it was observed that the essential oils contained in cumin have an effect on extending the duration of periods without epileptic seizures, reducing the amplitude of hyperpolarization potential (AHP) and inhibiting the speed of triggering epileptic seizures.
Essential oils and aldehyde isolated from cumin have anti-bacterial properties. They show inhibitory effect on bacterial growth, including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus, S. hemolyticus, Propionibacterium acnes, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, Bacillus cereus, Clostridium tetani. They do not affect the growth of Pseudomonas spp. For this reason, they prevent the occurrence of numerous microbial and fungal infections of the skin. It is worth knowing that cumin is also used as an ingredient in fragrant creams, lotions and perfumes. In addition, cumin seed oil is used as multifunctional luminescent paints.
Cumin (Roman cumin) – pregnancy and lactation
Cumin increases milk secretion during lactation. This property is due to the presence of thymol, which increases secretion from glands, including milk, from mammary glands. Consumption of cumin is beneficial both during lactation and pregnancy due to the high iron content, whose demand is increased during this period. In addition, cumin is a source of calcium, which is an important component of milk.
Cumin (Roman cumin) – use in the kitchen
Roman cumin is a very aromatic and spicy spice that has a slightly bitter taste. Cumin is used in the kitchen as a seasoning for dishes. Occurs in the form of beans as well as ground. It is available as a stand-alone spice, as well as an ingredient in spice mixtures, mainly curry, garam masala.
Cumin (Roman cumin) – what does it add?
Cumin is suitable for seasoning meat and fish, soups, stews, as well as for sprinkling bread or cakes on it. In addition, it works great as a spice for dishes made of legumes, vegetables and as an addition to rice or groats. Cumin is also seasoned with sauerkraut, added to tomato sauces and marinades. Oil obtained from cumin by steam distillation is used to flavor alcoholic beverages, desserts and other spices.
Cumin can be found in French cheeses, such as Leyden cheese, and some traditional French breads. In Germany, cumin is used to make a liqueur.
Caraway and cumin
Caraway (Carum carvi L.) and cumin (cumin, Cuminum cyminum L.) are quite different plants. Roman cumin comes from the Mediterranean region and does not occur at our territory. In turn, common cumin grows in our country commonly in meadows, roadside and pastures