Medicinal Uses of Cumin
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Celestina Robb
Posted on: May 14, 2001

What are the medicinal uses for cumin?

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) is a popular spice in Asia and the Middle East. It is a key ingredient in curries and pickles in India. Cumin is different from black cumin (Nigella sativa), otherwise known as black caraway, another important spice and medicinal herb. There is a book on the healing properties of black cumin which is available from Richters.

According to Andrew Chevallier in his book, "The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants" (available from Richters), Cuminum cyminum was used for digestive illnesses, chest colds and coughs, as a painkiller, and to treat rotten teeth. Like its relatives, caraway, fennel and anise, cumin relieves flatulence and bloating, and stimulates the digestive system. In India, it is used to treat insomnia, fevers and to treat scorpion stings. It is also used like fennel seeds to improve breast-milk production.

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