13 Surprising Benefits of Cumin

The health benefits of cumin include its ability to aid in digestion, improve immunity and treat piles, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, lactation, anemia, skin disorders, boils and cancer.Many of you might remember having hated those curries and soups which had roasted or fried cumin seeds in them when you were kids, because they looked like small black insects. However, you probably liked the taste. So your mother might have removed these flavorful parts before she served you the food. That was cumin!Cumin, scientifically known as Cuminum Cyminum, belongs to family Apiaceae and is extensively used in culinary practices of the Indian Subcontinent and some other Asian, African and Latin American countries as a condiment or spice. Those who are of the opinion that spices are bad for one’s health should note that cumin can be beneficial for some of the most dangerous diseases, and is generally consider a boost for overall health. Let’s explore just how it benefits your health in the section below.

Health Benefits of Cumin

The health benefits of cumin include the following:

Digestion: Cumin is extremely good for digestion and related problems. The very aroma of cumin, which comes from an aromatic organic compound called Cuminaldehyde, the main component of its essential oil, activates our salivary glands in our mouth, which facilitates the primary digestion of food. Next is thymol, a compound present in cumin, which stimulates the glands that secrete acids, bile and enzymes responsible for complete digestion of the food in the stomach and the intestines. Cumin is also Carminative, which means that it relieves from you from gas troubles and thereby improves digestion and appetite. Due to its essential oils, magnesium and sodium content, cumin promotes digestion and also gives relief for stomach-aches when taken with hot water.Cuminseeds

Piles: The main cause behind piles (hemorrhoids) is constipation added with infections in the wound in the anal tract, which are also caused by constipation. Cumin, because of its dietary fiber content and carminative, stimulating, antifungal and antimicrobial properties, acts as a natural laxative in powdered form. These characteristics are due to the presence of essential oils comprised mainly of Cuminaldehyde and certain pyrazines. Adding cumin to your diet also helps in healing up of infections or wounds in the digestive and excretory system and speeds up digestion as well. That pretty much means that it clears up all of the symptoms and causes of hemorrhoids, so keep that it mind when you start itching!

Diabetes: Although research is still ongoing, early studies report that cumin, among a number of other spices, can have a powerful effect in preventing diabetes by reducing the chances of hypoglycemia. The animals that were tested showed a sharp decline in hypoglycemia when fed cumin seeds in their diet, and they also showed a decrease in glucosuria, which is a condition where the urine contains too much glucose, also resulting in hypoglycemia and diabetes. Human testing is ongoing, but early reports show that cumin can be a very powerful tool in the battle against diabetes!

Insomnia: This is a very peculiar property of cumin. It is a stimulant as well as a relaxant at the same time. This property cannot be attributed to a single component alone, just as causes of insomnia cannot be attributed to a single cause. However, studies show that the proper intake of vitamins (particularly B-complex) and good digestion help to induce a sound sleep. It helps in both of these factors. Some of the components of cumin essential oil are hypnotic in nature and have tranquilizing effects, which also help to relieve stress and anxiety that commonly causes insomnia.

Respiratory Disorders, Asthma, Bronchitis: The presence of caffeine (the stimulating agent), and the richly aromatic essential oils (the disinfectants) make cumin an ideal anticongestive combination for those suffering from respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis. It acts as an expectorant, meaning that it loosens up the accumulated phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tracts and makes it easier to eliminate them from the system via sneezing or coughing up and spitting. By eliminating as much of the mucus and phlegm as possible, it can inhibit the formation of additional material and help to heal the initial condition that led to its formation in the first place.

Common Cold: The common cold is a viral infection which affects our body frequently when our immune system becomes weakened or vulnerable. Again, the essential oils present in cumin act as disinfectants and help fight viral infections which can cause the common cold. Cumin also suppresses the development of coughing in the respiratory system since it dries up the excess mucus. Cumin is rich in iron and has considerable amount of vitamin-C, which are essential for a healthy immune system and keeps infections from forming or becoming worse. Vitamin-C is also a natural antioxidant, so it defends against other infections and toxins as well, further boosting the immune system.

Lactation: Cumin is rich in iron and thus very good for lactating mothers as well as for women who are undergoing menses or who are pregnant, since they are more in need of iron than others. Moreover, cumin is said to help ease and increase secretion of milk in lactating women due to the presence of thymol, which tends to increase secretions from our glands, including milk, which is a secretion from the mammary glands. Also, cumin is more beneficial if taken with honey. Cumin has remarkable amount of calcium (more than 900 mg per 100 grams) which accounts for over 90% of our daily requirement of calcium. This calcium is an important constituent of milk and hence cumin is very good for lactating mothers.

Anemia: As stated above, cumin is very rich in iron (more than 66 mg. in every 100 grams) which is more than 5 times the daily requirement of iron for an adult. This iron is the main constituent of hemoglobin in the red blood corpuscles of blood. It is hemoglobin which transfers oxygen (as the oxide of iron) to the body’s cells and whose deficiency causes anemia. So, cumin can be a nutritious additive to daily diet for anemic people and avoid the symptoms of anemia like fatigue, anxiety, cognitive malfunction, and digestive issues.

Concentration and Cognitive Malfunction: The amount of iron in cumin leads to increased hemoglobin production and subsequent prevention of anemia, but that increased blood flow has other benefits as well. When your blood circulation is in top form, adequate amounts of oxygen are able to reach the organs and the brain, leading to optimal performance of those bodily systems. Proper amounts of oxygen and iron in the brain lead to increased cognitive performance and a decrease in cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. For other organs, increased oxygenation increases efficiency and speeds up the metabolism, which can boost your overall health, increase strength, and prevent signs of aging.cuminbenefits1

Skin Disorders: Almost everyone knows that vitamin-E is good for the maintenance of skin and the prevention of premature aging symptoms. It keeps the skin young and glowing. This vitamin is also present in abundance in cumin. The essential oils present in cumin have disinfectant and antifungal properties. This prevents any microbial and fungal infection from affecting the skin. Not all skin issues are disorders or infections, some of them are simply signs of aging. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in this regard and combats the free radicals that attack the skin and result in signs of premature aging like wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin. This, combined with the antibacterial capacity of cumin, makes for healthy, beautiful skin that lasts far into your old age.

Boils: Boils are outlets for the removal of toxic substances and foreign matters such as microbes from the body. This means that they are symptoms which show that a high amount of toxic substances have accumulated in the body. In this way, cumin can help you a great deal. Those who regularly use cumin in food have a significant reduction in the occurrence of boils, rashes, pimples, and other signs of excess toxin content. Components such as cuminaldehyde, thymol, and phosphorus are good detoxifying agents which help in the regular removal of toxins from the body. The healthy way of removing toxins is through the excretory system, not through boils.

Immunity: As discussed above, an abundance of iron, the presence of essential oils, vitamin-C, and vitamin-A in cumin boosts our immune system in a number of ways. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants that we have in our body, and it also stimulates the function and activity of white blood cells. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights the detrimental effects of free radicals, which are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism. They are constantly being created in the body, and therefore, must be constantly eliminated. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that lead to many diseases, including, but not limited to, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Cancer: Cumin itself has detoxifying and chemopreventive properties, and accelerates the secretion of detoxifying and anticarcinogenic enzymes from the glands, as it also does to other secretions. Furthermore, it has beneficial antioxidants like vitamin-C and vitamin-A within its chemical makeup, in addition to those essential oils. Besides having countless other benefits, the antioxidants have anticarcinogenic properties too, and those found in cumin are particularly good for colon cancer prevention.

Other benefits: Even more? Cumin is also beneficial in treating renal coli, weak memory, insect bites and painful stings. With all of these benefits, how could you say no? Add some cumin to your diet as soon as you can!

What do you think?

  • Suzy Shaw

    I believe your article is inaccurate. You have used the term hypoglycaemia instead of hyperglycaemia in the diabetes section. Diabetes is caused by abnormally high sugar levels (hyperglycaemia). You would hope that cumin would lead to a reduction of hyperglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia is a condition that occurs in diabetics when they have too much insulin and their glucose levels become abnormally low. I think if you are going to set yourself up as experts you need to make sure your information is correct.

  • Dinello

    You can make a tahini salad.
    Tahini – cayenne pepper – cumin – some apple vinegar, optionally garlic .A middle eastern plate very healthy and delicious!!!

  • reghu

    I am from tbe southern state of Kerala where we always boil water with a spoonful for cumin seeds. And we use it in a lot of our cooking.

  • Valerie Oswald

    I have read that Cumin also can lower tryglycerides. I am just concerned that it has caffeine and will make me jittery. Can anyone give me more info on how much to take. Will 1tsp in my fruit shake keep me wired for the day? I can’t take it if it does. Thank you

    • reghu

      See above. It does not have a lot of caffiene. I grew up drinking that.
      Gave it up but seems like I should start doing it again. My parents back home still do it.

      • Valerie Oswald

        Thank you for the reply someone had said they have trouble sleeping at night when they take it late in the day. Also I only put in 1/2 tsp in my shake and it has a very powerful flavor. I used the oil. It seems that I have very sensitive taste buds since I have the fibro. I can take a quarter of what anyone else would and everything tastes stronger. thanks again for the comment

  • Lynn Daniel

    Does anyone experience problems with insomnia when taking cumin?

  • rayunseitig


  • Mansgame

    I don’t care about any of that- it smells good and gets that weird chicken smell out of chicken and makes it smell delicious.

    • Stevart

      Encrusting chicken in cumin and curry also keeps the moisture in and allows the skin to stay moist. Do you soak the chicken in water with a little cider vinegar beforehand to clean it? Chicken is VERY dirty and must be thoroughly cleaned. Weird smell means the bird is infected or about to go bad. Not good.

  • pavlos

    lost 14 pounds in a month just drinking cumin with fruit shakes ,thinking was cinamon

    • Valerie Oswald

      How much did you use and in what form? don’t you find the taste overpowering?

  • sheila

    Am learning here very informative.thanks!

  • jason

    Cumin is generally toasted/roasted gently before adding in a recipe. In order to keep its fragrance and flavor intact, it is generally ground just before preparing dishes.

    The seeds can be stored in cool, dry, dark place, in airtight containers for many months and can be milled using hand-mill as and when required. Ground and powdered cumin should be stored in the refrigerator in air-sealed containers and should be used as early as possible since it loses its flavor quickly.

  • Interrobang

    I recently had an odd experience with cumin.

    I read about its benefits for weight loss and decided to give it a try. I have severe inattentive ADD and have an appointment next coming up with my doctor in which I was prepared to beg for ADD medication because my life is a mess.

    But after adding cumin to my tea I noticed a surge in cognitive function. At first I thought it might be a freak coincidence, an anomaly, but after experimenting with taking cumin and not taking cumin, I can definitely say cumin has had a major positive effect on my cognitive functioning.

    I’ve tried every herbal cure for ADD and nothing has helped — that’s why I was going to go to my doctor and beg for meds! But now apparently I can just take cumin!

    It’s mindblowing to me how simple and effective it is! I am shocked!

    Has anyone had a similar experience?

    • Josh Esquela

      Bought a bottle of ground cumin yesterday and kept coming back to the kitchen to take a whiff of the stuff.

      I noticed my focus and attention improve. I searched for it’s benefits and came across this post.
      I know I’m replying to an old post but this is just awesome stuff!

    • Grimes Ryan Laura

      Do you use it ground?…What way is it when you buy it….looks very interesting..have it on my burger right now 🙂

      • Granite Skyline

        Yes, I usually use it ground, and in a tea — but I do sprinkle it on a lot of my food.

      • Roman Viking

        I currently take cumin for eye and brain health at 1/4 teaspoon daily. But just with cold water. Maybe the hot water ‘activates’ it better?

      • Granite Skyline

        I hadn’t thought about it, but I think you’re right — warmth probably helps activate it.

      • Roman Viking

        Granite, how much do you take per day in tea? Half/quarter teaspoon? I’ve had good results with tumeric for reading vision problems. Did something similar to you. i.e. took it, stop taking it etc to see if it was the turmeric.

      • Granite Skyline

        I use at least a teaspoon — but, I have a huge teacup that holds 20 ounces.

      • Roman Viking

        So you take a teaspoon per day approximately? I have it with curries at least once a week, but I don’t think the amount would be anything like a teaspoon per serve.

      • Granite Skyline

        I figure plenty of people around the world eat that much on a daily basis anyway.

      • Roman Viking

        Ok, thanks. I’ll give it a go for a while to see how it goes. Cheers.

      • Granite Skyline

        Cheers! Good luck and good health to you!

      • Roman Viking

        Thanks, all the best to you too!

    • nichii

      I did, somewhat. I have bad ADD and impairment in several cognitive functions. I took cumin last night to help my digestion and to my surprise I noticed a boost in my focus and concentration. It definitely had a stimulating effect to it. Unfortunately, it contains caffeine, so I don’t think I could use it all the time. Even small amounts of caffeine trigger my anxiety, so I avoid it as much as possible.

      I may take a little bit in the morning though, but I’m going to buy an organic brand which I imagine will work even stronger than the store bought brand I got.

  • Tracy

    If i was to take cumin each day in what form do I take it and how much?

    • JJ Atomicano

      Depends on what hole you would be taking it in Tracy. You basically have 3 options on this.

    • irene harvey

      they have capsules you can take (swanson brand) or you can buy cumin powder in bulk & sprinkle it on food & into beverages.
      it’s really nice. i have ibs & it’s the only thing that’s helped so far.

  • MamaBoipeloZAR

    I am learning here. This is interesting.

    • JJ Atomicano

      Mama, this is the place to learn. Make sure and watch the Meenakshi Nagdeve Vid demonstrating the “3-Hole Cumin” shot. Most notable, Mee does it with a couple beers. LOL, fun for all. Meenakshi is a real hussy who knows how to work it.

      • Sharon Greenwood

        Why do you have to be such a douche, JJ Atomicano?

  • patricia

    I am on chemo for colon cancer can I take this and not have it conflict with my chemo? There are many herbs I can’t have

    • Hello Patricia, Please consult your doctor.

      • JJ Atomicano

        Hello Mee

      • JJ Atomicano

        Hello Patricia. Patricia, Meenakshi is a dumbass. Chemo is the Last thing I would be trying …….. The ol’ Doc tell you the survivorship ad quality of life sceario on Chemo? Oh yes, you are on it, find Alternative Medicine now.

  • Rose tincher

    It’s a teaspoon a day for weight lose. I heard it on the John Tess show.

    • JJ Atomicano

      John uses it as a flusher lube combo with a plastic tool.

    • Gerri Ford

      You lose weight really fast on cumin because cumin speeds up your metabolism. Not too much though.

  • Alice Abiera

    Awesome Information, Thank You!!!

  • Robert Idonije

    Plz, where can I get Cumin and beetroot to buy in Lagos.



  • Nancy McShane

    Can cumin powder be put into vegetable capsules & taken orally? I like the taste in foods but can’t see myself eating it multiple times a day (I don’t care much for the seeds). I’d much rather make it into a pill that can be taken along w/my meds & supplements.

    • irene harvey

      nancy: they sell the capsules. swanson is one brand. you can also get the powder in health food stores. i buy it in bulk & add it to anything including the green tea i drink all day long. it’s cheap & easy that way. the taste is not that strong.

      • Patti Kneis

        How much do you use per cup of tea per day! I usually have 3 to 4 cups per day along with a cup of coffee?

      • irene harvey

        Oh wow, this was so long ago. Think I abandoned the powder and just took the caps. Easier. I loved the energy boost, But as it turned out, it drastically lowered my blood pressure (dizziness, vomiting, ugh), so had to stop. This is a possible side effect. My husband still takes the capsules (whole spectrum black seed) and he’s fine. Go figure.

    • Hello Nancy, Adding cumin powder to your food gives it a good taste and flavor. Regarding adding cumin powder to capsules, please consult your health specialist

  • How much ground cumin should I use daily for weight loss and digestive problems. Is it save to use a teaspoonful a day in yogurt?

    • Hello Suzette, Cumin powder can be added to your daily food. You can add it to yogurt but do not use too much for small quantities of yogurt

  • pat

    How and where can l get cumin?

    • Gerri Ford

      Kroger and Walmart sells it. Almost every super market

    • Seema Mathew

      Cumin is sold in indian stores in 400gram bags. Its one of the main staples in my spice cabinet! I use it for cooking as well as boiling in water for digestion/colds etc.

    • Please check with your local market or you can buy it online
      Team Organic Facts

      • JJ Atomicano

        Meena you old goat roaper you….. wtf????? Put some substance into your words. Start writing. Ride that laptop like a rented mule you hussy. Ride it hard and put it away wet girl.

  • sam

    just dissolve the seeds in your mouth and ground it with your teeth. It is a miracle.

    • Patti Kneis

      how many seeds do you use in your mouth and how often?

    • Hira Abdul karim

      yes it does , i been using this since i reach puberty to ease the pain. just dissolve this in warm water and drink it.

    • Spiritdove Smith

      dont think it provides for us as in caring if we use it. but its there because of factors that make it there like evolution.

    • How do you use cumin in teas

      • irene harvey

        just add some powder available in bulk at health food stores. i put it in green tea–the flavor is not too strong. works great.

    • sam

      just dissolve the seeds in your mouth and ground it with your teeth. It is a miracle.

    • Spiritdove Smith

      Thank Nature not any God.. there is no such creature

      • Rusty Brown in Canada

        It seems so quaint to imagine having a powerful
        supernatural parent that provides good things on
        request and makes bad things go away.

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