health benefits of cumin seeds

What are cumin seeds?

Cumin are from a flowering plant from the family of Apiaceae, the seeds of which are useful in natural medicine in the Middle east and India. Cumin seeds are unique in flavor and adds a great aroma to food. It is used for culinary and medicinal since ancient times. This spice that is native to Asia, is now cultivated in all parts of the world. Cumin is often confused with another spice called Caraway. In comparison, cumin is more nutritious than caraway.

Cumin seeds or the powder of cumin seeds can be added in any food either while cooking or like a topping. When you use cumin seeds as a garnish on salad, you can use the powder of roasted cumin seeds instead of the seeds.

There are many health benefits of cumin seeds.

Health benefits of cumin seeds for pregnant women

Cumin seeds are helpful for mother-to be and for new mothers. They help a lot in regulating the digestive system and relieves gas trouble. This spice helps to reduce the occurrence of constipation and also improves digestion. Cumin seeds are also used to treat nausea and vomiting. Apart from these, cumin seeds are very effective in increasing the breast milk quantity and quality. The iron and calcium in cumin seeds makes the breast milk very nutritious for the new born baby.

Pregnant women can consume cumin seeds by adding them in regular food or consume it with milk and honey.


  1. Powder fresh cumin seeds.
  2. Mix a small spoon of cumin powder with one spoon of milk and few drops of honey.
  3. Consume it once in the morning and once in the night.

This will do wonders and also improve the appetite.

Women who already have asthma can consume cumin seeds to prevent frequent asthma attacks during asthma. This is because of their property to alleviate symptoms of bronchial asthma. They can also help to improve lactation post pregnancy and prevent hemorrhoids during the recovery period.

Cumin seeds to improve digestion

The essential oils in cumin seeds are very effective in dealing digestive disorders. Regular consumption of cumin seeds will push out the gas in intestines and prevents on further formation. It improves the function of salivary glands and digests food actively. It prevents stomach upsets and promotes healthy absorption of nutrients by our body.

Cumin seeds can be eaten directly every day or can be added in regular food. Cumin seed water is also very effective.

Method 1

  1. Heat 1 liter of water and bring it to boil.
  2. Add 2 spoons of cumin seeds to the boiling water.
  3. Once the water turns brown, switch off the flame and cover the vessel/container.
  4. Strain the water and cool it down.

You can store this water for a day and consume it regularly.

Method 2

If you want to make fresh cumin seed water every time you drink,

  1. Heat one glass of water until it is warm.
  2. Add a pinch of cumin seeds to the water and cover the glass.
  3. Leave it for 5 minutes and strain the water.
  4. Consume it warm.

Cumin seeds

For weight loss

The seeds of cumin can improve metabolism and facilitate shedding of bad cholesterol. Regularly consuming cumin seeds water (jeera water) can be a great way to kick start your day by burning calories. Two glasses of warm jeera water in the morning, one glass an hour before lunch and one glass an hour before dinner would be the best way to consume the drink. If can also add a few holy basil leaves to this water to make it healthier.

Cumin seeds for anemia

Cumin seeds are rich in Iron – contains 66 mg of iron in every 100 gm of cumin seeds. Regular consumption of cumin seeds increases the count of red blood cells and improves blood circulation. This naturally increases the hemoglobin count and cures anemia. When cumin seeds are consumed, every day, it also prevents anemia.

Cumin seeds to treat constipation

Cumin seeds are packed with dietary fiber that is very important for digestion. The essential oils in cumin seeds improves the gastrointestinal health and improves healthy bowel movements. This property of cumin seeds, cures and treats constipation. The laxative property of cumin seeds helps to loosen the stools and it also has the capability to treat wounds in the anal tract. Cumin seeds have been traditionally used for treating piles too.


  1. Roast cumin seeds in a pan until it turns brown in color.
  2. Cool it down and powder it.
  3. Mix a pinch of this powder in water or honey.
  4. Consume it every day in the morning in an empty stomach.

Cumin seeds to treat blood pressure

There are two types of hypertension which are essential hypertension (which is mostly genetic) and secondary hypertension. Most people suffer from secondary hypertension as a result of lifestyle changes. Secondary hypertension can be cured using various home remedies and some changes in lifestyle (1).

The high potassium content in cumin seeds, helps to keep the electrolyte levels in a balanced condition. Essential minerals in cumin seeds regulate the blood pressure and regulates the heart rate (2). Regular consumption of cumin seeds also promotes heart health.

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  1. Heat one glass of water until it is warm.
  2. Add a pinch of cumin seed powder and mix well.
  3. Consume it every morning in an empty stomach.

Cumin seeds for male fertility issues

Cumin seeds contain essential minerals that are responsible for good fertility in men. Zinc and potassium are very important for sperm production and improves the sperm count too.

You can consume cumin seeds water regularly for better results.

Boil water in a vessel. Add two tablespoons of cumin seeds to 1 litre of hot water. Let the seeds soak in hot water for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can then drink this water along with the seeds.

Cumin seeds to improve memory

Riboflavin, zeaxanthin, vitamin B6 and niacin are important compounds to boost one’s memory. Cumin seeds were used to improve memory in ancient medicinal practices. It is said to have cured and improved the health of people who were affected with amnesia.

Consuming roasted cumin seeds every day will improve memory.

For best results, make a concoction using brahmi leaves (or Gotu Kola), cumin seeds and palm sugar. You can drink this everyday during any time of the day  to improve memory. This drink is also good for kids to improve their concentration and memory.

Cumin seeds to treat common cold

Essential oils and compounds in cumin seeds helps to melt and get rid of excess mucus in the respiratory organs. It also fights viral infections effectively and reduces cough. Cumin seeds are a good source of Vitamin C, which helps to improve the immunity.

Consume warm cumin seeds water regularly to find relief.

Cumin seeds are rich in anti-oxidants and studies show that the essential oil derived from black cumin seeds can improve anti-oxidants in the body, to fight against free radical damage. It is useful to build immunity and thereby build immunity. Regular use of cumin seeds in your diet will be useful to protect the body from various respiratory disorders.

In various Unani medicines, cumin seeds are a major part of the composition. The black cumin seeds are used for their role in preventing viral infections in the respiratory system.

Side effects of cumin seeds

Though they give many health benefits, there are few side effects that you need to know about cumin seeds. Just know that these side effects are only when you consume cumin seeds in large quantities and do not affect you if consumed in small quantities everyday.

  • Might cause heartburn – Those suffering from GERD should avoid consumption of cumin seeds in large amounts. Small quantities used for cooking are fine.
  • Continuous burping/belching
  • Too much consumption of cumin seeds might damage liver and kidney – this again, is only when consumed in excessive quantities.
  • Might cause heavy bleeding during menstruation. In some women, too much cumin increases body heat and this causes the periods to be heavier than usual.
  • Might reduce the blood sugar levels and cause low sugar – Cumin seeds have the potential to reduce blood sugar and are useful to treat diabetes. It is this same property that would make it unsuitable for those who have existing low sugar levels in their blood.
  • Some people may be allergic to cumin seeds and for them, consumption of cumin seeds might cause rashes on skin. If you notice rashes after consuming cumin seeds, try reducing the consumption.

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.