Common English name: cumin, Jeerah
Relative of caraway (Carum carvi), cumin also erroneously called Roman, oriental, Egyptian or Turkish caraway.
- Spanish: comino, falso anís, comino hortense.
Scientific Name: Cuminum cyminum L.
Taxonomic synonym: Cuminum officinale Garsault, Cuminum odorum Salisb., Cuminum hispanicum Mérat.
Family: Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
Habitat: Native Plant of Mediterranean region. It is believed to have originated in Turkestan, from where it spread, in ancient times, to Egypt, Ethiopia and the Mediterranean coast.
Geographic distribution: Today we can find cumin on the Mediterranean coast, India, Iran, Indonesia and China.
Botanical description of Cumin
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) is an annual herbaceous plant of the Apiaceae family characterized by presenting its flowers arranged in umbels. The umbel is a type of inflorescence, similar to an inverted umbrella, which is formed because all the flower stalks are joined to the stem by the same point.
The cumin plant is of Mediterranean origin. It has an erect stem, little branched, not very tall, from 20 to 50 cm (up 80 in some cases). The inner core of the stem is white.
Cumin leaves are arranged alternately to the stem, petiole bonded. Hairless, elongated and divided. This plant is easy recognized because its foliage is divided into filiform segments. They are very similar to those of dill, which belongs to the same botanical family as cumin.
The fruit of the plant is classified among the nuts and it is a diachene. They are ash brown, oval, narrow and pubescent, from 5-6 mm long and 1-2 mm thick.
Used parts of cumin
- Seeds or fruits: small fruits are used as a spice, (only in blends like curry and chili), and phytotherapy.
- Essential oil: is used in aromatherapy, perfumery and as a flavoring additive.
Composition of cumin
- Vitamins: contains vitamins B and small amounts of vitamin C.
- Tannins with antioxidant properties.
- Carotene: xanthophyll, luteolin
- Monoterpenes: cuminic aldehyde, anisaldehyde, 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, alpha-phellandrene, beta-phellandrene, thujene, gamma-terpinene, limonene, linalool, myrcene, p-cymene, sabinene, carveol.
- Sesquiterpenes: caryophyllene, bisabolene, farnesol
- Phenylpropene: eugenol
- Glycosides: luteolol-7-glucoside and apigenol-7-glucoside. Responsible for spasmodic activity.
Medicinal uses of cumin
Eupeptic, digestive, carminative, galactogogue, anthelmintic o, spasmolytic, slightly hypoglycemic, sedative. (More information in the listing above)
More information on cumin in the listing above.
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.