Indian cuisine is incomplete without the usage of the traditional spices like cumin seeds, turmeric, coriander etc. They form the soul of most of the Indian recipes contributing to the unique flavor and aroma to the recipe. One of the most widely used traditional spice and my personal favorite too, is the cumin seed, popularly known as “jeera” in Hindi. The nutty, warm and peppery flavor of cumin seed makes it a part of Mexican, Chinese, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines as well. However, apart from serving its culinary purposes, this traditional spice is highly beneficial for skin, hair and overall health. I am sure you have eaten cumin seeds, but are you really aware of the various health benefits of cumin seeds or jeera? Well you might have heard a few of the benefits, but today I am going to share with you the extensive list of top 24 benefits of cumin seeds or jeera. Cumin seeds or jeera is a very powerful ingredient and it’s amazingly good for your skin, hair and overall health.
Cumin forms a part of the Parsley family, and is the dried seed of “Cuminum cyminum” herb. It is cultivated In India, China, Middle East and Mediterranean countries and is believed to be native to Egyptian culture. It has its mention in the Bible as the currency given to the priests as the tithes. Besides, the ancient Greeks also used cumin seed as a necessary ingredient in the process of mummification of their pharaohs. Therefore, we can safely say that the cumin seeds have a rich history.
Cumin seeds are of different varieties with black, white, amber and green being the commonly used and known ones. They have an oblong shape with tapering ends and are somewhat identical to caraway seeds although bigger in size and hotter in taste.
Excited to explore the various health benefits of cumin seeds? Well, before discussing the various health, skin and hair benefits of cumin seeds (jeera), I wanted to give you a good overview of various properties of cumin seeds that makes it such a powerful and healthy ingredient.
What are the constituents of cumin (jeera)?
Various studies have shown that cumin seeds contain a large variety of nutrients and minerals and are a potential source of various antioxidants. They are rich in manganese, iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B1 with Black cumin or “Nigella sativa L” containing almost 100 chemical compounds including various proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fatty acids and minerals (Source).
According to whfoods.org, 2 teaspoon of cumin seeds of 4.20 grams contain following nutrients.
|Nutrient Amount Dri/DV%|
|Iron 2.79 mg 16%|
|Manganese 0.14 mg 7%|
|Copper 0.04 mg 4%|
|Calcium 39.10 mg 4%|
|Magnesium 15.37 mg 4%|
|Phosphorous 20.96 mg 3%|
|Vitamin B1 0.03 mg 3%|
|Protein 0.75 g 2%|
|Carbohydrates 1.86 g 1%|
|Dietary fibre 0.44 g 2%|
|Calories 15.75 g 1%|
|Total fat 0.94 g –|
Now that you have known about all the key components of cumin seeds, let’s proceed and explore the various health benefits of cumin seeds or jeera.
24 Health benefits of cumin seed or jeera
Throughout history, cumin was very popular for its medicinal properties. The Bible termed them as “curative” seeds while the Islamic culture believed that cumin could cure many diseases and help them live a healthy life. Well, yes cumin seeds have a wealth of benefits for your skin, hair and health.
Human body is under threat all the time. The disease causing germs does not leave any stone unturned to cause havoc in our lives. Therefore, we must try our best to protect our body from various diseases and cumin seeds have the power to protect your body.
Here are the top health benefits of cumin seeds (jeera) that you should be aware of.
Promotes weight loss
One of the surprising benefit of cumin seeds is that it helps you lose weight. Obesity is a common problem nowadays which can be controlled with cumin seeds, and studies are a proof of that. According to this study, 8-week trial on around 78 men and women showed that cumin has the ability to promote weight loss, that too without any side effects.
Another study conducted at Shahid University confirmed that obese women lost up to 3 pounds with daily intake of cumin. Thus, it is a proven fact that the nutrients and minerals found in cumin seeds increases the metabolism of your body, aids in your digestion and thereby helps you burn the calories.
In fact not only does it help your overall body not build and store fat, but also helps reduce the belly or the abdominal fat, which is the most stubborn fat prone part of our body.
You simply have to soak around 2 tablespoon of cumin seeds in water nightlong and boil them in the next morning. Remove the seeds through filter and add a bit of lemon juice in to it. For effective results, drink this every morning on an empty stomach for at least 14 days. Apart from this, the mixture of jeera and banana is also very effective and beneficial for weight loss.
Another powerful health benefit of cumin seeds is the ability to digest foods easily. Eating cumin seeds can essentially help you get rid of indigestion. The thymol content in cumin, together with the presence of other essential oils helps in the stimulation of the salivary glands and therefore leads to better digestion of foods. In addition, recent studies have shown that cumin seeds along with turmeric and coriander stimulate the digestive process with their ability to increase the secretion of Lipase, a pancreatic enzyme and bile juice, both of which facilitates digestion.
Drinking cumin seeds tea or jeera tea three times a day can help you to improve your digestive system. Simply add cumin seeds in a cup of water and boil it for 15-20 minutes or till the time it turns brown. Switch off the oven and then cover it with any plate or utensil. Then drink the tea after it cools down. This will give you relief from indigestion as well as from mild stomach aches.
Not only it improves digestion, but cumin seeds are also beneficial in preventing constipation. Cumin seeds are rich in fibre that enables it to accelerate the gastrointestinal tract activities, which further lead to stimulation of the enzymes. In other words, it adds bulk to the tools leading to its easy passage. This procedure helps prevent constipation and its after-effects like piles or hemorrhoids, those that occur due to excessive pressure on your anal veins.
In order to get rid of your constipation you can roast the cumin seeds until they turn dark brown. Let them cool and then grind to make fine powder. Now drink this powder by mixing honey or water into it.
Regulates blood sugar
The hypoglycemic property of cumin makes it a natural cure for diabetes. It helps to regulate the blood sugar levels and hence cumin is good for the diabetic patients. According to this study, Myrtenal, a substance present in cumin reduces the level of blood sugar by accelerating insulin release from the pancreas. In fact, cumin also contains other insulinotropic substances cuminal and cuminaldehyde, which give similar benefits as those of myrtenal.
The immunity of the diabetic patients is also proven to improve by adequate intake of cumin. Due to these many properties, consumption of cumin seeds is highly recommended for you, if you want to prevent and control diabetes. In addition to all the above, cumin seeds also reduces the level of harmful fats or lipids in the body. Hence, drink jeera tea daily and do not forget to incorporate it in your daily diet chart for it is highly beneficial for your health and well being.
Protecting heart and prevention of heart attack is another benefit of cumin seeds. The potassium content in cumin helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance of your body. Besides, it regulates the production of cells and maintains your blood pressure, which is one of the prominent causes of heart attacks. This antihypertensive property of cumin seeds is mainly due to its ability to reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and control the function of the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels.
Therefore, people with high blood pressure should drink jeera water on empty stomach each morning to keep their pressure under control. Jeera water can help them protect their heart and avoid several cardiovascular diseases.
Cures common cold
Cumin seeds are very beneficial in fighting common cold. If you are a frequent victim of common cold, then you must incorporate cumin seeds in your diet. Common cold is highly contagious and is often accompanied by cough, runny nose and sore throat. The anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti-inflammatory property of cumin helps your body fight various germs, which causes cold and cough.
In order to get instant relief from common cold, you can boil a teaspoon of cumin seeds in 2 cups of water and then add crushed ginger pieces in to it. Strain it after it boils. Drinking this will not only reduce your cold but also soothe your sore throat.
Cumin seeds can be of huge help to the asthmatic patients. The thymoquinone content in it is an anti-inflammatory agent that not only reduces the swelling of our airways like bronchi but also dilates it. Therefore, drinking jeera tea daily will relieve you of asthma problem.
Cumin seeds contain good amount of iron, which helps in the formation of hemoglobin in your blood. This stimulates the transportation of oxygen throughout your body. So if you are anemic or have tendencies of getting anemia, consuming cumin seeds on frequent basis may be very beneficial for you. You can eat jeera with your regular meals like in rice, roti or curries as well.
Improves sexual capability
Cumin seeds are highly beneficial to both men and women suffering from sexual problems. Consumption of cumin seed can improve their sexual potentiality to a good extent. High zinc and potassium content in cumin increases the sexual vigor and energy. With cumin, men can get rid of various sexual problems like premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and low virility of the sperms. Zinc also increases the production of sperms in males. Therefore, drink jeera tea every morning on an empty stomach to get rid of your fertility issues.
Are you suffering from sleeping disorders? Well consumption of cumin seeds can seriously benefit you. Cumin seeds contain melatonin which when eaten along with bananas stimulates chemical production in your brain. Besides, the components in cumin like essential oils relieve the anxiety and stress. This prevents insomnia and helps you have a sound sleep at night.
As a remedy, you can mix cumin powder with ripe banana pulp and eat this every night. This will not addict you like the other drugs and hence considered safe for you.
Good for brain
In ancient times, people suffering from amnesia were often treated with cumin seeds. This is because the presence of minerals like riboflavin, vitamin B6, zeaxanthin, niacin and many more helps in better retention of memory and is beneficial for mental health.
Besides, the iron in cumin seeds increases the production of hemoglobin, thereby enhancing the blood supply to the brain. The retention power of your brain also improves with cumin intake. Therefore, chewing roasted cumin seeds on a daily basis will give you cognitive benefits.
Good for pregnant ladies
Expected mothers are often recommended to eat cumin seeds as it relieves them of the pregnancy symptoms of constipation, vomiting and nausea. Cumin seeds are rich in calcium and iron that enhances lactation without any side effects. In addition, the iron and calcium also help in the formation of stronger bones and hemoglobin in the newborn baby. Hence, pregnant women must make this your daily habit to twice drink cumin powder along with milk and honey.
Regulate menstruation cycle
Another reason why cumin seeds are a must for women is that they regulate the menstruation cycle. Cumin seeds give relief from the stomach pain and the other symptoms of menses and thereby help women have a hassle free menstrual cycle. Therefore, it is always advisable to drink jeera water to get instant relief from the menstrual side effects.
With age, our bones turn weak but you can strengthen them with cumin seeds. Cumin contains high amount of calcium that helps in the formation of strong bones. Besides, the extracts of cumin increase your bone mineral density. Therefore, incorporate cumin daily in your everyday meals and get rid of diseases like osteoporosis.
Malfunctioning of liver leads to a whole lot of diseases but with cumin, you can prevent them from occurring. Cumin seeds flush out the harmful toxins from your body and helps in the process of detoxification. Liver problems are common in alcoholics due to the presence of high amount of alcohol and ethanol, which harms the liver. Therefore, everyone, especially people who drink alcohol daily must consume cumin on a daily basis.
Strengthens immune system
Having a strong immune system is the key to good health and with cumin you can achieve that. Cumin seeds contain lot of minerals and nutrients which gives your body overall nutrition. The antioxidants present in it, fight against various impurities, germs and free radicals. Naturally, your immune system become strong and you fall less ill. Therefore, incorporate cumin on a daily basis on your food chart.
Science has not yet found proper medicines to cure cancer thereby leading to increasing cancer deaths. However, there are few food ingredients; those help your body fight cancer, one of them being cumin seeds. Blank cumin has components like hymoquinone, thymohydroquinone, dithymoquinone, and thymol present in it that fights various kinds of cancer like breast cancer, colon cancer, stomach and liver cancers. Besides, the component cuminaldehyde prevent the growth of tumors. Therefore, daily intake of cumin seeds is considered mandatory. Sprinkle some in your dal or add a few seeds over the gravy and enjoy both its taste and health benefits.
Benefits of cumin Seeds for Skin
Besides your health, your skin also needs protection. So here are the few essential benefits of cumin seeds for skin that will further motivate you to consume cumin.
The accumulation of the toxins in your body leads to boils on your skin. These are mainly the outlet for the elimination of the harmful substances like microbes. There is no need to worry because you can get rid of all these with the consumption of cumin seeds on regular basis. The presence of compounds like cuminaldehyde, phosphorous and thymol and phosphorus help to detoxify your body. This regulates daily removal of the harmful toxins through excreta and thereby prevents the formation of the boils.
Well everyone wants to look young and charming and cumin helps you retain your youthful charm. The antioxidants present in cumin fights the free radicals, which causes the wrinkles, sagging skin and other age spots. In addition, the antibacterial property of the cumin helps your body fight various skin eruptions and maintain that healthy youthful glow regardless of age.
Fights skin disorders
The Vitamin E content in cumin helps to keep the skin healthy and glowing. Cumin seeds are an antimicrobial agent that fights the bacteria and fungus which causes various skin infections and other skin disorders like psoriasis, pimples, eczema. Therefore, application of cumin paste on your pimples, boils and other skin eruptions leads to fast healing of them. In addition, cumin being a high source of dietary fibre removes the toxins and cleans your body. Apart from cumin paste, you can also add cumin powder in your face pack to get rid of the skin problems.
Prevents burning sensation and body heat
People often suffer from heat rashes or itchiness due to the sudden weather changes. If you also suffer from body heat and itchiness, you can get rid of those with cumin. You simply need to mix cumin seeds in boiled water. Wait some sometime to let it cool and then bathe in that water. This simple remedy will help you to get rid of skin itchiness and body heat. Besides, you can also reduce the burning sensation of your palms and soles with cumin water.
Benefits of cumin seeds for hair
Black cumin contains several minerals and nutrients that help in fighting several hair related problems. The protein, fat, carbohydrates present in it enables hair growth and also replenishes your hair. Here are few of the benefits of cumin seeds for hair.
Prevents hair loss
You can cure your problem of hair fall with cumin seeds. If you suffer from constant hair fall leading to baldness and thinning of hair, simply mix black cumin oil with olive oil. Apply this on the bald areas of your scalp after taking a bath. This will help in the growth of new hair and prevent the falling of the existing hairs.
Improves hair texture
Simply having long hair is not enough; the texture of the hair also matters. Cumin helps you get long, shiny and lustrous hair. The mixture of black cumin water with egg yolk and virgin oil is very effective for your hair. You simply need to massage your hair with this mixture and wash it off after an hour. For best results, do this on a weekly basis.
The oil that extracts from cumin is a great stimulant, antioxidant, carminative, and diuretic. Therefore, black cumin oil is used in various aromatherapies and in various scalp treatments to prevent the occurrence of dandruff. You can also massage you hair with olive oil to get rid of the dandruff.
Over to you
Our skin, hair and overall health suffers a lot from the hectic and stressful life that we are living today. Unhealthy eating and living habits, stress related to work, being sleep deprived can be the cause of a number of health issues. But did you ever wonder about what can we do to live a healthy and happy life? Well the answer is to improve our daily eating and living habits and eat ingredients that are naturally good for our skin, hair and overall health.
Cumin or Jeera seeds are one such powerful and magical ingredient. There are a number of health benefits of cumin seeds. Consumption of cumin seeds can help you to prevent and cure number of health, skin and hair related issues. As discussed above, cumin contains some of the most essential nutrients and properties that boost immunity, improves digestion, protects heart, regulates blood sugar and offers a number of benefits.
Cumin is an easily available kitchen ingredient that can benefit you in many ways. Various studies suggest about the health benefits that it offers and we have discussed them all in this post.
The benefits and remedies of cumin seeds that we have discussed above are trialed, tested, and found to be safe for most of the individuals. So why not adopt it and get benefited?
Have you ever tried out this amazing ingredient yet? Have cumin seeds actually benefitted you? Do you know any other benefit of cumin seeds? Do share with me your feedback and share, comment or like if you find it beneficial.
Hope to meet your healthier self soon. Until then take care and live a happy and healthy life.
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.