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Cummin - (/ˈkjuːmᵻn/ or UK /ˈkʌmᵻn/, US /ˈkuːmᵻn/), sometimes spelled cummin, (Cuminum cyminum) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to Pakistan/India.


Cumin seed is used as a spice for its distinctive flavour and aroma. It is globally popular and an essential flavouring in many cuisines, particularly South Asian (where it is called jeera, Northern African, and Latin American cuisines. Cumin can be found in some cheeses, such as Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads from France. It is commonly used in traditional Brazilian cuisine. Cumin can be an ingredient in chili powder (often Tex-Mex or Mexican-style), and is found in achiote blends,adobos, sofrito, garam masala, curry powder, and bahaarat. In Myanmar, cumin is known as " ဇီရာ" ( zi yar ) and used as a spice. In South Asian cooking, it is often combined with coriander seeds in a powdered mixture called dhana jeera.

Cumin can be used ground or as whole seeds. It helps to add an earthy and warming feeling to food, making it a staple in certain stews and soups, as well as spiced gravies such as chili. It is also used as an ingredient in some pickles and pastries.

Medicinal uses

In Sanskrit, cumin is known as jira “that which helps digestion" and is called zira in Persian. In the Ayurvedic system, dried cumin seeds are used for medicinal purposes. These seeds are powdered and used in different forms like kashaya (decoction), arishta (fermented decoction), vati (tablet/pills), and processed with ghee (a semifluid clarified butter). It is used internally and sometimes for external applications also.

In southern India, popular drinks such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu are called jira water, which is made by boiling cumin seeds. It is believed that cumin is beneficial for heart disease, swellings, tastelessness, vomiting, poor digestion and chronic fever,[unreliable medical source?] Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) has been reported to have antiglycative effects in vitro and in vivo. Especially such its components as thecuminoids C–E

Secondary metabolites

Cuminaldehyde, cymene and terpenoids are the major volatile components of cumin. Results of a study conducted in India showed that cumin can be used as an antioxidant. The antioxidative potential is correlated with the phenol content of cumin. Cuminaldehyde has also antimicrobial and antifungal properties which could be shown e.g. with Escherichia coli and Penicillium chrysogenum.

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