Cumin, scientifically known as Cuminum cyminum, belongs to the family Apiaceae. It is extensively used as a condiment or a spice in culinary practices of the Indian Subcontinent and some other Asian, African and Latin American countries. Cumin boasts a number of important nutrients that can help keep you healthy. Because of its strong aroma, only a small amount of cumin essential oil is used in recipes to provide them with a powerful punch. Cumin essential oil is also considered healthy due to its bactericidal, carminative, digestive, diuretic, and antiseptic properties that provide numerous benefits.
Cumin is extremely good for digestive problems. The very aroma, which comes from an organic compound called cuminaldehyde, the main component of its essential oil, activates the salivary glands in the 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 intestines. Cumin is also a carminative, which means that it relieves 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 from stomachaches when taken with hot water.
The main cause behind piles (hemorrhoids) is constipation added with infections in the wound in the anal tract, which is 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 infections in the digestive and excretory system and speeds up digestion as well. It is important to note that it is capable of clearing up all the symptoms and causes of hemorrhoids.
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. 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 and early reports show that cumin can be a very powerful tool in the battle against diabetes.
Cumin is a stimulant as well as a relaxant at the same time. This property cannot be attributed to a single component alone, just 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. Some of the components of cumin essential oil are hypnotic in nature and have tranquilizing effects, which also help relieve stress and anxiety that commonly cause insomnia.
Treats Asthma & Bronchitis
The presence of caffeine (a stimulating agent), and the richly aromatic essential oils (the disinfectants) make cumin an ideal anti-congestive 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 heal the initial condition that led to its formation in the first place.
Fights Common Cold
The common cold is a viral infection which affects our body frequently when our immune system becomes weakened. 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 a considerable amount of vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system and keeps infections from forming or becoming worse.
Cumin is rich in iron and thus very good for lactating mothers or pregnant women, as well as for women who are undergoing menses. 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 the 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 a 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.
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. It is hemoglobin which transfers oxygen (as the oxide of iron) to the body cells and whose deficiency causes anemia. So, cumin can be a nutritious additive to the daily diet of anemic people. It can help reduce the symptoms of anemia like fatigue, anxiety, cognitive malfunction, and digestive issues.
Decreases Cognitive Disorders
The amount of iron in cumin leads to an increased hemoglobin production and subsequent prevention of anemia, but the increased blood flow has other benefits as well. When your blood circulation is at its best, adequate amounts of oxygen are able to reach the organs and the brain, leading to an optimal performance of those bodily systems. The Proper amount of oxygen and iron in the brain lead to increased cognitive performance and a decrease in cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
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