Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – Cuminum Cyminum
Jeera (also called Cumin Seeds in English and botanically, Cuminum Cyminum) is Indian Spice as well as ayurvedic medicine used for several diseases of the digestive, respiratory, circulatory and reproductive system. It becomes an important part of spices in Indian food because it promotes healthy digestion and prevents many diseases related to digestion and abdominal organs. In ayurvedic medicine, it is used because of its carminative, antispasmodic, digestive stimulant, antacid, astringent, anodyne, diuretic actions. It can help to treat acid peptic disorders, flatulence, abdominal distension, intestinal gas, worm infestation, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, irritable bowel syndrome etc.
Jeera is a name given to Jeera plant seeds, also called cumin seeds. Jeera or cumin seeds are the main medicinal part of cumin plant. Jeera churna (ground cumin powder) is used in ayurvedic medicine and seeds as a whole can be used in food as condiment. Jeera powder is found in many ayurvedic medicines as an important ingredient.
Phytochemistry (Chemical Composition)
Jeera (cumin) seeds contain 2 to 4% essential volatile oil, also called cumin oil. The main phytochemical present in the cumin oil are as follows:
Jeera (Cumin) modulates the secretion of acid in the stomach, improves appetite and reduces gas formation. It provides strength to the stomach, intestine and liver, according to Ayurveda.
Loss of Appetite (Poor Appetite)
Jeera (cumin seed) has appetizer effects, which are due to its action on stomach and liver. In the stomach, it modulates the secretion of gastric acid. It also increases the pancreatic juices from the panaceas. Furthermore, it acts on the liver and increases the bile flow into the intestine. Through all these mechanisms, it improves appetite, increases the digestive powder and enhances the absorption of the food. For the best results, Jeera is used along with Pippali (Long Pepper) powder in following way.
Jeera (Cumin) Benefits & Medicinal Uses
The medicinal effects of Jeera (cumin seed) appear on three main organs in the body i.e. stomach, intestines, and liver. According to Ayurveda, it provides strength to these organs and reduces chances of infections by fighting off microbes and bacteria. In ancient India, it was included in food and now becomes a part of many recipes as a condiment to prevent water-borne diseases and gas formation in the abdomen. It is a most suitable home remedy for all symptoms occurring due to gas accumulation in the abdomen.
Loss of Desire to Eat & Loss of Taste
Jeera (cumin seed) is an excellent ayurvedic remedy to improve the desire to eat and loss of taste. According to Ayurveda, it occurs due to AMA (toxins) accumulation in the body and Jeera reduces these toxins and promotes appetite, increases the desire to eat, and improves the taste of mouth. In this condition, alone Jeera can be taken in dosage of 1/2 teaspoon with warm water.
If it occurs due to fever or infections and continues even after the treatment, then Jeera churna should be taken with coriander seed powder and Chirayata (Swertia Chirata) powder in following way.
Acid Peptic Disorders
Acid Peptic Disorders indicate to the diseases occurring due to excessive acid secretion from the stomach and reduced mucosal defense. The diseases include:
- Dyspepsia, Heartburn, Indigestion
- GERD (Acid Reflux)
- Peptic Ulcers
According to Ayurveda, Jeera provides strength to the stomach, which also means to improve the mucosal defense of the stomach and other organs. It is more likely to be effective in cases of SAMA PITTA condition related with following symptoms:
- Sour Belching
- Foul Smell
- Burning sensation in the throat
- Heartburn (burning sensation in the chest)
- Burning sensation in abdomen
- Feeling of heaviness in the body
- Sour vomitus
In all diseases and symptoms under acid peptic disorders, the following Jeera combination is useful and effective.
Jeera (cumin) is effective in diarrhea because of its antimicrobial and antidiarrheal properties. It is more effective in diarrhea when mucus content is present in the stools. Jeera (cumin) has antibacterial activity. A study indicates its effects against many genera. (Reference, Reference)
Roasted Jeera Churna or cumin seed powder along with Ajwain (Carom Seeds), Sendha Namak, Sonth (dried ginger), and Saunf (Fennel seeds) is helpful for diarrhea. This mixture should be taken with water in a dosage of 1 teaspoon twice or thrice daily.
Nausea & Vomiting
Jeera (cumin seed) has antiemetic characteristics, so it can help to treat nausea and vomiting. It can be used in following way.
- Jeera Arq (Cumin distillate): 10 ml twice daily before a meal. It can be used in all cases of nausea and vomiting.
- Jeera Churna with coriander seed powder if vomitus is sore and acidic in nature.
- Jeera churna with Trikatu Churna if the patient feels the sweet taste in mouth, excessive salivation, drowsiness, and heaviness.
- Jeera churna with Sendha Namak if mouth dryness, hoarseness, and vomiting with the loud sound of belching.
Jeera (cumin) has antispasmodic action and prevents gas accumulation in the intestine. It is effective when abdominal pain occurs mainly due to the accumulation of gas in the abdomen and occurring along with heaviness in the abdomen. The Namkeen Jeera can be used for the same purpose.
Flatulence & Bloating
The antiflatulent and carminative properties of Jeera (cumin seeds) help to cure the flatulence, bloating or abdominal distension. It prevents gas formation in the intestines and reduces the AMA (toxins) formation in the alimentary canal. This action also makes it an effective solution for flatulence with the bad or foul smell. In Ayurveda, the Namkeen Jeera and Jeerakadi Churna are used for antiflatulent and carminative benefits.