Friday, August 10, 2012

Ayurveda Herbs - Cumin

Cumin

(शुक्ल जीरक/ कृष्ण जीरक/ कालिका)Cuminum_cyminum

 

जीरकत्रितयम रुक्षम कटूष्णम दीपनम लघु ।

संग्राही पित्तलम मेध्यम गर्भाष्यविशुधिकृत ॥

ज्वरघ्नम पाचनम वृषयम बल्यम रुच्यम कफापहम ।

चक्षुष्यम पवनाधमान गुल्म छर्दी अतिसार हृत ॥

भा. प्र.

Cumin is one of the most common and known spice. It is used in almost all the dishes in Indian traditional culinary system. As per Bhav Prakash Nighantu (Ayurvedic Pharmacogonsy), jeerak has three types as following:

1. White

2. Black

3. Kalika

In above quotation from the text states that all three types of cumin behold almost similar properties.

Latin name:

Cumin seed (white) – Cuminum cyminum

Black caraway seeds (Black) – Carum carvi

Nigella seeds (Kalika/ Black cumin) – Nigella sativa

All three varieties of Cumin are dry in nature and pungent in taste. They are hot in potency and stimulate digestive fire. Cumin is light to digest and helps in containing the stools, so it can be given in people suffering with irregular lose bowel habit. It has a special effect on brain and strengthens the memory. In my opinion it could be an effective herb in cases of Irritable Bowel Syndrome where in patient passes frequent lose motions along with stress. Cumin seeds are known for its properties of uterine cleansing. It is an effective herb in cases of dysmenorrhoea. Ladies suffering with painful menstruations can take a hot infusion during their menstruation. It helps in alleviating Vata, regulates menstruation, and cleanses uterus as well. Pregnant women should avoid taking cumin in large quantities due to its vasodilatation effect and heating property. It also helps in reducing fever by generating sweat.

As per ancient wisdom of life, cumin seeds promote digestion and also enhance sexual vigour. It is a stimulant, thus works on erectile dysfunctions. Cumin also increases strength. It could be because of its property of stimulating metabolic digestion which helps in a thorough absorption of micro nutrients from the food. It also enhances taste of the food and alleviates Kapha. Cumin helps in lacto genesis so it could be given in small quantity to lactating mothers.

Bhav Prakash says, cumin helps in promoting eye sight, and removes gaseous bloating of abdomen, vomiting, and diarrhoea. It is also a very good diuretic and could effectively be used in urinary tract problems.Cumin seeds contain 2.4 – 4% volatile oil which contains cumin aldehyde which could be converted in thymol. It can be used as antiseptic. It is one of the safe and effective remedy in infants.

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