Cuminum cyminum L.
Synonyms: Cuminia cyminum J. F. Gmel.
Species: C. cyminum
Sindhi name: Ach jeeroLocal
Name: Safed Zeera
English Name: Cumin
Part Used: Fruit seeds
C. cyminum is slender herb. Leaves are divided into long and narrow segments. Upper leaves are stalkless, while lower leaves have longer leaf-stalks. Flowers are small, rose-colored or white, in stalked umbels with only 4-6 rays. Fruit is oblong. Styles are short and erect.1,2,3
C. cyminum is native to the Mediterranean region.4 It is also cultivated in North Africa, Middle East, China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Mexico, Chile, and India. In Pakistan, it is cultivated in Punjab.3,5
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases
C. cyminum with Withania coagulans Dunal. (Vegetable rennet), and patasha* are soaked in water for few hours. It is then sieved and water is obtained. This water is taken orally for the treatment of heat rashes in District Mirpurkhas (Sindh).
Major constituents of C. cyminum are cumin aldehyde, limonene, α-pinene, β-pinene, 1, 8-cineole, O-cymene, p-cymene, α-terpinene, γ-terpinene, safranal, linalool α-terpineol, carvacrol, and carvone. It also contain pyrazine and various alkyl derivatives (2,5- and 2,6-dimethyl pyrazine).6,7
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacological/Scientific Studies
C. cyminum is used for the treatment of stomach upset, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, morning sickness, atonic dyspepsia, and flatulence. Decoction of C. cyminum is used for drinking purpose due to its cooling property.8 Seeds are used for the treatment of asthma and arthritis. It is reported that the plant is used for the treatment of common cold, boils, anemia, insomnia, piles, and various skin and respiratory diseases.9
Herb strengthens the immune system and protects against infections. Herb is used as a poultice to relieve stitches and pains in the side. Essential oil obtained from the seed possessed antibacterial and larvicidal properties.10 It is used revitalizing agent and mouth freshener. Plant possessed diuretic, anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, antiosteoporotic, antidiabetic, and Immunomodulatory properties.11
- Baquar, S.R. (1989). “Medicinal and Poisonous Plant of Pakistan”, p: 149, Printas Karachi, Pakistan, First Edition.
- Khare, C.P. (2007). “Indian Medicinal Plants”. p: 184, Springer Science Publication, New York, U.S.A.
- Thomas, S. C. (2000). “Medicinal Plants: Culture, Utilization and Phytopharmacology”, p: 16, CRC Press Boca Raton London Newyork Washington, D.C.
- Johri, R. K. (2011). “Cuminum Cyminum and Carum Carvi: An Update”. Pharmacognosy reviews,5(9). p:
- Bansal, A., Bansal, V., and Singh, R. (2014). “Cumin: A spice or a drug?”. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2(5). p: 507-515.