Cumin is derived from the seeds of a herb known as Cuminnum cyminum which belongs to the parsley family. The ingredient has a myriad of uses as a medicine, spice and many more. In addition, it is good for digestive problems such as constipation and can also be used to brighten one’s mood.
Origins of Cumin
The use of cumin can be traced as far back as 5,000 years ago where it was used in Egypt as a spice as well as one of the ingredients of the mummification process. The Roman Empire that came much later also made use of the ingredient as a spice and also as a cosmetic product. Romans applied cumin extracts on their skin to help make their skin paler. The ingredient traces its origins back to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean region. In ancient Greece, it was commonplace to find a dish of cumin on the dinner table at all time. This practice continues to date in some countries such as Morocco. Its use as a spice spread to many places such as the Indian subcontinent and South America. The Bible even mentions cumin being of such high value that it was used as a currency in some places.
Popular Uses of Cumin
Cumin is first and foremost known best as a spice. It is used in a myriad of dishes and is, in fact, the second most used spice in the world after black pepper. Apart from this, the ingredient is also used as a medicine to treat a variety of health issues. These range from diabetes to helping relieve stress. The ingredient can also improve memory functions as various tests involving cumin extracts have shown.
Health Benefits of Cumin
Cumin has a number of health benefits and the seed has been used for its medicinal and health benefits for thousands of years. It is known to help in weight loss and related to this, also helps reduce the occurrence of diabetes by boosting insulin production. Cumin essential oils are used to treat irritable bowel syndrome and a few drops of the oil can help IBS sufferers reduce the number of bowel movements as well as reduce stomach bloating. Next, it is also known to reduce stress as various studies have shown and is also used to lower cholesterol in the body.
A Look at Cumin Essential Oils
Cumin essential oils are extracted from the seeds through a process known as steam distillation. A number of carrier oils can be used with these essential oils but it works best with Cilantro and Coriander essential oils. If you are diabetic and on medication, it is best to use these essential oils with caution as it can cause changes in your sugar levels. Cumin essential oils can show photo-toxicity when exposed to sunlight so avoid applying on your skin if you will be exposed to sunlight. You should also consider using the oil in very small amounts as the smell can cause headaches.
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