Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) is native to the area from the eastern Mediterranean to eastern India. Traditional cultures have used it both for cooking and healing. Egyptians also used it for mummification. Cumin has been found in ancient sites, including Egyptian archeological sites from the 16th Century BC.
Persians are thought to be the first people to have cultivated cumin. It continues to be used as a medicinal herb and in cooking throughout the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and parts of southern Europe.
Cumin has been widely credited with a broad range of effects, including increasing urine flow, settling upset stomach, eliminating gas, and improving the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. However, current clinical data supporting the use of cumin are lacking for any human indication.
Abraj kmno vitu (Czech), aflatoxin B1, alkyl glucosides, alpha-pinene, anise acre, Apiaceae (family), Apiaceae spices, aromatic aldehydes, aromatic oxides, beta-pinene, borsos kömeny (Hungarian), caffeic acid, camon (kamon, kamoon, kammon, kammun) (Hebrew), camon tarbuti (Hebrew), cheeregum, chlorogenic acid, cineol, cirakam (shiragam) (Tamil), cominho (Portuguese), comino (Italian, Spanish), comino bianco (Italian), comino blanco (Spanish), comino romano (Italian), cumin (French), cumin acre, cumin aldehyde, cumin blanc (French), cumin de Malte (French), cumin du Maroc (French), cumin seeds, cuminal, cuminaldehyde, cumino (Italian), cuminoside A, cuminoside B, Cuminum cyminum, Cuminum odorum, cummin, džíra (Slovak), egyiptomi kömeny (Hungarian), faux anis (French), ferulic acid, flavonoids, gamma-terpinene, genistein, glucopyranosides, harilik vürtsiköömen (Estonian), hime unikyoo (Japanese), jamda (Swahili), jeelakarra (jilakarra) (Telugu), jeera (Hindi), jeerige (jirige) (Kannada), jeraka, jerakam (jirakam) (Malayalam), jiiraa (Hindi, Nepalese), jintan (Malay), jintan puteh (jintan putih) (Malay), jinten (Malay), jinten putih (Malay - Indonesia), jira (Swahili), jiraa (jeera) (Bengali), jiraka (Telugu), jirakam (jeerakam) (Tamil), jire (Marathi), jiru (Gujarati), juustokumina (Finnish), juustuköömen (Estonian), kaalaa jiiraa (Hindi), kammun (kamun, cammun, kamoun, kammoon) (Arabic), kimino (kiminon) (Greek), kimion (Bulgarian), kimion italianski (Bulgarian), kimion rimski (Bulgarian), kimon (Armenian), kimyon (Turkish), kisibiti (Swahili), kloeftsvoeb (Danish), kmin (Ukranian), komijn (Dutch), Kreuzkümmel (German), kumin (Croatian, Japanese), kumina (Finnish), kuminmag (Hungarian), kummin (Icelandic), limonene, lysine, ma chin (Khmer), ma qin (ma ch'in) (Chinese), maustekumina (Finnish), monoterpenes, myrcene, myrtenal, ostakómen (Icelandic), ou shi luo (Chinese), p-cymene, pepparkummin (Swedish), p-mentha-1,4-dien-7-al, propanal, pyrazines, rasca rímska (Slovakian), římský kmín (Czech), római kömeny (Hungarian), Roman caraway, romersk kummin (Swedish), Romischer Kümmel (German), roomankumina (Finnish), rumunsko kmun (Czech), šabrej kmínovitý (Czech), safed jiiraa (safaid jeera, safed ziiraa, safed zira) (Hindi), safranal, safrole, sannut (Arabic), selenium, sesquiterpenes, sesquiterpenoid glucosides, spidskommen (Danish), spiskummin (Swedish), spisskarve (Norwegian), spisskummen (Norwegian), sweet cumin, tannins, terpenals, terpene esters, terpenes, terpenols, terpenones, thian khao (Thia), thien khaw (Laotian), threonine, vit kummin (Swedish), vürtsköömen (Estonian), weisser Kreuzkümmel (German), witte komijn (Dutch), xian hao (Chinese), xiang han qin (Chinese), yee raa (Thai), zamorska kumina (Slovenian), zi ran (Chinese), ziiraa (zeera, zira) (Hindi), ziraa (jirah, zeera) (Urdu), zireh (zire, zira) (Persian), zireye sabz (zireh sabz) (Persian), ziya (Burmese).
Note: This monograph does not include information on various forms of black cumin (Nigella sativa, Bunium persicum).
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.