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MEDICINAL PROPERTIES: Medicinal properties of Cumin (Cuminum Cyminum)
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Sunday, 22 April 2012
Medicinal properties of Cumin (Cuminum Cyminum)
Medicinal properties of Cumin (Cuminum Cyminum)
Other names: Nigella sativa seed is variously called fennel flower, nutmeg flower, Roman coriander, black seed or black caraway. Other names used, sometimes misleadingly, are onion seed and black sesame, both of which are similar-looking, but unrelated. The seeds are frequently referred to as black cumin (as in Assamese: kaljeera or kolajeera or Bengali kalo Jeera), In south Indian language Kannada it is called "Krishna Jeerige", but this is also used for a different spice, Bunium persicum (Carum bulbocastanum). Oil of Black Cumin is also known as Kolanji. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) claimed its therapeutic potential to cure most diseases.
Apart from the Jeera used in Indian kitchen, which is known as “safed” (white) Jeera, there is another variety called black Jeera. It grows on high altitudes and is costlier than the former. Though considered a separate herb, black Jeera has greater medicinal properties than the common white Jeera.
Chemical Composition - seeds contain 1.5% volatile oil, while 37.5% Non volatile oil. In addition to this Albumen, Sugar, Organic acids, Glucoside Melanthin Metarbin and bitter substances are also found. Jeera contains many important nutrients like protein, carbohydrates and traces of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and iron in different proportions.
Medicinal Uses: Protects Healthy Cells and Stimulates Production of Natural Interferon.The first major study of Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin seed) in cancer prevention and treatment was performed by scientists at Cancer Immuno-Biology Laboratory of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. They concluded that a healthy immune system will detect and destroy cancer cells before the cancer endangers the patient. The immune system does this by supporting increased production of immune cells, bone marrow cells, and B-cells that produce antibodies. Black cumin stimulates neutrophil activity. These are the short-lived immune cells that are normally found in bone marrow but mobilized into action when there is a bacterial infection. Extracts of black cumin have also been shown to modulate production of interleukins, a quality it shares with some other highly revered herbs: ginseng, astralagus, mistletoe, garlic, and cat's claw.
Hazrat Aisha(R.A.) told us that Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) stated that this black seed is the cure for all ailments except 'Sam' , When asked, what is 'Sam'? He replied “Death”.
According to Indian Herbal Medicine, Cumin balances Vata, a nervous phenomenon that controls all the movements of body and Kapha, which controls the body structure including cells, tissues and the organs.
The seeds have astringent, cooling, stomachic, antispasmodic, sedative, stimulant, carminative, diuretic, digestive and antiseptic properties. According to ayurvedic materia medica, Jeera is pungent in taste and is light, dry, sharp and hot in effect. Jeera (Cumin) acts as an anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, blood purifier, diuretic, glactogauge (that enhances milk engendering during lactation) and uterine stimulant medicine.
Black Cumin Seeds
Black cumin, especially when combined with garlic, is regarded as a harmonizer of the imbalance which allows immune cells to destroy healthy cells. The technical language to describe this property is "immunomodulatory action." The difference between black cumin and interferon is that there are no known side effects with black cumin when administered in normal dosages. The saying goes tha]t the beauty of black cumin is their capacity to restore harmony.
Indigenous Formulations: Jeera has a marked digestive and carming effects, expels the wind, anti-colic and helps absorption in the intestines. Cumin (Jeera) is also given in conditions where a patient complains of the anorexia, nausea, indigestion, abdominal distension, colic, piles and intestinal worms. Jeera helps treat urinary stasis and prevents stone formation in the kidneys. Jeera is also a very good medicine for mucous diarrhoea and non-specific colitis and is used in combination with other medicines to cure the irritable bowel syndrome. Tea made up of Cumin seeds, and dry Coriander helps vomiting and loss of appetite occurring during pregnancy. Cumin acts as a galactogogue, carminative, purifies the blood, promotes healthy reproductive organ, in both male and female. It can be used to increase the milk flow in nursing mothers, and reputed to act as an aphrodisiac.
Black Cumin Powder
A fine paste of powdered cumin seed mixed in water can be applied to boils, swellings and itchiness of the body. Cumin powder mixed in hot water, along with a pinch of cardamom powder allowed to cool, strain and gargle, to freshen the breath, heals mouth ulcers. Use Roasted Cumin powder mixed with rock salt to massage the gums, will heal inflammations, prevent bleeding and strengthen the gums.
Boil a tea spoonful of Cumin seed powder in a glass of water, allow it to cool and drink twice a day for those suffering indigestion and flatulence; .
In irritable bowel syndrome; mix pomegranate juice with roasted Cumin powder and drink 1-2 times a day until the condition subsides
In Fever: 200 mg of Cumin seed powder is given along with jaggery (raw sugar from the cane) twice a day will abate the fever.
A a Herbal Tonic: Cumin seeds (200 mg) are soaked in milk overnight; then dried and powdered. One teaspoon of the powder is given along with Honey or molasses, as a general fortifying tonic for attaining physical strength.
In Malaria: Cumin seed powder (1g) is mixed with equal amount of Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia) fruit juice and used as an anti-malarial.
For the Liver Fluke and intestinal worms: 10g of cumin seeds roasted and ground, mixed with 1 teaspoon Onion (Allium cepa) juice and given on an empty stomach, to children suffering from intestinal worms.
Haemorrhoids: Soak seed of Cumin overnight and apply the water ectopically for suffers of piles.
Poisonous stings and bites: Kolanji which is the Seed oil of black cumin is mixed with salt and applied externally in to areas of the scorpion sting and poisonous insect bites.
Nursing Mothers: In Central India woman include roasted cumin seeds in their meals to increase their flow of milk.
Digestive problems: Roasted cumin seeds are given with curd or buttermilk to treat most digestive ailments.
In cases of Urinary tract infections: apply locally a mix of Lemon (Citrus limon) juice, roasted and powdered Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) seed, powder and roasted Cumin seeds and a pinch of black salt (a pungent smelling purplish or pinkish-gray rock salt mined in India) in 100ml water. Apply each morning on the pubic area and around the groin.
Digestion: chew Cumin (5g) to increase appetite and chew, after lunch and dinner to combat excessive stomach acidity or indigestion.
Kolanji: Black Cumin Oil In animal studies revealed none of the subjects in the control group survived, whilst two-thirds of the mice that had been given black cumin seed oil were still alive 30 days after deliberate efforts to cause cancer in the subject groups. Black cumin is particularly useful against aggressive cancers whose growth depends on angiogenesis. (the abnormal rapid proliferation of blood vessels)
In vitro studies performed in Jordan and the United States have determined that the volatile oil is anti-leukemia. Studies performed in Spain as well as England found that the fixed oil is useful in the treatment of rheumatism and other inflammatory diseases. This property is attributed to thymoquinone which is as high as 25% in the Egyptian seed and missing entirely is some seeds. Thymoquinone is a phytochemical compound found in the plant Nigella sativa. It has antioxidant effects and has been shown to protect against heart, liver and kidney damage in animal studies, as well as having possible anti-cancer effects. It also has analgesic and anti-convulsant effects in animal models. and It is an angiogenesis inhibitor.
Kalonji is Emmenagogue, Lactogogue and Diuretic. It is an Anti-Helminthic, if taken with vinegar, useful in chronic cold when used when inhaled in common cold.
The oil of Kalonji is effective in Alopecia. Half teaspoonful, boiled in water and taken, is helpful in Asthma and diffuses the toxic effects of Bee and Wasps stings..
Oil of Black cumin, Kolanji is useful in Paralysis, Facial Palsy, Migraine, headaches, Amnesia and Palpitation.
It is also an Expectorant and Antipyretic. It normalizes the secretions of stomach and pancreas, hence effective and significant in the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus.
Cumin expels the Kidney and Urinary Bladder stones, if taken with syrup or honey. Effective in Jaundice, when taken with milk.
If Kolanji seeds are boiled in vinegar and this solution is applied on Gums and Teeth, it removes the Inflammation of the gums and relieves the pain.
Tea made of the fine powder and used as an eye wash is effective in early stages of Cataract. Kolanji oil is used in Skin disorders and effective in Earache.
Modern trials have proven that Kolanji seeds alone or in combination with other drugs are highly effective in Diabetes Mellitus, Vitaligo and Skin ailments.
Culinary Uses: Commonly used in curry and as a general seasoner in most Indian and Continental dishes. Black cumin seeds are small. They can be used to make tea by simply pouring hot water over the seeds and letting the brew steep for 10 minutes, about a tablespoon makes a nice cup of tea, but it is better to keep the cup covered until ready to drink so as to prevent the aroma from escaping. Some people add a few seeds to their favorite tea or coffee . The seeds can also be added to casseroles or breads, used in canning, or extracted in wine or vinegar. Some people grind the seeds and mix them with honey or sprinkle them on salads. They make a nice addition to salad dressings and even stir fry dishes, especially when combined with lemon, cilantro, and tahini.
Black cumin seeds mixed with honey and garlic are excellent tonics for people with asthma or coughs as well as those who want to enhance their immunity during cold and flu season or when an infection is setting in.
Nigella sativa (Black Cumin) seeds aid peristalsis and elimination, oil of black cumin is antimicrobial and helps to rid the intestines of worms
Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) for Beauty: Black cumin oil taken in capsule or plain oil, makes the hair and fingernails stronger and increases the lustre. Some use the oil externally, for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Buy ready-made base cream, add some Cumin oil to the cream along with an essential oil of choice, and use it as a beauty skin care. Or use a yoghurt maker because the temperature is very even so you can safely ignore the process for hours. The oil will darken. When you feel this has been warmed long enough, melt a little beeswax into the warm oil. Stir it with a glass rod or new chopstick. If you like, you can add an essential oil or combination of oils just before the beeswax set. Choose this for aesthetic or health reasons. Use this mixture on burns or skin infections, you can also use the creams to feel good, moisturise the skin, relieve joint pain, or to make wrinkles vanish.
Combine vinegar and Kolanji oil mix 1:1 ratio, leave it for a few days or a couple of weeks, then strain the mixture through a conventional strainer, then through a finer muslin, Heat the mix for a few minutes and put in a jar and refrigerate. A remedy for skin cleanser and acne, taking a tablespoon of this mix before meals will help in flatulence and digestive problems.