Taste (Rasa): Pungent, Bitter, Astringent
Energetics (Virya): Heating
Doshic Effects: Balancing for Vata and Kapha
Benefits & Use: Cumin is extremely good for digestion and related dis-eases. The very aroma of cumin (from an aromatic organic compound called Cuminaldehyde), activates our salivary glands which facilitate the primary digestion of food. Once our salivary glands are on board, thymol, another compound present in cumin, stimulates the digestive glands that secrete acids, bile and the enzymes responsible for the complete digestion of the food in the stomach and intestines. A carminative, cumin simultaneously relieves gas, thereby improving digestion and appetite. It is also considered a good source of Iron, manganese, and other vitamins and minerals.
Additional Uses: Lactation; piles; boils; diabetes; anemia; cognitive function
In the Kitchen: Cumin can be used both as the whole seed or ground. The seed benefits from toasting before use to being out its aromatic, nutty flavor. Cumin is a staple ingredient in most curry powders and many spice blends. It's reserved primarily for savory recipes, like chili, stews, meat, fish, and vegetables.