Chapter 2: Jeera
Cumin or Jeera, as we call it, is the second-most used spice in our kitchen. I add a small teaspoon of Jeera to oil before cooking vegetables.
I am sure you also use cumin in your daily cooking!?
We all have seen our mothers using cumin in cooking and so we call it our mother’s recipe. But have you ever thought about why our mothers use it in everything they prepare? What is the significance of Jeera when it comes to our health?
The day before yesterday, while talking to my daughter about Jeera, she asked me a question that got me thinking. She asked, “Mom, why is Jeera so underrated when it is so heavily used in Indian cooking?” Well, can you think of an answer to it?
I am going to stress the benefits of cumin in today’s blog and try to explain, the reason why it’s so underrated when it comes to spices and herbs.
Where should I start from? Let’s introduce you to the health conditions that Cumin can cure!
There are several health issues that Jeera can cure, gradually. Some of them are mentioned in the image below.
An Introduction to Jeera
Jeera is a heavily used spice in Indian kitchen and Ayurvedic medicines. Its English name is Cumin seeds and is botanically referred to as Cuminum Cyminum. The spice is known for curing health issues related to the respiratory, digestive, reproductive, and circulatory systems.
We all know, it has become an integral part of Indian kitchens. As an Ayurvedic consultant, I can say that Jeera, as a spice, helps promote digestion, prevents diseases, and cures diseases related to abdominal organs.
It acts as an antispasmodic digestive stimulant, antacid, astringent and has diuretic action. It helps to cure acute and chronic diseases including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and loss of appetite.
Administration of Cumin as Per Doshas
Every spice works on the three doshas differently, particularly due to their inherent qualities. Let’s see how Jeera can be taken depending on the Doshas.
People with high Vata can have cumin fried in sesame oil. One can have it with lukewarm water.
Cumin or Jeera is hot in nature; therefore, having it alone can increase Pitta. One can administer cumin with crystal sugar to reduce Pitta.
It’s a known fact that cumin naturally balances Kapha in a person. Hence, one can have it dry or with honey to enhance its taste and effect. Honey along with cumin is a great combination to reduce Kapha dosha in one’s body.
३५५. जीरकत्रितयम् (शुक्लकृष्णजीरके, कारवी च) शुक्लजीरक शुक्लाजाजी क्षुप्यमानमजाजी कणजीरकम् ।
जीरकं दीर्घक मेध्यं पीतकं चोत्तरापथम् ॥
कृष्णाजाजी कवर्णकाली सुगन्धं कालजीरकम् ।
उद्गारशोधनं हृद्यं जरणं कृष्णजीरकम् ॥
कालिका कारवी पृथ्वी पृथ्वीका चोपकुंचिका ।
सुषवी वाष्पिका कुञ्ची वरकृष्णोपकालिका ॥
जीरक कटुतिक्तोष्णं रूक्षं पाकोषणं लघु ।
रुच्यं संग्राहि चक्षुष्यं गर्भाशयविशोधनम् ।।
पित्तलं दीपनं मेध्यं हृद्यं वातकफापहम् ।
सुगंधि पाचनं छर्दिगुल्माध्मानातिसारजित् ॥
Benefit’s of Cumin
There are innumerable benefits of cumin seeds.
In Ayurveda, Atisar or Diarrhea is a result of impure water intake, increasing mental stress, and impaired digestion or Agnimandya. Jeera helps in improving Agni and controls loose stools. As per Ayurveda, it has Grahi property that aids in retaining fluids in the intestine.
- Bloating and Gas Formation
Flatulence or gas formation is a result of decreased increased Vata dosha and weakened digestion. The imbalance between the two leads to indigestion and gas formation. Jeera is known to correct impaired digestion. One needs to have Jeera in lukewarm water to kindle Agni and pacify Vata, thus reducing bloating and flatulence.
Ayurveda explains Cholesterol as the result of impaired digestion and excess production of Ama or waste products. The impaired Pachak Agni at the tissue level creates excess Ama or toxins. Excess Ama leads to the accumulation of bad cholesterol, in some cases blockage in the blood vessels.
Cumin is a known herb for improving impaired digestion and improving Agni by its Deepan and Panchan properties. Cumin is used in our day-to-day meals which helps us to remain free from bad cholesterol.
- Abdominal Pain
The general reason for abdominal pain is weakened digestive fire, increased Vata in the body, and worms. As mentioned before, Jeera kindles the digestive fire, reduces the formation of Vata in the body, and also has a deworming effect.
- Weight Loss
Impaired metabolism at the level of meda dhatu inhibits the nourishment of further dhatus, i.e., Asthi, majja, and Shukra dhatu. This results in accumulation of Ama, Kapha in the body, which leads to weight gain and seat for several health issues. Cumin’s Deepan and Pachana properties eliminate correct the metabolism of Meda dhatu and accumulated Ama and reduce meda (fat) in the body. The hot potency and dry nature of jeera liquefies and scrapes of the excess fat.
One can have warm water medicated with cumin every morning to burn the excess fat tissue.
Please note: Consider Ayurvedic consultation before adding Jeera to your lifestyle for weight loss, control Diarrhea or regulate the tri-dosha. The ayurvedic consultant will inform you about your body type according to which Jeera should be taken.
- Uterine cleanser/ Dysmennorhoea
The dominance of kapha and vata dosha causes an obstruction in the menstrual flow and clot formation. Cumin being a good uterine cleanser also has an antispasmodic effect. It also pacifies vata and Kapha and facilitates the easy passage of menstrual bleeding. Having cumin with warm water or water medicated with cumin seeds helps in menstrual pain.
Cumin is also used abundantly in varied preparations and in various forms in post partum period (after delivery) due to its ability to cleanse the uterus, its hot potency and ability to pacify and facilitate passage of vata.
In women during post natal period, cumin seeds are advised to chew followed by consumption of warm water. Warm medicated water with cumin, ajwain and saunf should be consumed throughout the day. Jeera powder is also added in various food preparations.
Medhya means the medicine which enhances intelligence. Jeera has medhya property. Accumulation of excess unwanted Kapha leads to clouding of thoughts and confusion. In patients with this condition use of jeera clears off the excess kapha and brings clarity of thoughts, thus enhances the intellect.
One can tap the benefits of Jeera by using it every day in their meals. Along with offering health benefits, it also enhances one’s taste and appetite. So you can definitely depend on Jeera when it comes to adding extra essence to your food, or recovering from a chronic health problem.