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Cumin or jeera is a common Indian spice that is used in almost every Indian household. Who doesn’t like to devour a bowl of fresh jeera rice with some curry?

But, did you know that cumin does more than just adding flavour to your food? Its use as a medicinal herb is quite common in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine. However, you need to take it in a certain form and dose to reap medicinal benefits. The best way to do that is by adding a glass of cumin water to your everyday routine. You must be wondering why. Well, this article will answer just that. The many benefits of cumin water will be explained based on evidence (Spoiler: it is good for weight loss!). The recipe for cumin water and the likely side effects of overconsumption will also be discussed. So, let’s get started by first learning about some basic nutritional facts of cumin.

Some basic facts about cumin

Cumin is the earliest cultivated herb in history. Its aromatic flavour has always attracted researchers and scientists to study its medicinal properties. Cumin is a flowering plant with fruits and its seeds are contained within the fruit when dried.

  • Scientific name: Cuminum cyminum
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Common name: Cumin, jeera, zeera, zira
  • Sanskrit name: Jiraka
  • Parts used: Seeds
  • Native region and geographic distribution: Cumin is a native to the Middle East and India but is widely used all around.
  1. Nutritional facts of cumin
  2. Cumin water benefits
  3. How to make jeera water
  4. Jeera water side effects

Cumin is a host of several minerals and nutrients, which make it an excellent herb for use. It is also a source of vitamin C. Let’s have a look at its nutritional values. Note that these nutritional values are for a teaspoon of cumin seeds, which will be used to prepare water.

According to USDA, 1 tsp of cumin seeds has the following composition:

  • Water: 0.17
  • Energy: 8 kcal
  • Protein: 0.37 gm
  • Fat: 0.47 gm
  • Carbohydrate: 0.93 gm
  • Fibre: 0.2 gm
  • Calcium: 20 mg
  • Potassium: 38 mg
  • Phosphorus: 10 mg
  • Vitamin C: 0.2 mg

Cumin certainly has a lot of health benefits and is particularly more beneficial in its aqueous state, that is, when dissolved in water. Cumin seeds when soaked in water overnight swell up and release their nutrients, which is responsible for the health benefits you experience. In an aqueous solution, cumin possesses diverse flavonoids, isoflavonoids, lignins, alkaloids, glucosides and other compounds causing these actions. Let’s have a look at its benefits.

  1. Jeera water for weight loss
  2. Cumin water benefits for the skin
  3. Cumin water for better digestion
  4. Jeera water for diabetics
  5. Cumin water for cardiac health
  6. Cumin water for a better immunity
  7. Cumin water for oral health

Jeera water for weight loss

If you want to shed some extra pounds, jeera water can be your favourite drink. Not only us, but research suggests it as well. Whether you use raw jeera seeds to make cumin water or grind it to a powder and then use, it is sure that you will experience these rewards.

A randomised control trial conducted on overweight individuals within the age group of 18 to 50 years demonstrated a significant weight loss in the participants receiving cumin extract in high dose as compared to those receiving placebo. It further reported that the addition of lemon extract accentuated these benefits. This means that the addition of a lemon wedge to a cup of cumin water will make you lose more weight. The findings of these study suggest that cumin water is likely to aid the weight loss process for individuals belonging to any age group. So, you need not worry.

Another study conducted to explore the benefits of cumin powder on weight loss involved 88 overweight participants who were assigned in two groups on the basis of a randomised controlled trial. It was found that the group which was given cumin with curd had a more evident weight loss when compared to the group which was just given curd. Not only weight reduction, but the combination of cumin and curd also aided a reduction in weight circumference and the overall BMI (body mass index). All these findings are in the support of jeera lassi for weight loss. So, simply add some cumin powder to your everyday lassi or curd to experience weight loss.

Recipe for both jeera water and cumin lassi has been shared in the article.

Cumin water benefits for the skin

In the aqueous state, cumin water releases certain flavonoids and alkaloids, which impart its significant antioxidant properties as evidenced by several studies. Antioxidants are substances which fight against the oxidative damage caused by free radicals by offering stability. This helps in reducing the damage caused to your body organs.

A major organ affected by the activity of free radicals is your skin. Free radicals with their aggressive actions tend to cause premature signs of ageing. This causes an early appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and signs of ageing. A glass of cumin water is likely to prevent these signs from progressing and may also help in improving their appearance.

In addition to this, researchers have also demonstrated that cumin water is an anti-allergic. So, it may have a role in the prevention of skin allergies but this effect is not individually studied. So, its use is not recommended for those with skin allergies.

Cumin water for better digestion

Cumin has long been known for its benefits in improving digestion, but what about cumin water?

Well, research says that cumin water is even more beneficial for your digestive tract. It not only provides relief from common ailments like constipation and abdominal discomfort but also can aid in the management of more serious disorders like irritable bowel syndrome.

A study conducted on 57 patients affected with irritable bowel syndrome confirmed that cumin water helped in alleviating the symptoms. These participants refrained from other treatments during this period and were given cumin extract in the form of cumin essential oil along with water. Irritable bowel syndrome, which is characterised by severe pain in the lower abdomen along with changes in the frequency of bowel habits and its consistency, was significantly improved. These effects were achieved with the help of administration of 20 drops of cumin essential oil in the form of 10 drops in a glass of warm water in the morning and the night.

After a duration of 2 to 4 weeks, reduction in abdominal pain, bloating, defaecation problems, changes in bowel habits and an improvement in the incomplete defaecation and urgency was achieved. Relief in diarrhoea, loose stools, painful defaecation and even constipation was reported. Further, nausea relief was also reported by the participants.

Amazing how one herb can be so magical for your digestive health, right? So, don’t worry if you do not have cumin essential oil, a simple glass of cumin dissolved in water can be wonderous.

Jeera water for diabetics

Diabetes is characterised by an increase in the blood sugar levels due to changes in the glucose metabolism of the body. It is a chronic condition and individuals living with diabetes often face difficulty in its management.

One thing you can do is replace your morning sugary tea with a cup of cumin water. It helps you in two ways. One, it cuts down the intake of excess sugar and second, because of the hypoglycemic actions of cumin water. In the aqueous state, cumin water is a potent hypoglycemic agent. When compared with placebo and Vitamin E extracts given to research participants, it was observed that cumin water aided a better reduction in the index of diabetes.

Cumin water for cardiac health

As already stated, cumin water has antioxidant properties, which helps in reducing the damage caused to internal organs including your heart. Reactive oxygen species are responsible for causing damage to the heart and happen to be a cause of cardiac disorders like atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. With its antioxidant effects, cumin water may have a role in the prevention of these diseases.

While that has not yet been established, research evidence strongly confers the role of cumin water in the reduction of blood cholesterol. Cumin water aids in the lowering of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol), triglycerides and raises the levels of high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol). Another set of studies on the consumption of cumin and curd demonstrated similar findings.

Additionally, jeera water has been found to have an anti-platelet aggregation effect. Platelet aggregation is responsible for the formation of clot, which leads to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and other cardiac disorders. So, it can be ascertained that cumin water has definite cardioprotective effects.

Cumin water for a better immunity

Cumin water is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants by their action on the body help in improving immune function. According to a recent study, an aqueous extract of cumin and caraway (shahi jeera) seeds has a significant antimicrobial effect. This means that cumin water is effective against disease-causing microorganisms. It is effective against various types of bacteria.

Cumin water helps in the inhibition of growth of Klebsiella pneumoniae, which is responsible for pneumonia and certain bloodstream infections. Another study reported that cumin water has anti-allergic effects. All these findings help in concluding that cumin water improves immunity by preventing infections and allergies.

Cumin water for oral health

Our oral cavity is inhabited by a plethora of microorganisms, which do not cause disease in a normal state. Colonization of microorganisms is what is responsible for a diseased state. More than 700 species of bacteria have been detected in the oral cavity. The most common oral problem is dental caries, which is manageable with the help of cumin water.

Research evidence has suggested that aqueous solutions of cumin and caraway help in preventing the formation of the biofilm of Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus pyogens. Streptococcus mutans is causative of dental caries, which is manifested by the destruction of tooth structure.

Dental caries begins as a formation of biofilm consisting of Streptococcus mutants and other pathogens before the process of demineralisation begins. So, by preventing the synthesis of the biofilm, cumin water has an anti-caries effect.

Streptococcus pyogens does worse than dental decay. Infection caused due to this agent may lead to sepsis and cellulitis, which can be life-threatening. A glass of cumin water each day keeps you away from these troubles.

You can easily make jeera water at home by following these steps:

  • Take two teaspoons of jeera and add them to a cup of water
  • Soak it overnight
  • Boil for 10 minutes in the morning and drink after cooling
  • Warm jeera water can also be consumed.

For better weight loss benefits, you can make a jeera lime drink in the following manner:

  • Soak two teaspoons of jeera in a cup of water overnight
  • The next morning, add a wedge of lemon
  • Stir, strain and enjoy.

Here is a recipe of cumin and curd for weight loss:

  • Take half a cup of yoghurt
  • Add two teaspoons of cumin powder to this
  • Add a dash of lime and salt for a better taste.

Alternatively, you can make jeera lassi in the following way:

  • Take 1 cups of curd, 1 cup of water, some ice cubes and a teaspoon of cumin powder
  • Process these in a blender for about two minutes
  • Serve chilled in tall glasses with an ectra dash of cumin powder for added benefits and taste.

Though generally safe, cumin water may have some side effects if consumed in excess. These are:

  • Excessive urination
  • Hypoglycaemia- since cumin water helps in lowering blood glucose levels, an overenthusiastic consumption can lead to hypoglycaemia, which is a medical emergency.
  • Excessive bleeding- since cumin water is an anticoagulant and an antiplatelet, it may prevent blood from clotting leading to prolonged bleeding. For these reasons, it is not recommended for individuals suffering from bleeding disorders. It must also be avoided if you have undergone a recent surgery.
  • Miscarriage- cumin water is used as a natural abortive agent for pregnant women in some parts of India. Although this has not been supported by research evidence, it is the best that pregnant women avoid its consumption.
  • Allergic reactions
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References

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  2. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Full Report (All Nutrients): 02014, Spices, cumin seed. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release [Internet]
  3. Mohsen Taghizadeh et al. The Effect of Cumin cyminum L. Plus Lime Administration on Weight Loss and Metabolic Status in Overweight Subjects: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial . Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2016 Aug; 18(8): e34212. PMID: 27781121
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  5. Shahram Agah, Amir Mehdi Taleb, Reyhane Moeini, Narjes Gorji, Hajar Nikbakht. Cumin Extract for Symptom Control in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Case Series . Middle East J Dig Dis. 2013 Oct; 5(4): 217–222. PMID: 24829694
  6. Shahram Agah, Amir Mehdi Taleb, Reyhane Moeini, Narjes Gorji, Hajar Nikbakht. Cumin Extract for Symptom Control in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Case Series . Middle East J Dig Dis. 2013 Oct; 5(4): 217–222. PMID: 24829694
  7. Ghatreh Samani Keihan, Mohammad Hossein Gharib, Ali Momeni, Zohreh Hemati, Roya Sedighin. A Comparison Between the Effect of Cuminum Cyminum and Vitamin E on the Level of Leptin, Paraoxonase 1, HbA1c and Oxidized LDL in Diabetic Patients . Int J Mol Cell Med. 2016 Autumn; 5(4): 229–235. PMID: 28357199
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  9. Jørn A. Aas et al. Defining the Normal Bacterial Flora of the Oral Cavity . J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Nov; 43(11): 5721–5732. PMID: 16272510
  10. Yumi Inagaki et al. A Case of Systemic Infection Caused by Streptococcus pyogenes Oral Infection in an Edentulous Patient . Diseases. 2017 Sep; 5(3): 17. PMID: 28933370