Botanical name: Cuminum cymimum
Other names: Cumin, Jiraka, Jira
Part used: seed
Taste (rasa): pungent (katuk), bitter (tikta)
Characteristic (guna): light (lagu), dry (ruksha)
Energy (veerya): heating (ushna)
Post digestive effect (vipak): pungent (katuk)
Dosha effect: balancing vatta, pitta, kapha. If used in excess increases pitta. Action (karma): Appertizer, clears the head of mucous and congestion, aromatic, digestive, calminative, diuretic, galactagogue, brain tonic, antispasmodic, treats skin disorders, alterative.
Dose: Up to 5 grams a day.
Contraindications: Not to be used in high doses where there is pitta or other inflammatory problems in the digestive system.
One of the best herbs for digestive sluggishness. Used as a flavouring to help the absorption of nutrients. Specially useful in bloating, gurgling, slow digestion from disturbed vatta and kapha. Also of benefit it vatta is rebelling upwards and causing nausea or indigestion. It is a stimulant and blood purifier. It reduces uterine inflammation and pain and dries excess discharge. Like many seeds of this plant family it benefits the production of breast milk. In India the paste of cumin seed with ghee and salt is applied topically for scorpion sting.
Ref: ‘Ayurvedic Medicine by Sebastian Pole; ‘Ayurvedic Pharmacology & Therapeutic Uses of Medicinal Plants’ by Vaidya V.M. Gogte; ‘Yogi of Herbs’ by V. Lad & D. Frawley; ‘Herbs Are Special’ by Isabel Shipard.