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  Latin Name Cuminum cyminum
English Name Cumin
Hindi Name Jeera
Part Used Seed

Cumin is one of the most typical spices of India. The fruits are used whole, and are often fried or dry-roasted before usage. It is a small, slender annual herb, with a much-branched angular or striated stem, bearing 2 or 3 partite linear leaves, bluish green in color and having sheathing bases.

Cumin seeds are yellowish brown in color having a strong, slightly bitter aromatic flavor. The plants are threshed when the fruit is ripe and the 'seeds' dried. The strong aromatic smell and warm taste of Cumin fruits are due to the presence of a volatile oil. The aroma of the cumin seeds, like most spices, emerges best when dry roasted or added to hot oil or Ghee.

The chief constituent of the volatile oil is cumaldehyde. In indigenous medicine, cumin seeds have long been considered stimulant and carminative. They are stomachic, astringent and useful in diarrhea and dyspepsia. They are now chiefly used in veterinary medicine. The seeds showed antifertility and abortifacient activity in female rats. They have been credited with aphrodisiac properties..

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