Consuming more cumin is a great way to LIVE YOUNGER.  Besides adding zest to tacos, enchiladas, and burritos, cumin’s surprising health talents are numerous.  Merchants from India brought this versatile spice to our borders and it has an impressive lineage.  Ancient Greeks kept ground Cumin on the dining table in its own box, like we do with salt and pepper.  Egyptians used this spice in the mummification process.  Because of its powerful medicinal value, the early Romans used it as currency to pay taxes.  I’m not sure that’s a good idea these days!

I need to make the distinction between cumin and black cumin because these two are often used interchangeably although they are actually two very different plants.  Both have distinct flavors and distinct health benefits.  Some of the research I found about “cumin” was really conducted using “black cumin.”  They are both beneficial and can be easily confused so be aware if you conduct further research.

Cumin’s unique flavor comes from it’s key ingredient, cuminaldehyde, which is the main component of its essential oil and a compound with active medicinal qualities.  In the United States, most of the studies are based on laboratory rats but there are excellent studies originating in India and other countries.  Here are some areas where cumin may help us LIVE YOUNGER:

  • Cumin benefits digestion:  The aromatic cuminaldehyde oil in cumin starts digestion in the mouth by stimulating the salivary glands to secrete enzymes to start the food breakdown.  It also contains thymol, a compound that initiates the release of bile, acids and other digestive enzymes to further the digestive process.
  • Cumin soothes hemorrhoids:  Since constipation is the typical cause of hemorrhoids, adding fiber to your day is absolutely necessary for healing.  Although small, these seeds contain fiber.  Additionally, Cumin’s essential oils have an antimicrobial and antifungal action, which is good for healing wounds and infections.
  • Cumin fights diabetes:  Diabetes is caused by chronically high levels of sugar in the blood, which damages the blood vessels throughout the body.  We are only as healthy as our blood vessels!  This blood vessel damage increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness, and kidney disease.  Scientists in India gave diabetic animals either cumin or Diabeta (glibenclamide), an anti-diabetes drug.  Researchers in Pharmacological Research concluded that cumin “supplementation was found to be more effective than glibenclamide in the treatment of diabetes mellitus”.
  • Cumin combats cancer.  Cumin contains a rich storehouse of vitamins C  and A, which make it a potent antioxidant and therefore effective in cancer prevention and treatment.  Animal studies have found that Cumin reduced the risk of cervical cancer by 82 percent and significantly decreased the incidence of stomach and liver cancer.

Buying organic whole cumin seeds is best.  Once the seeds are ground, the flavor and health benefits start deteriorating.  I threw a bottle away last night for this very reason, and it was painful.  You can dry roast the seeds in just a few minutes before grinding them for intensified flavor.  Simply heat them in a hot, small iron skillet for about 2 minutes or until you sense the release of aroma.

LIVE YOUNGER by adding zest to food that supplies your body with the nutrients of repair and restoration.  Harness Cumin’s surprising health talents for increased vitality and joy.  START SOMEWHERE with small changes that will yield big returns.  You can do it.  I will help you. 


Bharat, B. Aggarwal, PhD.  Healing Spices. Toronto, Ontario. Sterling Publishing.  2011.

Cumin's Surprising Health Talents

Cumin’s Surprising Health Talents