Cumin <i>(Cuminum cyminum)</i>
An old botanical print of Cumin (Cuminum cyminum).

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)

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Cumin
Cuminum cyminum

Cumin, alternatively spelled Cummin, is a low growing, annual herb that has dark green leaves and reddish-pink to white flowers. Native to upper Egypt, it has been cultivated since ancient times all around the Mediterranean region, and as far away as China and India, where it is an essential ingredient in making curry dishes. Cumin was a subject discussed in the classic works of Hippocrates, Pliny, and Dioscorides, and was mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. By the Middle Ages, it had become a common culinary spice throughout Europe.[1]

The plants are left to fully mature, after which the seed heads are collected and threshed. The seeds are then dried and used either whole or powdered, to add some "heat" to recipes. Each packet contains one gram, which is approximately 375 seeds.
Medicinal Herbs Along with being used as a culinary spice, Cumin seeds have been historically used medicinally as an antispasmodic, carminative, and stimulant. Cumin was used in Greece and Rome for its antibacterial and stomachic qualities. In India, a drink is made by boiling Cumin seeds in water, which is then drunk as a digestive aide, as well as to balance stomach issues.
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