Slender and branched, Cumin herbal plant, or Cuminum cyminum, is one of the commonest spices used during the Middle Ages in Europe. It is native to Upper Egypt but was cultivated from the earliest times in Iran, China, India, Arabia, and in the countries around the Mediterranean region. The name “cumin” is actually a derivative of the Persian city of Kerman. The local name for Kerman was “Kermun” which later on became “Kumun” and finally “cumin” in European languages. Today, the cumin herbal plant is now mostly grown as a commercial spice in Morocco, Egypt, India, Syria, North America, and Chile.
The cumin herbal plant is a herbaceous perennial belonging to the carrot family, Apiaceae. It is a diminutive plant, rarely exceeding a foot in height. Like Fennel, the leaves of the cumin herbal plant are divided into long, narrow segments and colored deep green. In the months of June and July, the cumin herbal plant produces small, rose-colored or white flowers in stalked umbels with only four to six rays. The flowers contain seeds, which constitute the herbal properties of cumin.
The cumin herbal plant is mentioned in the bible, in the Book of Isaiah and the Gospel of Matthew. It also holds a place in the works of such figures in herbal healing as Hippocrates and Dioscorides. Pliny wrote that the ancient Greeks grounded the seed of the cumin herbal plant and took it medicinally with bread and water or wine.
When smoked, the cumin herbal seeds were said to change the pallor of the face, causing Horace to exclaim, “Ex sangue cuminum!” This was probably the basis for the Greeks’ belief that the plant is associated with the god of love, Eros.
The herb is generally classified as a stimulant, antispasmodic, and carminative. Earlier herbalists held the cumin herbal plant has superior carminative properties as compared to Fennel or Caraway but because of its disagreeable flavor, its use as a carminative is now almost exclusively confined to veterinary practice.
The fruits of the cumin herbal plant contain fatty oil with resin, mucilage and gum, malates, and albuminous matter. Also, the thin film covering the seeds yields much tannin which explained its use as a corrective for the flatulency of languid digestion. Formerly, cumin herbal plant was also used to remedy colic and dyspeptic headache.
When mixed with other drugs, the cumin herbal plant may form a stimulating liniment for use in treating wounds. It is applied externally in the form of a plaster and is recommended as treatment for stitches and pains in the side caused by the sluggish congestion of indolent parts.
TOTAL WORD COUNT – 444
KEYWORDS “cumin Herbal” – 13 (density = 2.9%)