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Cumin – Far More Than Just A Spice

Caraway not only makes cabbage and bread digestible. This spice can do much more than previously thought. There are numerous ways to use cumin for the benefit of your health. We want to surprise you with some of the effects of caraway.

Cumin as a spice

Cumin is one of the oldest spices used in our culture. In contrast to Asian cumin, domestic meadow cumin has a pleasantly mild taste and yet there are some people who absolutely do not like the taste of cumin.

Perhaps this is simply due to improper use of this wonderful spice.

It depends on the right preparation

Surely only caraway lovers find it a positive taste experience when they bite down on whole caraway fruits in bread, in cabbage, or on fried potatoes. A connoisseur is more likely to be repelled by the sudden confrontation with the intense aroma of caraway.

It is therefore advisable to either grind the caraway very finely before use or to put it in a tea egg that is hung on the edge of the pot and boiled with it. On the one hand, the latter reduces the typical smell of cabbage when cooking and, on the other hand, a particularly mild flavor is achieved.

In this way, people who are less enthusiastic about caraway can also benefit from the healing power of this spice.

Cumin has many uses as a spice

Due to its digestive effect, neither flatulent foods (types of cabbage, legumes, etc.) nor hard-to-digest foods should be prepared without caraway. In general, this spice should be used much more frequently than before, because a hint of caraway flavor goes well with almost all dishes.

You can use it to season meat, sauces, soups, vegetables, cheese, and salads as well as bread, cakes, and pastries.

However, caraway is much more than “just” an aromatic spice. We want to show you below what else caraway can do.

Cumin is rich in dietary fiber

A teaspoon of cumin (approx. 6 g) provides an incredible two grams of fiber. This equates to 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance for an adult. Fiber is needed for regular digestion, so cumin, along with other dietary fibers, can make a significant contribution to regular digestion.

Caraway also contributes to intestinal health due to the fact that roughage binds intestinal toxins and causes them to be excreted.

Caraway contains high-quality fatty acids and proteins

A teaspoon of cumin seeds provides 9.8 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 203 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids. Both fatty acids are essential for the body, which means that it cannot produce them on its own. They must therefore be supplied with food. Therefore, caraway can also make a good supply contribution here.

The fact that caraway contains around 20 percent of proteins will certainly surprise some readers. And it is also surprising that these proteins have an almost perfect amino acid profile.

Who would have thought that cumin had such a nutritional spectrum?

Cumin also contributes to maintaining health in other ways, as you will learn below.

Cumin has an antioxidant effect

Caraway seeds are rich in antioxidant flavonoids. These include carotene, lutein, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin.

In particular, the essential oils that are also abundant, such as limonene, carvone, carveol, cumuninicaldehyde, and furfurol, have a strong antioxidant effect.

Together, flavonoids and essential oils protect the body from the cell-damaging effects of free radicals. As a powerful antioxidant, cumin has a wide range of health benefits.

Cumin seed oil can reduce inflammation

For a long time, the prevailing knowledge about the effects of caraway on health was based only on experience. But science has long since accepted the research of this spice.

Various studies have been able to provide evidence that caraway oil protects the liver and kidneys from antioxidant stress, for example.

In addition, the oil inhibits the activity of a special enzyme (myeloperoxidase) that can trigger inflammatory processes in the body. Scientific studies have confirmed this effect of caraway oil.

Cumin oil against colon cancer

A 2011 study found that cumin oil may also protect against colon cancer.

In a series of experiments, the animals, in this case, rats, were given caraway oil along with their food. The examination of the intestinal mucosa of the animals showed that the administration of the caraway oil had significantly reduced the formation of abnormal glands, which are considered to be the precursors to polyps and colon cancer.

In addition, the inhibition of two enzymes with a strong antioxidant effect (glutathione and cytochrome P450) caused by carcinogenic substances could be reversed and their activity fully restored.

Caraway – THE remedy for flatulence

Its extremely good effect on the digestive system is certainly one of the best-known properties of caraway.

Cumin has always been considered by far the most effective herbal remedy for flatulence and cramps in the gastrointestinal area. We owe the calming, relaxing, and anticonvulsant effects of caraway to its essential oils.

Cumin tea for all ages

Agonizing indigestion in infants and young children is quickly brought to an end by using cumin.

Infants can be given one to two tablespoons of caraway tea in the bottle in addition to the milk. Slightly older children can drink the caraway tea pure, possibly sweetened with a little honey.

Even for young girls who experience their periods painfully, there is hardly a better way to relax than freshly brewed caraway tea.

Ready-made caraway tea

Add a heaping teaspoon of crushed caraway seeds to 1/4 liter of boiling water and leave the tea covered (so the essential oils don’t escape) for 10 minutes. Then you can strain it. The tea should be drunk while still warm and in sips.

Cumin Oil Extract

Caraway oil can also be taken internally as an extract. For this purpose, 1 to 2 drops of the oil are added to any tea or to a teaspoon of xylitol. The generally recommended daily dose is 3 to 6 drops.

Cumin for external use

The use of caraway is not limited to internal use as a spice, tea, or oil. External applications with caraway are also extremely effective.

Cumin for toothache and headache

Cumin can be successfully used against toothache, tension headaches, and migraines by placing a linen bag or cloth filled with cumin seeds on the painful area.

For this purpose, the linen should be filled three-quarters with crushed caraway seeds, tied, and placed in hot water until it is completely soaked.

To squeeze out the hot water, the linen is placed between two wooden boards and then applied as hot as possible. If necessary, this measure can be repeated several times a day.

Cumin oil for abdominal massage

The concentrated form of the essential oil obtained from caraway is ideal for a relaxing abdominal massage. Here the beneficial active ingredients of caraway oil are absorbed directly through the skin. Babies and children as well as adults benefit from this healing measure.

Due to the high concentration of essential oils, this application has a particularly good effect. However, the concentrated oil must not come into direct contact with the skin. It is therefore always used as a mixture with another skin-friendly base oil.

Olive oil, for example, is suitable for this in the following mixing ratio:

for babies and small children – 1 drop of caraway oil in 20 ml of olive oil, for adults 5 drops of caraway oil in 20 ml of olive oil

Caraway bath as a pick-me-up

A full bath to which you have added a liter of strong caraway tea is very refreshing and invigorating. The caraway bath will wake you up even after a hard day, so you can still enjoy the evening.

Important instructions:

  • Concentrated cumin oil should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding without medical advice.
  • If you are hypersensitive to caraway or if you have a known allergy to Umbelliferae (celery, carrots, parsley, aniseed), it is not advisable to take it.
  • Caraway oil should not be taken in high doses over a long period of time, as this can lead to liver and kidney damage.
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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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