Cumin is a is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to South Asia.
The small, crescent-shaped seeds of a plant called Cuminum cyminum, which are used as a spice. Cumin seeds have a warm flavour and a strong, pungent aroma. There is also a smaller, darker variety of cumin called black cumin which, added to dishes whole, lends them a smoky note.
Annual cumin tolerates a wide range of soil types, but will do best in well drained, fertile soil in full sun. It has drought-tolerant and requires a long growing season to produce seeds. It has white or pink flowers.
Traditional use:- In Sanskrit, cumin was known as jira ‘that which helps digestion’. It was used to treat heart disease, swellings, vomiting and chronic fever.
Medicinal discoveries:- There is current interesting developing the compounds isolated from the seeds for their cancer-protective properties and as a drug for use in treating angina and asthma.
Find out more about cumin and other spices at the first annual Ginger and Spice Festival, Saturday 30th September 2017, click here to discover more.