- Cuminum cyminum
- Abraj kmno vitu (Czech), aflatoxin B1, alkyl glucosides, alpha-pinene, anise acre, Apiaceae (family), Apiaceae spices, aromatic aldehydes, aromatic oxides, beta-pinene, borsos kömeny (Hungarian), caffeic acid, camon (kamon, kamoon, kammon, kammun) (Hebrew), camon tarbuti (Hebrew), cheeregum, chlorogenic acid, cineol, cirakam (shiragam) (Tamil), cominho (Portuguese), comino (Italian, Spanish), comino bianco (Italian), comino blanco (Spanish), comino romano (Italian), cumin (French), cumin acre, cumin aldehyde, cumin blanc (French), cumin de Malte (French), cumin du Maroc (French), cumin seeds, cuminal, cuminaldehyde, cumino (Italian), cuminoside A, cuminoside B, Cuminum cyminum, Cuminum odorum, cummin, džíra (Slovak), egyiptomi kömeny (Hungarian), faux anis (French), ferulic acid, flavonoids, gamma-terpinene, genistein, glucopyranosides, harilik vürtsiköömen (Estonian), hime unikyoo (Japanese), jamda (Swahili), jeelakarra (jilakarra) (Telugu), jeera (Hindi), jeerige (jirige) (Kannada), jeraka, jerakam (jirakam) (Malayalam), jiiraa (Hindi, Nepalese), jintan (Malay), jintan puteh (jintan putih) (Malay), jinten (Malay), jinten putih (Malay – Indonesia), jira (Swahili), jiraa (jeera) (Bengali), jiraka (Telugu), jirakam (jeerakam) (Tamil), jire (Marathi), jiru (Gujarati), juustokumina (Finnish), juustuköömen (Estonian), kaalaa jiiraa (Hindi), kammun (kamun, cammun, kamoun, kammoon) (Arabic), kimino (kiminon) (Greek), kimion (Bulgarian), kimion italianski (Bulgarian), kimion rimski (Bulgarian), kimon (Armenian), kimyon (Turkish), kisibiti (Swahili), kloeftsvoeb (Danish), kmin (Ukranian), komijn (Dutch), Kreuzkümmel (German), kumin (Croatian, Japanese), kumina (Finnish), kuminmag (Hungarian), kummin (Icelandic), limonene, lysine, ma chin (Khmer), ma qin (ma ch’in) (Chinese), maustekumina (Finnish), monoterpenes, myrcene, myrtenal, ostakómen (Icelandic), ou shi luo (Chinese), p-cymene, pepparkummin (Swedish), p-mentha-1,4-dien-7-al, propanal, pyrazines, rasca rímska (Slovakian), římský kmín (Czech), római kömeny (Hungarian), Roman caraway, romersk kummin (Swedish), Romischer Kümmel (German), roomankumina (Finnish), rumunsko kmun (Czech), šabrej kmínovitý (Czech), safed jiiraa (safaid jeera, safed ziiraa, safed zira) (Hindi), safranal, safrole, sannut (Arabic), selenium, sesquiterpenes, sesquiterpenoid glucosides, spidskommen (Danish), spiskummin (Swedish), spisskarve (Norwegian), spisskummen (Norwegian), sweet cumin, tannins, terpenals, terpene esters, terpenes, terpenols, terpenones, thian khao (Thia), thien khaw (Laotian), threonine, vit kummin (Swedish), vürtsköömen (Estonian), weisser Kreuzkümmel (German), witte komijn (Dutch), xian hao (Chinese), xiang han qin (Chinese), yee raa (Thai), zamorska kumina (Slovenian), zi ran (Chinese), ziiraa (zeera, zira) (Hindi), ziraa (jirah, zeera) (Urdu), zireh (zire, zira) (Persian), zireye sabz (zireh sabz) (Persian), ziya (Burmese).
- Note: This monograph does not include information on various forms of black cumin (Nigella sativa, Bunium persicum).
- Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) is native to the area from the eastern Mediterranean to eastern India. Traditional cultures have used it both for cooking and healing. Egyptians also used it for mummification. Cumin has been found in ancient sites, including Egyptian archeological sites from the 16th Century BC.
- Persians are thought to be the first people to have cultivated cumin. It continues to be used as a medicinal herb and in cooking throughout the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and parts of southern Europe.
- Cumin has been widely credited with a broad range of effects, including increasing urine flow, settling upset stomach, eliminating gas, and improving the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. However, current clinical data supporting the use of cumin are lacking for any human indication.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
*Key to grades:
The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Adults (18 years and older)
- There is no proven safe or effective dose for cumin in adults.
Children (under 18 years old)
- There is no proven safe or effective dose for cumin in children.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
- Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to cumin (Cuminum cyminum), its constituents, or plants of the Apiaceae family. Skin reactions have been reported. There is potential for cross-sensitivity in people who are allergic to anise, birch, celery, fennel, coriander, or caraway.
- Cumin is likely safe when consumed by nonsensitive individuals in amounts found in food.
Side Effects and Warnings
- Side effects may include contact dermatitis (skin rash from contact with an allergen or irritant) and respiratory reactions.
- Cumin, especially in amounts above dietary levels, may contain the fungal toxin aflatoxin B, which is associated with a type of liver cancer.
- Cumin may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
- Cumin may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
- Cumin may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs, herbs, or supplements using the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these agents may be increased in the blood and may cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
- Use with caution in those at risk of ulcers and those with liver conditions, and in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Use with caution in patients taking agents that affect the immune system, antibiotics, anticancer drugs, antifungals, anti-inflammatory agents, antioxidants, antiseizure agents, cholesterol-lowering and lipid-lowering agents, estrogens, gastrointestinal agents, insecticides, iron, morphine, opioids, osteoporosis agents, painkillers, and phytoestrogens.
- Avoid intake in amounts greater than those commonly found in foods in pregnant and breastfeeding women, because of insufficient safety data.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- Cumin in amounts greater than those commonly found in foods is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
- Avoid in amounts greater than those found in food.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Interactions with Drugs
- Cumin may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
- Cumin may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
- Cumin may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be increased in the blood and may cause increased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
- Cumin may also interact with agents that affect the immune system, antibiotics, anticancer drugs, antifungals, anti-inflammatory agents, antiseizure agents, cholesterol-lowering and lipid-lowering agents, drugs used for osteoporosis, estrogens, gastrointestinal agents, morphine, opioids, and phytoestrogens.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
- Cumin may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
- Cumin may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
- Cumin may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too high in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the cytochrome P450 system.
- Cumin may also interact with antibacterials, anticancer herbs and supplements, antifungals, anti-inflammatory herbs, antioxidants, antiseizure herbs and supplements, cholesterol-lowering and lipid-lowering herbs and supplements, gastrointestinal herbs and supplements, herbs and supplements that affect the immune system, hormonal herbs and supplements, insecticides, iron, osteoporosis herbs and supplements, and painkillers.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
- This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().
- Allahghadri T, Rasooli I, Owlia P, et al. Antimicrobial property, antioxidant capacity, and cytotoxicity of essential oil from cumin produced in Iran. J Food Sci 2010;75(2):H54-61.
- Bettaieb I, Bourgou S, Wannes WA, et al. Essential oils, phenolics, and antioxidant activities of different parts of cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.). J Agric Food Chem 2010;58(19):10410-8.
- Bukhari SB, Iqbal S, Bhanger MI. Antioxidant potential of commercially available cumin (Cuminum cyminuml inn) in Pakistan. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2009;60(3):240-7.
- Chauhan PS, Satti NK, Suri KA, et al. Stimulatory effects of Cuminum cyminum and flavonoid glycoside on Cyclosporine-A and restraint stress induced immune-suppression in Swiss albino mice. Chem Biol Interact 2010;185(1):66-72.
- Derakhshan S, Sattari M, Bigdeli M. Effect of cumin (Cuminum cyminum) seed essential oil on biofilm formation and plasmid Integrity of Klebsiella pneumoniae. Pharmacogn Mag 2010;6(21):57-61.
- El-Ghorab AH, Nauman M, Anjum FM, et al. A comparative study on chemical composition and antioxidant activity of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and cumin (Cuminum cyminum). J Agric Food Chem 2010;58(14):8231-7.
- Haghparast A, Shams J, Khatibi A, et al. Effects of the fruit essential oil of Cuminum cyminum Linn. (Apiaceae) on acquisition and expression of morphine tolerance and dependence in mice. Neurosci Lett 2008;440(2):134-9.
- Hajlaoui H, Mighri H, Noumi E, et al. Chemical composition and biological activities of Tunisian Cuminum cyminum L. essential oil: a high effectiveness against Vibrio spp. strains. Food Chem Toxicol 2010;48(8-9):2186-92.
- Jensen-Jarolim E, Leitner A, Hirschwehr R, et al. Characterization of allergens in Apiaceae spices: anise, fennel, coriander and cumin. Clin Exp Allergy 1997;27(11):1299-306.
- Katti K, Chanda N, Shukla R, et al. Green Nanotechnology from Cumin Phytochemicals: Generation of Biocompatible Gold Nanoparticles. Int J Green Nanotechnol Biomed 2009;1(1):B39-B52.
- Khatibi A, Haghparast A, Shams J, et al. Effects of the fruit essential oil of Cuminum cyminum L. on the acquisition and expression of morphine-induced conditioned place preference in mice. Neurosci Lett 2008;448(1):94-8.
- Martinez-Velazquez M, Castillo-Herrera GA, Rosario-Cruz R, et al. Acaricidal effect and chemical composition of essential oils extracted from Cuminum cyminum, Pimenta dioica and Ocimum basilicum against the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae). Parasitol Res 2010.
- Myer CM 3rd. The evolution of ototopical therapy: from cumin to quinolones. Ear Nose Throat J 2004;83(1 Suppl):9-11.
- Pai MB, Prashant GM, Murlikrishna KS, et al. Antifungal efficacy of Punica granatum, Acacia nilotica, Cuminum cyminum and Foeniculum vulgare on Candida albicans: an in vitro study. Indian J Dent Res 2010;21(3):334-6.
- Wanner J, Bail S, Jirovetz L, et al. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of cumin oil (Cuminum cyminum, Apiaceae). Nat Prod Commun 2010;5(9):1355-8.
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.