Latin Name: Cuminum cyminum
Cumin is a food spice that has been enjoyed for thousands of years. As an herb, it is used to help with flatulence and other digestive complaints.
The listings of research below represent a compilation of scientific articles found on the species, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. Research found is catalogued by therapeutic action. This categorized compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use.
- Avoid with bleeding disorders, slows blood clotting.
- Can lower blood sugar, avoid with certain diabetic medications.
- Avoid during pregnancy.
- Against the sciarid fly, good insecticidal activity was achieved with essential oils of caraway seed, lemongrass, mandarin, nutmeg, cade (Juniperus oxycedrus L.), spearmint, cumin, and red thyme. From: Park, I. K., Kim, J. N., Lee, Y. S., Lee, S. G., Ahn, Y. J., & Shin, S. C. (2008). Toxicity of plant essential oils and their components against Lycoriella ingenua (Diptera: Sciaridae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 101(1), 139-144.
- Fumigant vapours from anise (Pimpinella anisum), cumin (Cuminum cyminum), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), oregano (Origanum syriacum) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) were tested against the packaged food pests: Tribolium confusum, and Ephestia kuehniella. Anise and cumin resulted in 100% mortality of the eggs. Oregano achieved 77% mortality in T. confusum and 89% in E. kuehniella. Eucalyptus and rosemary achieved up to 45 and 65% mortality, respectively. From: Tunc, I., Berger, B. M., Erler, F., & Dağlı, F. (2000). Ovicidal activity of essential oils from five plants against two stored-product insects. Journal of Stored Products Research, 36(2), 161-168.
ANTIMICROBIAL / ANTIBACTERIAL / ANTIFUNGAL
- Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Syzygium aromaticum, and Cuminum cyminum essential oils showed in vitro activity against pathogenic microorganisms Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, Enterococcus faecalis, Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aeromonas hydrophila, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Candida albicans. From: Condò, C., Anacarso, I., Sabia, C., Iseppi, R., Anfelli, I., Forti, L., … & Messi, P. (2018). Antimicrobial activity of spices essential oils and its effectiveness on mature biofilms of human pathogens. Natural product research, 1-8.
- From 22 essential oils tested, corn mint, cumin, laurel, lemon peel, orange, oregano, and Ziziphora were active against all assessed bacteria. From: Kivanç, M., & Akgül, A. (1986). Antibacterial activities of essential oils from Turkish spices and citrus. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 1(4‐5), 175-179.
- Nine plant spice essential oils were tested on various microorganisms (Salmonella typhimurium, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida rugosa, Rhizopus oryzae and Aspergillus niger and showed antimicrobial activity and may be used to combat pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, and improve shelf-life of foods. They included: savory, laurel, oregano, basil, cumin, sea fennel, myrtle,and mint. From: Özcan, M., & Erkmen, O. (2001). Antimicrobial activity of the essential oils of Turkish plant spices. European Food Research and Technology, 212(6), 658-660.
- Broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities were observed from cinnamon, geranium, cumin, thyme, basil and lemongrass essential oils against the following tobacco plant pathogens: Alternaria alternata, Colletotrichum destructivum and Phytophthora parasiticasuperior, From: Lu, M., Han, Z., Xu, Y., & Yao, L. (2013). Effects of essential oils from Chinese indigenous aromatic plants on mycelial growth and morphogenesis of three phytopathogens. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 28(2), 84-92.
- Pomegranate, A. nolotica, cumin, and fennel showed antifungal activity against Candida albicans. From: Pai, M. B., Prashant, G. M., Murlikrishna, K. S., Shivakumar, K. M., & Chandu, G. N. (2010). Antifungal efficacy of Punica granatum, Acacia nilotica, Cuminum cyminum and Foeniculum vulgare on Candida albicans: an in vitro study. Indian Journal of Dental Research, 21(3), 334.
- Thyme, origanum, clove, and orange essential oils were the most inhibitory against foodborne bacteria and yeasts. Cumin, tea tree, and mint also provided inhibition. From: Irkin, R., & Korukluoglu, M. (2009). Growth inhibition of pathogenic bacteria and some yeasts by selected essential oils and survival of L. monocytogenes and C. albicans in apple–carrot juice. Foodborne pathogens and disease, 6(3), 387-394.
- Clove, kaffir lime peels, cardamom, coriander, and cumin showed various antibacterial activities. From: Nanasombat, S., & Lohasupthawee, P. (2005). Antibacterial activity of crude ethanolic extracts and essential oils of spices against Salmonellae and other enterobacteria. Kmitl Sci. Tech. J, 5(3), 527-538.
- Cornmint, cumin, laurel, lemon peel, orange, oregano, and ziziphora were active against all of the tested bacteria to various degrees. From: Kivanç, M., & Akgül, A. (1986). Antibacterial activities of essential oils from Turkish spices and citrus. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 1(4‐5), 175-179.
- Complete inhibition of mycelial growth and aflatoxin production by the fungus Aspergillus parasticus were achieved by these oils: thyme, cumin, clove, caraway, rosemary, and sage. From: Farag, R. S., Daw, Z. Y., & Abo‐Raya, S. H. (1989). Influence of some spice essential oils on Aspergillus parasiticus growth and production of aflatoxins in a synthetic medium. Journal of Food Science, 54(1), 74-76.
- Thyme and cumin essential oils contained the strongest antimicrobial activity against a variety of tested pathogens in vitro. From: Farag, R. S., Daw, Z. Y., Hewedi, F. M., & El-Baroty, G. S. A. (1989). Antimicrobial activity of some Egyptian spice essential oils. Journal of food protection, 52(9), 665-667.
- Cinnamon, thyme, oregano, and cumin stopped mycelial growth at the lowest concentration. From: Tantaoui-Elaraki, A., & Beraoud, L. (1993). Inhibition of growth and aflatoxin production in Aspergillus parasiticus by essential oils of selected plant materials. Journal of environmental pathology, toxicology and oncology: official organ of the International Society for Environmental Toxicology and Cancer, 13(1), 67-72.
- Phytochemicals derived from spices can reduce inflammatory diseases. These include: turmeric (curcumin), red pepper (capsaicin), cloves (eugenol), ginger (gingerol), cumin, anise (anethol), fennel (anethol), basil (ursolic acid), rosemary (ursolic acid), garlic (diallyl sulfide, S-allylmercaptocysteine, and ajoene), and pomegranate (ellagic acid). From: Aggarwal, B. B., & Shishodia, S. (2004). Suppression of the Nuclear Factor‐κB Activation Pathway by Spice‐Derived Phytochemicals: Reasoning for Seasoning. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1030(1), 434-441.
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM AID
- Helicobacter pylori causes gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Botanical extracts that were most effective against H. pylori included: Carum carvi, Elettaria cardamomum, Gentiana lutea, Juniper communis, Lavandula angustifolia, Melissa officinalis, Mentha piperita, Pimpinella anisum, Matricaria recutita, and Ginkgo biloba. From: Mahady, G. B., Pendland, S. L., Stoia, A., Hamill, F. A., Fabricant, D., Dietz, B. M., & Chadwick, L. R. (2005). In vitro susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to botanical extracts used traditionally for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. Phytotherapy research, 19(11), 988-991.
- A compilation of research showed the following herbs to have a diuretic effect: yarrow, lemon verbena, pineapple, dill, gorden asparagus, mugwort, oats, barberry, Indian tree, turnip, marigold, chicory, lemon, cucumber, pumpkin seed, quince, carrot, flix weed, horsetail, asafetida, fig, barely, St. John’s wort, bay, alfalfa, European pennyroyal, mulberry, water cress, catnip, black cumin, parsley, green bean, pistachio, cherry, pomegranate, purstane, savory, tomato, brinjal, tea, haritali, coltsfoot, nettle, bell bean, and corn. From: Rouhi-Boroujeni, H., Rouhi-Boroujeni, H., Khoddami, M., Khazraei, H. R., Dehkordil, E. B., & Rafieian-Kopaei, M. (2017). Hypolipidemic herbals with diuretic effects: A systematic review. In Biol. Sci (Vol. 8, pp. 21-28).
- In a review of human studies, the following herbs aided in reducing osteoarthritis symptoms: German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), olive oil (Olea europaea), arnebia (Arnebia euchroma), rue (Peganum harmala), dwarf elder (Sambucus ebulus), pomogranate (Punica granatum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), and black cumin seed (Nigella sativa). From: Bagheri, S., Ebadi, N., Taghipour, Z., Toliyat, T., Mirabzadeh Ardakani, M., & Zargaran, A. (2018). Persian medicine herbal therapies for osteoarthritis: a review of clinical trials. Res J Pharmacogn, 5(4), 75-81.
- Different combinations of essential oils including fenugreek, cinnamon, cumin, and oregano, were studied for their ability to lower blood glucose levels. From: Talpur, N., Echard, B., Ingram, C., Bagchi, D., & Preuss, H. (2005). Effects of a novel formulation of essential oils on glucose–insulin metabolism in diabetic and hypertensive rats: a pilot study. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 7(2), 193-199.
- Of oils tested: rosemary, cumin, anise, thyme, and sweetgum essential oils showed the strongest antioxidant radical scavenging activity. From: Topal, U., Sasaki, M., Goto, M., & Otles, S. (2008). Chemical compositions and antioxidant properties of essential oils from nine species of Turkish plants obtained by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction and steam distillation. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 59(7-8), 619-634.
- All the studied extracts showed antioxidant capability, with P. anisum showing the strongest effect, and there being a positive correlation between antioxidant potency and flavonoid content. Oils tested included: Bunium persicum (similar to cumin), Coriandrum sativum (coriander), Cuminum cyminum (cumin), Foeniculum vulgare (fennel), Heracleum persicum (Persian hogweed), Pimpinella anisum (anise) and Trachyspermum copticum (ajowan). From: Nickavar, B., & Abolhasani, F. A. (2009). Screening of antioxidant properties of seven Umbelliferae fruits from Iran. Pak J Pharm Sci, 22(1), 30-35.
- Clove, cumin, oregano, and anise essential oils may be a potential source of natural antioxidant and antimicrobial agents. From: Raeisi, M., Hashemi, M., Aminzare, M., Sadeghi, M., Jahani, T., Keshavarzi, H., … & Tepe, B. (2016). Comparative Evaluation of Phytochemical, Antioxidant, and Antibacterial Properties from the Essential Oils of Four Commonly Consuming Plants in Iran. Journal of food quality and hazards control, 3(3), 107-113.
- N. sativa and S. aromaticum were antioxidant when fed to rats, providing protection against aﬂatoxicosis. From: Abdel-Wahhab, M. A., & Aly, S. E. (2005). Antioxidant property of Nigella sativa (black cumin) and Syzygium aromaticum (clove) in rats during aflatoxicosis. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 25(3), 218-223.
- Ginger and cumin volatile oils demonstrated antioxidant activities in vitro. From: El-Ghorab, A. H., Nauman, M., Anjum, F. M., Hussain, S., & Nadeem, M. (2010). A comparative study on chemical composition and antioxidant activity of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and cumin (Cuminum cyminum). Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 58(14), 8231-8237.
- This articles reviews research on herbs for treating menstrual pain. Herbs included: ginger, German chamomile, mint, valerian, cramp bark, black haw, fennel, lemon balm, cumin, and cinnamon. From: Rajabzadeh, F., Fazljou, S. M., Khodaie, L., Abbasalizadeh, S., & Sahebi, L. (2018). Effects of hot temperament herbs on primary Dysmenorrhea: a systematic review. Middle East Journal of Family Medicine, 7(10), 257.
- Black cumin seed reduced anxiety in rats. From: Perveen, T., Haider, S., Kanwal, S., & Haleem, D. J. (2009). Repeated administration of Nigella sativa decreases 5-HT turnover and produces anxiolytic effects in rats. Pak J Pharm Sci, 22(2), 139-144.
REDUCED MORPHINE USE
- Cuminum cyminum essential oil reduces tmorphine-induced conditioned place preference in mice. From: Khatibi, A., Haghparast, A., Shams, J., Dianati, E., Komaki, A., & Kamalinejad, M. (2008). Effects of the fruit essential oil of Cuminum cyminum L. on the acquisition and expression of morphine-induced conditioned place preference in mice. Neuroscience letters, 448(1), 94-98.
Compiled by: Kathy Sadowski
Last Updated: 7/23/19