Cumin Seed

Cumin is a spice that is well-known in countries such as Mexico and India, and in areas such as the Middle East, that has been used for generations in traditional curry mixes, cuisines, and sauces. Many may not know that it was a popular condiment during ancient Roman and Greek times as well, was found in Egyptian tombs and mentioned in the Bible, and that its use has been continual for thousands of years. It is a valued carminative amongst herbalists and is highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive support that is often administered as a healing food or beverage.

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$3.99 per 2 oz

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Cumin was revered in ancient India as well and was a mainstay herbal medicine in Ayurveda (system of traditional Indian healing). Most often called 'jira' (or jeera, zeera, etc) which, in Sanskrit means 'that which helps digestion,' it was administered for a variety of complaints. It was employed in cases of sleeplessness, to support glandular health, and was even smoked in a pipe to alleviate hiccups. Additionally, it has been made into a cooling drink called 'jaljira' (meaning 'water of cumin') to drink in hot weather and to support metabolism5 Its main use however, which spans cultures, is as a digestive support. It relieves wind and bloating and is used to alleviate nausea.9 It is considered to have a balancing effect on all of the three doshas (ayurvedic body type classifications) vata, pitta, and kapha. In the kitchen, it is combined with pungent foods such as tomatoes and chilis to make them more digestible.

In fact, cumin is most known as a culinary spice in world cuisine. Ranging from Middle Eastern to Mexican, it is often found in curry and chili powders, in Mexican mole' (a divine spicy chocolate sauce usually containing 20 to 30 different spices), hummus (a paste made from chickpeas, olive oil and sesame), and falafels (made from ground chickpeas and fava beans flavored with garlic and cumin, and then deep-fried), just to name a few6 It is used to flavors meats and cheeses (particularly popular is the Leyden cheese from the Leiden region in Holland, in Dutch called 'leidse kaas') and can be found in a wide array of baked goods as well.

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