Jeerak seeds have been used for medicinal purposes in Ayurveda for over 5,000 years.
Jeerak is also known as cumin in English, cuminum cyminum in Latin and jaran or deerghajeerak in Sanskrit. Jeerak contains the volatile oil called thymene that gives it a distinct taste and aroma. In the ancient texts of Ayurveda, jeerak is classified as having a vatakaphashamak karma which pacifies kapha and vata in the body. The ushna veerya brings warmth to the body to reduce the cold effects of kapha and vata.
Jeeraks’ unique Ayurvedic medicinal action called anulomaneeya reduces vata, bloating, gas, indigestion and restores proper metabolism. Jeerak is used internally and externally as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory to treat body aches and pains. In Ayurveda, jeerak is used to to treat most skin conditions. As an excellent antioxidant jeerak reduces hydroxyl radicals, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radicals and lipid peroxides. Jeerak is used for its krumigna action to reduce pathogenic gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial strains as well as fungus. In addition, cumin purifies the blood, breastmilk and offers a gentle diuretic action.
An excellent way to start incorporating jeerak is to add the seed or powder to soups, khichadi, sautees, sauces or sprinkled onto of a hot meal. To keep away winter bloating, aches and pain try making a decoction tea by adding one teaspoon jeerak powder to 8 ounces of hot water. One teaspoon of cumin a day can help keep disease away.