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1. Names:

Sanskrit: Jirna, Magadha, Jirana  
Enlarge photo
English: Cumin  
Botanical: Cuminum cyminum  
Hindi: Zira  
Telugu: Jila karra  
Common names:  Jeera, jeraka, jira, zeera, zira, sufaid..., safed...(white), kala...(black), kalonji (cf Nigella), cheeregum, Jiru ,Jirakam , Jiregire
Family name: Umbelliferae  

2. Parts used:

  • Seeds

3. Properties and Action According to Indigenous Medical Systems:

  • Rasa: Spicy.
  • Vipaka: Spicy.
  • Veerya: Ushna veerya.

4. Uses:


  • Cumin is used mainly in spicy dishes.
  • It is main content of spicy powders.
  • In many savoury spice mixtures.
  • It is widely used in soups in powder form.


  • Cumin is stomachic, diuretic, carminative, stimulant, astringent, carminative, emmenagogic and antispasmodic in nature.
  • It is a good remedy for dyspepsia diarrhoea and hoarseness.
  • It relieves flatulence and colic, nausea in pregnancy.
  • It is widely used in veterinary medicine.
  • It relieves the pains swelling of the breast or the testicles.
  • It stops hiccups.
  • It stimulates the appetite.

5. Names due to Physical properties:

  • Sakhya: Used in recipes.

6. Names due to Medical properties:

  • Vataghni: Balances vata.

7. Reference:

Vasthu guna deepika, Vasthu guna prakashika, Chakradatta, Susrutam, Basabarajeezam, Bhavaprakashika, Vangacena, Charakasamhita, Vagvatamu, Hareetasamhita, Srijanakalpavalli.

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