Do you know cumin? Definitely use it in other ways than just as a spice.

Cumin has a beneficial effect on human digestion, can treat obesity and relieve pain in intestinal colic.

It seems that in the future it could also replace corticosteroid treatment in patients with IBD.

Did you know that it is also grown in the Czech Republic?

Cumin hides many secrets, which we will tell you in this article.

Common uses of cumin

Cumin is used primarily as a spice; it has become a basic ingredient for flavoring dishes all over the world. Although its production has fallen by as much as 50% in the last 50 years, this crop offers many more benefits than you might think. Include it in your diet in other ways than just as part of baked goods, sauerkraut or cheeses.

Effects of cumin on human health

Small unobtrusive cumin contains countless vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. It has beneficial effects on digestion and, thanks to its bioactive components, it is a suitable supplement in the treatment of overweight. In one three-month study conducted in obese patients, cumin extract led to significant weight loss while increasing muscle mass; without exercise or changing the diet 1 .

Warm compresses made of cumin oil also greatly relieve people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome 2 . Due to these anti-inflammatory and soothing effects, this oil can also be used as a local lubrication for colic in small children.

The extent to which cumin has the ability to influence digestion and bowel function is currently the subject of further studies. However, the latest results show that in the treatment of idiopathic intestinal inflammations – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, cumin extract is as effective as corticosteroids 3 . It could thus become a natural treatment for these diseases in the future, without the side effects that steroid-based drugs commonly cause.

Caraway ( Carum carvi )
1 teaspoon 4
Energy value 6.99 kcal
Proteins 0.42 g
Fats 0.31 g
Carbohydrates 1.05 g
Fiber 0.8 g
Calcium 14.5 mg
Iron 0.34 mg
Magnesium 5.42 mg
Potassium 28.4 mg
Choline 0.52 mg
Beta carotene 4.33 μg
Lutein + zeaxanthin 9.53 μg

Despite all its medicinal properties, pregnant women should be careful when consuming cumin. It affects the reproductive organs and even has contraceptive effects 5 . It can cause premature birth or uterine bleeding.

There is no cumin like cumin

The term caraway currently covers two different plants – caraway and cumin . Although it may not seem like it, there is a significant difference between them.

Cumin ( Cuminum cyminum ) Caraway ( Carum carvi )
part of a plant dried seeds dried fruits
taste earthy and nutty pepper and fennel
color light brown dark brown
number of depressions 9 5
face equal crescent

In Europe, cumin is most commonly known under the general name – cumin , while cumin is known as Roman cumin .

Roman cumin

They are the dried seeds of the plant , they have a light brown color and nine visible light grooves around their circumference. This spice is commonly used in curry dishes, mainly in Mexico and India, due to its nutty flavor.

Cumin and Roman cumin in a bag


The seeds are the dried fruits of the plant , they have a dark brown color and only five light depressions. Their shape resembles a crescent moon. This cumin has a specific bitter taste, reminiscent of anise and fennel. It is mainly used in European countries, where a significant part of its world production comes from.

Czech cumin

Spicy or meadow cumin is the one that is grown in the Czech Republic. In 2008, the name Czech cumin was even recognized within the EU – a protected designation of origin for cumin grown in the Czech Republic.

Cumin root fruits

Black cumin

Because of their shape, the seeds of the black seed plant are also called cumin. This black cumin, also known as Nigella, is popular mainly in the countries of the Arab world. Its taste is very similar to nutmeg. Even more than as an ingredient in dishes, however, it is used in traditional Islamic medicine.

Black seed and Nigella black cumin

Where is it grown?

History shows that this plant comes from many areas, including Europe and North Africa. It is currently cultivated throughout Europe, including the Czech Republic. However, Czech cumin does not cover the population’s consumption, which is three times higher than its production. It is thus imported, mainly from Finland, which represents up to 28% of the global production of this crop.

How is a field of cumin harvested? Watch the video:

Caraway fields and harvest

Cumin products

Black cumin skin oil

Black cumin is most often found in the form of skin oil. It has moisturizing effects and is therefore suitable for the local treatment of eczema and psoriasis. It is also added to other cosmetic products, such as shampoos, to prevent split ends and hair breakage.

Cumin oil intended for consumption

If you want to include cumin in your diet in a way other than just as a spice, edible cumin oil is a suitable choice. It is available on the market mainly as cold pressed. Some manufacturers even flavor it with sweeteners to make it tastier even for children.

This oil is produced in several variants – from black, Roman and Czech cumin. It is used not only as a dietary supplement (often one teaspoon per day), but also to flavor dishes, most often salads. In the case of already mentioned digestive problems, it can also be used as a poultice or lubrication on painful places.

Caraway liqueur

A specific cumin product is a liqueur called Kümmel or Allasch. It is produced in Germany, Russia and Britain and contains up to 40% ethanol. In the past, it was used as a medicinal ingredient in a syrup used to treat the flu in infants – until this “medicine” was banned by the British Parliament.

With cumin in the kitchen

  • All kinds of soups are flavored with cumin, but did you know that you can cook cumin soup directly? There are countless recipes for it, you can try soup not only from broth, but also from coconut milk.
  • If you are going to pickle cabbage at home, you cannot do without cumin. You can also use it in recipes for pickled drownings and homemade chalamades.
  • Meat and cumin – this combination just works. A classic is pork on cumin, slowly stewed in its own juice.
  • Together with cottage cheese and garlic, they make a tasty dressing for vegetable salads. Add cumin also to potato salad and coleslaw , according to the original recipes it really belongs there.
  • It is also a part of every Czech killer. It appears in recipes for goulash made from entrails and jitrnica prejt.
  • Simple yet healthy – that’s cumin tea. Due to its effects, it is particularly suitable for calming the stomach and neutralizing gastric juices.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)