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Bunium persicum

Bunium persicum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Bunium
Species: B. persicum
Binomial name
Bunium persicum
(Boiss.) B. Fedtsch.

Bunium persicum or black cumin is a plant in the family Apiaceae. Dried B. persicum fruits are used as a culinary spice in Northern India, Tajikistan and Iran. Local names for that spice are काला जीरा (kala jeera, meaning "black cumin") or shahi jeera (meaning "imperial cumin") in Hindi and as زيره كوهی (zireh kuhi, meaning "wild cumin") in Persian. It is practically unknown outside these areas, and is not to be confused with the unrelated Nigella sativa which is also often called black cumin.

In Bengali, kalo jeera also means black cumin, but refers to Nigella, not Bunium persicum. Nigella is widely used as a spice in Bengali food, while B. persicum is rare.

The plant grows wild in a wide range from southeastern Europe east to southern Asia. It reaches about 60 cm tall and 25 cm wide, bearing frilly leaves and hermaphroditic flowers, pollinated by insects and self-fertile.

The small, rounded taproot is edible raw or cooked, and said to taste like sweet chestnuts. The leaf can be used as a herb or garnish similar to parsley.

Authorities differ on whether this is the same plant as Bunium bulbocastanum, with similar characteristics and uses.

Black Cumin The healing Power and Curative Properties
The fruit is a rich source of thymol. Thymol is used as an anthelmintic against hookworm infections and also as an antiseptic in many proprietary preparations. It is a stimulant, which increases the secretion and discharge of urine and relieves flatulence. It strengthens the functions of stomach and arrests any bleeding.

Digestive Disorders
Cumin seeds are very useful in digestive disorders like biliousness, morning sickness, indigestion, atonics dyspepsia, diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome, and flatulent colic. One teaspoon of cumin seeds is boiled in a glass of water and the decoction mixed with one teaspoon of fresh coriander leaf juice and a pinch of salt. This decoction can be taken twice daily after meals as a medicine for diarrhea.

Piles / Hemorrhoids
Black cumin is beneficial in the treatment of piles or hemorrhoids. About 60 grams of the suds, of which half should be roasted, should be ground together. Three grams of this flour should be taken with water.

Cumin is valuable in relieving sleeplessness. A teaspoon of the fried powder of cumin seeds mixed with the pulp of a ripe banana can be taken at night to induce sleep.

Renal Colic
Black cumin seeds mixed with caraway seeds and black salt is useful in renal colic. About 20 grams of cumin seeds, 12 grams of caraway seeds and 6 grams of black salt are ground together and mixed with a little vinegar. This mixture can be taken in doses of 3 grams every hour till relief is obtained.

Common Cold
Dilute cumin water is an antiseptic beverage and very useful in common cold and fevers. To prepare cumin water, a teaspoon of cumin is added to boiling water, which is allowed to simmer for a few seconds and set aside to cool. If the cold is associated with sore throat, a few small pieces of dry ginger should be added to the water. It soothes throat irritation.

Problem of Breast Milk Secretion A decoction of cumin seeds mixed with milk and honey, taken once daily during the entire period of pregnancy, helps the healthy development of the fetus, eases child-birth and increases the secretion of breast milk.

Cumin seeds are valuable in amnesia or dullness of memory. Three grams of black cumin seeds are mixed with 12 grams of pure honey and licked to get rid of in this condition.

Black cumin ground in water is applied as a paste over the boils with beneficial results.

Scorpion Sting
Paste of the cumin seeds prepared with onion juice, applied over scorpion sting will retard the frequency of upbeats.

Other Uses
The cumin seed is extensively used in mixed spices and for flavoring curries, soups, sausages, bread and cakes. It is an ingredient of curry powder, pickles and chutneys. It is also used to some extent in Indian medicine as a carminative

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bunium_persicum". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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