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Cumin seed

Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The cumin plant grows to 30–50 cm (12–20 in) tall and is harvested by hand. It is an annual herbaceous plant, with a slender, glabrous, branched stem that is 20–30 cm (8–12 in) tall and has a diameter of 3–5 cm  Each branch has two to three sub-branches. All the branches attain the same height, so the plant has a uniform canopy. The stem is coloured grey or dark green.  The fruit is a lateral fusiform or ovoid achene 4–5 mm (1⁄6–1⁄5 in) long, containing two mericarps with a single seed. Cumin seeds have eight ridges with oil canals. They resemble caraway seeds, being oblong in shape, longitudinally ridged, and yellow-brown in colour, like other members of the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) such as caraway, parsley, and dill.  This spice is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, copper, manganese, vitamins A, C, B6 and E, antioxidants and iron and has a warm nature. Cumin has a pleasant aroma and taste and can be used as a seasoning in food; Cumin tea is also one of the most useful drinks for the health of the body. India is the world’s largest producer of cumin. The other major cumin-producing countries are Syria , Iran ,Turkey and UAE.

Scientific name

Cuminum cyminum

Ayurvedic name


Chinese name

Ba kin, Ma kin

Plant type


Harvested parts


Main producer

India, Iran

Main use

Condiment, Perfume


Earthy, Pungent

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