Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Anis Âcre, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Comino, Cumin de Malte, Cuminum cyminum, Cuminum odorum, Cummin, Huile de Graines de Cumin Noir, Jeeraka, Svetajiraka, Zira.


Cumin is an herb. The seeds of the plant are used to make medicine.

People take cumin for digestion problems including diarrhea, colic, bowel spasms, and gas. Cumin is also used to increase urine flow to relieve bloating (as a diuretic); to start menstruation; and to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac).

In spices, foods, and beverages, cumin is used as a flavoring component.

In other manufacturing processes, cumin oil is used as a fragrance in cosmetics.

How does it work?

It's not known how cumin might work on the conditions for which people use it.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diarrhea.
  • Colic.
  • Gas.
  • Bowel spasms.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Increasing sexual desire.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of cumin for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Cumin is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in appropriate medicinal amounts. The side effects of cumin are not known.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking cumin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding disorders. Cumin might slow blood clotting. In theory, cumin might make bleeding disorders worse.

Diabetes. Cumin might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use cumin.

Surgery: Cumin might lower blood sugar levels. Some experts worry that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using cumin at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Cumin might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking cumin along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Cumin might slow blood clotting. Taking cumin along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

RifampinInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Cumin might increase how much rifampin the body absorbs. Taking cumin along with rifampin might increase the effects and side effects of rifampin.


The appropriate dose of cumin depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for cumin. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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