Health Benefits of Cumin: Herb Used in the Bible

Many people today are getting back into gardening for several reasons. Some of those reasons involve wanting to eat healthier — no pesticides, wanting to cut down on their carbon footprint by growing their own food verses having to drive to a store to buy it, wanting to cut down on their food bill and wanting to eat like the people did in the Bible before the fall of man. Whatever the reason the Bible lists a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that was eaten as food and used for medicinal purposes.

Cumin Health Benefits

In Genesis 1:29 God said, “Here! Throughout the whole earth I am giving you as food every seed-bearing plant and every tree with seed-bearing fruit.”

In 1 Kings 21:2 Ahab spoke to Naboth and said, “Give me your vineyard, so that I can have it as my vegetable (herb) garden, because it’s close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard; or, if you prefer, I will give you its monetary value.” The Hebrew word used for vegetable is “yaraq” and it can be used for “herbs, herbage, vegetables, garden greens.” Some versions of the Bible use herb while others use vegetable.

As you can see in these two verses God gave these wonderful plants and trees for us to eat. They are so important that Ahab wanted extra space close to his home to grow his herbs and vegetables. Two things can be inferred from 1 Kings: (1) some people grew their own food and (2) they didn’t have to go into town to buy any. They knew exactly where their food came from and how it was taken care of.

During those times and even during Yeshua’s time people paid tithes on their herbs (Matthew 23:23).  One of the herbs mentioned in this verse is cumin. The scriptures also tell us God taught the farmer how to sow cumin and how to harvest it.

Does a farmer sowing keep plowing forever? Does he never stop breaking up and harrowing his land? No — when he finishes leveling it, he scatters his dill-seed, sows his cumin, puts wheat in rows, barley where it belongs, and plants buckwheat around the edges; because his God has taught him this, has given him instruction. Dill must not be threshed with a sledge or cartwheels driven over cumin; rather, dill one beats with a stick and cumin with a flail. (Isaiah 28:24-27 CJB)

What is Cumin?

For most people cumin is not a spice they’ve used before. Pungent, sharp, and slightly sweet, the greenish brown powder is mostly used in Mediterranean, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mexican dishes.

“Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The cumin plant grows to 30–50 cm (0.98–1.6 ft) tall and is harvested by hand. It is an annual herbaceous plant, with a slender, branched stem 20–30 cm tall. The leaves are 5–10 cm long, pinnate or bi-pinnate, with thread-like leaflets. The flowers are small, white or pink, and borne in umbels. The fruit is a lateral fusiform or ovoid achene 4–5 mm long, containing a single seed. Cumin seeds resemble caraway seeds, being oblong in shape, longitudinally ridged, and yellow-brown in color, like other members of the umbelliferae family such as caraway, parsley and dill.”1

Cumin Health Benefits - Nigella

How to Store Cumin

Buy whole seeds and grind as needed. When grinding any seed or herb it’s best to wait until you are ready to use it because the more exposed it is to the air, the more it will degrade. Store ground cumin in the refrigerator in an airtight, sealed container. Heat the seeds before grinding to help to release the flavor. Toast them over low heat for a couple minutes (just wait for the smell and don’t let them burn; you’ll know it when you smell it, because it’s somewhat reminiscent of a fine body odor).

How to Use Cumin

Cumin can be used in a variety of food recipes.

Health Benefits of Cumin

It’s amazing what this little grocery store bought spice can do. After reading this list, I’m sure you will want to start adding cumin to your meals like I am doing. If you are already using cumin, tell me why and how you use it. What benefits have you encountered?

Cumin Benefits from Mark’s Daily Apple

Mark’s Daily Apple posted a great article detailing the health benefits of Cumin with more research links. It’s a little bit more scientific, but worth taking a look at.

  • The jury is still out on whether dietary AGEs are worrisome, but it’s clear that the formation of endogenous AGEs is a much bigger concern, especially for diabetics. In diabetic rats, cumin extract was more effective at reducing blood glucose and AGE production than glibenclamide, an anti-diabetic drug.
  • Cumin’s anti-glycation properties proved useful in another study, in which diabetic rats were able to stave off cataracts after oral dosing with cumin powder.
  • Another study found that cumin extract reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, and pancreatic inflammatory markers in diabetic rats. It also prevented excessive weight loss. Again, it beat out glibenclamide.
  • Oral doses (25, 50, 100, 200 mg/kg) of cumin on consecutive days improved the immune response of mice with compromised immune systems due to restraint-induced stress. These effects were marked by a reduction in elevated cortisol and adrenal gland size, an increase in the weight of the thymus and spleen, and replenishment of depleted T cells. There was a dose dependent response, but all doses had beneficial effects.
  • An extract of cumin had anti-osteoporotic effects on rats, similar to estradiol, but without the associated weight gain. Cumin-dosed (orally, 1 mg/kg) osteoporotic rats had increased bone density and improved bone microarchitecture.
  • Cumin protected the livers of rats from ethanol- and rancid sunflower oil-induced toxicity.
  • One study even seems to suggest a role for cumin in weaning addicts off of opiates — here — by reducing tolerance (yeah, it could increase the subjective high, but it would mean less product was required) and dependence.

Do you use Cumin? What is your favorite way to use Cumin? Share below!

Cumin’s Precautions

Cumin is safe in food amounts and seems to be safe for most adults in appropriate medicinal amounts. The side effects of cumin are not known.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of cumin during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

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.2

Please do not take any herbs without doing proper research. Herbs can be used like medicines and too much of anything is a bad thing. If you are taking any medications, please consult your doctor.


I am not a medical doctor. I do not advise people on which herbs to take. This information is for educational purposes only. You should always do more research than necessary.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician.

Prayer Time

Our Heavenly Father, who is in heaven,
Teach us to use your herbs in a proper way to bring healing to our bodies and mind.
In Yeshua the Messiah’s name, Amen.


1 Cumin
2 Cumin
Guide to Growing Black Cumin — Nigella

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