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Plant description:

An aromatic herb, its dried seeds are used as a spice. It has been extensively used to relieve colic, heartburn, bloating, arthritic pains, bring down a fever and ease the symptoms of insomnia. It acts as an astringent in the digestive system and bronchopulmonary disorders. It has a slender, glabrous, branched stem and is grey or dark green. Each branch has two to three subbranches, leaves are long, pinnate or bipinnate, with thread-like leaflets. Flowers are small, white or pink, and borne in umbels.

Family: Apiaceae

Botanical Pronunciation: KUH-min-um

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Botanical name

Cuminum cyminum

Common name(s)


Plant Care


Uses in landscape design

It's a great herb to grow in the vegetable garden and it thrives if it is planted next to green peppers, chillies, paprika, radishes and brinjals. Cumin makes a good container plant. Make sure to put it in a sunny position.

Planting Instructions

Make thin rows of seed, spaced half a metre apart, and keep it moist and shaded.

Soil conditions

Prefers well-drained sandy loam soil.


Cumin tea is a traditional drink for a new mother as it increases her milk and settles baby's colic. A cup of cumin tea will relieve colic, heartburn, bloating, arthritic pains, bring down a fever and ease the symptoms of insomnia. Fresh leaves and flowers added to salads and stir-fries helps to clear toxins and eases digestion.


Start from seed in a shaded area or trays indoors. Keep soil moist. Germination takes about 14 days.


120 days after planting. As soon as seed heads can be seen it is time to harvest. Cut the entire stem and then hang upside down over a container that will catch the seeds as they fall out.

When to sow

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