Comely Cumin: 9 Reasons why you should add it to your Kitchen
Updated: Oct 1, 2019
We are indeed living in the 21st Century. Our obsession with the electronic media affirms that we are making progress in the technology department in leaps and bounds.
And technology in our hand is the Smartphone. While fiddling with our smartphones, we hardly realise that we are disrupting our sleep cycles. With such unconscious repetition, it concretes into a habit.
And by virtue of such a habit, we tend to turn ourselves into a night owl.
Late shift workers, new mothers, night carers and all those who have to work in the graveyard shift have no choice but let lifestyle disrupt their sleep cycles.
But you still have a choice.
In case you belong to the first category, like me, who fell prey to the fascination of technology, then all it needs is a little will power and an additional Ayurvedic Spice in your diet.
Even if you belong to the second category, when your lifestyle changes and you would kill for a good night sleep, you can add this humble Ayurvedic spice to your diet.
Sleeplessness can be mild to chronic. But you must know the consequences of not having enough good 'quality' sleep.
When sleep evades us, we obviously don't realise the potential of a good night sleep or more appropriately good sleeping habit, as the founder of Pennsylvania had said all those years ago :
"True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment." ~ William Penn
Let us see what science has to say about sleep.
Sleep is essential. Lack of it has been the cause of cardiovascular diseases, as has been concluded by scientific study.
Chronic lack of sleep due to stress, anxiety, depression, addictives like nicotine, caffeine, alcohol etc can lead to Insomnia.
With prolonged sleeplessness, our stress level soars high leading to cardiovascular troubles.
As per research done by US National Library of Medicine, "Stress has been associated with the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and the sympatho-adrenal-medullary axes, whereas corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and cortisol (products of the hypothalamus and adrenals, respectively), and catecholamines (products of the sympathetic system) are known to cause arousal and sleeplessness to humans and animals. (NCBI)
On the other hand, sleep and particularly deep sleep appears to have an anti-stress effect as it is associated with an inhibitory effect on the stress system including its main two components, the HPA axis and the sympathetic system."
Additionally, the US National Library of Medicine state that "Several surveys have shown a significant relationship between difficulty falling asleep or poor sleep with cardiometabolic outcomes such as hypertension and diabetes. For example, persistent complaints of difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep were associated with an increased risk of hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, and incident type 2 diabetes."
"Sleep is the best meditation." - Dalai Lama
After educating ourselves on what a disastrous sleeping habit we often allow ourselves to slip into. You must make it a point to get at least 7-8 hours of shut-eye. This is the will-power bit, I was talking about earlier.
Speaking from my own experience, rather my own folly, I realised that the body clock had accustomed itself to fall asleep late. It was simply impossible to fall asleep by 10 PM. Basically, I had literally put myself into a situation of sleeplessness by virtue of an ill-conceived habit.
There were two ways to deal with such a situation - I take over the counter sleeping aids or consult a physician and take sleeping pills. The alternative was to try out Ayurvedic options.
Taking sleeping pills would have sorted the matter out, but my sleeplessness is not chronic. Moreover, I have a natural remedy for it and it comes with additional medicinal benefits.
Every night before going off to bed, prepared yourself an ancient mixture to induce sleep. Here is what an Ayurvedic natural remedy for sleep is :
Take a teaspoon of cumin seeds
Fry it dry on a pan or a wok lightly
Roughly ground the fried cumin
Add the ground cumin to a pulp of ripe banana and snack before bed.
Cumin seeds are an integral part of Ayurveda, so much so that most Indian dishes have a generous amount of it in their daily cuisine. Thus, cumin deserves a mention for its medicinal values.
Regular use of cumin is effective in relieving flatulence.
Cumin has admirable properties in aiding secretion of digestive juices, assisting the liver to release more bile.
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you might start adding cumin to your daily diet for relief.
Cumin or Jeeraka in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, is known to detoxify and clean the uterus.
Women after childbirth were encouraged to take more cumin in their diet as a part of postpartum care.
Not only did it aid in getting the uterus back in shape, but it also supplied the much-needed iron to the lactating mother.
Cumin Powder mixed with drops of water to form a paste when applied to boils helps to cure them.
There is two very important use of cumin in Ayurveda.
Cumin both black (nigella seeds) and white are a good cure for piles.
Here is something straight from our Ayurvedic doctor:
Dry Roast 25gm of black cumin seeds
Mix 25gm of white cumin seeds
Ground them into powder
Consume a teaspoon of this powder, three times a day with water.
Cumin has been known for improving memory. Half a teaspoon of black cumin with a teaspoon of honey can help boost your memory cells.
Looking at the research conclusions of US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, on sleep disorder and irritable bowel syndrome, it is apparent that "prevalence of sleep disorder was higher in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) compared to healthy controls and may be associated with the pathogenesis of IBS." (NCBI)
In other words, if you have a sleep disorder, then you probably have a higher risk of irritable bowel syndrome.
Therefore, it makes absolute sense that, cumin, other than being a terrific help to most bowel related problems, also helps to induce sleep and while you do so, it also helps to boost your memory cells. Now, why would I even think about sleeping pills? Yawn!