TX Organic Research Center




Cumin seeds


(KOO-mah-num sy-MIN-um)


FAMILY:   Umbelliferae

TYPE:     Annual

LOCATION:     Full sun

PLANTING: Plant seed or transplants in the spring. Seed can be started in the winter indoors and set out after the last frost.

HEIGHT:  12 inches

SPREAD:  6 to 8 inches

FINAL SPACING: 4 to 6 inches

BLOOM/FRUIT:  Small heads of tiny pink or white flowers followed by small tan aromatic seed with tiny bristles.

GROWTH HABITS/CULTURE: Short growing annual that’s easy to grow from seed. Grass-like leaves, but often look droopy. Likes hot, dry summers for the best seeds. Grows best in well-prepared and well- drained soils. Use lots of compost and volcanic sand.

PROBLEMS: Rain can ruin the seed harvest. Plants usually need protection for winds.

HARVEST/STORAGE:   Harvest seed as they mature and store in a dry place in glass.

CULINARY USES: Cumin is primarily grown for its seed. Use to season chili, meats, breads and vegetable dishes. Mexican cuisine herb. Stems are used to flavor Vietnamese and Cajun dishes.

MEDICINAL USES: According to Lesley Bremness in her book Herbs, the oil is used for massages to reduce cellulite. The crushed seeds aid digestion, relieve flatulence, colic and diarrhea. Take as a tea.


OTHER USES:  Cumin is included in some veterinary medicines.

INSIGHT: Cumin is one of the “Bible Herbs”.



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