Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) from traditional uses to potential biomedical applications

Chem Biodivers. 2015 May;12(5):733-42. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201400305.


Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) is a small annual and herbaceous plant belonging to the Apiaceae family. It is a multipurpose plant species cultivated in the Middle East, India, China, and several Mediterranean countries, including Tunisia. Its fruit, known as cumin seed, is most widely used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is generally used as a food additive, popular spice, and flavoring agent in many cuisines. Cumin has also been widely used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of diseases, including hypolipidemia, cancer, and diabetes. The literature presents ample evidence for the biological and biomedical activities of cumin, which have generally been ascribed to its content and action of its active constituents, such as terpens, phenols, and flavonoids. The present paper provides an overview of phytochemical profile, biological activities, and ethnomedical and pharmacological uses of Cumin.

Keywords: Anticarcinogenic activity; Cuminum cyminum; Diabetes; Hypolipidermia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Cuminum* / chemistry
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*


  • Plant Extracts