Cumin fruits. Cumin oil

Cumin fruits. Cumin oil

Cumin fruits. Cumin oil

Specification & Spread

Cumin fruits — fructus carvi
Cumin oil — oleum carvi
Cumin — carum carvi l.
Carrot family – apiaceae (umbelliferae)

It is a biennial, rarely annual or perennial herb 30-80 cm tall. In the first year it develops a basal rosette of leaves, flowering shoots appear in the second year.
The stem is erect, branched.
The leaves are alternate, petiole, gradually decreasing to the top of the stem, at the base expanded into the vagina, the basal – long-petiolate, the pedicellate – short-petiole.
The leaf blade is in the shape of a lanceolate, twice or almost three times pinnate, with lanceolate-linear acute segments.
The inflorescence is a complex umbrella, the wrapper and wrappers are missing. Less commonly, there is a wrap of 1-3 early falling leaves.
The flowers are small, the calyx is almost imperceptible, the corolla is five-leveled, the petals are white or pinkish.
The fruit is an oblong, slightly oblate вислоплодник, disintegrating into two sickle-shaped semi-fetuses (mericarp).

It flowers in June – July, bears fruit in July – August.

Spreading. It grows in the forest and forest-steppe zones of the European part of the country, in the Crimea, in the Caucasus, in the southern part of the forest zone of Siberia, less often in the Far East of Russia and in the mountains of Central Asia.

Habitat. It grows in dry and wet meadows, along river valleys, in mountains, in sparse forests, on forest edges, in glades, and occasionally in meadows of the steppe zone. It grows in specialized farms of Russia, as well as in Ukraine, in Belarus.


The chemical composition of cumin

The fruits contain 3-7% of essential oil.
The main components of the essential oil are terpenoids:

  • carvone (41-60%),
  • limonene (30%),
  • carvacrol
  • dihydrocarvone.

The fruits contain:

  • steroids,
  • phenol carboxylic acids and its derivatives,
  • coumarins (0.02-0.48%),
  • flavonoids (0.98-1.24%).

The endosperm contains 14–20% of fatty oil, which can be used as a substitute for cocoa oil.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The fruits of cumin are harvested in July – August, in the phase when the fruits ripen in the central umbrellas. The plants are cut with sickles or knives, mown on plantations.

Drying. For ripening and drying, the fruits are left in the field in rolls or sheaves. It is better to dry the gathered materials in rooms with wooden floors or on tarpaulins, panels, etc. After drying, the sheaves are threshed, the fruits are cleaned on sieves and vented.

Storage. It is stored in a dry, cool, well-ventilated area according to the rules of storage of essential oil raw materials.

The fruits – cremocarps, consisting of two semi-fruits (mericarps), often broken. There are oblong-shaped mericarps, more or less crescent-shaped, compressed laterally, slightly constricted to the apex, with an adrenal ulcer and the rest of the column. The outer side of the mericarp is convex, the inner one is flat.
Each mericarp has five strongly protruding longitudinal ribs: three of it are on the convex side, two on the sides.
In mericarp there is one seed, fused with the pericarp. The length of the fruit is 3-7 mm, width is 1-1.5 mm.
The colour of the fruit is dark brown with thin light stripes on the ribs.
The smell is strong, fragrant.
The taste is hot, bitter and spicy.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Carminative agent.
The pharmacological properties of cumin

Cumin fruits render:

  • carminative,
  • laxative and
  • antispasmodic action.

It increases the intestinal tone, peristalsis, the secretory function of the stomach, reduces fermentation, processes in the intestines and
stimulate appetite.
The lactogonic action is detected.

Application of cumin

The fruits of cumin seeds are used for spastic states and bowel dysfunction as:

  • an antispasmodic,
  • choleretic
  • carminative,
  • laxative means.

The fruits of cumin – a popular spice in the food and confectionery industry.
Cmin essential oil is used as a flavoring agent in the perfumery and food industry.

  • Individual intolerance to the components,
  • pregnancy,
  • breast-feeding.