Cumin by chefs is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to a territory including the Middle East and stretching east to India. Its seeds – each one contained within a fruit, which is dried – are used in the cuisines of many cultures in both whole and ground form. Although cumin is thought to have used in traditional medicine, there is no high-quality evidence that it is safe or effective as a therapeutic agent.
Many dishes use cumin, especially foods from its native regions of the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia.
Modern studies have confirmed some of the health benefits cumin is traditionally known for, including promoting digestion and reducing food-borne infections.
Research has also revealed some new benefits, such as promoting weight loss and improving blood sugar control and cholesterol.