Cuminum cyminum, L
Apiaceae / Umbelliferae.
Cuminia cyminum J.F.Gmel., Cuminum aegyptiacum Mérat ex DC., Cuminum hispanicum Mérat ex DC., Cuminum odorum Salisb., Cuminum sativum J.Sm., Cyminon longeinvolucellatum St.-Lag.
English : Cumin seed. Cumin, Hindi : Jira, Safed jira, Sanskrit : Ajaji, Jiraka, Ajajika, Urdu : Zirah, Zirasafed, Punjabi : Safed Jira, Chitta Jira, Assamese : Jira, Bengali : Jira, Sadajira, Gujrati : Jirautmi, Jirn, Jiraugi, Jeeru, Jirun, Kannada : Jirage, Bilejirege, Kashmiri : Safed Zoor, Malayalam : Jeerakam, Marathi : Pandharejire, Oriya : Dhalajeera, Dalajira, Jira, Tamil : Sheeragam, Chirakam, Jeerakam, Telugu : Jilakarra, Tella Jilakarra.
Jira is native to the upper Nile region of Egypt, globally distributed in North Africa, Mediterranean region, Middle East, Central Asia, Indian subcontinent, introduced in North America. Within India, it is mostly cultivated in plains almost all the States in India except Bengal and Assam. Jira is a glabrous, annual herb, 30-90 cm hight, flowers very small, white, about 38 mm long stalk in compound umbels fruits. Fruit is a cremocarp, often separated into mericarps, brown with light coloured ridges ellipsoidal, elongated, about 4-6 mm long, 2 mm wide, tapering at ends and slightly compressed laterally, mericarps with 5 longitudinal hairy primary ridges from base to apex, alternating with 4 secondary ridges which are flatter and bear conspicuous emergences, seeds orthospermous, odour umbelliferous characteristic, taste, richly spicy.
Main chemical constituents of jira are Essential oils. Svetajiraka contains monoterpene hydrocarbons, oxygenated monoterpenes, oxygenated sesquiterpenes, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, aldehydes, ketones and esters. The oil contains Cuminal (36.31%), cuminic alcohol (16.92%) y-terpinene (11.14%), safranal (10.87%), p-cymene (9.85%), and β-pinene (7.75%).
Rasa :Katu, Guna : Laghu, Ruksa, Tiksna,Vipaka : Katu , Virya : Usna, Karma : Dipana, Grahi, Krmighna, Kaphavatahara, Pacana, Rucya.
Agnimandya, Atisara, Krmiroga.
Jira is used in improving immunity, treating piles, asthma, bronchitis, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, morning sickness, atonic dyspepsia, respiratory, circulatory, reproductive system, worm infestation, and fever; inflammation, cleanse uterus and improve lactation. It is also used for several diseases of the digestive, acid peptic disorders, flatulence, abdominal distension, intestinal gas, worm infestation, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and irritable bowel syndrome.