Cumin is a very well-known herb used in many spicy dishes throughout the world. It spread across the globe from the Middle East and India, often being confused for caraway. But beyond adding additional flavor to culinary dishes, it also has benefits as an essential oil in helping with several health issues.

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Cumin is a very well-known herb used in many spicy dishes throughout the world. It spread across the globe from the Middle East and India, often being confused for caraway. But beyond adding additional flavor to culinary dishes, it also has benefits as an essential oil in helping with several health issues.

Cumin Essential Oil Benefits

Cumin can often be found as a flavorful spice in your favorite curry dish, but it also boasts other benefits. Cumin essential oil has been used in traditional medicine in India and the Middle East for hundreds of years. It has been used to help treat and prevent common digestive issues, promote relaxation, and even support oral health.

1. Ease digestive problems

Digestive issues can be caused by any number of issues in our lives, from issues like stress or illness and many times, even our diets. Symptoms include aching belly, gas, and even painful cramping that interfere with our daily routines. People have been adding herbs like cumin to their food for not only flavoring but to guard against these issues. In 2008, a study was conducted to test cumin essential oil’s ability on digestive enzymes produced by various organs in the body. It was shown to increase the production and efficacy of enzymes such as amylase, which helps the body break down food properly. (1) A 2014 in vitro study found that cumin essential oil constituents were also effective in treating h. pylori, a bacteria known to cause peptic ulcers in the lining of the stomach, causing issues with digestion. (2)

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2. Muscular and joint comfort

Muscle and joint pain seem to be a common fact of the human condition. This may range from simple aches caused by overworking your muscle to a more serious autoimmune disorder like arthritis. Chronic inflammation can lead to long term damage and even more pain over time. Using over the counter solutions can come with side effects of their own and are often limited in use. A 2004 study with rats with induced edema found that that pain relief was comparable to narcotic analgesics, with less writhing and tail flicking. The inflammatory markers associated with injury and swelling were also reduced after the application of the oil. (3)

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3. Calming

It is nearly impossible to lead a life that is completely free from stress or anxiety, but it comes at a mostly manageable level. However, it is still nice to have methods that aid in relaxation, such as using natural methods like cumin essential oil. In 2017, scientists experimented with rats that had been run in mazes and put in situations that would cause stress reactions. These situations are comparable to human reactions to stress and anxiety. Mice exposed to the cumin essential oil showed fewer stress reactions similar to narcotic sedatives and appeared to recover from the situations more quickly than those given a placebo. (4)

4. Promotes oral health

One of the most common infections that people can get is an overgrowth of yeast. Our bodies use yeast to help with digestion, but stress and diet can affect the balance in different areas of our body. Our mouths can be particularly affected since yeast and fungus thrive on the sugar that is left behind after eating.

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A 2019 in vitro study showed the cumin is effective against different types of candida Albicans, including that which can cause infections in the mouth and cause the condition known as oral thrush. Using essential oils like cumin can help prevent the development of fungi that are resistant to and the overuse of traditional treatments. (5)

Cumin Essential Oil Uses

Cumin essential oil provides a spicy middle note that can be enjoyed as an aroma or used on the body to help aid with different conditions. You may not realize the number of uses for cumin essential oil, and here is a small sampling of possibilities.

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Aromatic Uses

  • Add 2 drops each cumin, sandalwood, and tangerine to a dry display like potpourri to create a relaxing decoration. Reapply when the fragrance fades.
  • Diffuse 2 drops each of cumin, frankincense, and chamomile for a relaxing scent that helps wind down the day.
  • In a roller bottle, combine 3 drops each cumin and peppermint with a carrier oil. Roll on wrists to scent when feeling stressed.

Topical Uses

  • In a 2-ounce squeeze bottle, combine 2 drops each cumin, Ravensara, peppermint, and lemon with 10 drops rosemary. Fill with the carrier oil of your choice and shake well before applying to aching muscles as needed.
  • Combine 2 drops of cumin, 4 drops of Ginger, 5 drops of peppermint, and 7 drops of Sweet Orange in a 2-ounce squeeze bottle. Top with a carrier oil and shake to mix well. Apply as needed over the abdomen and massage.
  • Combine 2 drops cumin with 4 drops each of lavender and geranium. Add an ounce of carrier oil and apply to dry areas of skin.

My Favorite Uses For Cumin Essential Oil

Cumin has always been part of my essential spice rack, adding a dash to kick up the heat in some chili or even enhance the flavor of some take out Indian. I don’t need much more flavor myself, but some in my family can’t get enough of a good, spicy dish.

Cumin as an essential oil hadn’t crossed my mind until I started digging into oils that can be useful for treating muscle and joint pain. I’ve always suffered from general aches and pains, but I’ve had a couple of bouts with more serious afflictions like bursitis in my hips and shoulders. The perils of having spent a bit too much time seated during the day.

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I’d already experimented with peppermint and ginger-based massage combinations, but adding a bit of cumin to the mix was recommended by several different sites for achieving a truly deep, warming massage. I tried it out with some sweet almond oil, using it to massage into the worst areas of my hip.

The ache that comes with staying seated for too long was much reduced. I could get up from my seat and walk away with barely a limp. It was a relief that was a much-needed supplement to the anti-inflammatories I’d been taking over the counter. I could apply this more often than I could take the pills, and it was a big help.

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Recommended Cumin Essential Oil-based products

1. My Israel’s Miracle Leave-In Conditioner and Moisturizer

Hydrating Lightweight Leave in Conditioner - for Soft Manageable Curl Defining Shiny All Hair Types...
  • LEAVE IN CONDITIONER: This deep conditioner for curly hair is an...
  • MOISTURIZES & NOURISHES: Rejuvenating and regenerating dry, frizzy or...
  • ISRAELI HERBS: Israelceutical complex contained in this leave in hair...

The health of our hair is often a reflection of our diet and environment. We would like to have healthy hair, as it can also affect our self-esteem if it is dry and brittle. This can be a genetic issue or the result of over styling. This leave-in conditioner is made with all-natural ingredients grown organically, so there are no extra chemicals or pesticides to end up in the final product. Essential oils like hyssop and cumin can also help with scalp health by reducing inflammation in the skin. Natural carrier oil such as argan can help hair retain moisture but not clog the pores on your scalp.

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2. TerraVita Cumin Seed – 450 mg capsules

Cumin Seed - 450 mg (100 Capsules, ZIN: 511760) - 3 Pack
  • Cumin (pronounced "come in") is the pale green seed of Cuminum...

Cumin has been in use around the world for centuries. It is most often a spice found in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes. This herb has a place in traditional Indian medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as being useful in a variety of digestive issues such as gas and bloating. These capsules provide you with a pre-measured quantity of ground seed in an easily digestible capsule. It has been shown to help with the production and efficacy of certain digestive enzymes such as amylase, which may decrease symptoms as food is processed by the body.

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Caution of Cumin Essential Oil

  • Do not use cumin oil if you have a blood disorder or are currently taking blood thinners such as warfarin. Cumin oil may slow blood clotting and may make bleeding disorders worse.
  • Stop using cumin at least 2 weeks before major surgery. It may interfere with clotting and affect blood sugar.
  • Cumin oil may lower blood sugar. Use with caution to prevent a hypoglycemic episode.
  • Cumin oil is phototoxic (Tisserand and Young, 2014). Avoid sunlight for up to 12 hours if applying to the skin.
  • Always store cumin oil in a dark container away from direct sunlight. Oxidated oil may cause skin sensitivities.
  • Always dilute cumin oil in a carrier oil and test on a small skin patch before using it.
  • Always choose quality cumin essential oil from reputable suppliers.


If you were only ever familiar with cumin as a tasty spice, I hope you enjoyed learning about the benefits and uses of cumin essential oil. Be sure to share this information with anyone who may be looking for a way to relax after a long day or ease digestive issues. Please leave your feedback below.

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