Cumin was grown in Asia Minor as early as the 8th century as a honey-bearing and aromatic plant. Essential oil from it began to produce in the 16th century. Caraway seeds came to Europe in the 19th century, and now the plant is cultivated in Hungary, Holland, Denmark and Scandinavian countries, in the USA.
Field anise is a biennial or sometimes perennial plant. In the domestic flora, there are about 10 varieties of wild anise, but in Russia and European countries only caraway seeds are grown in culture.
The first growing season is characterized by the formation of a fleshy and powerful fusiform root and basal rosette consisting of 8-15 leaves. The following year, a peduncle with white flowers and umbrellas is formed, plants with lilac-pink flowers are less often observed. The fruit is a two-seed oblate, egg-shaped. The taste of the fruit is spicy, has a characteristic smell. When ripe, it is easily divided into two halves. From 1 square meter about 50-100 g of seeds are collected, which are both the spice used in cooking and the drug.
Features of growing cumin on the site
Cumin is a heat-loving plant, and therefore a well-lit and sunny place should be chosen. Strong shading can lead to the fact that in the second year of their life the cumin will not bloom and will bear fruit only in the third year of vegetation. Cumin is a frost-resistant plant that, in the outlet phase, can withstand up to -25 degrees Celsius even in snowless winters. Seed germination occurs at a temperature of +7 degrees.
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It is believed that the cumin is quite unpretentious to the soil, but the most preferred is still the land fertile, rich in organic matter.
Sowing can be both early spring and summer. If sowing takes place in July, then it is necessary to provide a sufficient amount of moisture. In such conditions, the plant will be able to safely form an outlet and winter well, especially if it grows in the southern region. Before sowing, DachaDecor recommends soaking the seeds for a day in water, replacing water from time to time. This will help accelerate the shoots of sprouts.
The distance between the beds is better to keep 50-60 cm, and square. meter thus leaves about 1.5-2 g of seeds. Sowing depth should be 2.5-3 cm with medium composition of granulometric soils, and 3.5-4 cm - on light and sandy.
In the first year of life, the entire care of caraway seeds consists in regular weeding and loosening. If severe drought is observed, then additional watering is desirable. This will provide an opportunity to form anise a large number of leaves and will be the key to a good harvest for the next year.
The ripening of caraway fruit occurs in July in the second year. When ripe, the fruits become brown in color, it is then that harvesting should begin. Seeds fall off easily, and therefore fruit ripening is uneven. In this regard, one should not expect full ripening of all fruits, and cut them with a sickle or shears when browning about 35-40% of the fruits on a plant. We advise you to pay attention to one little trick: it is best to clean the cumin in the early morning, when the dew has not yet dried. So the seeds will last longer and not crumble. After that, everything is laid out on paper or canvas in a well-ventilated room. After complete drying, the fruits are threshed.
In Russia, two varieties are most popular: Podolsky 9 and Khmelnitsky 1180. They are characterized by high content of essential oil, high yield.
Cumin and all about it (video)
Useful properties of cumin
Seeds of cumin were found by archaeologists at the sites of the Neolithic sites, which indicates that people used it more than 8 thousand years ago. The ancient Egyptians used it to organize rituals, as well as to improve digestion. For the freshness of breath after eating food, the Romans chewed it. And in India, still cumin served with sugar after a meal. Some peoples believe that fumigating with cumin smoke can get rid of the evil eye.
Essential oil from cumin is obtained by distilling with hot water of dried powdered fruit. In this case, the output is about 3.2-6% oil. Fat oil in the fruit contains about 22%, protein - 15-20%. In addition, the fruit contains triterpin compounds, sitosterol, quercetin, tannins and kemferol.
But why is caraway essential oil so beneficial? This substance has a spasmolytic effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, it is often used in colitis, flatulence, digestive disorders and gastritis. Often cumin is recommended to improve the lactation process in breastfeeding women. It is also a good remedy for joint disease.
Diluted oil is often used as a means for rubbing with colds, intestinal and skin diseases (applied inside).
Also, according to O. Barnaulov, cumin can be used as a preventive measure for the onset of sclerosis and hemorrhagic strokes. It is very effective when patients with diabetes, atherosclerosis and hypertensive "black flies" appear.
Wrestler with colic
The fruits of cumin are used as a medicinal raw material in many countries of the world. Already in 152 by the scientist Culpeper, it was recommended as an excellent means for getting rid of abdominal distention and diuretic.
Now the plant is used as an antispasmodic in case of improper digestion, gas formation, enteritis, intestinal colic and fermentation dyspepsia.
Together with other means, cumin has a beneficial effect on improving digestion and appetite. So, to stimulate the appetite, folk remedies advise using cumin powder on the tip of a knife before eating for 20-30 minutes.
Cumin is also recognized as a milk-producing agent, which is successfully combined with dill and fennel in the form of tea to increase lactation 30 minutes before feeding the baby. To prepare such tea, 1 spoon of caraway fruit and a mixture with other plants are needed. The powder is poured with a glass of hot water, infused for 15-20 minutes in an enamel pot, then applied inside.
Cumin in cooking: not just buns
Cumin is known as an aromatic plant for a very long time. Its oil was used in the medical and food industry, perfumery and soap making, in medicine.
Also, caraway seeds are popular in baking. The fleshy roots of the plant and its young leaves are widespread in cooking, like seasonings. Ground seeds are used for cooking, which are not subject to heat treatment: pies, cheeses, salads. Some seeds are added to soups. Fermented cabbage with caraway seeds has a wonderful aroma, and sulfur cookies with caraway seeds are a great addition to beer. We recommend to learn about calendula and its beneficial properties.
Also cumin with garlic is really necessary ingredients in the preparation of lamb, and all thanks to the oil contained in it. Dried cumin plants, plucked during flowering, are often used in veterinary medicine.