Medicinal Properties and Uses of Seed Spices
Authors: Ravi Kumar1 and Nidhi Jain2
1 Research Scholar, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, SKN College of Agriculture, Jobner
2Assistant Professor, Tantia University, Sriganganagar


The seed spices constitute an important group of agricultural commodities and play a significant role in our national economy. Historically, India has always been recognized as a land of spices. d. The power of seed spices to impart biological activity is now slowly reemerging as an area of interest for human health. Seed spices produce numerous secondary metabolites or phytochemicals, these are naturally occurring, biologically active chemical compounds in plants, where they act as a natural defense system for host plants and that have historically been used as pharmaceuticals, fragrances and flavor compounds. They are a gold mine of possibilities in our search for beneficial bioactive compounds for pharmacology and other health related issues.


Fenugreek seeds are a rich source of trigonelline, lysine and tryptophan. Fenugreek seeds contain a volatile oil, alkaloids like trigonelline, saponins, flavonoids, mucilage etc., protein, fixed oil, minerals (copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, and magnesium), vitamin A, B and C. Seeds are considered as digestive, carminative demulcent, diuretic, emmenagonic and galactogogue. Leaves are considered as mild purgative, cooling, reduces burning and swellings. ). Its leaves are a rich source of vitamin K. Eating salad of methi leaves increases the power of memory. Paste of fresh leaves applied over the scalp regularly before bathing , lengthens the hair, preserves the natural colour and keeps the hair silky soft. It also control the pimples, blackheads, dryness of face by making its paste from leaf grinding with little water and apply this paste on face. Its seeds are fried in ghee, mixed with seeds of anise and salt and made into a paste, which is given to check diarroea. Methi seeds are used in induce childbirth and for nursing mothers to increase the flow of the milk.


Cumin has a high content of vitamin E which keeps your skin healthy and glowing. Besides, the essential oils, cumin have disinfectant and anti-fungal properties which protect our skin from fungal and microbial infections. Vitamin E present in cumin triggers the anti-ageing processes within the body, thus preventing pre mature ageing symptoms. Seeds of cumin are aromatic, carminative, stimulant, stomachic and a strong anethelmintic. Cumin helps to lower blood sugar levels and thus helps in maintaining proper blood content levels in the body. Cumin seeds are very rich in iron content, which helps to treat anaemia. The seed contain thymoquinone, dithymoquinone, thymohydroquinone and thymol which are anti-carcinogenic agents. Cumin is helpful in treating colon and breast cancer. Enzymes present in cumin help to breakdown foods and thus aid in digestion. Cumin helps to lower blood sugar levels and maintains proper blood content levels in the body.


Coriander is a wonderful source of dietary fiber, manganese, iron and magnesium. Coriander leaves are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and protein. They also contain small amounts of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, thiamin, niacin and carotene. It is good for diabetes patients. It can stimulate the insulin secretion and lower the blood sugar levels. It is full of phyto-nutrients, antioxidants, essential oils, antiseptic, analgesic, aphrodisiac, fungicidal, natural stimulant, carminative, diuretic, tonic, stomachic, refrigerant, anti-inflammatory etc. It is helpful for cough, removes bad smell from mouth and an excellent antiseptic. It removes phlegm, reduces fever and offers a feeling of coolness. The leaves are full of calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and sodium. It contains carbohydrate (3.67g), protein (2.13g), fat (0.52g), fiber (2.80g), energy (23 Kcal), folates (62 ug), niacin (1.11 mg), pantothenic acid (055mg), pyridoxine (0.14mg), riboflavin (0.16mg), thiamin (0.067mg), vitamin A (6748 IU), vitamin C (27mg), vitamin E (2.50mg) etc.


Fennel is used for various digestive problems including heartburn, intestinal gas, bloating, loss of appetite and colic in infants. It is also used for upper respiratory tract factions, coughs, bronchitis, cholera, backache, bedwetting, and visual problems. Some women use fennel for increasing the flow of breast milk, promoting menstruation, easing the birthing process, and increasing sex drive. Fennel powder is used as a poultice for snakebites. In foods and beverages, fennel oil is used as a flavoring agent. In other manufacturing processes, fennel oil is used as a flavoring agent in certain laxatives, and as a fragrance component in soaps cosmetics, stimulant, carminative, stomachic, emmenagogue, refrigerant, cardiac stimulant, antiemetic, aphrodisiac, anthelmintic. Iron and histidine, an amino acid found in fennel, are both helpful in treatment of anemia.


1. Spices Board of India (Medicinal Properties of Spices)
2. National Research Center for Seed Spices

About Author / Additional Info:
I am pursuing Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from SKN Agriculture University, Jobner, Jaipur.