cumin grows on hillsides throughout the Mediterranean region.
Cumin (Scientific name: Bunium
persicum [Boiss.] B. Fedtsch.; Persian: , Zireh-kuhi;
Hebrew:; Arabic: , literally seeds
of blessing) is a spice that grows wild in Iran
and the Mediterranean region. Sometimes
called Nigella or love-in-a-mist, it is unrelated to common cumin (Cuminum Cyminum).
is an annual herbaceous plant that grows
to about a foot high. It has a thin stem, laciniate
leaflets, and distinctive black-spotted, blue flowers. The "seeds" used as a spice
are found in the follicles on the flowers. The plant often grows as a weed.
cumin has a pungent bitter taste and a faint smell of strawberries. It is used
primarilly in candies and liquors. In herbal medicine, black
cumin has hypertensive, carminative,
and anthelminthic properties.