9 Unexpected Side Effects Of Cumin Seeds

Keep a close eye on your cumin seed consumption; too much of it can be harmful.

Medically reviewed by Dr Archana BatraDr Archana Batra, CDE
By Tanya ChoudharyTanya Choudhary, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition  • 

Cumin is one of the essential spices used in everyday cooking, especially in Indian cuisines. Be it the final touch of seasoning of the humble lentil soup or that secret spice paste bursting with flavor for that special dinner meal, cumin seeds are a must-add! Having said that, it might come as a surprise that there could be side effects of cumin as well! While cumin offers a ton of health benefits along with its refreshing flavor, there are certain things you need to be aware of, before using cumin too much. Wondering what and how? Fret not, we have done all the research and summed it all up for you in this article! Read on to know more about the side effects of cumin seeds to enjoy them to their best potential.

9 Side Effects Of Cumin Seeds

Like everything else, cumin seeds have their own set of side effects. Here are a few of them:

1. Heartburn

Cumin seeds may cause side effects like heartburn

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Cumin seeds are known for their gas-relieving properties, but ironically they can also cause one of the most common digestive problems, heartburn! Cumin seeds facilitate the eviction of more gas into your gastrointestinal tract (1), (2).

2. Belching

The carminative effect of cumin seed may also cause excessive belching. Sometimes belching is referred to as a ructus or burping, which involves excess bloating and gas from the intestinal tract and stomach escaping through the mouth. Belching has sometimes a bad odor and characteristic sound. Though not a problem in the real sense of it, belching can definitely lead to embarrassment (1), (2)!

3. Liver Damage

Cumin seeds may cause side effects like liver damage

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The oil present in cumin seed is highly volatile and can cause liver and kidney damage if one consumes cumin seed in large amounts for a long period of time.

4. Abortifacient Effects

Cumin seeds may have an abortifacient effect on pregnant women. This means that consuming large amounts of cumin seeds can lead to a miscarriage or induce premature labor (1), (2), (3).

Overconsumption of cumin may also reduce testosterone levels and affect sperm motility in men (7).

5. Narcotic Effects

Cumin seeds may cause side effects like depression or loneliness

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Cumin seed has narcotic properties. Cumin seeds should be consumed with caution as they can become addictive. Other side effects of cumin seeds are mental clouding, drowsiness, and nausea.

6. Heavy Menstrual Cycle

Cumin seeds may lead to heavy bleeding during menstruation. If cumin seeds are consumed in large amounts, then you can blame your heavier than usual periods on them (3).

7. Low Blood Sugar Level

Cumin seeds may cause side effects like low blood sugar

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Consuming cumin seeds in large amounts can lower the blood sugar level in the body. This point is important to remember if you are heading for surgery in the near future. During surgery, it is essential to maintain the blood sugar level. So your doctor may advise you to stop eating cumin seeds at least 2 weeks before surgery as your blood sugar level needs to be controlled during and after surgery (4).

Quick Tip
People on anticoagulant drugs should avoid this spice. Cumin slows down blood clotting (8). Consuming it with anticoagulant drugs may further increase the risk of bleeding.

8. Not Good For Diabetics

Diabetes patients need to control their blood sugar levels. They should have normal blood sugar levels to remain healthy. Fluctuating blood sugar levels are a strict no-no for most diabetics. As mentioned before, cumin seeds may decrease your blood sugar level quickly and can cause low blood sugar levels in some individuals (4). So, people with diabetes should avoid consuming cumin seeds in excess.

9. Causes Allergy

Cumin seeds may cause side effects like allergies

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Consumption of cumin seeds can also cause skin rashes and allergies. So people with skin allergies should consume cumin seeds in low amounts if they must (5), (6).

Infographic: Most Common Side Effects Of Cumin Seeds

Cumin seeds have a refreshing flavor and are one of the most widely used spices in Indian cooking. But they also have side effects when consumed in large quantities. Check out the most common side effects of cumin seeds in the infographic below.

most common side effects of cumin seeds (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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Cumin seeds are aromatic spice that is used in many cuisines. Nevertheless, too much of it can be problematic. The side effects of cumin seeds range from causing liver damage to possibly lowering blood sugar levels. Thus, diabetic patients should be careful before overindulging on cumin seeds. It may cause heartburn or belching in moderate cases, but can lead to miscarriage in severe cases. Cumin seeds may cause also heavy bleeding during menstruation. In some cases, it can trigger allergic reactions as well. Limiting  its consumption can help avoid these complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we eat cumin seeds daily?

Yes. Cumin seeds are considered safe for daily consumption, even in larger quantities.

Is cumin poisonous?

No. Cumin seeds are nontoxic.

How much cumin can I take daily?

The typical dose of 300 milligrams to 600 milligrams of cumin per day as a supplement is safe (7).

Can I drink cumin water every day?

Yes. It is completely safe to drink cumin water every day.

Does cumin seeds cause constipation?

No. Cumin seeds are natural laxatives and promote bowel movement.

Key Takeaways

  • Use cumin seeds in moderation to avoid the side effects.
  • Allergy to cumin seeds can result in rashes and itching.
  • Although these seeds help treat digestive problems, using them in large amounts can cause bloating.
  • Avoid cumin seeds if you are pregnant as they may lead to contractions and a miscarriage.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The pharmacological activities of Cuminum cyminum – A review
  2. Cuminum cyminum – A Popular Spice: An Updated Review
  3. Study of Analgesic Activity of Methanolic Extracts of Cuminum Cyminum (L.) and Centratherum Anthelminticum (L.) in Mice
  4. Antihyperglycemic activity and inhibition of advanced glycation end product formation by Cuminum cyminum in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats
  5. Presence of Undeclared Food Allergens in Cumin: The Need for Multiplex Methods
  6. Cumin
  7. The pharmacological activities of Cuminum cyminum -A review
  8. Extracts from two frequently consumed spices — Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) — Inhibit platelet aggregation and alter eicosanoid biosynthesis in human blood platelets
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