Bitter cumin is used extensively in traditional medicine to treat a range of diseases from vitiligo to hyperglycemia. It is considered to be antiparasitic and antimicrobial and science has backed up claims of its use to reduce fever or as a painkiller. New research published in BioMedCentral's open access journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicineshows that this humble spice also contains high levels of antioxidant phenolic compounds from plants, especially polyphenolic compounds, are often considered to be antioxidants. Researchers from Mysore, Explanati used biochemical and biological techniques to show that seeds from bitter cumin (Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) Kuntze), a member of the daisy family, are a rich source of phenolic antioxidants.
Researchers from the Central Food Technological Research Institute said that, "Bitter cumin extracts were strong antioxidants in the free radical scavenging systems tested. The extracts were also strong electron donors and hence reducing agents, another marker of antioxidation. In biological tests bitter cumin inhibited the oxidation of liposomes (used as a model for cell membrane oxidation) and offered complete protection against DNA damage."