• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To register, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum): Possible PEM Blocker

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
I’m being careful not to assume that cumin will give me more energy.

Cumin didn't boost my energy. It simply allowed me to avoid feeling worse than usual (the usual PEM symptoms) that I otherwise would have experienced from activities. If I had PEM, cumin would eliminate those symptoms within a few hours. For me, cumin was a 100% effective blocker of PEM. While the cumin was active, I could do whatever physical activities I wanted to without worrying about PEM.

When you figure out how cumin works for you (Does it only allow slightly more exertion before triggering PEM, or any degree of exertion? How long does a dose last?), please post here. I only know how it worked for me.
 

Aspen

Senior Member
Messages
145
Cumin didn't boost my energy. It simply allowed me to avoid feeling worse than usual (the usual PEM symptoms) that I otherwise would have experienced from activities. If I had PEM, cumin would eliminate those symptoms within a few hours. For me, cumin was a 100% effective blocker of PEM. While the cumin was active, I could do whatever physical activities I wanted to without worrying about PEM.

When you figure out how cumin works for you (Does it only allow slightly more exertion before triggering PEM, or any degree of exertion? How long does a dose last?), please post here. I only know how it worked for me.
The PEM came back yesterday shortly before lunch, so cumin blocked it for about 48 hours. It’s also not as bad as usual - I currently have about 50% of my baseline energy and the aches aren’t nearly as bad as usual. Normally at day 5 post-exertion I would be around 10-20% of baseline and have trouble eating and speaking. I did take another tsp of cumin yesterday afternoon and didn’t notice any changes afterwards, but it’s possible that it’s still blocking the worst of the crash.

I’ll experiment for a couple of weeks and come back with another report when I know a little more. I’m still impressed with it even though it hasn’t been 100% effective for me... even 1 day of PEM relief feels like a miracle!
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
I did take another tsp of cumin yesterday afternoon and didn’t notice any changes afterwards, but it’s possible that it’s still blocking the worst of the crash.

For me, cumin's blocking effects started within hours, and lasted 3 days before abruptly stopping. Taking it earlier than the 3-day duration simply 'reset the clock'.

I did try 5 or 6 tsps one time. It increased the duration to 5 days, IIRC. Not worth it. (I'm sure the people who hate the taste are horrified at the thought of taking that much at once.)
 

seamyb

Senior Member
Messages
560
I am trying this soon. So just run of the mill cumin from the spice rack? And just teaspoon straight down the hatch? Might mix mine into a yogurt or something. But it can't taste worse than PEM.

Before I got sick, if anybody had told me they're trying to treat their illness with spices because doctors are crap I'd probably have argued with them. Yet here I am.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
So just run of the mill cumin from the spice rack?

Yup! The cheap no-name variety worked well for me. You can swallow it straight, or cook with it (seems heat tolerant) or add it to whatever suits your fancy.

Before I got sick, if anybody had told me they're trying to treat their illness with spices because doctors are crap I'd probably have argued with them.

ME is a weird disease. So far there isn't any one treatment that works for everyone, but there are plenty of treatments that work for some individuals but not for others and which make still others worse. Cumin worked wonderfully for me. For someone else, maybe anise will be the answer, or rosemary. I'm still waiting for someone to find effective treatment from a particular flavour of jellybean, but I wouldn't be overly surprised to hear it. There's presently no way to know what will or won't work for an individual, so experiment away... :thumbsup:
 

seamyb

Senior Member
Messages
560
Yup! The cheap no-name variety worked well for me. You can swallow it straight, or cook with it (seems heat tolerant) or add it to whatever suits your fancy.



ME is a weird disease. So far there isn't any one treatment that works for everyone, but there are plenty of treatments that work for some individuals but not for others and which make still others worse. Cumin worked wonderfully for me. For someone else, maybe anise will be the answer, or rosemary. I'm still waiting for someone to find effective treatment from a particular flavour of jellybean, but I wouldn't be overly surprised to hear it. There's presently no way to know what will or won't work for an individual, so experiment away... :thumbsup:

I appreciate that you didn't want to give others false hope, but after reading this thread I have to say I've a lot of hope. Is there a 10 week fast and expect to feel worse before you're better? No! Just eat this every 3 days.

If it works for me I'll be grateful to the point of being annoying. And there really should be some research carried out on it. It's the most messed up part of the most messed up disease and you've found a treatment! Happy it works for you regardless of my outcome.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
checking: are people able to swallow untoasted, unground cumin seed? (whole seeds)?

I didn't have a problem with ground cumin, so I don't think I ever tried swallowing the seeds unground or unchewed. If you're absolutely adverse to ground cumin _and_ rich, you could probably order some pure cuminaldehyde from a chemical supplier. Hey, not totally expensive: $24 for 25 gms.

Hmmm: cuminaldehyde is soluble in ethanol, ether and toluene. Insoluble in water. So, you could make a cumin liquor. Drink enough of that and you won't feel the PEM. :xeyes::D
 

Aspen

Senior Member
Messages
145
checking: are people able to swallow untoasted, unground cumin seed? (whole seeds)?

if vitamins dont' want to go down the throat, I wonder how i'd swallow these seeds.

(I am averse to ground cumin)
I’ve been eating whole, raw seeds, 1/2 tsp per mouthful. I toss ‘em in my mouth and wash it all down with water. It doesn’t really taste like anything, just a light cumin odour in the nose for a second. The seeds float in the water which makes it easy to swallow whole, they don’t really stick to the mouth much.
 

seamyb

Senior Member
Messages
560
I’ve been eating whole, raw seeds, 1/2 tsp per mouthful. I toss ‘em in my mouth and wash it all down with water. It doesn’t really taste like anything, just a light cumin odour in the nose for a second. The seeds float in the water which makes it easy to swallow whole, they don’t really stick to the mouth much.

And you've had the same effect on PEM?
 

Aspen

Senior Member
Messages
145
And you've had the same effect on PEM?
Not quite, no, but it does noticeably help. I’m still early in my cumin experiment; so far I’ve had a couple of days where PEM is gone and other days where the severity is approximately half of my normal experience. I am severely ill though, so I have a lot more PEM to cope with than @Wishful. I do still think it’s a positive outcome. I’ll report more in a week or two once I’ve figured out more of a pattern.
 

seamyb

Senior Member
Messages
560
@Wishful did you notice feeling better after cumin? Like not just absence of PEM but more baseline energy?

I've taken it twice. Both times I felt brutal, but immediately after I've felt better. I rub into the gums first and then swallow a load.

I haven't tested for PEM yet, I probably won't do this at all on purpose. And I know twice is very susceptible to nuisance statistics, but what the hell I feel better thus far.

If this effect continues I will be amazed. Thanks for being weird enough to eat a spoonful of cumin! 😅
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
@Wishful did you notice feeling better after cumin? Like not just absence of PEM but more baseline energy?

No, it didn't seem to affect me in any other ways. Maybe you have some sort of 'baseline PEM' most of the time? If I was feeling lousy with PEM, cumin would wipe out those symptoms, which of course made me feel much better.

I'm a bit surprised that PEM hasn't been at least partially figured out yet. It seems easy enough to trigger it reliably in many PWME, so can't they do some exhaustive measurements and scans before and after, and let a computer look for correlations? I expect there's a change in neural activity or molecular concentrations in some part of the brain.
 

seamyb

Senior Member
Messages
560
No, it didn't seem to affect me in any other ways. Maybe you have some sort of 'baseline PEM' most of the time? If I was feeling lousy with PEM, cumin would wipe out those symptoms, which of course made me feel much better.

I'm a bit surprised that PEM hasn't been at least partially figured out yet. It seems easy enough to trigger it reliably in many PWME, so can't they do some exhaustive measurements and scans before and after, and let a computer look for correlations? I expect there's a change in neural activity or molecular concentrations in some part of the brain.

All I can tell you is that I feel amazing right now. Obviously I have to give this a longer course, but preliminary results are unbelievable. I don't think it lasts 3 days with me though, maybe it will start to when it builds up...

Did you ever try megadosing it? Maybe a whole jar of cumin is the cure for ME.

Thanks again!
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
Did you ever try megadosing it? Maybe a whole jar of cumin is the cure for ME.

I did try 5 or 6 full tsps. It didn't do anything different other than last a couple of days longer, so I stayed with the minimum effective dosage for me.

PWME are faced with all too many such questions: "180 days of supplement x didn't work ... but how do I know that it won't start working in 181 days?" or "500 gms of <whatever> didn't work, but how do I know that 600 gms won't work?" It all comes down to personal judgement. I didn't feel that 7 or more tsps of cumin would be more effective, so I didn't bother trying. Then again, I didn't expect that taking it for two years would suddenly make its effects permanent...
 

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
Messages
13,171
I’ve been eating whole, raw seeds, 1/2 tsp per mouthful. I toss ‘em in my mouth and wash it all down with water. It doesn’t really taste like anything, just a light cumin odour in the nose for a second. The seeds float in the water which makes it easy to swallow whole, they don’t really stick to the mouth much.

I'm going to try this route.

My cumin aversion is real intense...developing weird aversions is tied to the off neurology. The smell of cumin will park in my nose and won't leave. I had to ban it from the house and no, cumin is Not what makes Mexican food good.