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Cumin (Cuminum cyminum): Possible PEM Blocker

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
I wouldn't want to do a whole teaspoon or capsule full as I like to go slowly with things like that. But I might try making a few Indian style dishes even though those are not my favorite flavors.

Maybe 15 years ago, I first noticed an effect from some curry I made: it blocked my typical flare-up of symptoms after a meal. That was probably only a fraction of a tsp of cumin. When I tried a full tsp, I got a temporary remission. Sadly, it stopped working after taking it for a week or so. It wasn't until a year or two ago that I noticed that cumin blocked my PEM.

As a PEM blocker, less than a level tsp of ground cumin wasn't fully effective, so I stayed with a level tsp. Larger amounts weren't any more effective (the lvl tsp was 100% effective), and the duration only increased slightly, so it wasn't worth it.

We've been explicity warned about not using spice rack condiments for our health.

I've never encountered that warning. Maybe that's marketing from the health food industry, since packaging the same ingredient as a 'health product' is more profitable?

but what is exactly written that leads you to believe the ordinary spice rack cumin is fine?

Nothing written. I certainly never read anything about using cumin for ME. The ordinary cheap no-name cumin is what worked for me, so there's no question about it's effectiveness.

Main difference, I think, is the freshness of the spice.

I bought a big bag of seeds from a bulk bin 15+ years ago, when I found that it gave me remission, and most of it just sat on the shelf after it stopped having that effect. After 15+ years, it was significantly (~50% IIRC) less effective, but not completely ineffective, so I wouldn't be too worried about freshness.

I see some of us are cooking the cumin and some not. Anyone with thoughts about this?

I found it as effective cooked in curry as uncooked. Maybe cooking methods at higher temperature (dry roasting) or cooking it wet for several hours might diminish its effectiveness.
 
Messages
7
So, just for fun, I have been doing some research on cumin. Apparently it was used in the past in the middle east to treat epilepsy. It’s believed (but haven’t found the studies yet) to reduce spasms by acting on the central nervous system. Also might help with asthma and IBS (again haven’t found the studies to back that up). And it inhibits interleukins 1 and 6 as well as Tumor Necrosis Factor. These might be clues...or not. :rolleyes:

Also the normal anti-viral, anti-bacteria, anti-fungal, anti-allergic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties that so many different herbs have.
 
Messages
23
So, just for fun, I have been doing some research on cumin. Apparently it was used in the past in the middle east to treat epilepsy. It’s believed (but haven’t found the studies yet) to reduce spasms by acting on the central nervous system. Also might help with asthma and IBS (again haven’t found the studies to back that up). And it inhibits interleukins 1 and 6 as well as Tumor Necrosis Factor. These might be clues...or not. :rolleyes:

Also the normal anti-viral, anti-bacteria, anti-fungal, anti-allergic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties that so many different herbs have.
Dr Weil is my go to for summarizing available science. https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/cooking-cookware/cooking-with-spices-cumin/
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
I still burp the flavor for hours... :snigger:

Oh dear, that's why I avoid bell peppers. Horrible taste burped for hours. Maybe try perilla to see if that works ... and tastes less awful?

From https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/cuminaldehyde

Cumin seeds yield 2.3–4.8% volatile oil. The oil is yellow amber liquid that tends to darken on ageing. The characteristic odour of cumin is mainly due to the aldehydes present in the seeds namely, cuminaldehyde, p-menth-3-en-7-al and p-menth-1,3-dien-7-al. (Agrawal 2001). Indian cumin oil is reported to be lower in cuminaldehyde content. Turkish cumin seed oil was reported to have cuminaldehyde (19.2%), p-mentha-1,3-dien-7-al (4.2–12.2%), p-mentha-1,4-dien-7-al (24–48%), γ-terpinene (7.0–14.1%), p-cymene (9.1–12.0%) and β-pinene (2.9–8.9%) as major constituents (Baser et al. 1992). Shaath and Azzo (1993) reported 25.01% cuminaldehyde in the cumin seed oil of Egyptian origin (Table 11.12). Pande and Goswami (2000) identified 12 constituents contributing to 86.4% of the oil of which the chief components were cuminaldehyde (32.6%), p-cymene (14.7%), p-mentha-1,4-dien-7-al (13.5%) and β-pinene (12.7%).

Table 11.12. Chemical composition of cumin seed oil of Egyptian origin

Compound Percentage content α-Thujene (0.28%)Terpinolene (0.11%)α-Pinene (0.78%)Terpinen-4-ol (0.16%)Camphene (trace)p-menth-3-en-7-al (3.83%)Sabinene (0.40%)α-terpineol (0.05%)β-Pinene (14.64%)Cuminaldehyde (25.01%)Myrcene (0.92%)p-mentha-1,4,dien-7-al (17.36%)α-Phellandrene (0.63%)p-mentha-1,3,dien-7-al (5.84%)p-Cymene (4.91%)β-caryophyllene (0.20%)β-Phellandrene (0.30%)Trans-α-bergamotene (0.31%)limonene (0.37%)γ-Terpinene (19.12%)


I assumed that it was the cuminaldehyde responsible, but didn't prove it with a pure sample. Pure cuminadehyde is available from perfume suppliers. Expensive, but if it did block your PEM effectively without unpleasant side-effects, maybe it would be worth keeping around for special occasions.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
I’ve always wanted to grow perilla, maybe it’s my time.

Let me know how it goes. I did find a Canadian source for seeds. Of course, cuminaldehyde no longer does anything noticeable for me (permanent cure is great!), so I'm no longer driven to make the effort to grow perilla.
 

Strawberry

Senior Member
Messages
2,079
Location
Seattle, WA USA
Well ground cumin did nothing (about a year old) so I chewed seed. Still nothing. I’m wondering if the worse you get the fewer things work. Not much works any more. Beets sometimes does, but not religiously. I’ve got a huge house to pack and empty. Btw cumin seed tasted better than ground cumin ever did.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
I’m wondering if the worse you get the fewer things work.

I think it's a matter of perception of random events. If, for example, the rate of successfully finding a treatment is 1/5000 attempts, it's really easy to perceive a string of unsuccessful attempts as a lowered probability of success. It is possible to roll a series of 1's on dice, but that doesn't mean that the probability has changed. The next roll of the dice (trying a new treatment) might be different.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
I just thought I'd add that I think I no longer get cerebrally-induced PEM either. I've had several trips into town, including conversation with dentists, optometrists doctors and lab techs, which in the past probably would have triggered PEM, but I haven't noticed any. There had been a couple of events that I thought were cerebrally-induced PEM not long after cumin seemed to have permanently banished physically-induced PEM, but maybe those were just bad days for other reasons.

Not complaining. :)
 

Ladycreole03

Senior Member
Messages
147
Hi! What do you mean Cerebrally induced PEM? Please explain. Im trying to understand these symptoms I am getting with my brain both physical symptoms and cognitively. It affects my eyes as well IF we're talking about the same thing.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,635
Location
Alberta
What do you mean Cerebrally induced PEM?

Cerebral exertion can trigger PEM. For me, socialization was a serious trigger. Chatting with someone for a few minutes was enough to trigger PEM (hours later). Driving was another trigger, and it was worse with bad driving conditions (icy roads in the dark). I think other people have triggered on reading complex material or doing mathematics.

I can imagine someone triggering by complex visual stimuli or having to do lots of eye movement or changing focus. We're all different.

My physically-induced PEM had a consistent 24 hr delay. My cerebrally-induced PEM had a more variable delay, sometimes less than an hour. My hypothesis is that physical exertion triggered an immune response with a consistent delay, and the cytokines from that triggered the brain's immune cells, resulting in PEM.

My PEM episodes typically lasted a few hours, rarely more than a day. For advice on longer PEM episodes or crashes, you'll have to look elsewhere. Sadly, there are all too many people who do suffer long PEM or crashes.
 

Aspen

Senior Member
Messages
145
I tried cumin seeds yesterday for the first time and it worked!!! I had put it on my grocery list but had to wait a week for my order. In the meantime, I had medical appointments on Wednesday which triggered the onset of a fairly severe PEM starting Friday morning. I got my groceries in on Friday and decided to take a slower dose in case I got a reaction of some kind - I took 3 separate doses of 1/4 tsp of seeds about 3 hours apart starting at 11am.

Around 6pm I noticed the PEM symptoms start to subside. I had a good sleep and woke up with average energy and almost zero PEM symptoms! Just a bit achy in the legs and back.

I find the seeds really easy to take. I didn’t chew, just threw a 1/4 tsp in my mouth and washed ‘em down with water. No real aftertaste at all. Very much looking forward to seeing how it works moving forward.

Thanks @Wishful ! :D:balloons:
 

xebex

Senior Member
Messages
840
So I finally decided to try this.

I had mild PEM when I woke up this morning and the beginnings of a migraine.

I took half a teaspoon in 2 capsules - at 10am and 30mins later the migraine is lifting - not sure about the PEM yet.

@Wishful - what're your thoughts on regular use and liver damage?
 

Aspen

Senior Member
Messages
145
For advice on longer PEM episodes or crashes, you'll have to look elsewhere.
I have long PEM. Onset is usually 2 days after exertion, with about 4 days to fully manifest and lasting on average up to 2 weeks (often it’s been a month or more). But I’m getting better at shortening the PEM now just by staying closer to my limits, I’ve had a couple of episodes lately that have only been 3-5 days. I have severe ME, only getting up to go to the bathroom or to use a reclined wheelchair. Sometimes simply washing my face will give me PEM, and reading more than a few paragraphs will cause immediate cognitive PEM... I have to be SO careful when I come on the forum, you folks are just so interesting. :)
 

Aspen

Senior Member
Messages
145
Ok I did not get energy from cumin today, but it wasn’t a bad day either. But lots of time outside on the couch watching the birds.
Good point! I’m being careful not to assume that cumin will give me more energy. I don’t want to set myself up for a crash or a relapse. I’m just seeing it so far as a reprieve from symptoms... sitting outside and watching the birds sound like a fabulous way to spend the day. :bow: