Is Kali Jeeri Good for Weight Loss?

Kali Jeeri -- also known as kalijiri, bitter cumin or Centratherum anthelminticum -- is a plant, and its seeds are sometimes used as an herbal medicine. It shouldn't be confused with two other types of cumin -- Bunium persicum, also called kala jeera, and Nigella sativa -- both sometimes referred to as black cumin. Although kali jeeri may have some beneficial effects, it isn't likely to be much help when it comes to weight loss. Check with your doctor before taking kali jeeri, as it may not be safe for everyone.

Woman on scale. (Image: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Kali Jeeri Effect on Blood Sugar

Maintaining more steady blood sugar levels may help with weight loss. When your blood sugar spikes, high levels of insulin are released to bring it back down to normal. Sometimes your body overcompensates, and blood sugar is brought down too low, which can increase your appetite. Keeping your blood sugar levels steady and preventing blood sugar spikes may thus make it easier for you to control your appetite and lose weight.

An animal study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in October 2012 found that kali jeeri may have the ability to increase insulin secretion and thus lower high blood sugar levels in diabetics. Another study, published in Pharmacology Online in 2008, had similar results, finding kali jeeri to be capable of lowering blood sugar levels with potentially fewer side effects than the diabetes medication Glibenclamide. However, further research is necessary to verify whether or not consuming kali jeeri seeds or infusions has these same effects in people.

Kali Jeeri Diuretic Effect

An animal study published in the International Journal of Green Pharmacy in 2008 found that kali jeeri extract can have a diuretic effect. It's possible the seeds or infusions made with the seeds may have a similar effect. This may be one of the reasons why it's sometimes recommended as a weight loss supplement. Diuretics aren't the best way to lose weight, however, as any weight loss is usually just water weight and will return once you go back to your normal diet.

Diuretics can cause a number of side effects, including diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, joint pain, dizziness, rash and weakness. High doses of diuretic substances can make you dehydrated and cause an electrolyte imbalance that can give you an irregular heartbeat. Certain people, including those with diabetes, kidney problems, pancreatitis or gout, should avoid using diuretic supplements or medications, as they could make these conditions worse.

Glycemic Index and Weight Loss

Diets that help minimize spikes in blood sugar levels, such as the low glycemic index diet, may help with weight loss and are a better alternative than unproven weight-loss supplements such as kali jeeri. In fact, a review article published in the Cochrane Library in July 2007 noted that low glycemic index diets may be more beneficial for weight loss than the usual low-fat diet used for this purpose. The glycemic index measures how much a particular food affects your blood sugar levels, with lower numbers indicating less likelihood of blood sugar spikes. Foods that contain mainly protein or fat, those high in fiber, acidic foods, less processed foods and foods that aren't cooked very long tend to have lower glycemic index scores.

Better Alternative for Weight Loss

Following an overall healthy, weight-loss diet is a more sensible approach to dropping pounds than relying on supplements. Foods high in protein or fiber can help increase feelings of fullness, and if you replace foods high in fat and sugar with those that have a high water content, you'll be able to eat larger portions while still staying within your recommended calories for the day. Adding a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training to your routine will help increase weight loss results further while minimizing the loss of muscle as you lose weight.

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