A Review of the Seeds Comprising Panch phoron, a Spice used in Indian Cuisine
India houses a wide variety of plants with medicinal properties on account of being a megadiversity country. Spices, comprising different parts of a plant (seeds, bark, etc.), are substances used for adding flavor to and preserving food items. They possess a myriad of health benefits, uses of which are documented in ancient literature. Panch phoron is a mixture of five spices, comprising whole seeds of cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard and black cumin. It is widely used in India, especially Eastern India, for adding flavor to food in daily cooking. The present study delves into various pharmacological properties of each of the five seeds comprising Panch phoron and is necessitated by the current interest in plant products as a cheaper and far better alternative than the synthetic drugs available but associated with side effects. It was seen that the seeds have myriad properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumorigenic, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, gastroprotective and cardioprotective and may be used for the treatment of diabetes, cancer, inflammation, kidney problems, liver problems, etc., following proper scientific validation and long-term trials. The review aspires to scientifically validate the vast traditional use of this spice in the Eastern Indian cuisine and its immense scope in herbal therapeutics in the future.