Ajwain is a spice available in every Indian household. Although it is pungent and bitter, ajwain seeds offer a unique flavour when added to various dishes. However, it’s benefits extend beyond its aroma and taste.
Ajwain is commonly known as Carom or Bishop weeds. It’s botanical name is Trachyspermum ammi which belongs to Apiaceae family. It has a strong, bitter smell, and in Sanskrit, it is known as Ugragandha.
The “seeds,” which are actually fruits, are typically dry-roasted or ground and used in spice mixtures. Carom seeds are incredibly nutritious, being rich in fiber, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals.
Chemical Composition –
Ajwain seeds and their oil contain 20 different bioactive compounds, mainly thymol, terpenoids, p-cymene, gamma-terpinene, and essential oil. The thymol and carvacrol are crucial components that are responsible for the inhibition of fungi and bacteria growth.
Part Used –
Although referred to as “seeds,” carom seeds are the fruit of the ajwain herb that could be used for medicinal and culinary purposes.
• Digestive Health
Active enzymes in ajwain improve the flow of stomach acids, which can help to relieve indigestion, bloating, and gas. The plant can also help to treat peptic ulcers as well as sores in the esophagus, stomach, and intestines.
• Acne Remedy
Ajwain powder is especially useful in lightening acne scars. Apply a paste on the affected area for 10-15 minutes and then rinse. This effective home remedy can come to great help in getting rid of dirt from the skin.
• Common Cold
Ajwain helps in avoiding nasal blockage by discharging the mucus easily. Prepare a paste of it’s seeds and jaggery by heating it and take 2 teaspoons of it twice a day to feel better. This also helps in dealing with respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis.
• Combats infections
Ajwain seeds are potent to battle against bacteria like E. coli and salmonella that causes food poisoning and other gastrointestinal conditions. Furthermore, it acts as potent fungicide and germicide. When crushed and applied topically it heals the infections and treats wounds.
• Earache & toothache
Few drops of Ajwain seed oil are sufficient to get relief from ear pain. For getting instant relief from a toothache, a lukewarm water mixture of Ajwain and salt is very effective. Sometimes fumes of burning it’s seeds are more effective for an aching tooth.
• Low down blood pressure
Thymol, a bioactive compound present in ajwain, may have calcium-channel blocking properties, which might help decrease blood pressure.
• Oma Water
Ajwain or oma water is an ayurvedic marvel, especially for women. It cures the problem of indigestion for pregnant ladies by cleaning the uterus and stomach and solves the issue of irregular periods. Oma water is also often given to babies to reduce the problem of gas that causes discomfort. To prepare ajwain water, boil 2 teaspoons of roasted ajwain seeds in water. Strain this mixture and drink. You can add 1 teaspoon of honey for flavour. Drinking ajwain water regularly is known to enhance your rate of metabolism, burns fat and thus helps in losing weight.
• Premature Greying of Hair
The active constituents in ajwain are extremely beneficial in maintaining the natural colour of hair and prevent further greying. Owing to its anti-microbial nature, it also treats various scalp and hair infections like folliculitis, itching and dandruff. It also nourishes the hair follicles with essential nutrients, promotes blood circulation and strengthens the hair strands from the roots.
Boil ajwain seeds along with onion bulbs in coconut oil. Strain, cool and apply the concoction on your hair at night. Use a mild shampoo to wash hair next day. Do it twice a week to get desired results.
It can also help to soothe pain and swelling. Crushed fruit can be made into a paste and applied to the skin at the joints to treat arthritis pain. Alternatively, you can fill your tub with warm water and add a handful of seeds for a soothing bath.
Adverse Effects –
Ajwain generally do not cause any side effects when consumed in moderate amounts. But over-consumption may cause stomach ulcer and heartburns, leads to dizziness and nausea.
Women who are pregnant should not use ajwain due to potential adverse effects on fetal development, and its use is discouraged while breastfeeding. In high amounts taken orally, bishop’s weed is considered to be toxic and can result in fatal poisoning.
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