Ajwain herb also referred to as carom seeds, is one of the most prominent ingredients in Indian foods. Though carom seeds are mostly considered to be “seed,” they are the small fruits of the medicinal (1) ajwain herb.
They are slightly brown to green in tinge and feature a bitter, pungent taste. Ajwain looks quite the same as cumin seeds; however, its aroma and taste is similar to thyme.
Typically, they are traded as whole seeds; however, they can even be ground to a granular powder and utilized as a spice to pep up a variety of dishes.
Ajwain seeds are incredibly nutritious, packed with a wide range of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. As a result, they have been related to numerous health-enhancing benefits and have been used since the ancient age as a medicinal herb in Ayurveda and Indian medicinal practice.
Ajwain plants are regarded as a native of Egypt. However, they are now widely grown in parts of India, Iran, and Afghanistan.
Ajwain: An Overview
Ajwain (Carom Seeds) is a beneficial herb used extensively as a primary ingredient in traditional Indian cuisine. All parts of the ajwain plant possess an extensively overpowering scent and, therefore, the plant is also referred to as “Ugragandha” in Sanskrit. Ca is one of the most commonly used ingredients and can be found in every Indian kitchen, thanks to its health-boosting properties and a robust aromatic essence.
Ajwain plants can be comfortably grown from the seeds. For the most favorable cultivation, a nicely drained loamy soil is required with a pH of around 6.5 to 8.2, under a pleasant temperature of about 15°C to 25°C. It needs a relative humidity of around 65% to 75%. Upon maturation, the harvesting takes place during early spring or late winters.
Ajwain is one of the very few spices that addresses both- adding an aromatic essence to food along with being extremely beneficial for your health. Ajwain helps maintain a robust digestive system along with treating a wide range of intestinal disorders such as burning sensation, indigestion, flatulence, stomach pain, and more.
Nutritional Profile of Ajwain (Carom seeds):
Ajwain oil and seeds have a dense and diverse dietary value, with a wide range of nutrients to help you stay naturally healthy. Its elemental composition per 100 grams include:
- Protein – 17.1%
- Minerals – 7.8%
- Fiber – 21.2%
- Carbohydrate – 24.6%.
- Fats – 21.8%
Also, ajwain is extremely rich in various essential minerals such as niacin, iron, thiamine, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and calcium. The hydrolysis of ajwain seeds provides an essential oil that contains p – cymene, Thymol, gamma – terpinene, along with 20 percent trace compounds (mainly terpenoids).
10 Amazing Benefits of Ajwain:
While ajwain offers a wide range of health benefits to improve our overall health and general wellness along with fighting several chronic diseases, the following 10 health benefits of Carom seeds are the most notable:
1. Cures Constipation
Ajwain seeds are highly effective in treating a wide range of digestion-related problems such as acidity, heartburn, constipation, indigestion, and more. Therefore, it helps you get rid of constipation naturally along with facilitating regular and healthy bowel movements. The enzymes present in ajwain seeds enhance the release of gastric juices that support your digestive functions.
2. Cures Common Cold
Ajwain also facilitates natural discharge of the mucus to help clear nasal blockage during a common cold. Ajwain powder wrapped in a clean piece of cloth and inhaled several times in a day proves effective in curing a migraine headache. Also, it is also effective against asthma and bronchitis.
3. Relieves Ear and Toothache
For effective relief from earache, put two drops of lukewarm ajwain oil in your ear several times a day, and you should feel better within 2 to 3 days. For relief from a toothache, you can add one teaspoon of salt and ajwain to warm water and gargle with it several times a day.
4. Reduces Greying of Hair
The Ajwain herb comes in handy in reducing premature greying of your hair. Cook curry leaves + Ajwain + dry grapes in a medium cup of water and drinks this mixture once a day for 1 to 3 weeks to prevent premature greying of your hair.
5. Relieves Arthritis Aches
Ajwain exhibits strong antibiotic properties and, therefore, helps reduce inflammation and redness. Also, this magical medicinal herb carries excellent anesthetic properties that provide quick and effective relief from swelling and pain. Prepare a paste of crushed ajwain seeds and apply to the affected joint twice daily for 1 to 2 weeks to improve your pain symptoms.
6. Helps Treat Excessive Bleeding
Drinking Oma water proves hugely beneficial for treating indigestion in pregnant women as it properly cleans their uterus. Also, Oma water also comes in handy in solving the issues of irregular periods. You can quickly prepare Oma water by boiling two teaspoons of roasted ajwain in plain water.
7. Treats Renal Problems
Ajwain, when combined with vinegar and honey and used for 1 to 2 weeks on a stretch, helps dissolve renal stones that are eventually flushed out of your system with urine. Therefore, ajwain helps in treating renal stones and the pain associated with them.
8. Helps Reduce Weight
Ajwain is a powerful laxative and has appetite-stimulating properties that facilitate regular bowel movement and therefore, helps you lose weight naturally.
9. Cleans Wounds and Cuts
Ajwain contains Thymol, a potent disinfectant, and fungicide. Therefore, you can crush ajwain seeds and apply on your affected area to cure minor cuts or infections. Ajwain oil (2) has long been used to help prevent infections like small cuts, burns, bruises, and several other skin conditions – and provides fast and effective relief.
10. Serves as a Mosquito Repellent
Combine ajwain seeds with mustard oil and apply on a cardboard piece. Place this in one corner of your room to keep mosquitoes at bay. Ajwain and mustard, when used together to ward off mosquitoes, provides a pleasant smell causing no allergic reaction to your eyes – quite unlike those harmful coils that leave hazardous smoke and a horrible smell all across your home.
How to Add Ajwain to Your Diet?
Along with its tremendous health benefits, Ajwain serves as a magnificent spice used in almost every other Indian cuisine. Ajwain seeds are a common ingredient in several Chinese dishes as well. In India, it is also used to flavor pickles and season the chicken along with several other spices. Moreover, Ajwain is used to prepare herbal tea.
Also, it flavors soups, sauces, biscuits, and snacks. Nowadays more and more people prefer using herbal toothpaste to keep their oral health at peak and ajwain is an essential ingredient in almost all such products. It is also used in mouth fresheners.
A Word of Caution While Consuming Ajwain
In general, Carom seeds do not cause any harmful or adverse effects when consumed in moderation. However, over-consumption of ajwain seeds or oil is associated with several adverse effects.
It may cause heartburns and stomach ulcers, nausea or dizziness, liver problems, heart diseases, and several other acute or chronic ailments. Also, over-consumption of ajwain may lead to several issues for breastfeeding or pregnant women. Ajwain overuse may also result in photosensitivity.
Carom seeds, also known as Ajwain, have long been an integral part of most Indian cuisines along with being used for its medicinal benefits in different Ayurvedic medicines. Ajwain tends to exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects along with being an extremely modern medicine for the treatment of peptic ulcers, high cholesterol levels, and high blood sugar.
However, many studies have been carried out in test tubes and on animals and therefore, there is an obvious need to conduct further research on ajwain to understand and verify its benefits on human health.
Ajwain is mostly considered as absolutely safe for the majority of individuals. However, the ajwain seeds may be unsafe for breastfeeding and pregnant women since ajwain can have several adverse effects on the fetuses. Also, if you are unsure about the benefits (3) of ajwain seeds on your health, it is recommended that you consult a registered medical practitioner to discuss your options.
In case you are interested in adding the ajwain seeds or oil to your regular diet, you can purchase them from local grocery stores or online.