Ajwain or Trachyspermum ammi is an annual herbal plant which belongs to the Apiaceae family. Clad by other names such as ajowan, caraway, bishops weed or carom seeds, ajvan in Hindi, asmtavoman in Tamil, vamu in Telugu and omum in Malayalam, it is widely used in Indian cuisine.
Ajwain is a small, oval-shaped seed-like fruit similar to the seeds of cumin and fennel exhibiting pungent and bitter taste. It has an aroma close to thyme as it contains thymol. The plant is chiefly cultivated in Iraq, The Middle East, Afghanistan. In India, Rajasthan is the major producer of this crop about 55% of total output in the country and all you need is a little amount of ajwain to rule over the dish.
Ajwain seeds are dry roasted or used in tadka as a mixture of spices, fried in ghee to enhance the flavour of lentils and drizzled over baked goods like bread and biscuits. These wonder seeds hold a prominent place in Ayurvedic and Siddha medicine in treating various ailments. Also Read: Tadka In Your Dishes Is Not Just For Flavour.
The wealth of nutrients in ajwain includes a good source of dietary fibre, essential fatty acids and protein. It is also loaded with different types of essential oils like thymol, cymene, pinene, terpinene and limonene. The host of plant compounds in ajwain offers numerous health benefits and promotes overall well-being and health.
Healing Health Perks Of Ajwain
1. Combats Infection
The potential antibacterial and antifungal properties of ajwain are attributed to the goodness of active compounds thymol and carvacrol which impede the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. Several studies have revealed that 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. Also Read: 5 Natural Antibiotics To Combat Infections
2. Promotes Digestion
Ajwain is one of the key ingredients used in Indian cooking due to its amazing gut healing properties. It holds a prominent place in treating various digestive conditions like acidity, indigestion and flatulence. The active enzymes in ajwain aids in promoting digestion by improving the secretion of gastric juices. Moreover, carom seeds extract is used to heal the sores of the esophagus, stomach and intestine and treats peptic ulcers.
3. Regulates Blood Pressure
Uncontrolled blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Ajwain is used in traditional medicine for controlling high blood pressure. The active plant enzyme thymol in ajwain works as an effective calcium channel blocker. This averts calcium from entering blood vessels of the heart which relaxes and expands blood vessels thereby lowering blood pressure. According to Ayurveda ajwain exhibits antihypertensive properties that work well to control high blood pressure symptoms.
4.Treats Common Cold And Cough
Studies reveal that carom seeds work as an effective anti coughing agent and provides instant relief from cough by enhancing the airflow to the lungs. It is also clear the nasal blockage by discharging the mucus easily. Make a powder of ajwain with jaggery and have this mixture twice daily to treat respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis. Also Read: Difference Between Cold & Flu
5. Ajwain Water
Ajwain or oma water is an excellent Ayurvedic remedy to treat indigestion problems. It helps in treating indigestion issues and eases irregular periods problem. Oma water is a traditional remedy given to babies to cure indigestion and flatulence. To make oma water, steep 2 teaspoons of roasted omum seeds in water, strain the decoction and drink. Drinking this water regularly is well-known to boost metabolism, burns fat and aids in losing weight.
6. Relieves Arthritis
The kitchen ingredient has potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which is extremely beneficial in reducing joint and muscle pain, thereby reducing the chances of chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis which stems from the vitiation of Vata Doshas.
7. Enhances Skin Health
Blessed with anti-inflammatory and curative properties, ajwain is used for treating oxidative free radical damage due to the sun rays, and hence treats the various signs of aging like wrinkles, fine line, spots, dark circles, etc. It is also extremely beneficial for lightening scars due to acne, pimples and bestows a smooth and glowing skin.
Make a paste of ajwain seeds and apply it on affected areas to diminish scars and spots.
8. Arrests 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.
Effect On Doshas:
Ajwain is sanctified with Katu (i.e. pungent taste) and Tikta Rasa (i.e. bitter taste) and Laghu (i.e. light), Rukshna (i.e. rough) and Teekshna Guna (i.e. piercing quality). It inherently portrays Ushna Virya (i.e. hot potency) and Katu Vipaka (i.e. pungent metabolic taste). Being rough and light, it appeases the Vata doshas (i.e. air) and Kapha (earth and water) doshas, whereas having a pungent metabolic taste, it aggravates the Pitta (fire and air) doshas.
Generally, if consumed in moderate amounts ajwain do not cause any side effects. However, if overused it may show some adverse effects in a few people. Overuse may worsen stomach ulcers and it should be avoided by people suffering from diverticulitis, liver diseases and ulcerative colitis. Always consult a doctor in case of side effects.