Ajwain is one of the oldest Indian condiments. Ajwain is commonly known as Carom seed or Bishop’s weed. In India, it is used as an instant remedy to cure several digestive problems. Not only this, but Ajwain is also used to expel intestinal worms, relieve various pain, protect heart disorders, ease respiration and nasal blockage. It improves appetite, and can treat abdominal tumors as well.
Ajwain has also been explored to isolate its active compound and essential oil. Its essential oil is of great medicinal value.
Ajwain – All you need to know
Ajwain in Ayurveda is known as Yavani (Trachyspermum ammi). However, Ajamoda (Carum roxburghianum) resembles closely with Yavani in appearance as well as properties.
Ajwain is an erect, glabrous annual herb that grows 30-90 cm high. Leaves are somewhat distant, linear, and 2-3 pinnately compound. Little white flowers of Ajwain are arranged in an umbel fashion.
Fruit of Ajwain plant is small, oval, and laterally compressed. It has a rough surface and is yellowish-brown or grey. The fruit bears five light-colored ridges and has got characteristic pungent smell. Ajwain fruit has got several therapeutic qualities and is used as a medicine in Ayurveda.
Properties of Ajwain
Ajwain tastes pungent and somewhat bitter. It is dry, quick-acting, and light to digest. It shows a pungent post-digestive effect and has a heating effect. Ajwain pacifies aggravated vata and kapha dosha.
What are the benefits of Ajwain?
Ajwain has long been used as a popular home remedy in India. It is still the most preferred remedy for indigestion, acidity, bloating, flatulence, vomiting, and stomach-ache. Here are some benefits of Ajwain mentioned in Ayurvedic texts –
Effective pain reliever
Ajwain is an excellent analgesic and anti-spasmodic. Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it beneficial in relieving joint pain of arthritis. Ajwain is very effective in relieving menstrual cramps, headaches, neural pain, abdominal pain, ear, and toothache.
Improves appetite and aids digestion
Ajwain improves appetite by stimulating digestive fire. It is, therefore, helpful for those with low appetite and slow metabolism. Ajwain aids digestion by increasing the secretion of gastric juices nearly four times.
Furthermore, it stimulates the activity of digestive enzymes, which causes increased production of bile acid. Chewing little Ajwain after having a meal improves digestion.
Beneficial in respiratory problems
Ajwain eases breathing in asthma, cold, cough, flu, and other respiratory infections. Ajwain shows bronchodilator and anti-tussive effects. It relaxes the tracheal smooth muscles and inhibits the activity of histamine. Histamine is responsible for broncho-spasm and causes breathing difficulties.
Relieves from flatulence and acidity
As Ajwain pacifies vata dosha (air element), it works wonder in flatulence and bloating. Further, it reduces the chances of hyperacidity and prevents heartburn and gastric ulcers.
Prevents heart disorders
Ajwain is an excellent cardio-protective. It possesses a calcium channel blocking effect and prevents aggregation of platelets. Thus, Ajwain prevents hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.
Kills intestinal worms
Essential oil of Ajwain fruits shows anthelminthic activity. It helps in expelling worms and repairs the damaged intestinal tissues.
How to use Ajwain?
Ajwain is a popular Indian condiment. It is used for flavoring numerous varieties of food, as a preservative in medicines, for fragrance in perfumery and cosmetics. But you can use Ajwain as medicine in the following ways –
- You can improve your appetite by taking buttermilk mixed with Ajwain powder and rock salt. This drink is also beneficial in hemorrhoids and abdominal tumors
- You can get relief from joint pain in various kinds of arthritis. For this, make a paste of powdered Ajwain in warm water. Tie it in a poultice or apply directly on the affected joint
- You can get rid of the nasal block by inhaling vapors of steamed water mixed with 1-2 gram Ajwain powder. Do this 2-3 times a day
- If you suffer from menstrual cramps, then Ajwain can help you. Take 1-2 gram Ajwain powder with warm milk thrice a day
Boil two teaspoons of roasted Ajwain in one glass of water until half of it remains. Drink this decoction thrice in a day. You can also apply Ajwain oil on the lower abdomen to get relief
- Taking one teaspoon of the paste of Ajwain and jaggery twice a day eases breathing in Asthma patients
- If you have abdominal pain, bloating, acidity then take one gram Ajwain powder with lukewarm water and rock salt
- To treat migraine and headache apply the warm paste of Ajwain over the head and little below the eyes
- To get relief from earaches, put two drops of Ajwain oil in each ear
- If you suffer from the problem of flatulence, then take 2-gram Ajwain and fennel powder with warm water
What is the recommended dose of Ajwain?
You can take 1-3 grams of Ajwain powder and 15-30 ml of its decoction per day. If you are consuming essential oil of Ajwain orally, then use only 15-30 drops in a day. 25-30 mg of dried Ajwain extract can be consumed daily and you may use only 6 ml of Ajwain tincture.
Side effects of Ajwain
Ajwain, when used in larger doses, may cause hyperacidity, mouth ulcers, and burning sensation. It should be used with caution in pregnancy, nursing mothers, and people with kidney disorders.
Ajwain is an effective home remedy for digestive problems. It is a good option for those who take antacids, anti-flatulents, and laxatives regularly. This will help them avoid the side effects of these synthetic medicines.
Ajwain, apart from curing digestive problems, also works wonder in various types of pain, heart diseases, abdominal disorders, tumors, toxicity, and worm infestations. Ajwain is indeed a safe medicine available in our kitchen.