What is Ajwain?
Origins of AjwainAjwain is a popular herb with medicinal properties and a famous spice of Indian kitchen. It is also known as carom seeds. The scientific name of ajwain is Trachyspermum ammi. Ajwain is originated in Egypt and later cultivated in Iraq, Iran, Afganistan, Pakistan and India. It is cultivated throughout India especially in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal.
Health Benefits of Ajwain
Helps in DigestionAjwain is a very good digestive aid. Ajwain increases the release of gastric juices which help to break down the food in the stomach and assist in easy digestion. This herb is regularly consumed after a meal in most Indian households, to help treat indigestion, heartburn, gas and stomach aches.
Traditionally, ajwain was used to get relief from the abdominal discomfort caused due to indigestion. Ajwain seeds powder is soaked in milk and the filtered milk is fed to babies. This is a common practice in Southern part of India. It is believed to relieve colic in babies and also enhances digestion and appetite.
Useful for Oral HealthAjwain contains 2-4% of brownish color essential oil. Thymol is the major constituent of this oil. The essential oil contains 35-60 % of thymol. It has antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Hence, it is used in oral hygiene products. Being a natural pain reliever, ajwain helps to reduce toothache. Gargling with ajwain water can help to get rid of toothache.
Good Remedy for ColdAjwain is effective to treat respiratory problems including common cold, cough and nasal congestion. Ajwain has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, therefore, it is effective to treat respiratory problems including, common cold, cough and nasal congestion. Due to antibacterial properties of ajwain, it is a very good immunity booster and helps in speedy recovery from cold.
Chew some ajwain and sip some warm water along with it. Ajwain seed powder, when given with buttermilk, helps to remove phlegm.
Heals WoundAjwain has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which makes it a great cleansing agent for minor wounds and skin infections. Thymol is a strong germicidal agent present in ajwain. It helps to disinfect the wound and quicken the healing process.
Beneficial for Heart HealthAjwain has hypolipidemic effect. The extract of the seeds was found to reduce levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Consumption of one spoon of ajwain with warm water helps to stimulate the heart, and it is a good remedy for the chest pain as well.
Helps in Weight LossAjwain has laxative properties, thus it quickens the digestion process. Though ajwain is known to facilitate weight loss, there is no direct connection. Few of the possible mechanisms by which it can promote weight loss is that:
- Ajwain contains thymol which increases the secretion of gastric juices and makes the absorption of foods easier.
- The herb helps relieve gastrointestinal problems including indigestion, abdominal gas, flatulence.
- Ajwain improves bowel movements and stimulates digestion.
- By increasing the metabolic rate, ajwain may help reduce body weight.
Lowers AcidityAjwain is known for its antispasmodic properties, and when taken with a pinch of rock salt and water, it gives relief from flatulence, dyspepsia and spasmodic disorders. It is recommended to take one spoon ajwain with one spoon of cumin seeds along with ginger powder daily. This is considered a good remedy to treat acidity and indigestion.
Improves ConstipationAjwain is a good home remedy for constipation . Due to its laxative properties, ajwain helps to loosen stools and improve bowel movements. Moreover, ajwain does not have any side effects.
Good for AsthmaAjwain seeds are used for the treatment of asthma. Laboratory results show that when asthmatic patients were treated with an extract of ajwain, dilatory effects were observed in the airways.
A hot and dry fermentation of the ajwain fruits is applied on chest to cure asthma.
Keeps Away Viral InfectionsThe antiviral properties of ajwain help to keep the viral infections at bay. Essential oil thymol along with thyme can boost the immune system which help to avoid cold, flu and other viral infections.
Recipes Using AjwainAjwain can be used in various dishes including bread, snacks, curries, biscuits, and many more. It gives a distinctive and unique taste to the dishes.
Ajwain TeaAjwain tea or ajwain chai is a simple and flavorful beverage. Ajwain chai is prepared using ajwain or carom seeds and tea leaves. It is very good for treating cold. It is also used for the remedy of digestion problems, acidity, antiseptic and expectorant.
- Water - 1 cup
- Ajwain - 1 teaspoon
- Tea leaves - 1 teaspoon
- Honey - 1 tablespoon
Boil water and add ajwain seeds. Add tea leaves. Switch off the flame, cover the pot with a lid and steep for 1 minute. Strain the tea into a cup and add honey. Stir it and the ajwain chai is ready to serve.
You can also add ginger and cardamom to enhance the taste. Milk may be added and honey can be replaced with sugar.