Carom seeds or bishop’s weed also known as ajwain is a common herb found in Indian households and is well known for properties that make it one of the most used home remedies.
Raw ajwain looks like cumin and smells almost exactly like thyme because it also contains thymol, but is more aromatic and less subtle in taste, as well as slightly bitter, peppery hot and pungent. Ajwain compliments dals, breads and root vegetables. Even a small amount of raw ajwain will completely dominate the flavor of a dish. The strong aroma is enhanced by toasting or frying and goes well with potatoes or fish. It is sometimes also known as "Bishop's weed".
It is a common sight in India to see mothers and grandmothers handing out ajwain seeds to family members who have an upset stomach. But other than being a good digestive aid, it has a number of other health benefits. Here are some of them:
- Beat indigestion and flatulence: Ajwain is packed with tahymol. In fact it’s the only plant in the world with the highest amount of thymol. This chemical is very effective in helping the stomach release gastric juices that speed up digestion. It is known to help in cases of indigestion, flatulence, nausea and relieve colicky pain in babies. Here are some expert tips to beat indigestion.
Tip: Boil a teaspoon of the seeds in a cup of water till it is reduced to half, strain and drink this water for instant relief. Another good remedy for nausea is to take a teaspoonful of the seed and wrap it in a beetle leaf. Place this at the back of the mouth and swallow the juice slowly till as long as the leaf is intact.
2.Improves digestion when your’re pregnant or lactating: Due to its great anti-inflammatory and curative properties, ajwain is great for pregnant and lactating mothers. It helps to improve digestion, ward off constipation due to pregnancy and strengthens the muscles that make up the floor of the uterus. After pregnancy ajwain is known to heal the woman’s body internally, reduce inflammation and helps maintain good circulation. In some cultures it is also believed to improve the production of milk in lactating mothers.
Tip: It is important that mothers-to-be do not eat too much of this seed. The seed is known to increase the heat causing pitta levels in the body and can cause problems with the pregnancy.
3. Relieves cough and asthma: The thymol, present in ajwain makes it a great local anaesthetic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is known to relieve congestion due to formation of phlegm even in severe cases.
Tip: Crush a few seeds of ajwain, mix it with jaggery and eat the mixture like a toffee. Another quick method is to tie it in a soft cloth and heat the bundle over a warm tawa. Apply this warm bundle over the chest to relieve congestion immediately.
4. Helps ease rheumatic and arthritic pain: Due to its anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic properties, ajwain is a good way to get rid of pain due to rheumatism and arthritis. Try soaking your aching joints in a basin of warm water with a few seeds of ajwain. Alternatively you could crush the seed and apply the paste on the affected area for instant relief. Here are 6 natural remedies for arthritic pain you should try
5. Instant relief from ear ache:Due to its antiseptic properties ajwain mixed with garlic and sesame oil provides instant relief from earache due to boils. If a person is suffering from earaches due to congestion, a good remedy is to heat ajwain with milk. Putting a few drops of either of the mixtures in the ear can help relieve pain and discomfort.
6. Helps improve your sex life: Did you know that ajwain is a great aphrodisiac? Mixing ajwain with the seeds of tamrind, honey, ghee and milk is a great way to increase vitality. Having the mixture every day helps improve vitality and libido. Here are home remedies to boost your sex life, increase your libido and last longer in bed.
7. Keeps the heart healthy: Due to the presence of niacin and thymol along with other vitamins, ajwain is very good in maintaining heart health. It has properties that improve nerve impulses and overall circulation within the heart. Tip: Have ajwain boiled in hot water on an empty stomach regularly to keep heart disease at bay.
8. Cures hiccups instantly: As mentioned earlier, ajwain has properties that help reduce inflammation and soothes irritated nerves. Because of this, it is a great remedy to stop hiccups instantly. Have a few raw ajwain seeds with a few sips of water and watch your hiccups vanish instantly.
9. Remedy for acidity: Since it helps improve digestion, ajwain also helps in relieving acidity. The thymol content helps release stomach acids which helps reduce the regurgitation of acids. Tip: Mix one teaspoon of ajwainwith one teaspoon of jeera (cumin) and boil them in a glass of water. The solution should have a golden colour. Drink this whenever there is an attack of acidity for instant relief. Here are some food do’s and dont’s for acidity.
10. Relieves pain due to migraines: Sniffing the fumes of ajwain or applying its paste on the head helps relieve the pain due to migraines. When the seed is burned or crushed into a poultice, it releases its essential oils high in thymol content, this gives it a pain relieving effect.
If any of your symptoms persist or you have a pre-existing condition , please consult your doctor . This is an educational article and not a substitute for proper medical care.
Botanical name: Trachyspermum ammi/ carom
Sanskrit: Yaviniki, Yamini