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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Ajwain: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Ajwain: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

 

Trachyspermum ammi

Ajwain is commonly known as carom or Bishop weeds. It contains essential oil, which is composed of several bioactive compounds, and therefore it has medicinal importance. Ajwain is available throughout the year. Ajwain shrub leaves are feathery. Ajwain seeds are the fruit of the shrub, which is small, oval-shaped, and pale yellow.

Ajwain seed looks like fennel and cumin. Ajwain has been used from ancient times in Indian, African, and Middle Eastern for cooking which also boosts the favor of dishes and acts as a preservative in chutneys, pickles, and jams. They contain a unique source of digestive fibers that helps in keeping good gut health.

Ajwain has a strong, bitter smell, and in Sanskrit, it is known as Ugragandha. In Afghanistan, while making bread, biscuits ajwain seeds sprinkled to provide aroma and taste. Ajwain seeds, due to their health benefits, are consumed in raw or roasted form. It is a common practice of adding Ajwain in clarified butter.

The taste of Ajwain is similar to that of thyme after chewing. In grocery shops, Ajwain is available in seeds as well as spice powder form. There are several benefits of Ajwain in our diet, which are discussed in this blog.

Sources of Ajwain 

Ajwain plant is usually found in Iran (Persia), Asia, and Turkey. In some parts of India, Ajwain cultivation is found. Ajwain is also found in the Middle East and North Africa.

Other Names for Ajwain

There are different names of Ajwain such as ajowan, omam, omum, Ethiopian cumin, ajowan caraway, ajvain, ajwan, ajave seeds, Trachyspermum ammi, Dipyaka, Yamani, Bishop’s weed, Yavanika, Yamanika, Jain, Yavan, Yauvan, Javan, Yoyana, Yavani, Ajma, Javain, Ajmo, Oma, Yom, Jevain, Ayanodakan, Onva, Vamu, Juani depending on where it’s used in the world.

  • In Sanskrit, it is known as Ajwain
  • In Hindi, it is known as carom seeds
  • In Marathi, it is known as ova
  • In English, it is known as carrom seeds, bishops weed,
  • In Oriya, it is known as aniseed.
  • In Tamil, it is known as omam
  • In Telugu, it is known as Omammu, Vamu, Veelakar
  • In Malayalam, it is known as Ayamodakam
  • In French, it is known as ajowan, carambola grains.
  • In German, it is known as ajowan samen.

Nutritional composition of Ajwain

The nutritional composition of Ajwain is given in the below table:

Component Content (per 100 g)
Carbs 43 g
Protein 16 g
Fat 25 g
Fibre 39.2 g
Sodium 10 mg
Iron 4 mg
Vit C 4 mg
Total calories 305 Kcal

Important chemical compounds of Ajwain

Ajwain seeds and their oil contain 20 different bioactive compounds, mainly thymol, terpenoids, p-cymene, gamma-terpinene, and essential oil. The

thymol and carvacrol are crucial components that are responsible for the inhibition of fungi and bacteria growth.

Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Ajwain

  • Methoxsalen drug is prepared using ajwain extract. It is available in different formats such as capsules, topical cream used to treat skin problems like vitiligo (partial loss of skin pigmentation) psoriasis.
  • From ancient times, Ajwain is used to prepare herbal formulations as they believed it could balance the body system.
  • Ajwain has excellent healing and curative qualities.
  • Ajwain is a good source of soluble dietary fiber, and it is known to enhance the digestive system for stomach issues, improving intestine health. They also help in relieving the bloating.
  • Ajwain seeds are beneficial in treating spasmodic pains, abdominal discomfort due to indigestion, heartburn, and loss of appetite.
  • Ajwain n excellent source of antioxidants, and therefore it is a boon for heart patients. The antioxidants can manage excellent and bad cholesterol in the body and thus prevent heart diseases.
  • Ajwain seeds possess antibacterial and antifungal activity, and therefore it helps fight against bacteria like salmonella, E Coli, and fungi to prevent food poisoning and GI problems.
  • Ajwain extracts contain major chemical compounds that block calcium channels, which may further lower blood pressure levels.
  • Chewing of Ajwain is the best practice to eliminate problems like indigestion and flatulence, causing effects of beans.
  • Ajwain tea is very beneficial to treat diarrhea, dysentery, spasmodic pain.
  • Ajwain oil is prepared by steam distillation process, and it is very effective in treating rheumatic pain and therefore applied topically.
  • The combination of Ajwain and Ginger extract seems to more effective for treating respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis.
  • Ajwain seeds are known to improve the airflow and functioning of the lungs.
  • Ajwain has the broncho-dilating effect, which helps dilate the bronchial tubes in the lungs to provide relief from mild asthma.
  • Ajwain seed water is a great mouth wash, and this can help in maintaining good oral hygiene.
  • Ajwain is beneficial in resolving indigestion problems of pregnant ladies; it helps in cleaning the uterus and stomach, which further solves irregular periods problem.
  • Drinking ajwain water regularly is beneficial for enhancing the rate of metabolism, which helps burn body fat.
  • Ajwain seeds have antibiotic properties, and this is beneficial in reducing redness and combat inflammation.
  • Due to the anesthetic properties of Ajwain, it helps in soothing the pain and swelling.

Ajwain for a head, ear, and toothache

Few drops of Ajwain seed oil are sufficient to get relief from ear pain. For getting instant relief from a toothache, a lukewarm water mixture of Ajwain and salt is very effective. Sometimes fumes of burning ajwain seeds are more effective for an aching tooth. Ajwain seeds contain an essential bioactive component, i.e. thymol which is a strong fungicide and germicide. Therefore, ajwain seeds are crushed and applied to get relief from skin infections.

Ajwain for prevention of acne and pimples  

Ajwain seeds contain different antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components, and therefore bioactive extracts of Ajawain are also helpful in reducing skin irritation problems such as acne and pimples. The thymol and carvacrol of Ajwain seeds help fight the growth of bacteria and fungi. Ajwain powder supplements help lighten acne scars.

Ajwain products and their recommended dosages

The ayurvedic dosage of Ajwain varies according to its variants. Different forms of Ajwain products

Product  Preparation                        Dosage/ Day
Churna Take half a teaspoon of Ajwain churna with lukewarm water before and after meal for better digestion. Two times
Decoction Take one glass of water, add one teaspoon of ajwain seeds to it, and boil it for 10 minutes.Take half a teaspoon of Ajwain decoction for asthma and cold. Three times
Paste Mix roasted Ajwain seeds and jaggery and make a paste in a grinder. Take it after the meal. Two times
Tablet Take one Ajwain tablet with warm water. Two times
Ark Take five drops of Ajwain ark with warm water after the meal. Two times

Side effects and precautions of Ajwain

  • Consuming excess Ajwain seeds can lead to gas production in the stomach, leading to acidity and reflux.
  • Some peoples are allergic to Ajwain seed, which is due to the presence of thymol, which can cause dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Some of the Ajwain seeds bioactive compounds are potent, and they can cause inflammation in the mouth, resulting in a burning sensation and mouth ulcers.
  • Pregnant women should avoid taking an excessive amount of Ajwain due to potential adverse effects on fetal development.
  • Higher amounts of oral administration of Ajwain seeds are considered toxic; it can result in fatal poisoning.
  • Intake of Ajwain supplements might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Therefore, it is advised to stop the intake of Ajwain 2 weeks before the surgery.

FAQs

Is Ajwain useful in intestinal infections?

Yes, Ajwain helps treat intestinal infections. Ajwain seeds are known to posse’s anthelmintic property that helps in fighting against any intestinal infections. It directly interferes with the metabolism of parasites to inhibit their activity.

Does Ajwain help in weight loss?

Yes, Ajwain helps in the reduction of weight gain. Ajwain extract contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have a direct impact on losing weight. Ajwain also improves digestion and helps remove toxins from the body to resolve problems like constipation, acidity, and gas.

Is Ajwain helpful for reducing the grey hair problem?

Yes, Ajwain helps reduce the grey hair problem. Ajwain extract contains essential trace elements and minerals like calcium and iron, and they are beneficial in lowering grey hair problems.

Summary

Ajwain seeds have been used in traditional Indian cooking and Ayurvedic herbal formulations. Ajwain seeds contain powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidative components. Ajwain seed oil is used for preparing lotions and ointments for skin treatments. The herbal extracts of Ajwain seed possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and thus they are effective in treating peptic ulcers, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Read more about: Apricot: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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