Trachyspermum Ammi L. Sprague – commonly known as ‘Ajwain’ – is easily taken for granted by us as it is an essential component of the spice box or the Masala Dibba in any Indian household. Ajwain has several other common names in English, including carom, caraway, Ethiopian cumin, wild parsley, and bishop’s weed. That granular, aromatic tasty mix of seeds that mum or Dadiji adds to the paranthas or pooris is actually a nearly magical herb.
The use of ajwain as a gastrointestinal medicine and also as an antiseptic is fairly common in India and the Indian traditional medicine system Ayurved. Whenever one suffers bowel pain or colic etc, most elders in any given family suggest taking a spoonful of ajwain seeds with a pinch of salt and a glass of warm (hot) water. The thymol, cumene, and terpene in ajwain give it a typical flavour. It is therefore an important part of kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes. There is an increased interest globally in identifying antioxidant compounds and antibacterial compounds in ajwain that are pharmacologically potent and have low or no side effects, for use in preventive medicine and in the food industry.
Let us look at the nutritional potential of ajwain seeds and their usage.
- Relief from acidity and stomach gases: Ajwain is given as oral medicine for anti flatulence, gastro-intestinal trouble, indigestion, and a paste of crushed fruits is applied externally for relieving colic pains. Ajwain has antispasmodic properties.
- Relief from asthma, bronchitis, common cold: A hot and dry fomentation of the fruits is applied on the chest for asthma, bronchitis, common cold, etc. Ajwain shows broncho-dilating activity when ingested or applied to a patient’s body.
- Relief from kidney and urinary bladder ailments: Ajwain is used in cases of polyuria – which means one is urinating too much due to either diabetes or conditions such as an overactive bladder, an enlarged prostate, and urinary tract infections.
- Relief from pain: Ajwain has analgesic and antimicrobial potency. It is used in treating toothache, earache, pain in the throat, arthritic and rheumatic pains, and migraine. Ajwain seed oil exhibited a broad spectrum of fungi-toxic behaviour by inhibiting the mycelial growth of all tested fungi ; it is also a traditional remedy for cholera and fainting spells.
- As an aphrodisiac: Ajwain is widely used to enhance sexual prowess or virility and to treat premature ejaculation. According to Ayurvedum.com, some believe ajwain helps improve fertility too. Heat up ajwain with ghee and then mix it into a warm glass of milk.
- Ajwain for weight loss and weight gain: According to Ayurvedum.com, ajwain can help you reach a healthy body weight – whether you need to shed extra pounds or add some weight to your lean frame. Ajwain can help speed up metabolism which helps burn up energy at a better rate, preventing fat storage in the body. For those who find it hard to eat healthy quantities, ajwain boosts appetite and helps gain a healthy weight.
- Ajwain for immunity: In these days of the pandemic, everyone wants to possess great immunity. The ajwain plant and its seeds have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties, reports Ayurvedum.com. It reduces oxidative stress, supports the body’s defence system, and fights off infections. Moreover, it ensures proper digestive health – thus boosting your immunity.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.