Apart from adding flavours to our dishes, ajwain serves several other health benefits, such as; it helps to maintain our digestive health, it treats common cold, it is good for ear and toothache, it can lessen greying of hair, it eases the pain due to Arthritis, it helps in curing constipation, helps in treating pain due to kidney disorders, helps in treating asthma, helps in treating excessive bleeding and irregular menses, and also reduces body weight.
Ajwain seeds are derived from a herb plant of family Apiaceae. They are oval in shape and are highly aromatic. They vary from slightly green to brown in color. It tastes bitter and pungent, somewhat like oregano.
Ajwain seeds and its oil have a lot of nutritional value, which is as follows; Protein – 17.1%, Fats – 21.8%, Minerals – 7.8%, Fibre – 21.2%, Carbohydrate – 24.6%. It also comprises of calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, thiamine, iron, niacin. Hydrolysis of ajwain seeds yields an essential oil consisting of Thymol, gamma - terpinene, p – cymene as well as 20% trace compounds.( predominantly terpenoids).
Ajwain gives instant relief from acidity and indigestion. The enzymes in ajwain facilitate the release of gastric juices, thus improving the digestive functions. Ajwain if taken with the small quantity of salt and warm water solves indigestion problems.
Ajwain helps in clearing nasal blockage by discharging the mucus easily. Chewing ajwain with lukewarm water helps in curing a cold. Ajwain powder taken in a clean cloth if inhaled frequently cures a migraine headache. Ajwain is also good for curing asthma and bronchitis.
To get relief from earaches, two drops of ajwain oil are enough. And to cure a toothache, gargle with lukewarm water combined with 1 teaspoon ajwain and salt.
Ajwain helps in lessening premature greying of hairs. Cook curry leaves + dry grapes + ajwain in a cup of water and drinks the mixture every day to prevent pre maturation of hairs.
Ajwain has antibiotic properties, thus helping in reducing redness and combat inflammation. They also have anesthetic properties that give relief from pain and swelling. Apply the paste of crushed ajwain seeds to joints or soak in a tub of warm water with the hand full of ajwain seeds in it to get relief.
Drinking Oma water helps in curing problems of indigestion for pregnant women by cleaning the uterus and also solves the issues of irregular periods. Oma water is prepared by boiling 2 spoons of roasted ajwain in water.
Ajwain when mixed with honey and vinegar and used for 10 days, dissolves kidney stones that ultimately remove with urine. Thus ajwain helps in curing kidney disorders.
The appetite stimulating properties and the laxative components of Ajwain fastens the bowel movement thus helping in weight loss.
Apart from its health beneficial uses, Ajwain serves as a major spice used in the variety of dishes in Indian cuisine. It is used for flavoring pickles, seasoning chicken, and fishes along with other spices. It is also used for making herbal tea. It is used in flavoring snacks, biscuits, sauces and soups. They are also used as mouth fresheners. Ajwain oil is used in various cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Ajwain generally do not cause any side effects when consumed in moderate amounts. But over-consumption may lead to several adverse effects, such as; it may cause stomach ulcer and heartburns, leads to dizziness and nausea, increases liver problems, causes heart diseases, it increases the body temperature thus causing several problems during pregnancy, it may also cause photosensitivity.
Ajwain plants are easily grown from the seeds, in well drained loamy soil with a pH ranging between 6.5 – 8.2, under the favourable temperature ranging between 15°C – 25°C. the plant can grow both in partial as well as direct sunlight. Relative humidity should be between 65% - 75%. The umbels are harvested after their maturation and are mainly done during the late winters or early springs. Carom plants are believed to have their origin in Egypt. Now, they are widely cultivated in Iran, India, and Afghanistan.