Health Benefits of Ajwain (Carom)
Ajwain, Trachyspermum ammi, is also known as carom or bishop's weed. It is an herbaceous plant native to India and the Middle East that produces a seed-like fruit mainly used in Ayurvedic and Siddha medicinal traditions for digestive problems and detoxification. The ajwain fruits look very much like seeds and are commonly referred to as seeds (e.g. carom seeds).
Ajwain Seed Nutrition Facts
Ajwain Oil (Carom Seed Oil)
The Ajwain essential oil makes up 2.5-5% of the whole fruit. It can also be distilled from the flowers and leaves, although in much smaller quantities. It has a brown tint and a sharp, biting taste. When chewed on, it can temporarily numb the tongue.
Ajwain oil is 30-60% thymol—depending on when the seeds are sown—which make the fruit smell a lot like thyme. The other major constituents are gamma-terpinene, p-cymene, and beta-pinene. It also contains 22 other minor constituents that have been identified.
Medicinal Uses of Ajwain
Here are some of the ways ajwain is used to treat health problems in traditional Ayurvedic, Siddha, and Unani medicine. Always talk to an allopathic or naturopathic doctor before trying any home remedies.
Stomach and Digestive Problems
- Add ajwain to parathas and pooris. This can aid digestion of fatty and oily foods.
- Take 1 tsp ajwain with rock salt and warm water for relief. This can also help with diarrhea.
- Mix 15 grams of ajwain, 5 grams of black salt, and 0.5 grams of asafoetida. Store in a bottle. Take 1 gram of this with warm water twice a day. This can also increase appetite.
- Mix 1.5 grams of black salt with 6 grams of ajwain and swallow with warm water for relief.
- Intestinal Worms
- Taking 3-7 drops of ajwain oil can kill some intestinal parasites.
- Taking 4 grams of ajwain churan (see below) with buttermilk may also kill worms.
- Soak 25 grams of ground ajwain seeds in 500 mL of water overnight. Boil it the next morning until about 125 mL remains. Strain the mixture and drink when cool.
- This makes one dose for adults.
- The dose for children is half of this.
- Itchiness, Boils, and Eczema
- Grind ajwain seeds in enough hot water to make a paste. Apply on the affected areas.
- You can also boil some ajwain seeds in water. When the water cools down, strain and wash the affected areas.
- To reduce swelling due to boils, make the paste with lemon juice instead of water.
- Hives (Urticaria)
- Eat 1 gram of ajwain with 3 grams of jaggery.
- Mix 10 grams of ground ajwain with 25 grams of curd. Apply the mixture onto the pimples and leave on overnight. Rinse it off in the morning with warm water.
- Joint Pain
- Massage ajwain oil on the joints to relieve pain.
- Boil 3 grams of ajwain seeds and 3 grams of cinnamon in water and drink.
- Simmer 12 grams of ajwain seeds in 2 cups of water until only 1 cup remains. Strain and drink four times a day for relief.
- Chronic Low-Grade Fever
- Soak 15 grams of ajwain seeds in 1 cup of water in an earthen vessel.
- Leave it outside overnight so that dew falls on it.
- In the morning, strain and drink. Do this for 15 days.
- If the fever still persists, continue for few more days.
- Eat 1 tsp of ajwain with hot water for relief.
- Eating ajwain wrapped in betel leaf can relieve nighttime coughing.
- Toothaches and Throat Pain
- Put 1 tsp crushed ajwain in boiling water. Add some salt to this. When the water becomes tepid take a mouthful and swish it around well. Hold it in for sometime before spitting it out. Do this 3 times a day.
- In throat pain, gargling with this water helps in relieving pain.
- Kidney Pain
- Swallow 6 grams of ajwain with water. It can remove stones from the kidneys and bladder.
- Excessive Urine
- Mix ajwain and sesame seeds and eat for relief.
- Take equal amounts of jaggery and ground ajwain and mix well.
- Take 1 tsp 4 times a day. This can also help reduce kidney pain.
- During Pregnancy
- Eating jaggery and crushed ajwain can relieve back pain, purify the blood, improve appetite, and strengthen the uterus.
- Irregular Menses and Excessive Bleeding
- Soak 25 grams of ajwain in 125 mL of water in an earthen vessel overnight.
- In the morning, grind the mixture to release the nutrients and drink.
- Mosquito Repellant
- Grind ajwain seeds and mix with an equal quantity of mustard oil. Soak strips of cardboard in this mixture and hang them in the corners of the room. It drives away the mosquitoes.
Ajwain as a Spice
Roasted or fried ajwain seeds are widely used as a spice in Indian cuisine. It is also used as an ingredient in making biscuits and snacks.
How to Make Ajwain Churan at Home
Ajwain Churan as a Digestive
- Get equal quantities of ajwain and Choti harad (also called hime or Terminalia chebula).
- Add asafoetida and rocksalt to taste and grind all the ingredients together.
- After meals, take 1 tsp of this with warm water.
Ajwain Churan Recipe for General Wellness
- Get equal quantities of ajwain, cardamom, black pepper, and dried ginger.
- Grind all of the ingredients together.
- Take 1/2 tsp with water two times a day (once in the morning and again in the evening).
My Ajwain Paratha (Indian Flatbread) Recipe
- Atta (wheat flour dough)
- Dry wheat flour
- Ground ajwain
- Take some dough and make a medium-sized ball (larger than a golf ball but smaller than a tennis ball).
- Flatten it a bit and dust both sides with dry flour.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a flat, round shape.
- Sprinkle some ground ajwain on and salt to taste.
- Fold one side 1/3 of the way in and do the same for the other side.
- Fold the other two ends the same way. You should now have a square shape.
- Roll this out to get a thin, flat, and square paratha.
- Roast both sides of the paratha a bit, applying some oil to both these sides alternately until the paratha is crisp with nicely browned spots.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician or another healthcare provider before trying any home remedies or supplements.
- Bairwa, R., Sodha, R.S., Rajawat, B.S. (2012). Trachyspermum ammi. Parmacognosy Review, 6(11): 56-60. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.95871
- myfitnesspal. (n.d.). Calories in Spices Ajwain Seed.
- Gyanunlimited. (April 9, 2012). Top 10 Health and Medicinal Benefits of Ajwain (Botanical Name: Trachyspermum Ammi)
- Zarshenas, M.M., Moein, M., Samani, S.M., Petramfar, P. (2014). An Overview on Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) Pharmacological Effects; Modern and Traditional. Journal of Natural Remedies, 14(1): 98-105.
© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly