Flavorful yet sharply pungent, ajwain seeds are one of the traditional spices commonly featuring in Indian and Middle-Eastern cuisine. Botanically, they are the spicy seeds belonging to the family of Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), in the genus; Trachyspermum. Scientific name: Trachyspermum copticum.
The Umbellifers are small flowering shrubs (same as the members of carrot or parsley family) which also include a broad category of herbs and spice plants such as parsley, dill, fennel, aniseed, and caraway. Some of the common names for ajwain seeds are ajowan seeds, carom seeds, etc.
The Trachyspermum copticum (ajwain) is thought to have originated in the Asia minor or Persia regions, from where it spread to the Indian subcontinent. The plant is a small, cool season annual herb which grows up to two to three feet in height. It features tiny white-petaled flowers in umbels that eventually develop into small, oval-shaped seeds. The crop is ready for harvesting by the end of winter or early spring.
Ajwain seeds are olive green to brown in color, have similarity in appearance to cumin or caraway seeds, marked with vertical stripes on their outer surface. However, they can be easily distinguished from caraway and cumin by the elliptical shape and tiny size. Their flavor closely resembles that of thyme since they too comprise essential oil, thymol.
9 Amazing Benefits
1. Instant Relief from Acidity and Indigestion
One of the most crucial health benefits of ajwain seeds and why your mother never forgets to add it to your meals is because it keeps your stomach strong. Nothing disrupts our daily routine more than an upset stomach. The active enzymes in ajwain help in boosting our digestive functions by facilitating the release of gastric juices. Take 1 teaspoon of cumin and 1 teaspoon of carom seeds and add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder to it. Take this mix with water daily to cure heartburns.
2. Treats Common Cold
Ajwain helps in avoiding nasal blockage by discharging the mucus easily. Prepare a paste of ajwain seeds and jaggery by heating it and take 2 teaspoons of it twice a day to feel better. This also helps in dealing with respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis. To provide relief from a migraine headache, take ajwain powder in a thin cloth and inhale it frequently or keep it under your pillow.
3. For Ear and Tooth Ache
To ease a dreaded ear pain, two drops of ajwain oil are enough. For instant relief from tooth-ache, gargle with a mix of lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon of ajwain and salt. Simply inhaling the fumes of burning ajwain seeds can do wonders for an aching tooth. Besides this, it acts as a great mouth wash and maintains good oral hygiene.
4. For Cleaning Wounds
A component called thymol in ajwain seeds acts as a strong fungicide and germicide. Thus, ajwain seeds can be crushed and applied on the skin to treat infections or cuts. So if next time you come across any such injury, bring carom seeds to your rescue.
5. Oma Water
Ajwain or Oma water is an ayurvedic marvel, especially for women. It cures the problem of indigestion for pregnant ladies by cleaning the uterus and stomach and solves the issue of irregular periods. Oma water is also often given to babies to reduce the problem of gas that causes discomfort. To prepare ajwain water, boil 2 teaspoons of roasted ajwain seeds in water. Strain this mixture and drink. You can add 1 teaspoon of honey for flavour. Drinking ajwain water regularly is known to enhance your rate of metabolism, burns fat and thus helps in losing weight.
6. To Stop Greying of Hair
Ajwain seeds help in halting pre-mature greying of hair. To prepare this mixture, add curry leaves, dry grapes, sugar and carom seeds in a single cup of water and cook. Drink one glass of this every day until you start seeing the results.
7. Mosquito Repellent
If your market bought mosquito repellent fails to work, you can always make one at home. Combine mustard oil with ajwain seeds and apply on cardboard pieces which you can tie in the corners of your room to ward off mosquitoes. Using this spice as a repellent fills your house with a beautiful scent unlike the fumes released from coils.
8. Cleansing skin
“Ajwain powder is especially useful in lightening acne scars. Apply a paste on the affected area for 10-15 minutes and then rinse,” advises Dr. Sinha. This effective home remedy can come to great help in getting rid of dirt from the skin.
9. Eases the Pain Due to Arthritis
Ajwain seeds possess two qualities that help them fight arthritis. They have antibiotic properties that reduce redness and combat inflammation, and they possess anaesthetic properties that soothe the pain and swelling. As a home remedy, you can apply the paste of crushed seeds on the joints or soak in a tub of hot water with a handful of carom seeds.