By-Meena Ganagani,Practicing Clinical Nutritionist,Mumbai.
Carum copticum L. commonly known as “Ajwain” is cultivated in many regions of the world including Iran and India, states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Traditionally, C. copticum has been used in the past for various therapeutic effects including bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal tumors, abdominal pain, respiratory distress, and loss of appetite. It has other health benefits such as antifungal, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and hypolipidemic effects. This plant contains different important components such as carbohydrates, glucosides, saponins and phenolic compounds (carvacrol), volatile oils (thymol), terpiene, paracymene and beta-pinene, protein, fat, fiber, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, iron, and nicotinic acid (niacin).(1)
Health benefits of Carom seeds (Ajwain)
Fight bacteria and fungi: Carom seeds have powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. This is likely attributed to two of its active compounds, thymol and carvacrol, which have been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi
Improve cholesterol levels: Research indicates that carom seeds may lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. High cholesterol and triglyceride levels are risk factors for heart disease.
May lower blood pressure: High blood pressure,or hypertension, is a common condition that increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Traditional treatment involves the use of medications like calcium-channel blockers. These blockers prevent calcium from entering the cells of your heart and relax and expand blood vessels, resulting in lower blood pressure. Some research indicates that thymol — a major component of carom seeds — may have calcium-channel-blocking effects and could help lower blood pressure levels.
Combats peptic ulcers and relieves indigestion: Carom seeds are commonly used as a household remedy for digestive issues in Ayurvedic medicine. Studies show that carom seed extract may combat peptic ulcers, which are sores of the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine. Carom seed extract may also help prevent and treat gas and chronic indigestion. Indigestion is categorized as persistent pain and discomfort in the upper part of your stomach. Delayed stomach emptying is one of the perceived causes of indigestion.
May prevent coughing and improve airflow: Some evidence suggests that carom seeds may provide relief from coughing. Carom seeds may have anti coughing effects and could help increase airflow to the lungs.
Anti-inflammatory effects: Inflammation can be good or bad. Short-term inflammation is your body’s natural way of protecting against illness or injury. Carom seeds have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and may reduce inflammation in your body. (2)
Other benefits and Uses of Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
- Colic– Boil 1 teaspoonful of fennel seeds and ½ tea spoonful of carom seeds in ½ litre of water. Heat the liquid slowly for 5 minutes. Cool, strain and drink a cup daily of this liquid after meals to relieve colic.
- Diabetes-Carom seeds are used to cope up with diabetes. Dry few neem leaves in the shade. Powder and store in an air tight container. At night, mix 1 teaspoonful of the powder in hot milk with ½ teaspoonfuls of powdered cumin and carom seeds. Consume it for 30 days to reduce blood sugar level.
- Deafness-Carom seeds have been used to cure deafness. Put few drops of thymol oil, obtained by extracting carom seeds and put a few drops in your ears to get rid of deafness.
- Ear pain-Heat one tea spoonful garlic and two tea spoonful carom seeds in sesame oil, till they are red in colour. Cool, strain and put a few drops of this liquid into the ears. This is also useful to treat boils in ears.
- Flatulence-Soak 3 teaspoonful of carom seeds in lime juice. Dry this in the shade. Powder and mix it with little black salt and consume 1 teaspoonful twice a day with warm water.
- Belching-Many gas related problems can be cured by a mixture of dried ginger, carom seeds and black salt. This is useful to treat problems related to gastric like gas, indigestion, and belching. It can also be taken by adding car this mixture in warm water with cardamom and drink it.
- Migraine-Wrap carom seeds in the tissue paper and smell this mixture. It is useful to reduce migraine headache. Also they can be burnt and inhaled for other problems related to head.
- Heart problems-Consume one tablespoon of carom seeds with warm water to stimulate the heart. It is also beneficial to cure chest pain. One can mix one teaspoon of jaggery with some carom seeds to get quick relief from heart problems.
- Body cleanser-Consumption of carom seeds tea can help in cleansing body toxins. Thus, this can reduce many skin and health related problems. This helps to purify blood and improve the blood circulation in body.
- Calculus-By Consuming 6 grams of carom seeds daily, one can get rid of this stone disease.
- Menorrhagia-Soak 25 gram of carom seeds in a mud pot filled with water for whole night. Grind these carom seeds and drink in the morning.
- Urticaria-Consume 1 gram of carom seeds with 3 grams of jaggery. This is a useful remedy to cure this problem of urticarial.
- Digestion-Carom seeds helps to get relieve from digestive problems. Chewing 1 teaspoonful of raw carom seeds with or without sugar can help get rid of indigestion.Soak three teaspoon of carom seeds in lime juice and dry it in shade. Grind this and mix some black salt. Consume this twice a day with lukewarm water. This is a useful method to cure loss of appetite, flatulence and other stomach problems. Do this daily till you get the results.
- Arthritis-Carom seed oil is a very useful method to cure arthritis pain. Massage on affected joints regularly with carom seed oil to get relief from rheumatic pain.
- Diarrhoea-Carom seed is a natural remedy to cure dysentery or diarrhoea. Boil a handful of carom seeds in one glass of water. Cool and strain this carom water so that it can be consume twice a day. This is an orthodox remedy to cure indigestion and dysentery.
- Viral infections-Combined mixture of yogurt and carom seeds powder in the form of paste can be applied on face for the whole night can help to lighten acne scars. Wash it with lukewarm water in the morning for best results.
- Acidity-Mix one table spoon of carom seeds with one table spoon of cumin seeds. Consume them on a daily basis with some ginger powder. This natural remedy is a best way to cure acidity and indigestion problems.
- Constipation-Carom seeds are the best remedy to cure digestion related problems.so,it can also help to get rid of from the problem of constipation. Carom seeds do not have any side effects.
- Asthma-Consuming carom seeds with warm water give instant relief from cold and expel cough and mucus from the body. It is also useful for treating bronchitis and asthma. It can be consumed with jaggery twice a day.
- Irregular Menses and Excessive Bleeding -Women with the problem of irregular menses and excessive bleeding can drink ajwain water. Soak handful of carom seeds in earthen vessel filled with water at night. Grind them and drink it in the morning is a good remedy to get rid of this problem.