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Ajwain, Carom Seeds (Trachyspermum Ammi)

Ajwain is a "seed" of the ajwain herb, commonly used in Indian cuisine. Ajwain is an annual herb and the plant's leaves and fruit—often referred to as seeds—are pale khaki-colored, oval-shaped, and look like a smaller version of cumin seeds. They are highly fragrant, have a bitter and pungent taste. Ajwain is also known as carom seeds or bishops weed. These seeds are often used for culinary purposes in small quantities and have a wonderful effect on overall health.

Carom seeds are incredibly nutritious, being rich in fiber, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals. Because of this, they have been associated with health benefits and long been used in traditional Indian medicine practices.

Botanical Description

It is widely grown in arid and semi-arid regions where soils contain high levels of salts[10,11] Ajwain is a profusely branched annual herb, 60-90 cm tall. Stem is striated; inflorescence compound umbel with 16 umbellets, each containing up to 16 flowers; flowers actinomorphic, white, male and bisexual; corolla 5, petals bilobed; stamens 5, alternating with the petals; ovary inferior; stigma knob-like; fruit aromatic, ovoid, cordate, cremocarp with a persistent stylopodium; leaves pinnate, with a terminal and 7 pairs of lateral leaflets. Fruit, consists of two mericarps, grayish brown, ovoid, compressed, about 2 mm long and 1.7 mm wide, 5 ridges and 6 vittae in each mericarp, usually separate, 5 primary ridges.

Chemical Composition of Ajwain

Ajwain seeds or Carom seeds contain:

  •   Fiber
  •   Carbohydrates
  •   Tannins
  •   Glycosides
  •   Proteins
  •   Fats
  •   Saponins
  •   Flavones
  •   Calcium
  •   Phosphorus
  •   Iron and niacin

Different Names

  •   English Name : Bishop's weed
  •   Sanskrit Name : Yamini, Yaminiki, Yaviniki
  •   Bengali Name : Yamani, Yauvan, Yavan, Javan, Yavani, Yoyana
  •   Hindi Name : Ajwain, Jevain
  •   Tamil Name : Omam
  •   Telugu Name : Vamu
  •   Assamese Name : Jain

Classification of Ajwain

  •   Kingdom Name : Plantae, Plant
  •   Subkingdom Name : Tracheobionta, Vascular plants
  •   Superdivision Name : Spermatophyta, Seed plants
  •   Division Name : Magnoliophyta, Flowering plants
  •   Order Name : Apiales
  •   Class Name : Magnoliopsida, Dicotyledons
  •   Family Name : Apiaceae
  •   Species Name : Ammi
  •   Genus Name : Trachyspermum

Habitat of Ajwain

Ajwain is cultivated throughout most of India.

Uses & Effectiveness

  •   Instant Relief from Acidity and Indigestion
  •   For Ear and Tooth Ache
  •   For Cleaning Wounds
  •   Treats Common Cold
  •   To Stop Greying of Hair
  •   Mosquito Repellent
  •   Cleansing skin
  •   Eases the Pain Due to Arthritis

Effect on Doshas

Ajwain balances Pitta dosha and alleviates Kapha and Vata dosha.

Bio Energetics of Ajwain

Hindi Sanskrit English
Rasa Kashaya Taste Tikta,Katu
Veerya Sheet Potency Ushna
Vipaka Katu Post-digestive effect Katu
Guna Laghu Characteristics Laghu, Rooksha, Teekshna

Side Effects of Ajwain

Ajwain (carom seeds) is safe to be consumed in food and also for curative dosage. Only if taken in excess, Ajwain side effects come into the picture. Excessive intake (exceeding 10 grams a day) can cause following side effects:

  •   Acidity: Ajwain is often used to help in reducing acid reflux. A higher intake of this Ayurvedic medication regularly can cause acidity for some people. This happens because the herb has a hot potency and can cause gastric release in the stomach.
  •   Burning Sensation: Ajwain is often used in low quantities owing to its hot potency. A higher intake of this herb may cause burning sensations in the stomach or even heartburn for some. This may be followed up by nausea and dizziness.
  •   Mouth Ulcer: Overconsumption of carom seeds on a regular basis may cause mouth ulcers. This happens because any eatable that has a hot potency or spicy taste if consumed in higher quantities can raise the body temperature. This leads to mouth ulcer, heartburn or burning sensation in the body.