Trachyspermum Ammi is the botanical name for Bishop’s weed. In Hindi it is known as Ajwain. The Sanskrit name is Agnivardhana or Yavanika. Medicinally the herb has been used in traditional Indian medicine since ancient times. Renowned Ayurvedic physician Charaka advocated that this herb is useful in relieving uticaria and has anticolic and antiflatulent properties.
Ajwain has an aromatic smell and pungent taste. It is mainly used in curries, biscuits, beverages, confectionery and pickles as a spice. Crushed ajwain seeds are used in potpourri and scented powders.
It has originated in the Mediterranean regions and is predominantly grown in India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is also cultivated in central Asian countries, China and Africa.
CHARACTERISTICS OF TRACHYSPERMUM AMMI
The plant is erect, annual herbaceous and grows up to 90 cm tall. Leaves are distantly placed with linear segments. The flowers of the plant are small and white in colour. Fruits of the plant are used as seeds. They are oval and around 2-3 mm long with grayish brown colour. The seeds have distinct ridges and a tubercular surface. Ripe seeds are dried and threshed to be used as a spice and a herb. The essential oil extracted from the seeds is yellowish orange in colour with a spicy flavour which resembles the smell of thyme. Part of the plant used as a herb are the seeds and the oil.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF AJWAIN
Ajwain seeds consist of about 50 percent thymol, an essential oil which has powerful anti-spasmodic, germicide and fungicide properties. Thymol is used in perfume and tooth paste industries. For relieving disorders like flatulence and diarrhea, ajwain is steeped in water and used as a medicine.
Indian households store ajwain and use it as a remedy for colic and indigestion. It is used in poultices for relieving arthritis and asthma. Ajwain is also known to have aphrodisiac properties.
The seeds of ajwain contain thiamin, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, calcium, carotene, cobalt, copper, iron, iodine, chromium, phosphorus, managanese and zinc. The essential oil extracted from the seeds has palmitic acid, resin acids, oleic acid, petroselenic acid and linoleic acid.
Every 100 grams of ajwain seeds consist of protein 17.1 percent, minerals 7.9 percent, fat 21.8 percent, carbohydrates 24.6 percent and fibre 21.2 percent.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
- Diarrhea: The seeds have antispasmodic, stimulant and carminative properties which are helpful in relieving diarrhea and colic.
- Flatulence: For relieving dyspepsia and flatulence, ajwain seeds should be consumed along with rock salt or betel leaves. A mixture of ajwain seeds and buttermilk is also said to give relief from gas problem.
- Sore throat: Ajwain seeds are beneficial in relieving bronchitis and sore throat. It is used as a stimulating decongestant for digestive and respiratory tracts. Ajwain seeds can be consumed for getting relief from cold, influenza, cough, asthma, rheumatism and arthritis. These seeds form an important component in several Ayurvedic formulations.
- Stomach ache: From ajwain seeds, crude crystals are made from the oil which are known as ajwain ke phool. These are used for relieving stomachache.
- Cholera: The essential oil, tincture and the extracted thymol are useful in relieving cholera.
- Pains: Essential oil of ajwain mixed with water is known as ‘omum water’. It is used as an aid to digestion, antiseptic and is also applied for getting relief from neuralgic and rheumatic pains. A paste made out of the ajwain seeds can be applied on the stomach for getting relief from colic pains.
- Asthma: Ajwain seeds are used for hot dry fomentation which gives relief in asthma.
- Dysmenorrhea: Ajwain seeds are analgesic in nature and help to relieve pain in menstrual cycle known as dysmenorrhea.
- Teeth problems: Ajwain powder should be used for cleaning the teeth so that problems like cavities, bad breath and swollen gums do not occur.
- Earache: Ajwain seeds when mixed with milk, heated and allowed to seep for a while, work as ear drops in relieving earaches.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING AJWAIN
The undiluted oil of ajwain seeds irritates skin and mucous membrane. Pregnant women are not supposed to consume products which are high in thymol content. It is better to take the advice of a registered practitioner before consuming any herbs or herbal products.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS THAT USE AJWAIN
The following Planet Ayurveda products contain Ajwain:
We at team Planet Ayurveda are working tirelessly to provide only the best to our clients. We are constantly working to innovate and discover the natural medicines available. Our researchers are studying various herbs and are analyzing them thoroughly. Each product from the company is examined under strict quality standards by expert herbalists. We do not use any preservatives in our products. We believe in a naturally healthy lifestyle.