‘Trachyspermum Ammi’, Ajwain or Bishop’s weed is a herb used in ayurvedic medicines for its carminative properties. Ancient Greek physicians, Gelen and Dioscrides used Ajwain for preparing various carminative medicines.
It is also known as Omum in English; Ajwain in Hindi and Yavanika or Agnivardhana in Sanskrit. ‘Agnivardhana’ –meaning, stimulation of agni or digestive fire in our body.
Its pungent taste and aromatic smell has made it a favored spice in preparing pickles, confectionary, curries, biscuits and beverages. It is also used as an effective preservative and anti-oxidant. Crushed Ajwain seeds find utility in pot-pourri and scented powders.
CHARACTERISTICS OF TRACHYSPERMUM AMMI
Ajwain was originally grown in Mediterranean region. It is now grown in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Central Asian countries, China and Africa. In India, it is grown in the plains and higher altitudes as a garden crop or in small fields.
This herb stands erect at 30 to 90 cms height with small, white flowers. It bears grayish-brown ovoid fruits. Essential oil extracted from its seeds is yellowish-orange to reddish liquid with a spicy and herbaceous odor. Seeds and essential oil extracted from the herb are used in various herbal preparations.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF TRACHYSPERMUM AMMI
Charaka, an eminent seer of ancient times prescribed Ajwain for relieving ailments like artcaria, and as anti-colic and anti-flatulent drug.
SOME THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF TRACHYSPERMUM AMMI SEEDS ARE:
- Relieves diarrhea and colic due to their stimulating, carminative and anti-spasmodic properties.
- Acts as expectorant.
- Relieves bronchitis, habitual drinking, sore-throat and decongest digestive and respiratory tracts.
- Relieves cough, cold, influenza, arthritis, asthma and rheumatism.
The constituents of Ajwain which make it useful in herbal medicines include:
- Monoterpenoid: The main ingredient of essential oil extracted from Ajwain is thymol. Other monoterpenoids include dipentene, p-cymene, camphene, b-3-carene, carvacrol, limonene, myrcene; alpha, beta and gama- pinene and others.
- Fatty acids: This contains palmitic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, petroselenic acid and resin acid.
- Vitamins and other elements: Fruits of Ajwain contain thiamin, riboflavin, carotene, nicotinic acid, chromium, calcium, cobalt, iodine, copper, manganese, iron, zinc and phosphorous.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
When used as an ingredient in herbal products, Ajwain relieves ailments like:
- Gastro-intestinal disorders: Ajwain relieves dysentery, diarrhea, atonic dyspepsia, colic, cholera, dysentery, indigestion and flatulence.
Administration of one to three drops of oil extracted from seeds relieves gastro-intestinal disorders. Omum water, the distilled oil in water acts as antispasmodic, relieves flatulence and assists digestion.
Crystals extracted from essential oil called, ‘Ajwain-Kaphool’ relieve stomach aches. When seeds are consumed with rock salt or betel leaves, it relieves dyspepsia, spasmodic disorders and flatulence.
- Respiratory disorder: Ajwain seeds consumed with buttermilk relieve strain in expectoration due to dried phlegm and bronchitis. Chewing a pinch of Ajwain seeds and common salt with clove relieves cough caused by severe pharyngitis.
- Common cold: Ajwain seeds open up blocked nasal passage. Inhalation using crushed seeds tied in cloth or placing it beside one’s pillow relieves congestion. Alternately, one can inhale steam by boiling one teaspoon seeds in water.
- Aphrodisiac: Consuming a teaspoon of powder obtained by frying equal quantities of Ajwain seeds, kemel of seeds from tamarind in ghee with one tablespoon honey and milk before bed-time makes an effective aphrodisiac increasing virility and averting premature ejaculation.
- Cholera: Tincture, thymol and essential oils extracted from the seeds relieves cholera.
- In Unani Medicine: Ajwain is used as anti-inflammatory agent, liver tonic and for relieving paralysis.
- Mouth disorders: An infusion of Ajwain seeds with common salt makes an effective gargle for severe pharyngitis.
- Colic: Apply paste of Ajwain seeds on stomach.
- Asthma: Administer dry and hot fomentation of seeds.
- Delirium and Migraine: Sniff or smoke seeds frequently.
- Earache: Heat half teaspoon seeds in 30 ml milk, filter and use as ear-drops to reduce congestion and relieve pain. If pain is caused by boil, heat three grams of garlic and Ajwain seeds each in 40 grams of sesame oil until the oil turns red. Cool the mixture, strain and administer as ear-drops.
- As Antiseptic: Use Omum water as antiseptic.
- Rheumatism: apply oil extracted from seeds or Omum-water on the affect parts.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING TRACHYSPERMUM AMMI
People can use herbal and standard therapies simultaneously to relieve and revitalize themselves.
It is not recommended to administer undiluted Trachyspermum Ammi oil to pregnant women due to its high thymol content. In general, undiluted oil should be used on the advice of a practitioner since it can be an irritant to our skin and mucous membrane.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS CONTAINING TRACHYSPERMUM AMMI
The following Planet Ayurveda products contain Trachyspermum Ammi:
It is always advisable to consult a medical practitioner before consuming any of the herbs and herbal supplements. We at Planet Ayurveda prescribe medicines and herbal supplements based on the principles of Ayurveda. We use only vegetarian and natural ingredients to manufacture our products. And we proudly claim that we do not believe in testing our products on animals. You can choose a healthy lifestyle by opting for Planet Ayurveda products.