Ajwain is also known as Carom seeds or caraway in English. Integral part of Indian cuisine, ajwain, due to its strong smell and pungent taste is known as Ugragandha in Sanskrit.
Although referred to as “seeds,” ajwain herb the fruit of the ajwain plant. Ajwain serves the twin purposes of adding flavor to the food and also offers several health benefits.
Ajwain contains various nutrients and minerals. 100gms of Ajwain contains 305 calories, 43 gm carbohydrates, 39 gm fibre, 25 gm fat, 16 gm protein, and 10 gm sodium. It also contains sodium, iron, tannins, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, thiamine, glycosides, and nicotinic acid.
Possible Health Benefits of Ajwain…
1. The enzymes in ajwain help in releasing the gastric juices thus, boosting the digestive functions.
2. Extracts of ajwain help in preventing and treating gas, diarrhea, constipation, chronic indigestion, acidity, and peptic ulcers.
Prevents Kidney Stones
1. Ajwain prevents the deposition of calcium oxalate which drastically reduces the risk of developing kidney stones.
2. Ajwain contains several phytochemical compounds which maintain renal function, decrease renal injury, and also prevent the retention of kidney stones.
Improves cholesterol levels
1. The extracts of carom seeds are beneficial in lowering total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
2. The high fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acid content of ajwain are responsible for increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Lowers blood pressure
1. The thymol component of ajwain seeds possesses calcium-channel-blocking effects. This effect inhibits calcium from entering into the heart cells and blood vessel walls thus lower blood pressure levels.
2. Ajwain possesses antihypertensive properties thus, controls high blood pressure symptoms.
Reduces arthritis pains
1. The anti-inflammatory properties of carom seeds like sterols, terpenes, and glycosides content of carom seeds help in reducing inflammation.
2. The antibiotics and anaesthetic properties possessed by Ajwian help in decreasing inflammation swelling and pains.
3. Oils extracted from ajwain help decrease the different types of pains due to arthritis.
Helpful against fungi & harmful bacteria
1. Carom seeds possess powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties thus, they are powerful in fighting against fungi and harmful bacteria.
2. The two compounds, thymol, and carvacrol present in carom seeds restrict the growth of bacteria and fungi.
3. Carom seeds are known to be effective against Candida albicans, Candida krusei, and Streptococcus mutans.
Ajwain has long been used in the Indian Medicine Practices. Ajwain is full of fiber, antioxidants, and other vitamins & minerals.
A few other benefits…
Ajwain is also helpful in reducing weight, preventing cough, improving airflow, treating common cold, preventing pre-mature graying of hair, treating excessive bleeding and irregular menses, curing asthma and boosting respiratory system, helping in getting rid of alcohol addiction, treating piles, for cleaning wounds and burns, controlling headaches and migraine, increasing milk and helps in breastfeeding, reducing acne and pimples, controlling acid refluxes, treating diabetes, cleansing the skin and acts as an eye cleanser.
How to use ajwain?
Ajwain can be used in several different ways. Some of them are as follows
- For flavouring pickles.
- For making herbal tea.
- For tadka, or tempering.
- Used as mouth fresheners.
- As a spice in a different dishes.
- For seasoning chicken, and fishes.
- For flavoring snacks, biscuits, sauces, and soups.
How to prepare Ajwain water?
One litre of water is taken in a pan and boiled.
Now, one teaspoon of ajwain is added to it and let it boil for another three to four minutes.
The colour of the water changes slowly. When the water turns into golden in colour then, turn off the flame and let the water cool down.
Strain the water. Fill this in a bottle and consume it whenever you wish.