Carom seeds, also known as Bishops weed, has many health benefits and it is used, both in cooking and as an important ingredient in many medicines. It has been well known for its medicinal properties, since ancient times in many traditions. The seeds taste hot and bitter. Known as Ajwain in India, it is used both, in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. It is one of the most common home remedies for stomach related ailments. The seed yields an essential oil, which has thymol, which is used extensively in medicine.
Botanical name – Trachyspermum ammi/carom
Sanskrit – Yaviniki, Yamini
Tamil – Omum
Hindi – Ajwain
Carom Seed Oil Health Benefits
Ajwain seeds yield an essential oil, which is obtained by distillation. The oil has major thymol content, and is used as a germicide and fungicide. It is known to be of use in the treatment of intestinal dysbiosis. This is possible because of its ability to inhibit the growth of undesired pathogens, while not affecting the beneficial flora.
- Carom seed oil is a very effective home remedy to cure pain caused by arthritis. Regular massage with the oil on the affected joint, gives immense relief from rheumatic pain.
- Since carom seed oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, it is used in eardrops for curing fungal or bacterial infections of ears.
- As carom seed oil is a decongestant, applying carom seed oil on nose and chest, when suffering from nasal or chest congestion, is a very popular home remedy. It gives relief from cold and cough.
Carom Seeds Health Benefits
Carom seeds has been used traditionally as a remedy for flatulence, diarrhoea, abdominal pains and bronchial problems. It is noted for its antispasmodic, tonic and carminative properties. Thymol, which is found in its essential oil is is a powerful antiseptic and antifungal agent.
Carom Seeds health Benefits for Digestion
Carom seeds are a most popular home remedy for digestive problems. Carom seeds are said to increase the secretion of gastric acid. It also enhances the activity of the digestive enzymes, and reduces food transit time. It cures problems caused by overeating, strengthens the liver and cures dysentry. Omum (as it is called in the South of India) water, which is the aqueous portion, left after the separation of essential oil, is an excellent carminative which cures flatulence and indigestion. It also promotes peristalsis (The wavelike muscular contractions of the intestine, that propel the contents onward by alternate contraction and relaxation).
Anti-inflammatory Health Benefits of Carom Seeds
Carom seeds alleviate pain and inflammation due to rheumatic and arthritic diseases. It is antispasmodic, and hence relieves spasms. They are one of the main ingredients used in many herbal products for rheumatic pain. It is also very effective in alleviating the symptoms of headache in sinusitis and migranes. The oil extracted from the seed helps alleviate joint pain.
Carom Seeds Health Benefits for Respiratory Disorders
Carom seeds are known to be effective in treating respiratory disorders like bronchitis, chest congestions and asthma. It is an expectorant and helps clear congestion, cures cough and promotes discharge of phlegm and mucus from the lungs. It helps cure laryngitis.
Other Benefits of Carom Seeds
Carom seeds are said to expel intestinal worms. It is prescribed in amoebiasis, which is a parasitic infection of the intestines. It has antithelmintic acitivity. It is recommended for atonic dyspepsia and cholera. It also helps build up the body’s immunity. It strengthens metabolism and circulation. It is a good home remedy for toothaches and earaches.
Natural Remedies with Carom Seeds/Omum/Ajwain
- Grind half a tsp of carom seeds to a powder and add a few drops of mustard oil to it. Massage the gums with this and gargle with warm water. Repeat atleast twice a day for gingivitis and sore or bleeding gums.
- Boil a tsp of Carom seed in a cup of water. Add half a tsp of turmeric powder. Have a quarter cup of this with a tsp of honey, 2-4 times a day. This is an effective home remedy for respiratory infections.
- When there is a blockage of phlegm in the respiratory passage, two tsps of lightly roasted, crushed and coarsely powdered carom seeds, in a glass of buttermilk help clears the passage. You can have it twice a day.
- For acidity, lightly roast omum seeds and add equal quantity of rock salt. Grind finely to a powder and store in a bottle. Have a quarter to half a tsp of this mixture, with hot water 2-3 times a day. A pinch of this mixture, can also be taken without water – relieves heart burn.
- Grind together about 100g of onum, 100g of dry ginger, and 25g of rock salt and store in a bottle. When needed take a level tsp of the mixture with warm water. This is a home remedy for flatulence and belching. Another home remedy is taking a tsp of crushed carom seeds, mixing it with a few drops of lime juice with and drinking it with warm water.
- For colic or indigestion related pain, crush a tsp of carom seeds coarsely and have it with a pinch of rock salt.
- For indigestion with constipation, and stomach ache, dilute half a cup of ripe pulp of bael fruit, with half cup of water. Add two ground black peppercorns, a pinch of asafoetida, and half a tsp of pounded omum seeds. Stir well, add a tsp of cream, and drink this twice a day. It will clear an obstinate colon and relieve the discomfort of indigestion.
- For painful joints in arthritis, heat 2-4 tbsps of mustard oil. Fry 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic and pounded carom seeds in it. Cool to a bearable temperature. Filter and use it to massage painful joints.
- Grind a tbsp of carom seeds, and make a paste with water. Place in a muslin pouch, and place the pouch in three quarters of a litre of boiling water. Inhale for 3-4 mins to relieve headaches.
- For cold, make a decoction of a tsp of turmeric powder, 1/4th of a tsp of carom seeds, and three cups of water. Take a tsp of this decoction with a tsp of honey 2-3 times a day. Avoid carom seeds for a common cold in summer, as it is a hot substance. Another effective home remedy for cold is to use a tbsp of powdered carom seeds wrapped in a fine muslin cloth, warmed against a hot iron vessel, for formentation on the nose or chest.