Nutritional and Health Benefits of Ajwain
Bonny Shah

Bonny Shah
14 July 2020

This article is authored by Bonny Shah. Bonny is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

Ajwain, otherwise known as owa, omum or carom seeds are the fruit of the herb, bishop’s weed. They appear similar to jeera or cumin seeds, but are smaller and rounder. Their aroma and flavour are more similar to those of thyme.

Owing to the nutritional and health benefits of ajwain seeds, this spice has long been used not only in Indian cuisine but in Ayurvedic medicine too. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of eating ajwain.

Nutritional Value of Ajwain

Ajwain seeds contain about 305 calories, 25 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein and 43 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. They also contain vitamins B1 and B3, and minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus.

Ajwain seeds yield an essential oil composed mainly of terpenoids like thymol which can constitute up to 60% of the oil. It also contains carvacrol, limonene, γ-terpinene, p-cymene and α-pinene. (Terpenoids are a class of naturally occurring chemical compounds that offer a wide range of benefits from antibacterial, antiviral and antiparasitic action to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects, and more.

Health Benefits of Ajwain

The thymol and carvacrol content of ajwain imparts excellent antibacterial and antifungal properties. Test-tube studies have shown ajwain is effective against pathogens like E.coli and Salmonella, which are food-borne. This spice has also proved effective against multidrug-resistant fungal and bacterial strains like Candida albicans and Streptococcus mutans. One animal study showed that carom extract, when administered in high doses brought about a decrease in LDL or bad cholesterol, and an increase in HDL or good cholesterol.

In Ayurveda, carom seeds have long been used to treat digestive issues such as stomach ache and diarrhoea. Studies have shown ajwain is good for health as it helps in treating peptic ulcers and also has a protective effect on the liver.

Health Benefits of Ajwain Water

Ajwain or owa or omum water has been used traditionally for better metabolism. It is also known to improve digestion and relieve stomach aches. It is commonly used to treat flatulence and bloating. To make ajwain water, put 2 tsp roasted ajwain seeds in a glassful of water and boil for a few minutes. Allow this to sit for a while, strain and add 1 tsp honey before drinking. Have daily to make the most of the benefits of drinking ajwain water.

Ajwain Benefits for Skin

Due to its germicidal and fungicidal qualities, ajwain seed paste can be used to clean minor wounds and cuts. Ajwain paste is also said to be effective against acne scars when applied topically.

Ajwain Benefits for Hair

Add some curry leaves, raisins, ajwain seeds and sugar to a cupful of water and boil. This concoction is said to be useful against the premature greying of hair when taken daily.

Now that you know all about the ajwain advantages, how will you make this spice a part of your regular diet? Share your ideas in the comment section below.


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