A spice common in the Indian kitchen, the Ajwain Seeds are speculated to have originated in our very own country, India. Greenish brown with a strong pungent scent, the Ajwain Seeds have important culinary and medicinal status. Ajwain Seeds are also known as carom seeds, ajowan caraway and bishop’s weed. Let’s look at some of the health benefits of Ajwain seeds for mothers and babies.
What are ajwain seeds used for? Benefits for mothers!
Ulcers and indigestion
Studies on the effectiveness of ajwain seeds in fighting ulcers have found that the seeds work as well as OTC ulcer medications of today. The seeds eradicate sores in the small intestine, stomach and oesophagus and can relieve indigestion and gas. Ajwain also helps gastric juice secretion and relieves flatulence.
Fights fungi and bacteria
Carom seeds are fiercely anti-bacterial and anti-fungal in nature. Two of its main flavouring compounds, carvacrol and thymol inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi including thrush causing Candida, salmonella and ulcer-causing E coli. You can also use ajwain boiled water to wash cuts and wounds to keep it free from infection.
Asthma and cough
Ajwain seeds are super effective in reducing coughs. Also, a study that injected people with ajwain seed extracts (0.1 to 0.25 ml per kg of body weight) found that the extract increases airflow to lungs in 30 to 180 minutes. The effectiveness of ajwain for asthma relief is comparable to prescribed medications of today.
Worried about cholesterol? Ajwain seeds reduce LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides in the body and increases the heart friendly HDL. Ajwain is only effective in combating cholesterol if taken in larger doses.
Acidity and heartburn
Carom seeds facilitate the release of gastric juices, helping the process of digestion. It is a fast acting remedy for heartburn and acidity. You can crush carom seeds and cumin seeds in equal amounts and take a pinch or two after meals to improve digestion and prevent heartburn and acidity.
High blood pressure is a prevalent condition that increases the risk of heart disease. The medicines used to treat blood pressure are typically calcium channel blockers that prevent calcium from entering the heart muscles. Thymol, the active ingredient in ajwain seeds is a natural calcium channel blocker and helps lower blood pressure.
While short term inflammation is the body’s natural way of fighting injury or an illness, long term, chronic inflammation can have a serious negative effect on our body. Ajwain seeds when taken for 21 days, reduces inflammation in the body and brings down elastase, the enzyme associated with inflammation.
Carom seed oil is an effective treatment for psoriasis and vitiligo. The prescription drug methoxypsoralen, oxsoralten was originally extracted from ajwain, but is mass produced in labs nowadays. It is also greatly helpful in reducing acne.
Toothache and Ear Ache
Thymol makes up about 50% of ajwain oil. Thymol is a powerful germicide, antibacterial, anti spasmodic and anti fungicide. Thymol extracts can be seen in most commercial toothpastes and perfumes. This strong essential oil in ajwain seeds makes it a powerful toothache relieving agent. Gargle warm water with a few drops of ajwain oils in it to keep toothache at bay. To relieve ear ache, you can inhale the fumes from burning ajwain or use warm ajwain seeds in a cloth to massage over your ears.
To soothe pain caused in joints because of arthritis, apply a paste of ajwain seeds to the affected areas. You can also use ajwain oil as a liniment.
Carom seeds are said to be effective in preventing calcium deposits in kidneys because of their calcium blocking properties. The various phytochemicals also help renal function and protect the kidneys from injury. A mix of honey, vinegar and ajwain is said to be effective in dissolving kidney stones.
With its cholesterol-reducing capacity, improved digestion, and better bowel movement triggering abilities, ajwain is a good way to regulate obesity.
Benefits of ajwain seeds for babies
Ajwain water can be used in babies for:
- Respiratory problems like congestion, cough and wheezing.
- Digestive problems like stomach pain, acidity, indigestion, constipation and flatulence.
- Enhancing appetite.
Ajwain water can be introduced at 8 months. Starting at half teaspoon, you can gradually increase it up to 2 teaspoons, thrice a week.
A bag of roasted ajwain seeds can be kept near your baby’s pillow to keep away congestion. For older babies, you can use the slightly warm ajwain seeds to gently massage the chest and ears to relieve congestion and earache.
Ajwain oil is helpful in relieving body pain. Mix a few drops of ajwain oil to your baby’s regular massage oil to before bed for a peaceful night’s sleep. You can also use this massage to relieve congestion and cold, and to treat insect bites.
Is it good to eat ajwain every day?
If you looking to lose weight, it is great to have ajwain every day. You can soak the seeds overnight, boil the seeds with the water and have it on an empty stomach. You can also chew them raw or powder them and mix in your herbal tea to lose weight! The same process also helps in lowering cholesterol and reducing BP. If you are healthy otherwise, including ajwain as seasoning or incorporating it into food thrice a week is enough.
Is ajwain seeds safe during pregnancy?
The trace amounts of ajwain as seasoning are safe during pregnancy. Ajwain contains khellin, an ingredient that induces uterine contractions and is an abortifacient. Ajwain seeds must be used with caution during pregnancy.
Is ajwain bad for babies?
Ajwain seeds are helpful in reducing digestive ailments and respiratory ailments in babies.
What are the side effects of ajwain?
Ajwain can worsen liver disease. Individuals with weakened liver function should stay away from remedies containing ajwain.
Ajwain can slow blood clotting process. Intake should be stopped 2 weeks before any scheduled surgery.
Ajwain can trigger uterine contractions and must be taken with caution in pregnancy.
The rich aroma of ajwain can sometimes be overpowering. What is your favourite ajwain recipe that gets the flavour just right? Share with us below!