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MEDICINAL VALUE OF CAROM SEEDS – AN OVERVIEW

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The carom seeds botanical name Trachy spermumammi belong to the family of Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), of the genus; Trachyspermum. The Umbellifers are the members of carrot or parsley family, which includes many herbs and spices such as dill, fennel, anise seed, and caraway, is an annual herbal plant growing up to 3 feet in height.  Some of the common names for the seeds are Bishop’s Weed, Ajowan, carom, Caraway and thymol seeds.etc. Carom seeds are ovoid, light brown colour seeds. They have narrow green leaves and small delicate flowers. The fruits pods of these plants are often called seeds for their seed-like appearance. The Carom plants are believed to have originated from Egypt in Middle East. They are widely grown in India, Afghanistan and Iran. These plants can be grown easily from the seeds.Well drained loam soil with a pH between 6.5 and 8.2 is ideal for their cultivation. They grow well in cold temperatures ranging from 15 °C to 25 °C. The plants can grow both in direct and partial sunlight. Relative humidity between 65% and 70 % are required for their proper growth. The umbels are harvested after they are properly matured. Harvesting is done during the later parts of winter or earlier in spring. These seeds are used as a spice in cooking. The umbels of the plant mature and produce the seeds. Ajwain is renowned for their medicinal value. Ajwain seeds are strongly pungent and aromatic in its taste.

PharmaTutor (ISSN: 2347 - 7881)

Volume 2, Issue 3

Received On: 17/01/2014; Accepted On: 21/01/2014; Published On: 05/03/2014

How to cite this article: P Dhiman, K Soni, S Singh, Medicinal value of carom seeds – An overview, PharmaTutor, 2014, 2(3), 119-123

Herb

Color

Taste

Active constituent

Nutritional profile per 100 gram

Medicinal property

Holistic benefit

Uses

Carom  Seeds

Yellowish brown to greyish green.

Hot and pungent

Thymol oil, cymene, pinene, terpine, and limonene.

Protein - 17.1%

Fat - 21.8%

Mineral - 7.9%

Fiber-21.2%

Carbohydrates -24.6%,

It also contains calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, phosphorus, iron and niacin.

Carom seeds have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, germicidal and anaesthetic properties.

Carom seeds can cure arthritic pain, spasmodic pain due to indigestion, flatulence, acidity, migraine headache, common cold. Carom seeds are a remedy for treatment of nausea, vomiting, anorexia, dyspepsia and curb the desire for drinking alcohol.

Carom seeds used as mouth freshener, seasoning vegetables, chicken and fish doses. They are used for flavouring pickles and used to prepare ajwein water.

Carom seeds as medicine-
Methodology for preparation of Carom Water:  water  is boiled  for five minutes with carom seeds in it, then it is allowed  to cool and drain. Whenever there is problem with gas, irregularity with bowel, a spoonful of carom water will show results in few minutes. Carom Oil is obtained from its seeds that contain 2.5% to 5% of essential oil. Their leaves and flowers are also used to extract oil. This oil contains 35-60% of thymol. This oil is either colourless or pale brown in colour. Carom oil is widely used as germicide and fungicide.Due to its effects in making the digestive system strong and so metabolism work well, it helps reducing your weight naturally but temporarily. Though the effect on reducing weight may take longer, but it would not be having any side effects on the body, if  carom seeds  are taken in daily diet. Ajwain oil can work in relieving arthritis pain and symptoms. Carom is the main ingredient used in manufacturing most of the natural herbal products and oils. These oils can work on the inflammations and help to get rid of arthritis related pain in legs and joints. Its effect on inflammation adds value in treating arthritis symptoms. Thymol in carom seeds helps as an antibacterial to fight against bacteria in the digestive system. It can help to relieve excess gas from your body and in turn cure problems with your digestive tract. Due to its fighting power against problems caused by bacteria, Carom seed also helps to cure infections in the intestines. If one have problems with acidity, diarrhoea and flatulence, regular intake of carom seeds will help in regulating the digestive system.Carom seeds to fight against toothache by gargling with carom water to get rid of toothache. Addition of salt in carom water can strengthen weak gums and prevent further toothache. Regular practice of gargling with carom water can keep the bacteria that cause toothache away from mouth. Carom seeds can work  in chasing away cough, cold and Influenza symptoms. By chewing carom seeds with or without betel leaves can help to control dry throat while coughing. To get relieved from nasal congestion,  carom seeds can be smelled  by crushing them on palm with thumb of another hand. When the aroma goes inside the nostrils, it fights against the congesting materials in the nasal path and push them away. Carom seeds can be used in controlling occupational or work related asthma. Drinking carom water or mixture of ajwain and jaggery are commonly known home remedies to control asthma related breathing problems and chest congestions. Carom seeds are famously used in Ayurvedic treatments and medications.

Carom seeds Benefits:
· Colic- Boil 1 teaspoonful of fennel seeds and ½ teaspoonful of carom seeds in ½ litre of water. Heat the liquid slowly for 5 minutes. Cool, strain and drink a cup daily of this liquid after meals to relieve colic.

· Diabetes-Carom seeds are used to cope up with diabetes. Dry few neem leaves in the shade. Powder and store in an air tight container. At night, mix 1 teaspoonful of the powder in hot milk with ½ teaspoonfuls of powdered cumin and carom seeds. Consume it for 30 days to reduce blood sugar level.

· Deafness-Carom seeds have been used to cure deafness. Put few drops of thymol oil, obtained by extracting carom seeds and put a few drops in your ears to get rid of deafness.

· Ear pain-Heat one tea spoonful garlic and two tea spoonful carom seeds in sesame oil, till they are red in colour. Cool, strain and put a few drops of this liquid into the ears. This is also useful to treat boils in ears.

· Flatulence-Soak 3 teaspoonful of carom seeds in lime juice. Dry this in the shade. Powder and mix it with little black salt and consume 1 teaspoonful twice a day with warm water.

· Belching-Many gas related problems can be cured by a mixture of dried ginger, carom seeds and black salt. This is useful to treat problems related to gastric like gas, indigestion, and belching. It can also be taken by adding car this mixture  in warm water with cardamom and drink it.

· Migraine-Wrap carom seeds in the tissue paper and smell this mixture. It is useful to reduce migraine headache. Also they can be burnt and inhaled for other problems related to head.

· Heart problems-Consume one tablespoon of carom seeds with warm water to stimulate the heart. It is also beneficial to cure chest pain. One can mix one teaspoon of jaggery with some carom seeds to get quick relief from heart problems.

· Body cleanser-Consumption of carom seeds tea can help in cleansing body toxins. Thus, this can reduce many skin and health related problems. This helps to purify blood and improve the blood circulation in body.

· Calculus-By Consuming 6 grams of carom seeds daily, one can get rid of this stone disease.

· Menorrhagia-Soak 25 gram of carom seeds in a mud pot filled with water for whole night. Grind these carom seeds and drink in the morning.

· Urticaria-Consume 1 gram of carom seeds with 3 grams of jaggery. This is a useful remedy to cure this problem of urticarial.

· Digestion-Carom seeds helps to get relieve from digestive problems. Chewing 1 teaspoonful of raw carom seeds with or without sugar can help get rid of indigestion.Soak three teaspoon of carom seeds in lime juice and dry it in shade. Grind this and mix some black salt. Consume this twice a day with lukewarm water. This is a useful method to cure loss of appetite, flatulence and other stomach problems. Do this daily till you get the results.

· Arthritis-Carom seed oil is a very useful method to cure arthritis pain. Massage on affected joints regularly with carom seed oil to get relief from rheumatic pain.

· Diarrhoea-Carom seed is a natural remedy to cure dysentery or diarrhoea. Boil a handful of carom seeds in one glass of water. Cool and strain this carom water so that it can be consume twice a day. This is an orthodox remedy to cure indigestion and dysentery.

· Viral infections-Combined mixture of yogurt and carom seeds powder in the form of paste can be applied on face for the whole night can help to lighten acne scars. Wash it with lukewarm water in the morning for best results.

· Acidity-Mix one table spoon of carom seeds with one table spoon of cumin seeds. Consume them on a daily basis with some ginger powder. This natural remedy is a best way to cure acidity and indigestion problems.

· Constipation-Carom seeds are the best remedy to cure digestion related problems.so,it can also help to get rid of   from the problem of constipation. Carom seeds do not have any side effects.

· Asthma-Consuming carom seeds with warm water give instant relief from cold and expel cough and mucus from the body. It is also useful for treating bronchitis and asthma. It can be consumed with jaggery twice a day.

· Irregular Menses and Excessive Bleeding -Women with the problem of irregular menses and excessive bleeding can drink ajwain water. Soak handful of carom seeds in earthen vessel filled with water at night. Grind them and drink it in the morning is a good remedy to get rid of this problem.

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· Mouth problems-Carom seeds have been proven to cure toothache. Floss your mouth with one part of clove oil, one part of carom oil and water for treating tooth ache, bad odour and decay. It is the best and effective way to maintain oral hygiene in an easy way.

· Liver and kidney-Drink ajwain water for curing intestinal pain caused because of indigestion and infection. This herb is also very beneficial for curing liver and kidney malfunctions.

· Cold– Consumption of carom seeds is the best natural way to cure cold symptoms such as a blocked nose. Take a steam from ajwain seeds infused in hot water for best results in short time.

· Itching, Boils & Eczema-Grind ajwain seeds with lukewarm water to make its paste. Apply this paste on any affected part of the face or body. Also, try washing the affected part with the ajwain water for best results. In case of swelling due to boils or pimples, make the paste of ground carom seeds with lemon juice. It will be helpful in removing the swelling.

· Kidney disorder-Carom seeds are very essential to disintegrate or dissolve kidney stones. They can also be useful to treat the pain due to kidney disorders.

· Flu-Boil carom seeds with cinnamon in water. Strain & drink 4 times in a day to cure flu.

· Mosquito repellent-Mix mustard oil with ground carom seeds. Dip cardboard pieces in this mixture and tie in the corners of the room. This will help  get rid of the mosquitoes from the room.

· Lost appetite-Mix and grind carom seeds, fennel seeds, dried ginger powder, salt and black cumin seeds. Add hot ghee to this mixture. Mix the mixture with cooked rice. This will surely increase lost appetite in due course of time.

· Reduce weight-Drink half glass of water with soaked carom seeds on an empty stomach. This will dissolve the fats. Consume 1teaspoonful of carom seeds on an empty stomach every morning. It helps to lose about 4 to 5 kg in a month.

· Bed Wetting-Take 50 grams black sesame, 25 grams carom seeds and 100 grams of jaggery. Mix them well. Consume this mixture 1teaspoonful twice a day. This will help in treating frequent urination and bed-wetting by children.

· Piles-Mix dried pomegranate flowers, poppy seeds and dried neem leaves. Consume this mixture with milk twice a day during bleeding piles. Drinking buttermilk with carom seeds powder and rock salt after lunch/dinner is useful for minimizing the bleeding condition of piles.

· Heals pain-Mix carom seeds, onion seeds, fenugreek seeds with saboot isabgol. Grind them all in the form of a mixture and consume 1 teaspoonful of this powder everyday in the morning. Consume this on an empty stomach for best positive results in shorter period of time.

· Sexual disability-Roast carom seeds with some tamarind kernels and clarified butter. Grind them well, take 1teaspoonful of this mixture and add to a glass of milk and honey. This is a proven method to reduce sexual disability. Consume this regularly at night for effective results.

· Breastfeeding-Carom seeds with fennel seeds are used to make ajwain aur saunf ka pani. This is useful to cleanse uterus and increase milk production. Add 1 teaspoonful of fennel seeds with ½ teaspoonful carom seeds and 1 litre of water. Boil them for 5 minutes and cool it. Cool and consume this every day for best results.

· Menstrual cramps- Carom seeds acts as a nerve tonic, hence it can lower menstrual cramps during menses. Thus, the benefits of carom seeds are quite wonderful. Its oil can also be applied on muscle to relax them.

· Alcoholic-This herb is also beneficial for the people who want to get rid of alcohol. Chewing carom seeds daily can help to get rid of alcohol craving.

· Sperm count- Roast ajwain seeds with some tamarind kernels and clarified butter. Grind all of these ingredients. Grind them well, take a teaspoonful of this mixture and add to a glass of milk and honey.This is a proven method to improve sperm count and treat premature ejaculation. Consume this regularly at night for effective results.

· Insecticide-They have many therapeutic uses as well as they are used widely in food preparations. Carom seeds are also used as an insecticide. Apart from this, this is an orthodox method for treating poisonous insect bites.

· Used in cooking-These seeds are widely used in Indian cooking as a spice. They can be roasted or fried in oil or added in “panchphoran”. Ajwain is used in small quantity in making biscuits, snacks, sauces, soups, soft drinks and pickles for good digestion.

· Pimple-Apply powdered carom seeds with yogurt on your face. Keep it for half an hour and wash off with warm water. This remedy will help to lighten pimple scars to a great extent.

· Joint pains- Mix shatavari, black cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and carom seeds. Powder this mixture and consume ½ teaspoonful of this powdered mixture to get relief from joint pain.

· Paralysis- Carom seeds soaked in water, if consumed daily can be useful in treating paralysis, trembling and shaking.

· Eye cleanser- Boil handful of carom seeds in a water. Cool and strain it. This water can be used to wash eyes.

Facts about carom seeds-

  • Keep them away from humidity and also from direct sunlight.
  • Store them in air-tight bottle in a cool and dry place.
  • People with liver disease and hyperacidity should avoid this herb.
  • Carom seeds cannot be stored for a long time.
  • Avoid over consumption. It can lead to nausea, vomiting, skin irritation, allergy and headache in some people.

Side-effects of overdose of carom seeds-
Consumption of carom seeds do not cause any harm, when consumed in moderate amounts. But over consumption can cause some side effects in people suffering from diverticulitis conditions, liver diseases, ulcerative colitis. As these seeds stimulate gut secretions which can worsen the condition of existing  peptic ulcer. One should consult a doctor if any side-effect occurs.

References:
onlyfoods.net/ajwain.html
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajwain
nutrition-and-you.com/ajwain.html
kingtutshop.com/Egyptian-Herb/Ajwain.htm
traditional-foods.com/profiles/ajwain-seed/

About Authors:
Pooja Dhiman, Kanika Soni, Sandeep Singh
Chitkara University, Kalujhanda,
Solan, Himachal Predesh
pooja.dhiman@chitkarauniversity.edu.in

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