Wonderful Benefits Of Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
The most impressive health benefits of carom seeds are its ability to improve the appearance of the hair, optimize digestion, support weight loss efforts, reduce excess flatulence and boost respiratory health, among others. Using carom seeds in the preparation of food, as well as for health purposes, has been a tradition for thousands of years.
What are Carom Seeds (Ajwain)?
If you’ve never heard of Carom Seeds or Ajwain Seeds as it is popularly known in India, that’s really not a surprise, as it seems to be heavily used on the Indian subcontinent and not much other places. However, that may just change after you read this and learn of all the things this versatile seed (or should we say fruit?) has to offer. First, a brief history lesson.
Carom seeds share a long storied past in the place they most likely originated from, India. Carom “seeds” are really not seeds at all, but rather the fruit of the plant. However, their tiny size and texture justifies why many people even confuse them in the first place. In contrast to many other kinds of seeds, however, they are rarely consumed raw; not for safety concerns, but due to their bitter taste.
Today, they are used widely in cooking in Asian and Middle Eastern countries, though their usage is also trickling down to international cuisines. They, however, have a very potent and overpowering flavor, which can easily spoil a meal if the cook is inexperienced. Thus, they are typically used in very tiny amounts and usually dry roasted or added to various sauces to account for their potent taste.
As more people are getting familiarized with this seed, they are coming to appreciate the benefits it can have on health, and seeking ways to incorporate more into their diets. If you’ve never heard of its wonderful benefits, then you’re in luck, as you’re about to get filled in!
Carom Seeds Nutrition
Carom seeds are highly valuable in natural medicine, due to the impressive essential oil they contain, including compounds such as thymol, limonene, pinene, and terpinene. This is in addition to the small amount of dietary fiber and various other antioxidants.
Nutrition Info of Carom Seeds (per 100g)
Total Fat-25 g
Total Carbs-43 g
Dietary Fiber-39 g
Benefits of Carom Seeds
Due to its growing popularity, it is important to understand a bit more about this herb, as well as the potential benefits it can have on your health.
- Can Help Relieve Indigestion
Carom seeds are used in conjunction with cumin and ginger in India to treat a host of digestive disturbances, most frequently including indigestion, acid reflux and heartburn. Though ginger is believed to worsen acidity on its own, that is actually not the case when it is combined with cumin and carom seeds.
- Hair Care
For people who feel that their hair is turning gray a bit early, consuming carom seeds is a well-known traditional remedy. If you toss a few carom seeds in a glass of warm water and drink it early in the morning, its high antioxidant and mineral content can help stimulate the health of the hair, keeping you looking young for years.
- Boost Respiratory Health
Carom seeds contain thymol, a compound found abundantly in Thyme and which possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. These properties make it uniquely poised to treat common respiratory ailments, including bronchitis, asthma and the common cold. A teaspoon of crushed carom seeds in water is also said to have expectorant properties, facilitating the removal of excessive mucus from the lungs via sputum.
- Weight Loss
Despite the ability of carom seeds to stimulate the appetite, it also has laxative properties and can speed up the digestive process. This will help your body pull out the nutrients and prevent the excess storage of fat. Carom seeds can even boost the metabolism, which further helps with weight loss efforts. Some people also prefer to drink lukewarm water boiled with carom seeds, particularly after a meal, to help with weight loss.
- Can Help You Control Your Cholesterol Levels
Do you struggle with keeping your LDL levels under control? If the answer is yes, carom seeds can help you out. Though a detailed cholesterol profiles entails LDL and many other aspects as part of the overall picture, often times LDL is the part people find the greatest difficulty to control. Carom seeds have good amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which have been studied and accepted as effective ways to reduce your LDL levels. The fiber content of the seeds also help to promote cholesterol excretion as bile, which in turn reduce cholesterol deposits on artery walls.
- Aid in Digestion
Known primarily as a digestive aid, carom seeds are regularly consumed before or after meals. It helps to improve the digestive efficiency of the gut and stimulate the release of gastric juices. It is also well known to eliminate constipation, which prevents bloating and cramping and even lower your risk of gastric ulcer and colorectal cancer.
- Can Relieve Arthritic Pain
Arthritis usually has two components that may for a very uncomfortable condition; pain and inflammation. While there are many treatments available to help with arthritis, they almost always possess side effects, ranging from stomach pain to blood disorders and more. When a natural remedy comes along that is able to address these issues, we graciously accept it. This time, you can thank carom seeds. Carom seeds have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties thanks to its thymol presence, which eases both the swelling and pain familiar in arthritic joint. To benefit from its offering, consume a crushed teaspoon of the seeds daily in water.
- Boost Respiratory Health & Treat Asthma
The active ingredient in carom seeds, thymol, has potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it an ideal solution for sore throats and other infections of the respiratory system. Crushing carom seeds and then mixing them with water can be a quick and easy remedy to soothe your respiratory tract, treat coughs, and also promote the elimination of mucus and phlegm.It also helps prevent the condition of asthma.
- Are A Great Mosquito Repellant
While it could be due to the presence of thymol in carom seeds, this natural repellant seems to work much better when combined with mustard oil. While this combination can be placed in a spray bottle and used as needed, you can alternatively soak pieces of cardboard in the solution and place strategically around your home. Just re-soak as necessary to keep the pesky blood suckers away.
- Strengthen Immune System
The essential oils in these seeds have strong antioxidant and antiviral properties that give the immune system a major boost. Whether you consume these seeds raw, boil them in water, or crush them up into various dishes or sauces, thymol and limonene will help ward off dangerous pathogens and infections before they can take hold.
- Can Help Relieve Menstrual Pain
A woman’s monthly menstruation is rife with pain, bloating, and irritability to name a few. While some medications work to relieve spasms, carom seeds work to reduce nerve transmission that mediates the pain. It is well known that nerves have the final say when it comes to pain, so slowing down or reducing their transmission of pain will do wonders in making this time every month less of a pain.
- Prevent Chronic Diseases
Various antioxidants found in carom seeds, such as terpinene and pinene, are directly linked to reducing oxidative stress in certain parts of the body. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals, produced as a result of cellular respiration, but it can lead to inflammation and mutation of healthy cells. This leads to chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and autoimmune diseases. These seeds, despite being small, can have a major impact on such conditions.
- Can Be Used As A Gargle For Tooth Aches
Toothaches are horribly painful, as a result of the deep innervations teeth typically possess. When a tooth ache occurs, you will be lucky to find anything that offers even a little bit of relief, which is what carom seeds can offer. Grind some seeds, mix in water and add a dash of salt, then gargle as needed to keep the pain under control, until you visit your dentist to find the cause of your pain.
- Stimulate S*x Drive
Anecdotal evidence points to carom seeds as being an excellent stimulant for the sex drive of both men and women. It can overcome infertility issues, as well as get the libido pumping. It can increase virility in men, thanks to its natural aphrodisiac qualities. The best way to benefit from this is to roast the seeds and then mix them with butter or oil.
- Can Help Relieve Bloating And Gas
Bloating and gas usually occur in response to the food we eat, or from excessive acidity in the stomach, which leads to gas production. It was already established that carom seeds aid digestion, but also can help manage gas and flatulence as a bonus. Since gas production tends to go up when indigestion occurs, it actually accomplished two goals in one.
- Cholesterol Balance
With monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in these seeds, you can maintain your cholesterol balance with regular consumption. The dietary fiber in carom seeds will also help to scrape excess cholesterol, thus lowering your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular complications.
- Can Be Used To Clean Wounds
Carom seeds made into an essential oil can be used to clean wounds and prevent infection. Simply apply a few drops to some cotton wool and gently clean the affected area twice daily. Carom seeds can also reduce the tenderness associated with the wound as well.
- Treat Headaches
One of the most common uses of carom seeds is in the prevention or treatment of headaches. In some cases, you don’t need to consume these seeds but simply crush them into a poultice and apply to the inflamed or affected area. In the case of migraines, when you apply the crushed seeds, your temples, it can provide rapid relief from the pain. [ The crushed seeds release thymol, which is an important component in reducing the pain.
- May Help With Weight Loss
Carom seeds are rich in fiber, which is a positively associated factor in weight loss, but also enhances the breakdown of fat for use as fuel. This means that you can lose weight without exercise, as fat is burned by itself, it does, however, help if you consume a lot carb diet while attempting to lose weight, so fat will be more efficiently targeted.
Carom seeds are beneficial in improving the overall skin health, by reducing the occurrence of boils, acne, and other skin eruptions. It also prevents acne scars and can be used in the treatment of eczema.
How to Use?
Ajwain is used in culinary applications across Asia and the Middle East and is often found in international cooking. Carom seeds are extremely potent in terms of taste, and can easily take over a dish. Due to the presence of certain active ingredients, such as thymol, these seeds have a taste that resembles licorice, which is similar to anise. To soften the pungent flavor and smell of these seeds, they are often dry-roasted or fried, or added to sauces to partially mask the flavor.
Side Effects of Carrom Seeds
Although carom seeds consumed in moderate quantity provide a number of health benefits. However, if you eat an excessive amount of these seeds, it can result in a number of side effects like acidity, indigestion, bleeding problems and mouth ulcers.
- Gastrointestinal Problems: Eating too many carom seeds can actually increase acidity in the gut, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, flatulence, and even gastric ulcers.
- Bleeding Disorders: One of the possible effects of these seeds is a reduction in blood clotting, so if you suffer from a bleeding disorder, it is best to speak with your doctor before using these seeds.
- Mouth Ulcers: When plenty of carom seeds are consumed or chewed, the powerful active ingredients can cause inflammation in the mouth, even to the point of developing mouth ulcers. Similarly, if you have had mouth ulcers in the past, be very cautious when consuming these potent seeds.
- Liver Issues: Research has shown that some of the organic compounds in carom seeds can exacerbate existing liver conditions. If you are suffering from cirrhosis, hepatitis, or other liver conditions, speak to a doctor before making these seeds a part of your health regimen.
There is a lot more to carom seeds than meets the eye, which is why it is worth the second look. Try adding it to more foods to increase your intake, since its taste is overpowering to many and will deter them from consuming it directly.