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Ajowan – A Cherished Indian Spice with Healing Effects

Ajowan – A Cherished Indian Spice with Healing Effects

Ajowan Spice

Ajowan is a cherished spice in India, Iran and Pakistan, Afghanistan and North Africa. It is best known for the flavor it adds to dishes such as pakoras, samosas, pappadams and berberes.

Ajowan also goes under the name of carom seeds and ajwain. One of its active ingredients, thymol, is used in toothpaste. Thymol can numb pain as well. Oman water (ajowan seeds steeped in warm distilled water) is used by many Indians as a remedy for headaches, colds, heartburn and allergies.

Researchers have identified more than 24 medicinally active compounds in the tiny seeds, including one as strong as morphine. In Iran, researchers found Carum copticium (ajowan) extract possesses a clear cut analgesic (pain relieving) effect. (Journal of Ethnopharnacology)

Ajowan was found to be more effective than codeine in suppressing a cough in laboratory animals.

The researchers also found that ajowan decreased the blood pressure of lab animals.

When Iranian researchers gave boiled extract of ajowan to people with asthma they found the extract improved breathing ability by up to 32%. ( in the Journal "Therapie")

It is suggested that the spice originated from the Eastern Mediterranean, possibly in Egypt and arrived in India in the course of the Greek conquest of Central Asia.

Ajowan is often available in Indian markets and spice shops. The greyish-green seeds are striped and curved with a silky thread at one end of the seed. They are about the size of celery seeds. Ajowan has a strong thyme and anise -like flavor.

Lady Sharon
Scribe of Camelot

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One Response to “Ajowan – A Cherished Indian Spice with Healing Effects”

  1. Very well written story. It will be useful to anyone who utilizes it, including yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.