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Ajwain: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More!

By Dr Anuja Bodhare +2 more


Ajvain (Carum copticum), also called bishops weed, is a herb that is used as a spice and a major ingredient in different types of medicines. Ajvain is thought to have originated in Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean region. Ajvain is extensively cultivated in black soil, especially along the riverbank in Egypt and several other countries like Iran, Afghanistan, and India. The seeds of ajvain are small yet have a hot, penchant, and bitter taste. Ajvain functions as a stomachic (promoting appetite or aiding in digestion) and laxative and is used as an appetiser. It might be helpful for conditions like piles, abdominal tumours, abdominal pain, vomiting, mouth diseases, etc.1

ajwain benefits

Nutritional Value of Ajwain:

The major constituent of ajvain is an essential oil called thymol which constitutes about 35-60%. The seed also contains

The major constituent of ajvain is an essential oil called thymol which constitutes about 35-60%. The seed also contains compounds like p-cymene, limonene, α-pinene, and γ-terpinene. Ajvain seeds also comprise protein, fat, fibre, minerals, calcium, iron, phosphorous, carotene, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and carbohydrates. In 100 grams of ajvain, the nutrients found are:1,2

  Energy  238 kcal
  Carbohydrate  47.62 g
  Protein  23.81 g
  Fibre  47.6 g
  Iron    16.19 mg
  Calcium  667 mg
  Potassium  1333 mg
  Fatty acids (total saturated)  0.62 g
Table 1: Nutritional value of ajwain2


Did You Know?

  • Ajwain is rich in fibre, with 100 grams providing 39 grams of dietary fibre. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Ajwain seeds are often used as a natural remedy for indigestion and bloating. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Ajwain may help improve respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Ajvain has been traditionally used to relieve menstrual cramps and promote menstrual regularity. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • Ajwain may help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov
  • It is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects and may help reduce inflammation in the body. source: fdc.nal.usda.gov                                                                          

Also Read: Guggul: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Properties of Ajvain:

Ajvain is known to have many properties like:

  • It might be an anthelminthic (acts against parasitic worms)
  • It might have analgesic (pain-relieving) activity
  • It might have antibacterial (inhibiting bacteria or killing them) property
  • It might be have antifungal (killing or stopping the growth of fungal organisms) activity
  • It might have antiviral activity (acts against viruses)
  • It might be an antitussive (cough suppressing) agent
  • It might have antiplatelet property
  • It might have antihyperlipidemic (cholesterol-lowering) activity
  • It might be a diuretic (increases the flow of urine)
  • It might have antiinflammatory activity (relieves inflammation)
  • It might be a detoxificant (removal of toxic substances from the body)
  • It might have hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) property
  • It might be an antioxidant
  • It might be a digestive stimulant
  • It might help relive ulcers (antiulcer)
  • It might be an antihypertensive (blood pressure lowering)3

Also Read: Methi (Fenugreek): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More!

Based on my experience, I highly recommend incorporating ajwain into your daily diet routine. Other than its culinary uses, a protein present in ajwain has the potential to stop calcium oxalate buildup and may serve as the basis to alleviate the occurence of kidney stones.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Potential Uses of Ajvain:

Potential uses of ajvain for digestion:

Ajvain might help reduce irregular pains of the intestines and stomach in both adults and children. Taking ajvain with common salt and warm water may relieve any colicky (sharp pain in the intestines) pain due to gas accumulation, indigestion, and infections in the intestine. Ajvain might be taken with buttermilk to relieve digestion-related problems. Consult your doctor before taking it for any condition.1

Potential uses of ajvain for respiratory problems:

A mixture of ajwain and ginger might be prescribed by your doctor in cases of chronic bronchitis and asthma. This mixture might help expel mucous and may improve the symptoms of chronic bronchitis and asthma. It might also be helpful for chronic colds and cough. Consuming warm water after chewing ajvain might help reduce cough. Chewing betel leaf with ajvain might help with dry cough. It is, however essential to consult your doctor before taking it for these conditions.1

Potential uses of ajvain for diabetes:

Ajvain seeds might be helpful for diabetes. Powdered neem leaves might be taken with warm milk along with powdered ajvain and cumin seeds. This combination might help in reducing blood sugar levels. However, it is essential to consult your physician before taking this. Moreover, a condition like diabetes must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.[1]

Potential uses of ajvain for migraine:

Smelling ajvain seeds wrapped in a tissue might help in dealing with migraines. Ajvain seeds may also be burnt and inhaled to deal with other problems related to the head.4 However, such effects need to be proved by further research. Moreover, it is essential to consult a doctor before using ajvain for any apparent health benefits.

Potential uses of ajvain for arthritis:

Ajvain seed oil might be helpful for pain related to arthritis. This oil might be used for massage in the affected joints regularly to alleviate pain in rheumatic arthritis.4 Kindly consult a doctor before using it.

Potential uses of ajvain for diarrhoea:

Consuming ajvain seeds might be a natural way to help deal with diarrhoea or dysentery. A handful of ajvain seeds may be boiled and taken in a glass of water. This mixture can be cooled and consumed for diarrhoea.4 However, such effects need to be ascertained by further research.

Other Potential uses of ajvain:

Ajvain seeds might also be used as an insecticide. Moreover, they may also be used for poisonous insect bites.4

Though there are studies that show the potential uses of ajvain in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of ajvain on human health. 

Also Read: Cardamom: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Be careful when consuming ajwain! Most individuals may safely use ajwain in their diets, though I recently read an article suggesting pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers avoid it. Ajwain’s constituents may potentially result in birth abnormalities or miscarriages. It is essential to be mindful of this potential risk.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to Use Ajvain?

Ajvain seeds might be used as it is or they can be used in powder form. Your ayurvedic doctor will prescribe you the correct form and dosage for use for your condition. Kindly refer to your doctor for advice

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.  

Side Effects of Ajvain:

When consumed in moderation, ajvain seeds do not produce any harmful side effects. However, in people suffering from conditions like diverticulitis (pain and inflammation in small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of the digestive tract), ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), and liver diseases, excess intake of ajvain might lead to some side effects.

  • Ajvain seeds stimulate gastric secretions, which can worsen any existing peptic ulcers. It is essential to consult a doctor if this effect is observed.
  • Overconsumption of ajvain can also lead to nausea, skin irritation, vomiting, allergy, and headache in some people.4

Also Read: Sativa vs Indica: A Comparative Analysis Based on Science

Precautions to Take with Ajvain:

It is important to keep these points in mind when using ajvain seeds:

  • People having peptic ulcers and liver disease must avoid consuming ajvain.
  • Ajvain seeds cannot be stored for a long period.
  • It is essential to store ajvain seeds in an air-tight bottle in a cool and dry environment.
  • They must be kept away from moisture and direct sunlight.4

Interactions With Other Drugs:

Ajvain might interact with unknown drugs. Therefore, you should consult a doctor before using ajvain for its potential health benefits.  

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) What is ajvain?

Ajvain (Trachyspermum Ammi L.) seeds are obtained from a herbal plant belonging to the family Apiaceae. It is called by different names like bishops weed, carom, or ajowan caraway. It has several beneficial properties.[1]

2) What are the other names of ajvain?

The common names of ajvain include ajwain, jevain, oma, omam, yom, omu, vamu, yamini, oman, jain, yaminiki, yavan, and more.[2]

3) Where is ajvain found in India?

In India, ajvain is commonly found in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.6

4) Can ajvain be used for dental problems?

Ajvain seeds might be helpful for tooth pain. Using clove oil, ajvain oil, and water might help to deal with toothache, tooth decay, and bad mouth odour. It may help maintain oral hygiene.4 However, please consult a dentist for dental problems and do not self-medicate.

5) Can ajvain be used for skin-related problems?

A paste can be prepared from ajvain seeds and may be applied on any affected part of the face or body to help with itching, boils, and eczema (a condition in which patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, cracked, and rough). In case of acne, powdered ajvain seeds might be taken with yoghurt and applied to the face. This remedy may help manage acne scars.4 However, more research is required to prove these effects.

6) Can ajvain be used to treat piles?

Consuming buttermilk with ajvain seeds and rock salt might help reduce the bleeding in piles.4 However, please consult a doctor before using such a remedy.


  1. Rashmi Yadav, Chandan Kumar Pradhan, Deepika Gupta, Rahul Kaoshik; Health benefits of Indian aromatic plant ajwain (Tachychpermum Ammi). International Jounral of pharmacy and technology. 2011 3(3): 1356-1366. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317041607_Health_benefits_of_Indian_aromatic_plant_Ajwain_Trachycpermum_ammi/link/592d01d50f7e9b9979b38e9c/download
  2. U.S Department of agriculture. Ajwain seed whole organic spices. [Internet] Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/806341/nutrients
  3. Mohammad M. Zarshenas, Mahmoodreza Moein, Soliman Mohammadi Samani, Peyman Petramfar; An overview on ajwain (trachyspermum ammi) pharmacologica; effects; Modern and traditional. 2014 Jan 14(1). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262001210_An_Overview_on_Ajwain_Trachyspermum_ammi_Pharmacological_Effects_Modern_and_Traditional/link/0a85e5363504f3bc28000000/download
  4. Pooja Dhiman, Kanika Soni, Sandeep singh; Medicinal value of carom seeds- An overview. Pharmatutor magazine. 2014, 2(3): 119-123. Available from: https://www.pharmatutor.org/pdf_download/pdf/Vol.%202,%20Issue%203,%20March%202014,%20PharmaTutor,%20Paper-14.pdf
  5. Mohamad Hesam Shahrajabian, Wenli Sun, Qi Cheng; Pharmaceutical benefits and multidimensional uses of ajwain (trachyspermum ammi L.) 11(2): 138-141. Available from: https://phcogcommn.org/content/310
  6. Monawara Begum, B.P Sharma and S.M Barbhuiya Aziz; Ethnobotanical, phytochemical and pharmacological science of trachyspermum ammi (ajwain): A systematic review. 2021 12(11): 5690-5697. Available from: https://ijpsr.com/bft-article/ethnobotanical-phytochemical-and-pharmacological-science-of-trachyspermum-ammi-ajwain-a-systematic-review/

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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