Remember getting up in middle of the night with a colicky pain in the abdomen? The first thought that comes to mind is Ajawain. This time- tested home remedy comes to rescue and you thank your stars to have always placed it on your kitchen shelves. This indeed helps. Try taking half a teaspoon of the same and a pinch of black salt along with warm water for immediate relief from stomach discomfort.
Ajawain is called in Sanskrit by the names Yavani, Ajmodika and Deepyika. Belonging to the family Umbelliferae, the Latin name is Trachyspermum ammi. In English it is known as Bishop’s weed.
The herb of Ajwain is erect and small ( approximately up to 90 cms high). The flowers are white in colour and are seen arranged in the form of an umbewrella. The fruit of Ajawain is grayish –brown, about 2 mm long, oval and compressed. It bears five distinct ridges and has a distinct odour. The herb flowers in the months of February to April and later on the fruit is borne. The herb is them uprooted and pounded and the fruit of Ajawain is thus collected. The fruit is then dried and it is the part of the herb that comes to use. Ajawain is cultivated almost throughout our country.
Ajwain is light, rough and robust in nature. The taste is bitter and pungent and the after taste is bitter. It is hot in potency. Therefore in Ayurvedic view, Ajwain helps to increase the fire and to decrease the aggravated air and phlegm body humors.
Chemically, the main components of Ajwain are essential oil (2 to 4%) and fixed oil (14.8%) approximately. This oil is called as Ajowan oil and is fragrant and mainly comprises of thymol and carvacol. Other than this , there is presence of carbohydrate, fat, protein, minerals like calcium, phosphorous, sodium, iron, potassium and vitamins like riboflavin, thyamin and nicotinic acid. Besides , Ajawain also contains iodine, carotene, tannin and glycoside. Fiber, moisture and asteroid also add to its composition.
In any form of abdominal distress, be it indigestion, loss of hunger, excessive wind formation, nausea and vomiting, abdominal distention, pain in the abdomen or worm infestation; Ajwain comes to relief.
Ajwain is also possessor of some unique anti toxic properties. Especially in Opium poisoning, the use of the same is believed to be beneficial. According to Ayurvedic texts, the use of Ajwain is also good for the heart. In the disorders like weakness of the heart , Ajwain being hot, is stimulating in action.
This herb is diuretic by nature. Therefore it is also useful in treating some urinary disorders like dysurea and scanty micturition. Another specific effect of Ajwain is that it combats fever and at the same time it provides warmth to the body. Thus the use of the same has been signified in fever along with shivering. For this purpose 1 to 3 gms of the powder of Ajwain should be taken along with warm water.
In addition to above, the gains of Ajwain have been specified in some respiratory ailments. In chronic cough associated with excessive formation of phlegm (productive cough) and also when there is bad smell due to the persistent phlegm , its use comes to help. In bronchial, Ajwain helps to subside the excessive production of phlegm.