Ajwain or Carom Seeds have many Ayurvedic benefits and are an instant and effective remedy for all digestive problems like acidity, bloating, indigestion, stomach ache, flatulence, etc. Not only that, chewing some carom seeds after a heavy meal makes digestion of food very easy and gives instant relief from heaviness in the stomach. Along with curing digestive issues, carom seeds also has many other health benefits and medicinal values.
Carom seeds are called Ugragandha in Sanskrit (Ugra– strong, Gandha– smell) for its strong smell. Ajwain balances Pitta dosha and alleviates Kapha and Vata dosha. Read my earlier blog to know more about Vata, Pitta and Kapha click here. Carom seeds have a pungent taste, with a slightly bitter undertone. Its flavour is somewhat similar to oregano.
What makes Carom seeds so special?
Benefits of carom seeds can be attributed to biochemicals like Thymol, Para-cymene, α- pinene, β-pinene, γ-terpinene. All of these volatile oils are responsible for its medicinal properties. All of these biochemicals contribute to treat all the digestive issues. Not only that it also reduces flatulence, act as antibacterial, antiseptic, treat cholera, prevent kidney disorders, aids weight loss, reduce pimples and acne etc.
How to use carom seeds to cure digestive issues:
Regular intake of carom seeds can prevent many digestive issues. Eat Carom seeds by themselves, or make a mixture of roasted Carom and Fennel seeds in equal amount to chew on after every meal. This will be your preventive remedy for many digestive issues and this mixture also acts as a mouth freshener.
1. For balancing Pitta dosha:
Afternoon food should consist of carom seeds in it to balance Pitta dosha because the level of pitta dosha is higher in afternoon or during the daytime. If you cannot incorporate carom seeds in your food, you can always chew on some after you finish your meal.
2. To control indigestion and acidity:
Carom seeds are a good anti-acid agent and natural antacid. It is beneficial for stomach and gives relief to the mucous membrane of the stomach from acidity and hyperacidity.
– Taking 1 teaspoon of carom seeds along with a pinch of black salt is a good home remedy to treat acidity and hyperacidity.
– Carom seeds water – You can also boil 1 teaspoon of the carom seeds in 1 cup of water for 3 to 4 minutes. Strain the mixture and drink when it is cooled down for ease in acidity and indigestion.
– By taking the mixture of a teaspoon of carom seeds, cumin seeds along with some dry ginger powder one can get relief from acidity and acid reflux.
3. For bloating and gases:
The most common cause of bloating and abdominal distension is excess gas accumulation in the abdomen. Ajwain along with other herbs promotes elimination of gas and prevents excess gas formation.
– If the condition is mild, then ajwain alone can be sufficient to cure this condition.
– Taking 1 teaspoon of carom seeds along with a pinch of black salt for three days after every meal gives complete relief from bloating and gases.
Different ways to incorporate carom seeds in cooking
Carom seeds whole or in powdered form are often used in various recipes in India because of its strong aromatic essence. Most Indian ‘spices’ are actually medicines which fulfil both the purpose of adding flavour as well as being good for health.
– Carom seeds are commonly added to deep-fried foods, such as fritters, in Indian cooking, to help ease of digestion.
– Carom seeds can be added while baking different kinds of bread like regular bread, pita bread, Indian roti, paratha or naan.
– A pinch of carom seed powder and black salt powder added to buttermilk helps in digestion if taken after lunch.
– Always use freshly ground powder of carom seeds to preserve the volatile oils present in it.
– As with the case with everything, consume Carom seeds in moderation.
– Limit the intake of carom seeds 1 to 2 teaspoon a day as the excess of it can aggravate pitta dosha.
– Due to the hot potency of carom seeds, when taken in excess quantity it can have opposite effect like increase in acidity, burning sensation and mouth ulcer.
– You should not eat ajwain/carom seeds if you suffer following conditions:
Stomach ulcer, Internal bleeding, Ulcerative colitis (acute phase), Mouth ulcer
– With all the benefits for various digestive issues, one thing should be noted here that carom seeds do not work in constipation. If you have hard and dry stools carom seeds must be avoided because it may cause more dryness and hardness of the faecal matter. In such cases, increase water intake, include fiber and you may require stool softeners or laxative medicines
See if you can find carom seeds in your nearby grocery store. Amazon.com also has a wide range of organic carom seeds available for sale. Following are some good quality and less expensive options I found, check them out:
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