Carom Seeds: Nutrition, Benefits, Uses, and Potential Side Effects

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Carom seeds, known as “ajwain” in Hindi, are a remarkably beneficial ingredient renowned for their diverse health benefits, especially in relieving indigestion and alleviating cramps. These aromatic seeds are rich in fibre, antioxidants, and essential micronutrients, making them a staple in Indian kitchens employed in a multitude of recipes and home remedies.

Carom seeds offer a potent, bitter taste and a fragrance reminiscent of thyme. Ayurveda leverages the numerous health and wellness benefits of ajwain on the body, emphasising its integral role in traditional medicine. This comprehensive article delves deeper into the benefits, nutritional profile, versatile culinary applications, and additional essential insights on carom seeds.

Nutritional Profile of Carom Seeds

A 100-gram serving of organic, whole carom seed contains the following nutrients:

Calories: 357 kcal

Protein: 15.89 g

Carbohydrate: 24.53 g

Fibre: 20.58 g

Fats: 21.11 g

Calcium: 1034 mg

Iron: 13.65 mg

Potassium: 1692 mg

Note: The nutritional content of carom seeds can vary depending on the brand. Brand owners are accountable for providing nutrition information on their product labels, which may exhibit slight differences compared to the nutrient composition of the organic spice.

12 Health Benefits of Carom Seeds

Carom seeds, also known as ajwain, offer a range of health benefits. Let us take a look at the 12 top benefits of Carom seeds.

1. Digestive Health

Carom seeds are known for their exceptional digestive properties. They contain active enzymes that stimulate the secretion of gastric juices, promoting better digestion. It can help alleviate issues like acidity, indigestion, and flatulence. Moreover, carom seed extracts can soothe sores in the digestive tract, aiding in the treatment of peptic ulcers.

2. Respiratory Wellness

Carom seeds offer significant benefits for your respiratory system. They can provide quick relief from coughing by enhancing lung function and aiding in the removal of mucus. That makes it easier to clear nasal congestion and breathe more comfortably.

3. Skin Health Enhancement

The anti-inflammatory properties of ajwain make it effective in defending against sun damage and various signs of ageing, such as wrinkles, fine lines, spots, and dark circles. When applied as a paste to affected areas, it can also help lighten acne scars and pimples, contributing to healthier and more radiant skin. This benefit is due to Ajwain’s ability to reduce inflammation and protect the skin from harmful UV rays.

4. Weight Management

Thymol, an essential oil found in carom seeds, aids in weight loss by boosting metabolism, enhancing digestion, and reducing acidity. Carom seeds also possess diuretic properties, which can lead to temporary weight loss by reducing water retention. Additionally, the improvement in digestion and metabolism helps in the efficient utilisation of nutrients, promoting overall health.

5. Infection Control

Research suggests that carom seeds offer protection against harmful microorganisms like E. coli and salmonella, thereby preventing food poisoning and gastrointestinal ailments. Ajwain’s antibacterial and antifungal properties make it effective as a fungicide and germicide, reducing the risk of infections. These properties help in maintaining a healthy gut by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.

6. Blood Pressure Regulation

Ayurveda utilises the antihypertensive properties of ajwain to manage high blood pressure symptoms. The active plant enzyme thymol acts as a calcium channel blocker, relaxing blood vessels and consequently lowering blood pressure. This benefit is due to Ajwain’s ability to promote vasodilation and improve blood circulation.

7. Joint and Muscle Pain Relief

Carom seeds possess potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate joint and muscle pain, reducing the risk of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. These properties work by reducing inflammation and easing pain in affected areas.

8. Good for Hair

Ajwain is effective in preventing premature hair greying. Its antimicrobial properties combat scalp and hair infections, nourish hair follicles with essential nutrients, promote blood circulation, and strengthen hair strands. This benefit stems from Ajwain’s ability to maintain a healthy scalp environment, preventing premature hair damage.

9. Earache Relief

A few drops of ajwain oil can provide relief from earaches. Alternatively, a mixture of ajwain and crushed garlic boiled in sesame oil serves as a quick home remedy for earaches. This relief is due to the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of Ajwain, which help reduce pain and inflammation in the ear.

10. Toothache Relief

Gargling with lukewarm ajwain and saltwater is highly beneficial for toothaches. Inhaling vapours from ajwain seeds can also ease toothache discomfort, and ajwain water serves as an effective mouthwash. These benefits arise from Ajwain’s ability to reduce inflammation and provide relief from oral discomfort.

11. Support Liver and Kidney Function

Studies suggest that ajwain water may address chronic intestinal pains stemming from sudden liver and kidney malfunctions. Carom seeds contain essential oils, such as thymol, that aid the liver in its natural detoxification processes. Furthermore, their antibacterial and antifungal properties may help in preventing or treating infections that could affect the liver or kidneys. This benefit is due to Ajwain’s potential to support liver and kidney health by promoting detoxification and preventing infections.

12. Cholesterol Management

Carom seeds may help lower levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. Regular consumption of ajwain water in the morning can assist in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. This benefit is associated with Ajwain’s ability to regulate lipid metabolism and reduce cholesterol absorption in the gut.

Summary

Carom seeds, known as ajwain, are a nutritional powerhouse with a wide range of health benefits. Rich in dietary fibre, essential fatty acids, and vital nutrients, they also contain essential oils like thymol, cymene, pinene, terpinene, and limonene. Ajwain aids in digestion, offering relief from acidity and indigestion, and is effective against common respiratory issues. Its anti-inflammatory properties enhance skin health, combat infections, and support weight management. Additionally, it regulates blood pressure, provides relief from joint pain, and prevents premature hair greying. Ajwain’s diverse advantages extend to earache and toothache relief, liver and kidney function, cholesterol management, and gut health.

Ways to Consume Carom Seeds 

The recommended daily carom seed intake is 3 to 6 grams of powdered ajwain, 125 grams of dried extract, or 6 millilitres of fluid extract in a day. Here are some ways to include carom seeds in the daily diet:

Season curries with carom seeds

Add carom seeds when preparing puris, parathas and chilla

Sprinkle these seeds into salads and smoothies

Use carom seeds in pickles and masala powders

Carom marinated in lemon juice with black salt and then sun-dried works as an appetite enhancer

Add them to detox tea, homemade Namkeens and biscuits

Potential Side Effects 

Carom seeds offer a multitude of health benefits. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that excessive consumption of any ingredient is not advisable, as it can have adverse effects. Here are some potential side effects of carom seeds to be aware of:

Overconsumption of ajwain seeds can result in increased stomach gas production, leading to acidity and reflux.

The presence of thymol in ajwain seeds may trigger allergic reactions, such as dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

Pregnant women should steer clear of carom seeds as they could potentially impact foetal development.

Ajwain supplements may raise the risk of increased bleeding during and after surgery.

It is essential to understand the benefits of ajwain seeds and incorporate them into your diet in moderation. Additionally, if you experience any visible signs of side effects, consulting a healthcare professional is strongly recommended.

Summary

Overindulgence in carom seeds can cause stomach gas, acidity, and reflux. Thymol in ajwain seeds may trigger allergies, such as dizziness and nausea. Pregnant women should avoid them due to potential foetal development risks, and carom supplements may increase bleeding during and after surgery. It’s crucial to use carom seeds in moderation to enjoy their benefits, and if any side effects occur, consulting a healthcare professional is advisable.

HealthifyMe Suggestion

Apart from adding ajwain in parathas, tadka or detox water, you can try this ajwain tomato chutney which is easy to prepare and gives a healthy twist to a tomato chutney. Blanch 3 tomatoes, peel and puree in a liquidizer. Heat 1 tsp  oil in a pan, add 2 tsp ajwain and a pinch of hing. Add one crushed garlic clove and fry for another few seconds. Put the pureed tomatoes, half a tsp of chilli powder, and salt and allow it to simmer for 10 mins. This can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Enjoy this a s a accompaniment to parathas, rolls, and tikkis.

The Final Word

Carom seeds, commonly known as Ajwain, are a nutritionally rich spice abundant in fibre, antioxidants, and essential micronutrients. A staple in Indian kitchens, they enhance various recipes and home remedies, making them a wholesome addition to any meal. While they offer numerous benefits, it’s crucial to be aware of potential side effects and recommended daily intake guidelines. Any adverse effects or overconsumption of carom seeds require immediate medical evaluation to prevent unwanted consequences.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are carom seeds, and where do they come from?

A: Carom Seeds or ajwain is a highly nutritious spice which is filled with high levels of fibre, antioxidants, and micronutrients and is a part of every regular Indian kitchen for usage in multiple recipes and home remedies.

Q: What is the nutritional composition of carom seeds?

A: Carom seeds have a rich nutritional composition, including various vitamins, minerals, and other compounds. A 100-gram serving of organic, whole carom seed contains 357 calories, 15.89 g of protein, and 20.58 g of fibre. It also has folate and potassium.

Q: Are carom seeds commonly used in traditional medicine practices?

A: Carom seeds are a part of every regular Indian kitchen for usage in multiple recipes and home remedies for ages. Ayurveda also suggests its beneficial nature for digestion and gut health.

Q: Can carom seeds aid in digestion, and how do they work?

A: Yes, It helps treat various digestive conditions like acidity, indigestion and flatulence. It happens because active enzymes present in ajwain promote digestion by improving the secretion of gastric juices.

Q: Are there specific gastrointestinal issues that carom seeds can help alleviate?

A: Ajwain has the properties of reducing toxins and improving digestive health, which makes it an effective remedy for any form of gastrointestinal issues.

Q: How are carom seeds used in culinary dishes and home remedies?

A: Carom seeds in powdered form go well in salads and curries, added as tadka, in pickles, or as remedies such as ajwain water or honey ajwain mixture for additional benefits.

Q: Can carom seeds help with bloating and gas problems?

A: Yes, carom seeds are an effective home remedy for bloating and gas. One might take carom seeds, a pinch of rock salt and water for relief.

Q: Are there potential weight loss benefits associated with carom seeds?

A: It is claimed that ajwain contains an essential oil named thymol, which promotes weight loss. Some people believe that thymol might have a slight impact on metabolism.

Q: What is the role of carom seeds in relieving respiratory issues like asthma or bronchitis?

A: Ajwain helps to bring out the mucus quickly and helps manage chronic bronchitis and asthma to a great extent.

Q: Are carom seeds beneficial for women’s health, especially during menstruation?

A: Ajwain contains thymol, which makes it an effective remedy for period cramps. Carom seeds are a good source of iron that can be beneficial for women, especially during menstruation, when iron levels might be lower due to blood loss. However, it’s important to note that the evidence supporting these claims is largely anecdotal, and individual experiences may vary.

Q: Can carom seeds help treat common colds and coughs?

A: Carom seeds are effective in preventing and eliminating cough. They provide instant relief from cough by enhancing the airflow in the lungs. It also clears the nasal blockage by discharging the mucus efficiently.

Q: Is there a recommended dosage or way to consume carom seeds for health benefits?

A: The recommended daily intake is 3 to 6 grams of powdered ajwain, 125 grams of dried extract, or 6 millilitres of fluid extract in a day.

Q: Are there any known allergies or side effects associated with carom seeds?

A: Ajwain is an excellent addition to food. However, overconsumption may lead to stomach gas production, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and acidity, might increase bleeding, and may even affect foetal development.

Q: Can carom seeds be used in skin care or hair care routines?

A: Ajwain contains anti-inflammatory and curative properties. It reduces the damage due to the sun’s rays and treats the various signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines, spots, and dark circles. Also, the antimicrobial nature treats multiple scalp and hair infections like folliculitis, itching and dandruff.

Q: How do carom seeds compare to other spices in terms of health benefits?

A: Carom seeds are not any other spice or flavouring element in general. It is incredibly nutritious and rich in fibre, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals.

Research Sources

The US Department of Agriculture on Carom Seeds

An analysis by NIH on Trachyspermum ammi (ajwain) 

A Herbal Medicine with Various Pharmacological Effects: A Report by NIH

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