Carom seeds also known as ‘ajwain’ belong to the cumin family, Apiaceae. This plant is predominantly found in the regions of India and Pakistan and used as a spice.
Ajwain has long been used in traditional medicine for its health benefits.
Carom seeds are scientifically known as Trachyspermum ammi. They possess antioxidant, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, hypolipidemic, fiber, vitamins, minerals and several other properties.
They contain other phytochemical constituents – including glycosides, saponins, phenolic compounds, and volatile oils. Carom seeds also have anti-inflammatory potential. Here are 5 health benefits of this seeds:
1. May help in the management of blood pressure
Carom seeds can help you manage your blood pressure as well. The thymol in the seeds is responsible for this property. In rat studies, it produced a fall in blood pressure and heart rate.
Carom seeds also have a calcium channel-blocking effect. This effect prevents calcium from entering heart cells and blood vessel walls, this lowers blood pressure. Thus, ajwain is recommended to patients with hypertension before going into surgery.
2. May aid digestion
Though digestive issues might not seem serious, they can leave us feeling miserable. With carom seeds in our kitchens, that doesn’t have to be the case anymore.
Carom seeds can increase gastric acid secretions, which can enhance digestive health.
In rat studies, the ingestion of carom seeds reduced food transit time. The seeds also improved the activity of digestive enzymes and led to a higher secretion of bile acids.
3. Fight inflammation
Carom seeds contain essential components like terpenes, sterols, and glycosides – all of which contribute to their anti-inflammatory effects.
Some sources suggest that carom seeds can relieve arthritis pain as well.
4. May help treat cough
Studies on guinea pigs showed that intake of carom seeds produced antitussive (cough-suppressing) effects that were greater than codeine, a drug used to treat coughs.
In another study, carom seeds increased airflow to the lungs in asthmatic patients. This property may also help in treating cough and boosting respiratory health.
Some sources suggest that consuming water with boiled carom seeds can help relieve cough and the associated chest congestion. The seeds may help treat common cold too.
5. May prevent kidney stones
Carom seeds may prevent calcium oxalate deposition. This can potentially cut the risk of developing kidney stones.
Though these seeds are said to maintain renal (kidney) function, reduce renal injury, and prevent the retention of stones in the renal tissues, these claims are not supported by experimental evidence.
The various phytochemical compounds in carom seeds must be credited for these benefits. They also contain other important nutrients.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé