Carom Seeds – Health Benefits, Culinary Uses & Seed Water

Indigestion is the most dreadful condition that can disrupt your entire routine. You probably have been advised to eat carom seeds (Ajwain) for indigestion or cramps. Carom seeds (Trachyspermum Ammi) are a superfood with a spectrum of health benefits.

They have secured their rightful place in every Indian household. The usage of carom seeds is vast, ranging from grandma’s home remedies to Indian culinary.

Carom seeds are exceptionally nutritious. These seeds contain high levels of fibre, antioxidants and micronutrients.

As a result, they are held in high esteem in the culinary world for their traditional therapeutic benefits.

What are Carom Seeds?  

Interestingly carom seeds are the fruit of a plant. Some of the other aliases for the seeds are bishop’s weed and ajwain caraway. 

Carom seed is a member of the Apiaceae family. The Apiaceae plant family comprises other super spice members like celery, coriander, fennel and parsley. However, carom seeds have a slightly bitter and spicy taste. If you chew a handful, it stings.

They come in a green-brownish shade. In addition, carom seeds resemble cumin seeds in appearance. However, diversely, their taste is more akin to thyme. 

Perks of Carom seeds 

Markets typically sell carom seeds as whole seeds. But there is also a spectrum of uses for powdered seeds. Be it whole seeds, powder, or elixir; carom seeds are beneficial in all forms.

Carom seeds have a strong flavour by themselves. Regardless, this Indian spice is an ingredient in many recipes due to its digestive outcomes. Thymol is the primary component of ajwain oil. Thymol can treat stomach issues. 

Oh, but the list does not end here! It is undeniable that carom seeds are a blessing from heaven for relieving digestive issues.

In addition, however, this superhero spice has a plethora of health benefits. And it will be unjust to overlook them. So let us tell you all about the benefits of carom seeds.  

10 Proven Health Benefits of Carom Seeds

1. Relieves indigestion

Carom seeds are excellent home remedies for digestive problems. Active enzymes of carom seeds can stimulate the flow of gastric (stomach) acid. Improved acid flow can greatly alleviate stomach issues. These include problems like indigestion, bloating, and flatulence (gas). Carom seed extract may also help in the prevention/ treatment of chronic indigestion. 

Indigestion is the persistent pain/ distress in the upper section of your stomach. One of the culprits for indigestion is the delay in stomach emptying.  

A study has confirmed that carom seeds may promote gastric acid flow. It states that adding carom seeds to an infusion enhanced gastric acid output about fourfold. So, in a nutshell, carom seeds can support digestion by modulating stomach acid flow.   

2. Combat peptic ulcers and gastric lesions

Chronic issues such as peptic ulcers, oesophageal, stomach, and intestinal lesions are prevalent. But fret not; you can cure them with carom seeds. For example, according to one study, the efficacy of carom seed extract on healing peptic ulcers was identical to that of standard medicine used to heal peptic ulcers.  

3. Lowers blood pressure

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a prevalent condition. It elevates your risk of heart disease and stroke. According to animal studies, carom seeds may help lower blood pressure. The thymol in carom seeds may have a hand in preventing calcium from entering the blood arteries in your heart. Consequently, it decreases blood pressure.  

Nevertheless, evidence on the efficiency of carom seed in decreasing blood pressure is currently restricted. Therefore, more research is needed to determine how it may affect blood pressure in humans.  

4. Provides relief from coughing and congestion  

Carom seeds may benefit you during a coughing fit. These seeds also help eliminate congestion (mucus) from your nose, making breathing easier. Moreover, carom seeds also promote the dilation (widening) of the bronchial passages, which may be beneficial to asthmatics. 

5. Anti-inflammatory effect

Inflammation can be beneficial or detrimental. Short-term inflammation is a normal response of our body to disease. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can harm your health. It may even put you at risk of some diseases.  

Carom seeds contain anti-inflammatory properties and may help decrease inflammation in the body. A rat study discovered that taking carom seed extract has anti-inflammatory benefits. Consequently, carom seeds may prove to be beneficial in multiple inflammatory conditions.

6. Relieves toothache

Carom seeds may offer relief from toothache. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory qualities of thymol and other essential oils. Thymol may also enhance your oral health by combating germs in the mouth. 

7. Cholesterol-lowering and heart-protective

Animal studies demonstrate the positive effects of carom seeds on heart health. In addition, large doses of carom seed powder and extract may lower increased cholesterol. Similarly, carom seeds can affect triglyceride (TG) levels. Both elevated cholesterol and TG levels are risk factors for heart disease.

Total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and TG levels were all lowered with carom seed powder. However, further research is needed to determine how the seeds affect cholesterol levels in humans.

8. Prevents kidney stones

Studies show the effectiveness of carom seed extracts on urinary stones. Therefore, a study got commissioned to see the effect of carom seeds on 350 people.

According to the findings of this study, carom seed extract treated kidney stones. Calcium oxalate, calcium oxalate/uric acid, and calcium-oxalate/hydroxyapatite stones were cured by 100%, 53%, and 31.25%, respectively.

9. Anti-toxic effect  

Aflatoxins are mycotoxins caused by the fungus Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Both these fungi infect crops such as corn and rice. Mycotoxins like these can be hazardous to humans.

Carom seed extract may have a destructive impact on aflatoxin. Studies have shown that carom seeds drastically reduce aflatoxin activity to less than 65%.

It may also protect from chromium toxicity. In addition, the extract enhanced cell viability and decreased DNA damage. The results suggest that carom seeds are successful in combating the toxic effects.

10. Pain Management for Arthritis

Carom seeds may relieve pain and oedema (swelling). To relieve arthritic pain, crush the fruit into a paste and apply it to the skin around the joints. Alternatively, fill your tub halfway with warm water and add a handful of seeds. These remedies will ease arthritis pain. 

Culinary Uses of Carom Seeds

Carom seeds have been used as a spice to enhance the taste of any cuisine. However, use them in small quantities due to their intense aroma. Unarguably, carom seed water is one of the most renowned consuming these seeds. But do not underestimate this versatile seed.

Here are some ways you can add carom seeds into your diet:

  • Season sabzis and gravies with carom seeds.
  • Use carom seeds to prepare various Indian foods—for instance, puris, parathas and chilla.
  • Third, you can sprinkle these seeds into your salads.
  • Fourth, use carom seeds in pickles and a variety of masala powders.  
  • Finally, use carom seeds for tampering or tadka in recipes.   
  • Carom seeds that have been marinated in lemon juice with black salt and then dried in the sun work as appetite-enhancers.
  • Add them to homemade Namkeens and cookies.
  • Carom seeds can be a great addition to your detox tea.

Carom Seed Water  

Consider preparing carom seed water for a quick fix to add this superfood into your diet. It is a fantastic approach for ensuring that you get the most out of carom seeds. 

Carom seed water: Recipe

Carom seed water is effortless to make yet, delivers all of the health benefits of carom seeds.  

Ingredients:  

  • Carom seeds- 2 Tbsp  
  • Water- 2 cups 

Method:

  • Add water and carom seeds into a saucepan and turn on the heat. Bring it to a boil.  
  • Boil this concoction for 8-10 minutes on low to medium flame. Turn off the heat.  
  • Sieve and serve lukewarm.  

Benefits of Carom Seed Water

1. Improve digestion  

An upset stomach causes the most inconvenience to our usual schedule. By stimulating the release of gastric juices, carom seeds may improve your digestive functions. 

Carom seed water will help activate the stomach enzymes on an empty stomach. It works wonders to improve digestion, soothe cramps and heartburn. 

2. Carom seed water helps to keep infections at bay 

Carom seeds are anti-bacterial, anti-biotic, and anti-fungal. As a result, they are an excellent antidote for infections and colds.  

3. Carom seed water helps during respiratory issues and the common cold.

Ajwain is effective in keeping your lungs and throat clear. Carom seeds help prevent congestion. This effect is known as broncho-dilatory action. In addition, carom seeds help relax the airway, allowing asthmatics to breathe more easily. Carom seeds may also relieve symptoms of a common cold. 

4. Improves the skin health

Carom seeds have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it may restore oxidative free-radical damage caused by direct sunlight. Therefore to reduce your wrinkles, drink carom seed water and fight oxidative damage.

Carom seed water: Things to Remember

Carom seed, per se, has no adverse effects when used in moderation. However, if taken excessively, it may cause inevitable adversities in some people. 

Allergy: If you are allergic to carom seeds, you should avoid eating them. It may cause rashes, palpitations, sweating or nausea.

Overconsumption: Excessive consumption of carom seeds may aggravate stomach ulcers. Hence, avoid them if you have a liver illness or ulcerative colitis. If you suffer from any of these, contact your health care provider before consuming carom seeds.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Most people generally regard Carom seeds as safe. Unfortunately, carom seeds are not safe for pregnant women. Ajwain may cause adverse effects on fetuses. Therefore, it may be best to avoid carom seeds during pregnancy and nursing.

How to store carom seeds?

Now that you know all the perks of this super seed, you may want to add them to your pantry. It would help if you stored them properly. It will ensure the preservation of its aroma and essential oils.

When purchasing carom seeds in bulk, move them to a different container. First, store them in a repurposed spice box or small glass container. Then, keep the rest in a large glass container. Unlike plastic cans, glass does not absorb flavour. As a result, carom seeds can last up to a year when stored in a cold, dry, dark place.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What are carom seeds good for?  

A. Carom seeds have excellent anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties. Additionally, it helps in various respiratory conditions, lowers cholesterol and helps ease arthritic pain. Carom seeds are also notable for their ability to treat indigestion. 

Q2. What can I substitute for carom seeds?  

A. Spices like caraway seeds, thyme can be used. Likewise, one can substitute cumin and fennel seeds for carom seeds.   

Q3. What are the disadvantages of carom seeds?  

A. Carom seed is a harmless addition to most people’s diets. However, pregnant or nursing women should avoid it. Carom seed contains compounds that may lead to birth abnormalities and miscarriage. However, more research would substantiate this. 

Q4. What are carom seeds in Hindi?  

A. Carom seeds are the English name for ajwain.  

Q5. What is the side effect of ajwain?  

A. Ajwain has no adverse side effects when taken in moderation. However, it may cause side effects in some people who are allergic to it. In addition, overconsumption of carom seeds may cause heartburn, dizziness, nausea or vomiting.   

Q6. Can ajwain reduce belly fat?  

A. Ajwain helps in improving digestive health. Swapping a calorie-dense drink for ajwain water may help to reduce weight.  

Q7. Is ajwain good for skin whitening?  

A. Ajwain is anti-inflammatory and protects against oxidative damage. Consequently, it may contribute to preventing skin damage caused by the sun.  

Q8. Is it good to eat carom seeds every day?  

A. Yes, carom seeds are safe to consume daily. Yet, you should avoid eating excessive amounts of these seeds as this might lead to gastrointestinal troubles. Carom seeds may aggravate diverticulitis, liver illness, or ulcerative colitis.  

Q9. Is carom seed good for periods?  

A . Yes, carom seeds may work as a nerve relaxant and soothe menstrual cramps.   

Q10. Can ajwain seeds help to lose weight?  

A . Ajwain may help weight loss when incorporated into a balanced diet.  

Q11. Can we drink ajwain water daily?  

A. Yes, you can drink ajwain water daily. It helps soothe an array of digestive issues. Like stomach pain, cramps, indigestion and flatulence.

Q12. When should we drink ajwain water?  

A. You can drink ajwain water anytime. But for getting the most out of it, consume it on an empty stomach. It may help improve digestion. 

Q13. Are there any side effects of ajwain water?  

A. Ajwain water is safe to be consumed by most people. However, some individuals are allergic to ajwain water. Therefore, they should avoid it as it may cause side effects. 

Q14. What is ajwain tea good for?  

A. Ajwain tea is excellent for relieving digestive issues. It may also provide relief from the common cold.

Q15. How do you make carom seed tea?  

A. Carom seed tea is easy to prepare. Put water and carom seeds into a pan and bring them to a boil. Simmer this mixture for 8-10 minutes on low to medium heat. Turn off the heat. Allow it to cool. Serve lukewarm after sieving.

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