Carom seeds or ajwain are commonly found in most Indian kitchens. Generally used for seasoning and adding flavours to dishes, these seeds can also be used to address gut health, acidity, and indigestion.
Carom seeds are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins that are required for healthy hair and skin. “It is absolutely fantastic for digestive health because of an active ingredient called thymol that helps produce more digestive enzymes. These further help us break down food,” said Luke Coutinho, integrative lifestyle medicine expert and life coach, in a YouTube video.
This is why, some people even chew on carom seeds post meals. The seeds can be consumed by cooking or roasting them, and also adding some cumin seeds and fennel seeds to them. This is great to stimulate your digestive system.
Why do we suffer from indigestion?
According to Luke, overeating is one of the reasons for indigestion. A large amount of food can hamper the digestive system and result in indigestion.
Many times, knowingly or knowingly, we have unbalanced meals — either too much carb, very less protein, too much fiber, too much protein, or less fat. But, our meals need to be balanced, because when we put a burden on our digestive system the system has to work more to break down the food.
Eating under stress
Whenever you are stressed, don’t eat, advised Luke, adding that the body is not designed to breakdown and digest food when stressed. “Calm down first, take a deep breath, keep all distractions away and then eat your meal peacefully. You will see that your digestion will improve,” he added. Also, eating too spicy or keeping long gaps between meals can also lead to indigestion,” he said.
Ways to use carom seeds to relieve gut-related problems and other issues.
Popping an antacid is never a good idea to get relief from acidity. Doing so can, in fact, lead to low stomach acid which in turn can create a lot of health issues and bacterial infection. Carom seeds can help with acidity. “You just need to boil carom seeds and sip on the warm concoction. It helps with acidity and digestion. However, do not forget to address the root cause of acidity,” said Luke.
Morning sickness during pregnancy
Women experience nausea, morning sickness and digestion problems during pregnancy. In such situations, carom seeds can give comfort. Take a teaspoon of carom seeds, boil it in 3 cups of water and reduce it to half and sip it on slowly throughout the day.
Worms and parasites
Many of us have worms and parasites in our intestines that strip us off nutrition and block the absorption of nutrition in our body, causing myriad health problems including indigestion, bloating, bacterial and fungal infection. “Carom seeds have been used for the longest time and now the Ministry of Ayush has also recognised it as a natural dewormer. But, if your doctor has put you on deworming tablets, then listen to him,” said Luke.
Mix a half a teaspoon of carom seeds and jaggery and chew it. Alternatively, you can prepare a tea by boiling carom seeds with cinnamon and adding a little raw honey (optional) and jaggery. It needs to be taken between meals or on an empty stomach. Also, it is known to reduce arthritis pain as it is highly anti-inflammatory in nature.
Calming colic baby
Carom seeds can be used to address inconsolable outbursts. Heat carom seeds and make a paste either in pure ghee or castor oil and apply it on the navel area of the baby. This gives an almost instant result. It can be used for adults and elderly people as well.