Ajowan – Chemical Constituents, Synonyms and Medicinal Uses

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Biological Source of Ajowan:

Ajowan consists of the dried ripe fruits of the plant known as ‘Trachyspermum ammi’, belonging to the family Umbelliferae. It is also known as “Trachyspermum copticum” and Carum copticum“.

Distribution and Cultivation of Ajowan Plants:

Ajowan plant is native to Egypt and its cultivation is carried out in countries like Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.

In India, extensive cultivation is carried out in the states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

Ajowan is a rabi crop and is cultivated during the months of October to November. Irrigation is done for the Umbelliferous crops. Harvesting is done during the months of February and March.

Ajowan fruits are yellowish brown in colour with aromatic taste.

Chemical Constituents of Ajowan seeds:

Ajowan fruits are mainly cultivated for its volatile oil. It consists of 2 – 4 % of volatile oil, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Some of the other chemicals that are present in Ajowan in trace amounts include tannins, glycosides and steroidal substances.

The main components of the volatile oil are thymol, p-cymene, terpinene, pinene and dipentenes.

The flavour and the taste of the drug is due to the chemical thymol and volatile oil.

Medicinal Uses of Ajowan:

  • Ajowan can be used as an anti-spasmodic.
  • Ajowan can be used as a stimulant.
  • Ajowan is used as a carminative.
  • Ajowan is used for the treatment of sore throat and bronchitis.
  • Ajowan is also used in the preparation of lotions and ointments to check chronic discharge.
  • Ajowan is used as a digestive aid.
  • Ajowan seeds are powdered, soaked in breast milk. The milk is filtered and fed to babies.

Uses of Ajowan oil and dethymolised ajowan oil:

  • Anti-septic
  • Anti-fungal
  • Insecticide
  • Anthelmintic
  • Ajowan Oil is used as a deodarant in mouth washes, tooth pastes and gargles
  • Ajowan Oil is used as a flavouring agent for the disinfectant soaps

Synonyms:

  • Bengali – Yamani
  • Gujarati – Ajmo
  • Hindi – Ajwain
  • Kannada – Omu
  • Malayalam – Onva
  • Marathi – Ova
  • Sanskrit – Dipyaka
  • Tamil – Omum
  • Telugu – Vamu

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