Ajwain—sometimes called ajowan—is a commonly used Ayurvedic spice. It tastes like caraway or thyme, only stronger.
The seeds are small, gray-green in color and quite peppery when raw, but milder when cooked. It’s often included in Indian spice mixtures, adding robust flavor, and powerful digestive and cleansing benefits.
The Ayurvedic benefits of ajwain
Many of Ajwain’s health benefits come from the presence of thymol—an essential oil also present in thyme, providing a similar aroma. Ajwain is helpful for pacifying Vata and Kapha, and increases Pitta. It contributes to the pungent taste, with a slight bitter undertone.
According to Ayurveda, ajwain is a powerful cleanser. It is helpful for stimulating the appetite and enhancing digestion. It is recommended to help alleviate gas and discomfort in the stomach. It is also helpful for the functioning of the respiratory system and the kidneys.
Ajwain supports digestion in a variety of foods
Ajwain is commonly added to deep-fried foods, such as fritters, in Indian cooking, to help ease digestion. A pinch added to buttermilk or digestive lassi can promote digestion if taken after lunch. Add a pinch to rice as it is cooking, for aroma and flavor.
Ajwain can be combined with other spices such as turmeric, paprika, cumin, black pepper, fennel and coriander for synergistic benefits. You may also try ajwain tea to support cleansing and detoxification.
In the Ayurvedic view, spices are more than flavor enhancers; they provide a range of medicinal properties that help balance the doshas. Add ajwain seeds to your cooking for powerful cleansing and digestive benefits.