Ajwain seeds are one of the more popular spices commonly featuring in Indian and Middle-Eastern cuisine. Botanically, they are spicy seeds belonging to the family of Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), in the genus; Trachyspermum. Scientific name: Trachyspermum copticum. These seeds are olive green to brown in color, have similarity in appearance to cumin or caraway seeds marked with vertical stripes on their outer surface. However, they can be easily distiguished from caraway and cumin by thier elliptical shape and tiny size. Their flavor closely resembles to that of thyme since they comprise essential oil, thymol.
Ajwain contains high levels of thymol, a chemical which aids the release of gastric juices from the stomach and thus, speed up the process of digestion. This is the reason why ajwain plays a key role in relieving indigestion, flatulence and nausea. Thymol’s germicide and antiseptic properties can also be employed in the preparation of cough remedies.