Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi L.) oils

Sirajudheen Anwar, Nafees Ahmed, Sofiane Habibatni, Yousef Abusamra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Trachyspermum ammi (L.)-commonly known as ajwain or caraway-is native to Egypt and widely grown all over Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The seeds of T. ammi (L.) are widely used in India and eastern Asia, both in diet and in traditional medicine. They contain fiber (11.9%), carbohydrates (38.6%), tannins, glycosides, moisture (8.9%), protein (15.4%), fat (18.1%), saponins, flavone, and mineral matter (7.1%). Essential oil prepared from seeds contains thymol (50-60%), γ-terpinene, and p-cymene, along with α- and β-pinenes, α-thujen, myrcene, 1,8-cineole, and carvacrol. Ajwain is an important commercial plant due to its essential oil, which is used in the flavor/food industries. Ajwain oil contributes to a wide range of medicinal applications, such as antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, cytotoxic, antilithiasis, nematicidal, anthelmintic, and antifilarial activities. Its seeds exhibit remarkable digestive and antiseptive properties and are used in traditional medicine, primarily to control bowel disorders such as indigestion, flatulence, colic, and diarrhea. They are also used as a stimulant, stomachic, carminative, aromatic, antispasmodic, antihypertensive, antiseptic, antiparasitic, antiscorbutic, antihistamine, vermicide, emmenagogue, and sialagogue. The ajwain oil components, thymol and carvacrol, have attributes for antibacterial and antifungal action against wide range of microbes. This distinctive contribution by ajwain oil components makes it a good food preservative candidate to prevent food spoilage caused by bacteria and fungi.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEssential Oils in Food Preservation, Flavor and Safety
EditorsVictor R. Preedy
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780124166448
ISBN (Print)9780124166417
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Ajwain
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antioxidant
  • Food preservation
  • Thymol

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