29 September 2014

45 Health Benefits of Carom Seeds-Ajwain VAMU SEEDS

Stomach problem? Chew on some carom seeds. Apart from treating an upset stomach, it also has many other health benefits. It can either be consumed raw or in powdered form. Include carom seeds in your daily diet plan along with other herbs for reaping best benefits. Carom seeds are also known as Ajwain or Bishop’s weed. Carom seed is called omam in the southern part of India. They belong to the same family as fennel, anise, dill, and caraway. (Ask for this in any Ayurvedic shop)

Shape: Oval and ridged.
Size: Very small
Color: Yellowish-brown to greyish green
Taste: Hot and pungent taste
Leaves: Small feather like
Fragrance: Strong odor, like Thyme
Nutritional Value of Carom Seeds and Its Oil:

Carom seeds contains per 100 gms:

Protein …………………………………..17.1%

Fat …………………………………………21.8%

Minerals ………………………………….7.9%

Fiber ……………………………………….21.2%

Carbohydrates ………………………….24.6%

It also contains calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, phosphorus, iron and niacin.
Carom oil is obtained from its seeds that contain 2.5% to 5% of essential oil. Their leaves and flowers are also used to extract oil that contains 35-60% of thymol. This oil is either colourless or pale brown in colour. Carom oil is widely used as germicide and fungicide.

Let us quickly go through the health benefits of carom seeds:

Health Benefits Of Carom Seeds:

1. Acidity:

Mix one table spoon of carom seeds with one table spoon of cumin seeds. Consume them on a daily basis with some ginger powder. This natural remedy is a best way to cure indigestion problems. It is also useful in treating acidity and acid reflux problem.

2. Constipation:

Carom seeds are the best remedy to cure digestion related problems. Hence, it can also help you to get rid of constipation. Carom seeds don’t have any side effects.

3. Mouth problems:

Carom seeds have been proven to cure tooth pain. Floss your mouth with one part of clove oil, one part of carom oil and water for treating tooth ache, bad odor and decay. It is the best and effective way to maintain oral hygiene.

4. Kidney disorder:

Carom seeds are very essential to cure kidney stones. They can also be useful to treat and reduce the pain due to kidney disorders.

5. Asthma:

Consuming carom seeds with warm water give instant relief from cold and expel cough and mucus from the body. It is also useful for treating bronchitis and asthma. It can be consumed with jaggery twice a day.

6. Liver and kidney:

Drink ajwain water for curing intestinal pain caused because of indigestion and infection. This herb is also very beneficial for curing liver and kidney malfunctions.

7. Cold:

 cold fact
Image: Shutterstock

This seed is the best natural way to cure cold symptoms such as a blocked nose. Take a steam from ajwain seeds infused in hot water for best relief.

 8. Itching, Boils & Eczema:

Grind ajwain seeds with lukewarm water to make its paste. Apply this paste on any affected part of the face or body. Also, try washing the affected part with the ajwain water for best results. In case of swelling due to boils or pimples, make the paste of ground carom seeds with lemon juice. It will be helpful in removing the swelling.

[ Read: Benefits of Chamomile Tea ]

9. Excessive bleeding and irregular menses:

Women with this problem can drink ajwain water. Soak handful of carom seeds in earthen vessel filled with water at night. Grind them and drink it in the morning.

10. Digestion:

Carom seeds benefits digestive problems. Chewing 1 tbsp of raw carom seeds with sugar can help you get rid of indigestion. It can also be consumed without sugar.

11. Arthritis:

Carom seed oil is a very useful method to cure arthritis pain. Massage on affected joints regularly with carom seed oil to get relief from rheumatic pain.

[ Read: Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate ]

12. Diarrhea:

Carom seed is a natural remedy to cure dysentery or diarrhea. Boil a handful of carom seeds in one glass of water. Cool and strain this to consume twice a day. This is an orthodox remedy to cure indigestion and dysentery.

13. Viral infections:

Combine yogurt with carom seeds powder. Applying this paste on face for a whole night can help to lighten acne scars. Wash it with lukewarm water in the morning for best results.

14. Flu:

Boil carom seeds with cinnamon in water. Strain & drink 4 times in a day to cure flu.

15. Mosquito repellent:

Mix mustard oil with ground carom seeds. Dip cardboard pieces in this mixture and tie in the corners of your room. This will help you get rid of the mosquitoes from the room.

[ Read: Radish Nutrition ]

16. Lost appetite:

Mix and grind carom seeds, fennel seeds, dried ginger powder, salt and black cumin seeds. Add hot ghee to that mixture. Mix the mixture with cooked rice. This will surely increase lost appetite.

17. Piles:

Mix dried pomegranate flowers, poppy seeds and dried neem leaves. Consume this mixture with milk twice a day during bleeding piles. Drinking buttermilk with carom seeds powder and rock salt after lunch/dinner is useful for minimizing the condition.

18. Heals pain:

Mix carom seeds, onion seeds, fenugreek seeds with saboot isabgol. Grind them all and consume 1 tbsp of this powder everyday in the morning. Consume this on an empty stomach for best and positive results.

19. Sexual disability:

Roast carom seeds with some tamarind kernels and clarified butter. Grind them well, take 1tsp of this mixture and add to a glass of milk and honey. This is a proven method to reduce sexual disability. Consume this regularly at night for effective results.

20. Breastfeeding:

 breastfeeding tips
Image: Shutterstock

Carom seeds with fennel seeds are used to make ajwain aur saunf ka pani. This is useful to cleanse uterus and increase milk production. Add 1 tbsp of fennel seeds with ½ tbsp carom seeds and 1 litre of water. Boil them for 5 minutes and cool it. Cool and consume this everyday for best results.

21. Menstrual cramps:

Carom seeds acts as a nerve tonic, hence it can lower menstrual cramps during menses. Thus, the benefits of carom seeds are quite wonderful. You can also apply the oil on your muscles for quick relaxation.

22. Stomach problems:

Soak three teaspoon of carom seeds in lime juice and dry it in shade. Grind this and mix some black salt. Consume this twice a day with lukewarm water. This is a useful method to cure loss of appetite, flatulence and other stomach problems. Do this daily till you get the results.

23. Belching:

Many gas related problems can be cured by a mixture of dried ginger, carom seeds and black salt. This is useful to treat problems like gas, indigestion, and belching. You can also try to add this in warm water with cardamom and drink it.

24. Migraine:

Wrap carom seeds in the tissue paper and smell this. It is useful to reduce migraine headache. Also they can be burnt and inhaled for other problems related to head.

25. Heart health:

Consume one tablespoon of carom seeds with warm water to stimulate the heart. It is also beneficial to cure chest pain. You can mix one teaspoon of jaggery with some carom seeds to get quick relief.

 26. Alcoholic:

This herb is also beneficial for the people who want to get rid of alcohol. Chewing carom seeds daily can help to get rid of alcohol craving.

27. Sperm count:

Roast ajwain seeds with some tamarind kernels and clarified butter. Grind all of these ingredients. Grind them well, take a tsp of this mixture and add to a glass of milk and honey.This is a proven method to improve sperm count and treat premature ejaculation. Consume this regularly at night for effective results.

28. Insecticide:

They have many therapeutic uses as well as they are used widely in food preparations. Carom seeds are also used as an insecticide. Apart from this, this is an orthodox method for treating poisonous insect bites.

29. Used in cooking:

These seeds are widely used in Indian cooking as a spice. They can be roasted, fried in oil, or added in “panchphoran”. Ajwain is used in small quantity in making biscuits, snacks, sauces, soups, soft drinks and pickles for good digestion.

30. Pimple:

Apply powdered carom seeds with yogurt on your face. Keep it for half an hour and wash off with warm water. This remedy will help to lighten pimple scars.

31. Reduce weight:

Drink half glass of water with soaked carom seeds on an empty stomach. This will dissolve the fats. Consume 1tsp of carom seeds on an empty stomach every morning. It helps to lose about 4 to 5 kg in a month.

32. Bed Wetting:

Take 50 grams black sesame, 25 grams carom seeds and 100 grams of jaggery. Mix them well. Consume this mixture 1tsp twice a day. This will help in treating frequent urination and bedwetting.

33. Ear pain:

Heat 1tsp garlic and 2tsp carom seeds in sesame oil, till they are red in color. Cool it and strain to put some drops into the ears. This is also useful to treat boils in ears.

34. Flatulence:

Soak 3 tbsp of carom seeds in lime juice. Dry this in the shade. Powder and mix it with little black salt and consume 1 tsp twice a day with warm water.

35. Joint pains:

Mix shatavari, black cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and carom seeds. Powder this and take ½ tsp every morning.

36. Greying of Hair:

Curry leaves – 2 to 3
Dry grapes – 2
Carom seeds – 1 pinch
Sugar– to taste

Add curry leaves, dry grapes, carom seeds in one cup of water and cook. Add sugar if required for taste. Drink 1 glass a day. This will stop greying of hair.

37. Colic:

Boil 1 tsp of fennel seeds and ½ tsp of carom seeds in ½ liter of water. Cook it on a low flame for 5 minutes. Cool and strain it. Drink a cup daily after meals.

38. Diabetes:

Dry few neem leaves in the shade. Powder and store in a jar. At night, mix 1 tsp of the powder in hot milk with ½ tsp of powdered cumin and carom seeds. Consume it for 30 days.

39. Paralysis:

Carom seeds soaked in water and consumed daily can be useful in treating paralysis, trembling and shaking.

40. Eye cleanser:

Boil handful of carom seeds in a water. Cool and strain. Wash your eyes with this water to clean it.

41. Deafness:

Carom seeds have been used in ancient times to cure deafness. Put few drops of this oil in your ears to get rid of this condition.

42. Body cleanser:

Consumption of carom seeds tea can help in cleansing body toxins. Thus, this can reduce many skin and health related problems. This helps to purify blood and improve the blood flow in body.

[ Read: Moringa Benefits ]

43. Calculus:

Consume 6 grams of carom seeds daily to get rid of this disease.

44. Menorrhagia:

Soak 25 gm of carom seeds in a mud pot filled with water for whole night. Grind this and drink in the morning.

45. Urticaria:

Consume 1 gram of carom seeds with 3 grams of jaggery. This is a useful remedy to cure this.

Facts About Carom Seeds:

1. Keep them away from humidity and also from direct sunlight.

2. Carom seeds cannot be stored for a long time.

3. Avoid over consumption. It can lead to nausea, vomiting, skin irritation, allergy and headache in some people.

5. Proper intake doesn’t have any side effects.

6. Store them in air-tight bottle in a cool and dry place.

7. People with liver disease and hyperacidity should avoid this herb.

Hope the article on carom seeds benefits was informative. Do leave us your feedback in the comments section below. Stay fit, stay healthy!

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21 September 2014

11 Home Remedies for Treating High Blood Pressure

What is High Blood Pressure?

According to the American Heart Association, nearly one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. The upper or first number in a blood pressure reading is the systolic pressure and the lower or second number is the diastolic pressure. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guidelines:

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg.
Pre-hypertension is systolic pressure that's between 120 to 139 or diastolic pressure between 80 and 89.
Stage 1 hypertension is systolic pressure between 140 to 159 or diastolic pressure between 90 and 99 mmHg or higher.
Stage 2 hypertension is systolic pressure higher than 160 or diastolic pressure of 100 or higher.
Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

Lifestyle changes and natural remedies may help, although there isn’t enough evidence about any supplement to recommend it as a standard treatment. It's important to work with your medical doctor, because uncontrolled high blood pressure may damage organs in the body and increase the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and vision loss.

1) Garlic

According to the numerous studies in humans, garlic appears to lower blood pressure, particularly systolic blood pressure. In general, the magnitude of the reduction has been less than 10mmHg (less than 10%) in people with high blood pressure.

The active constituents in garlic are thought to be the sulfur-containing compounds including allicin, which may act on the body’s nitric oxide system which relaxes the arteries and lowers systolic blood pressure. Studies on the use of garlic in people with high blood pressure have used 600-2400mg of garlic powder or aged garlic extract in single or divided doses, taken for up to 12 weeks.

Garlic isn't safe for use with many common medications and conditions - learn about them in my article on Garlic for Health.

2) Fish Oil / Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are found in fish and some plant foods. The available research in humans suggests that they may help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA may have greater benefits than EPA, or eicosapentaenooic acid.

Studies have generally found that the reduction in blood pressure has been small – in order to achieve clinically relevant effects, higher doses of omega-3 fatty acids may be needed, which can also cause an increased risk of bleeding in susceptible people including those with bleeding disorders or taking medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, or ginkgo. Further research is needed. Studies have generally used 2-4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily for up to one year.  Find out more about Omega-3 Fatty Acids and how to use them.

3) Hibiscus

Hibiscus tea (from the plant Hibiscus sabdariffa) and supplements have been found to lower blood pressure in human studies. A systematic review of four randomized controlled trials found that in two studies testing the effects of hibiscus tea to black tea, hibiscus tea was associated with reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Two studies comparing hibiscus extract to angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (captopril or lisinopril) also showed reductions for hibiscus tea groups, but the effects were generally less than those of the ACE-inhibitor groups. Additional high-quality studies are needed to confirm these findings. Caution is advised when taking hibiscus, as side effects including diuresis may occur.  More: Can Hibiscus Tea Help to Lower High Blood Pressure?

4) Chocolate / Cocoa Extract

Several studies in humans have shown that eating dark chocolate or chocolate or cocoa products enriched with flavonols may slightly lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure or pre-hypertensive people. Consuming 50g cocoa per day is associated with a 2-3mm Hg reduction in blood pressure. Further research is needed, because not all human studies have found an effect.

Chocolate may affect the nitric oxide system resulting in vasodilation and lower blood pressure. It also may inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. One thing to keep in mind is that chocolate also contains caffeine and sugar, among other ingredients. Large amounts of caffeine (greater than 400mg day) can increase blood pressure and the sugar content may affect blood sugar levels. More: Cocoa Extract for Heart Health.

5) Magnesium

The results are mixed on whether the mineral magnesium may help lower blood pressure, with a number of studies suggesting a small but significant in reduction in blood pressure. A 2012 meta-analysis concluded that magnesium supplementation reduced blood pressure by 2-3mmHg for diastolic blood pressure and 3-4mmHg for systolic blood pressure. Magnesium may be of particular benefit to people with high blood pressure who are deficient in magnesium and intravenous magnesium sulfate is commonly administered for preeclampsia and eclampsia in pregnancy. Further research is needed.

6) Vitamin D

Found naturally in fish, eggs, fortified milk, cod liver oil and produced naturally during exposure to the sun, low levels of vitamin D may have a role in the development of high blood pressure.  Although research is very limited, studies note that blood pressure is often elevated when there is reduced exposure to sunlight/vitamin D (during the winter, greater distances from the equator, and dark skin pigmentation). The difference in systolic blood pressure is around 5mmHg. Learn more about Using Vitamin D for Health.

7) Green Coffee Extract

Green coffee refers to raw coffee beans (from the Coffea fruits) that have not been roasted. Some studies have found that chlorogenic acid, a component in green coffee extract, may lower blood pressure. Chlorogenic acid is also present in roasted coffee, but roasted coffee consumption has been found to increase blood pressure in some studies. Some researchers suggest that the different effects of roasted and green coffee on blood pressure may be due to a compound called hydroxyhydroquinone, which is formed during the roasting process and may block the beneficial effects of chlorogenic acid on blood pressure. Ferulic acid, a metabolite of 5-caffeoylquinic acid, may also be responsible for the hypotensive effects of green coffee extract.

Further research is needed particularly with respect to the side effects and drug interactions – for instance one study found that high doses of chlorogenic acid (2g daily) raised plasma homocysteine levels (a cardiovascular risk factor) whereas a much lower dose did not. Green coffee extract is also said to promote weight loss, which may help some people with high blood pressure. Find out more about Using Green Coffee Extract.

8) Diet and Weight Loss

Being overweight puts increases pressure on artery walls. If overweight, a weight loss diet to bring body weight into a healthy range may help to reduce blood pressure. In addition to a diet that emphasizes whole, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein, juicing vegetables may help to increase one's intake of vegetables.

Vegetable juice, particularly from green leafy vegetables, can increase folic acid, a B vitamin that may help to lower high blood pressure in some people, possibly by reducing elevated homocysteine levels. Dark leafy greens are also high in potassium. A meta-analysis of five trials indicated that potassium supplementation compared to a control resulted in a large but statistically non-significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (mean difference 11.2 mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (5.0 mm hg).

9) Tea / Reduced Caffeine Intake

Caffeine intake can result in a temporary but marked increase in blood pressure. It does this to a greater degree in people with high blood pressure compared with those with normal blood pressure. An alternative to higher-caffeine beverages is green tea, as green tea catechins have been found in some studies to reduce blood pressure. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that overweight or obese men given EGCG (a compound in green tea) extract had a reduction in diastolic blood pressure (-2.68mmHg) compared to those given a placebo.

Find out more about Drinking Tea for Heart Health.

10) Reduced Sodium Intake

Too much sodium can lead to fluid retention which can raise blood pressure, especially in people who are sensitive to sodium. It is estimated that 60% of people with essential hypertension can decrease their blood pressure by reducing their sodium intake.

Low potassium can raise sodium in cells, because sodium and potassium balance each other.

11) Alcohol in Moderation

Some studies suggest that moderate alcohol intake, particularly red wine, is linked with increasing levels of HDL and a slight reduction in blood pressure, however excessive consumption may raise triglyceride levels and increase blood pressure.

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