The next few weeks will be lit with festivities. It is also the time when we ply ourselves with outside meals and alcohol. It is important to take extra care of our stomach during this season so we don't face any indigestion, bloating, and acidity. To help with the same, our age-old Indian spices come to the rescue. Among many of them, one important spice is ajwain also known as carom seed, which is slightly pungent in taste.
We can use this spice to enhance our gut health immediately. Issues like acidity, bloating, smelly gas, and stomach discomfort leads to compromised physical and mental health. If the stomach is affected, the absorption of various nutrients required for the proper functioning of every cell in the body gets affected. In addition, an acidic environment in the body creates a breeding ground for most diseases and inflammatory conditions.
Mind your gut
So how do we improve gut health gradually? It’s simple! For instance, our ancestors used Indian spices to treat all issues in our body. We can start using ajwain on a daily basis to get natural digestive enzymes which will keep one’s digestion in check and stomach issues at bay.
As a tradition, we used to have ajwain and fennel as a mouth freshener post meals, but now no one really takes effort to follow the same. Ajwain post-meal helps secrete more digestive enzymes and stomach acids to break down food that we have consumed. Eating ajwain after meals will be useful to improve the stomach acid or to control hyperacidity, bloating as well as gas.
Seeds of health
Ajwain also contains essential oil like thymol which helps in relaxing smooth muscles in the stomach, therefore preventing stomach or even menstrual cramps. It also has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which help in fighting various bacterial infections in the stomach. That is why it is still used in many villages as a deworming agent.
We can mix 1teaspoon ajwain and 1 teaspoon of jaggery to make small balls and take it when you go to bed, followed by a cup of lukewarm water. The jaggery attracts the worms, which come out, and ajwain helps secrete stomach acid which eventually helps to kill the worms.
Note: If you are allergic or can't tolerate ajwain, then it is better to avoid it, or take it under your healthcare provider's guidance.
(The writer, a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices, is chief nutrition officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems)