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Family Umbelliferae
Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague

Xiang zhu la jiao

Scientific names Common names
Amni copticum L. Damoro (Pamp., Tag.)
Amni glaucifolium Blanco Lamudio (Bik., Tag.)
Amnios muricata Moench Ajawa seeds (Engl.)
Athamanta ajowan Wall. Bishop's weed (Engl.)
Bunium copticum (L.) Spreng. Carom (Engl.)
Carum ajowan Benth. & Hook.f.  
Carum aromaticum Druce  
Carum copticum (L.) Benth & Hook.f. ex C. B. Clarke.  
Carum copticum (L.) Benth. & Hook.f.  
Carum panatjan Baill.  
Cyclospermum ammi (L.) Lag.  
Daucus anisodorus Blanco  
Daucus copticus (L.) Lam.  
Daucus copticus (L.) Pers.  
Helosciadium ammi (L.) Oken  
Ptychotis coptica (L.) DC.  
Sison amni Linn.  
Trachyspermum amni (L.) Sprague  
Trachyspermum copticum (L.) Link  
Carum copticum (L.) Benth. & Hook.f. ex C.B.Clarke is a synonym of Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague The Plant List
Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague ex Turrill
ARABIC: Ajwân, Anîsûn barrî, Kammûn hhabashî, Kamun al muluki, Nakhwah, Taleb el koubs.
ASSAMESE: Jain, Joan, Joni-guti.
BENGALI: Jowan, Javan, Juvani, Yavani, Yamani.
BULGARIAN: Ажгон Azhgon.
CHINESE: Yin du zang hui xiang, Xi ye cao guo qin, Xiang zhu la jiao.
CZECH: Adžvajen.
DUTCH: Ajowan
ESTONIAN: Lõhnav karusköömen
FINNISH: Koptilainen kumina
FRENCH: Ajouan, Ajowan , Ammi, Ammi de l'Inde, Anis de l'Inde, Sison.
GERMAN : Adiowan, Ajowan, Ägyptischer Kümmel, Herrenkümmel, Indischer Kümmel, Königskümmel.
GUJARATI: Ajamo, Yavan, Jawain.
HINDI: Ajawa, Ajmud, Ajowan, Ajawan, Ajwain, Ajavayan, Carom, Randhuni, Javain.
ITALIAN: Ajowan (Katz), Ammi, Sisone.
KANNADA: Ajamodhavoma, Oma omakki, Omu
MALAY: Jintan
MALAYALAM: Ayamodakam, Omam.
MARATHI: Ova, Owa, Vova.
NEPALESE: Agnimanthaa, Jvaanuu.
ORIYA: Juani.
PERSIAN: Zenyân, Nanavva.
POLISH: Adżwan, Ajowan, Kminek koptyjsk.i
PORTUGUESE: Orégano-semente, Semente-de-orégano, Ajowan.
PUNJABI: Aijvain, Ajvain, Ajowan, Javain.
RUSSIAN: Aiova, Azhgon.
SANSKRIT: Ajamoda, Ajamoda, Ajamodika, Yavanaka, Yavaanika, Yavani, Yawani,Deepyaka.
SINHALESE: Asamodagam, Assamodum.
SPANISH: Ajowan, Ayowan.
TAMIL: Asamtavomam, Asampadam, Amam, Omam.
TELUGU: Ajumoda, Omamu, Vamu, Vayu.
THAI: Phak chi.
TURKISH: Emmus, Mısır anason , Mısır anisonu.
URDU: Ajwain, Buranikataya.

Damoro is an erect, annual herb growing from 30 to 90 centimeters high. Leaves are rather distant, 2- or 3-pinnate; the ultimate segments are linear; and 1.2 to 2.5 centimeters long. Flowers are white and grow in compound umbels. Fruit is very small, ovoid, hispid and ribbed.

- Introduced.
- Occasionally cultivated in Batangas and neighboring provinces and in Manila.
- Native of India.

- Plant yields a volatile oil, 0.12%; some phellandrene; about 1 % thymol.
- Fruit contains a volatile oil, 3 to 4 %; with 45 to 55 percent thymol; p-cymol, 1%.

- Seeds contain an aromatic volatile essential oil and crystalline substance called stearoptene, a crude thymol.
- Seed analysis yielded fiber 11.9%, carbohydrates 38.6%, tannins, glycosides, moisture 8.9%, protein 15.4%, fat 18.1%, saponins, flavone and mineral matter 7.1% containing calcium, phosphorus, iron and nicotonic acid. (21)
- Fruits yield 2% to 4% brownish essential oil, with thymol as the major constituent (35% to 60%). The non-thymol fraction (thymene) contains prar-cymene, y-terpenine, α-and ß--pinenes,dipentene, α-terpenine and carvacrol. (21)
- Study of seed essential oil by hydrodistillation by GC and GC/MS analysis yielded total volatiles (2.3% w/w) with 44 compounds representing 91.6% of aerial parts oil identified. Oil main components were hexadecanoic acid (27.5%), ethyl linoleate (8.5%), 6-methyl-α-ionone (8.0%), isobutyl phthalate (5.8%), α -cadinol (4.7%), germacrene D (4.3%), and δ -cadinene3 (3.5%). (see study below) (26)

- Seeds are considered antispasmodic, bactericidal, anticholinergic, stimulant, tonic, carminative.
- Considered antiseptic.
- Studies have shown antimicrobial, antifungal, antihypertensive, hypolipidemmic, antispasmodic, bronchodilatory, diuretic, abortifacient, antitussive, anthelmintic, nematicidal, antifilarial properties.

Parts used
Seeds, fruit.


- Fruit used with "buyo" for chewing for a carminative effect.
- Seeds used for flatulence, atonic dyspepsia, diarrhea; often recommended for cholera, usually used with asafoetida, myrobalans and rock salt.
- Decoction used for discharges, sometimes used as a lotion.
- Decoction of seeds a common ingredient of cough mixtures.
- As topical remedy, used with astringents for sore throats.
- During the 1st World War, sought after for its thymol content, which is considered antiseptic.
- In India, used for flatulence, dyspepsia, intestinal colic. Also, used to stimulate the appetite, for diarrhea, and as a gargle for laryngitis.
- In southern parts of India, seeds are powdered and soaked in milk, filtered and fed to babies for colic and to help digestion.
- Used by nursing mothers to increase milk flow. Antispasmodic use of the seeds for menstrual cramps.
- In Ayurvedic medicine used as antiseptic, as well as for respiratory and GI ailments. In Unani medicine, used as enhancer of body's resistance. (21)

In a screening of plants used in the Ayurvedic system in India to treat enteric diseases, the methanol extract of Carum copticum showed moderate antimicrobial activity against multi-drug resistant Salmonella typhi. (1)
Antihypertensive / Antispasmodic / Bronchodilator / Hepatoprotective: Study of seed extract of Carum copticum caused a dose-dependent fall in arterial blood pressure in anesthetized rats. It showed a calcium channel blocking effect confirming the presence of calcium antagonists. In Isolated guinea-pig tracheal preparations, it caused inhibition of induced-bronchoconstriction. It prevented CCl4-induced prolongation in pentobarbital-induced sleeping time confirming hepatoprotectivity. (2)
Antinociceptive: Study showed CC fruit extract had antinociceptive effects, more on the late phase than early phase. (3)
Analgesic: Study Study showed clear-cut analgesic effect. The positive results in analgesiometric testing indicate the antinociceptive action of Carum copticum may be of the opioid type.
Protease Activity: As digestive aid to humans, study showed Carum copticum was effective in the stomach and small intestine, while Allium sepa was effective only in the small intestine (4).
Fumigant Activity: In a study comparing the fumigant activity of essential oil vapors distilled from C. copticum and Vitex pseudo-negundo tested against eggs, larvae and adults of Callosobruchus maculatus, CC was almost more toxic than VPN on all growth stages of C maculatus. Results suggest the essential oils may be potential grain protectants as botanical alternative fumigants. (5)
Anti-Inflammatory / Seeds: Study showed the total alcoholic extract and total aqueous extract of the seeds of Carum copticum exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in both rat models of carrageenan induced paw edema and cotton pellet induced granuloma. (6)
Anti-Tussive Effect: Study showed antitussive effects of Carum copticum to be even greater than that of codeine at concentrations used. The effect was not due to its main constituent, carvacrol. (8)
Bronchodilator Effect: Study of boiled extract from Caricum copticum showed a bronchodilator effect on asthmatic airways which was comparable to the effect of theophylline. (10)
Cholinomimetic Effect: Study of aqueous extract from roasted seeds of Carum copticum showed cholinomimetic effects, with muscarinic effects on rabbit duodenum, guinea-pig ileum and rat jejunum, and on blood pressure of rat and cat. Chromatography studies showed the presence of acetylcholine and choline in the roasted seed extract. (11)
Inhibition of Acetylcholine-Induced Ileal Contraction: Study showed an aqueous extract of Carum copticum reduces basal contractile activity of rat's ileum, reduced acetylcholine induced contraction. (13)
Anti-Hyperlipidemic Effect: Study of Trachyspermum ammi (Ajowain) extracts in albino rats showed the methanol and petroleum ether extracts to have a hypolipidemic effect in albino rabbits, with the PEE showing greater potency than the methanol extract with also greater reduction of atherogenic index. (14)
Anti-Fertility Effects: Study of ethanolic extract of Trachyspermum ammi fruits showed significant dose-dependent anti-fertility effects in male rats. Results suggest a potential for a male contraceptive formulation. (15)
Antifungal / Essential Oil: Study of essential oil from fruits of Trachyspermum ammi exhibited cidal toxicity against Aspergillus flavus and A. niger. Thymol and p-cymene were isolated as antifungal principles. (16)
Antidiarrheal / Seeds: Study investigated a 95% total alcoholic extract and total aqueous extract of seeds for antidiarrheal activity in experimentally in male Wistar rats. Results showed significant decrease in diarrheal droppings in castor oil diarrhea, decreased in transit of charcoal meal, and reduction in enteropooling. Results suggest seed extracts could be used for diarrhea treatment. (18)
Essential Oil as Natural Antioxidant in Dressings: Study showed all concentrations of essential oils were suitable antioxidants for preserving of dressing against oxidation. Synthetic antioxidants like BHA and BHT can be substituted with EO if used in higher concentrations. (19)
Anti-Giardia Activity: Giardiasis, a widespread small intestine parasitic infection, is one of the main causes of human diarrhea. Study evaluated the in vitro effects of an alcoholic extract of essential oil on Giardia lamblia. Results showed C. copticum is effective in vitro against Giardia lamblia cysts. (20)
Inhibition of Platelet Aggregation: In vitro study with human platelets showed inhibition of arachidonic acid-induced platelet aggregation by bishop's weed extract. The activity was attributed to redirection of arachidonic acid from the cyclooxygenase to the lipooxygenase pathway, with reduction of thromboxane B2 formation. (21) (22)
Antihelminthic / Seeds: Study evaluated the anthelmintic activities of alcoholic and aqueous extracts of seeds against adult earthworm Pheretima posthuma. All extracts showed anthelmintic activity at all concentrations, comparable to standard drug albendazole. (23)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Seeds / Collagen Induced Arthritis: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential of T. ammi seeds on collagen induced arthritis in Wistar rats. Treatment with T. ammi reversed all parameters suggesting either termination of cellular infiltration or limitation of oxidant generation following CIA in rats and potential in the treatment of anti-inflammatory diseases. (24)
Antiepileptic / Seeds: Study evaluated a methanol extract of T. ammi as antiepileptic agent in a strychnine-induced seizure model for epilepsy. Results showed a potential anti-epileptic effect that may be due to the presence of thymol, acting through a mechanism similar to benzodiazepines. (25)
Antioxidant / Seeds: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of seed extracts by radical scavenging activity of antioxidants against DPPH method. Results showed the IC50 of the seed extracts are higher than the standard synthetic antioxidants, BHT, ascorbic acid, and gallic acid. (see constituents above) (26)
Anti-Spasmodic / Spasmolytic / Anticholinergic / Essence: Study evaluated the effect of T. ammi essence on acetylcholine-induced contraction in isolated rat's ileum. Essence distillate yielded thymol as the main constituent. Results showed different concentrations of TAE exhibited potent spasmolytic and anti-spasmodic effect on isolated rat's ileum. (27)
Antiviral Against Japanese Encephalitis Virus / Essential Oil: Study of essential oil showed potential in vitro antiviral activity against JEV. Results suggest purification of active biomolecule and in vivo trial to evaluated its efficacy for future use. (28)
Larvicidal / Essential Oil / Aedes aegypti: Study showed the essential oils of ajowan and Peru balsam and some of their constituents have potential as botanical insecticides against Ae. aegypti mosquito larvae. (29)
Antibacterial / Fruit Essential Oil / Food Borne and Spoilage Bacteria: Study evaluated the anti-bacterial potential of essential oil and extracts of T. ammi fruits against food borne and spoilage bacteria. The oil and extract of T. ammi displayed remarkable anti-bacterial effects against B. subtilis, P. aeruginosa, S. typhimurium, E. aerogenes, and S. aureus. (30)

Drug Interaction Concerns
In vivo animal studies showed hypotensive and bradycardic effects. In vitro studies show inhibitory effects on platelet aggregation. (21)

Seeds and extracts in the cybermarket.

Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Update May 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Line Drawing / Carum Copticum / GNU Free Doc License / mal.sarva.gov.in
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: The flowers of the carom plant (ajwain in Hindi) / File:Carom Flowers.jpg./ 13 April 2011 / Barnes24 / Creative Commons Attribution / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Carom seeds / File:Carom.jpg ./ 18 February 2007 / Sanjay Acharya / GNU Free Documentation License / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antimicrobial evaluation of some medicinal plants for their anti-enteric potential against multi-drug resistant Salmonella typhi / Phulan Rani, Neeraj Khullar / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 18 Issue 8, Pages 670 - 673 / Publ Online: 8 Oct 2004
Studies on the antihypertensive, antispasmodic, bronchodilator and hepatoprotective activities of the Carum copticum seed extract / A H Gilani, Q Jabeen et al /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 98, Issues 1-2, 8 April 2005, Pages 127-135 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.01.017 |
Antinociceptive Effects of Carum copticum Extract in Mice Using Formalin Test / Seyed Hassa Hejazian et al / World Applied Science Journal, 3(2):215-219, 2008
Protease Activity in Seeds Commonly Used as Herbal Medicine / Shaukat Ali, Qazi A H, Khan M R / Pakistan J. Med. Res. Vol. 42 No.2, 2003
Fumigant toxicity of Carum copticum and Vitex pseudo-negundo essential oils against eggs, larvae and adults of Callosobruchus maculatus / Bibi Zahra Sahaf and Saeid Moharramipour / Journal of Pest Science, Volume 81, Number 4 / December, 2008 / DOI 10.1007/s10340-008-0208-y
ANTIINFLAMMATORY POTENTIAL OF THE SEEDS OF CARUM COPTICUM LINN. / C Thangham and R Dhananjayan / Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2003; 35: 388-391
The analgesic effect of Carum copticum extract and morphine on phasic pain in mice / Mohammad Hossein Dashti-Rahmatabadi et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol109, Issue 2, 19 January 2007, Pages 226-228 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.07.035 |
Antitussive effect of Carum copticum in guinea pigs / Boskabady MH, Jandaghi P et al / J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Feb 10;97(1):79-82. Epub 2004 Dec 9.
Bronchodilatory Effect of Carum copticum in Airways of Asthmatic Patients / Mohammad Hossein Boskabady, Mansorah Alizadeh and Behnaz Jahanbin / Thérapie 2007 Janvier-Février; 62 (1): 23-29
/ DOI: 10.2515/therapie:2007007
Cholinomimetic effects of aqueous extracts from Carum copticum seeds / G Devasankaraiah; I Hanin; P S Haranath; P S Ramanamurthy / British journal of pharmacology, Vol 52, 1974
Relaxant Effect of Carum copticum on Intestinal Motility in Ileum of Rat
/ S J Hejazian et al / World Journal of Zoology 2 (2): 15-18, 2007
The Effect of Carum Copticum Extract on Acetylcholine Induced Contraction in Isolated Rat's Ileum / Seyed Hassan Hejazian-Y, Mohammad Hossein Dashti-R, Seyed Majid Mahdavi, Masood Anvar Qureshi / Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, Volume 2, Issue 1 , Pages 75-78, March 2009
ANTIFERTILITY EFFECT OF TRACHYSPERMUM AMMI (LINN) SPRAGUE FRUITS ON MALE RATS / Surendra Kumar M / International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archive, Vol 2, No 2 (2011)
Studies on Antifungal Properties of Essential Oil of Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague / S. C. Tripathi, S. P. Singh, S. Dube / Journal of Phytopathology, Volume 116, Issue 2, pages 113–120, June 1986 / DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0434.1986.tb00902.x
Sorting Trachyspermum names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Antidiarrhoeal activity of ethanol and aqueous extracts of Carum copticum seeds in experimental rats
G Balaji, M Chalamaiah, B Ramesh*, Y Amarnath Reddy / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2012)S1151-S1155 / doi:10.1016/S2221-1691(12)60376-1
CARUM COPTICUM ESSENTIAL OILS AS NATURAL ANTIOXIDANT IN DRESSING / Seyed Mohammad Bagher Hashemi, Mohsen Gavahian, Amin Mousavi Khaneghah* / Journal of Hygienic Engineering and Design
Anti-Giardia Activity of Carum copticum on Giardia lamblia Cysts in Vitro / S Shahabi, F Ayazi Roozbehani*, M Kamalinejad , A Abadi / Pejouhesh. 2008; 32 (4) :303-307
Trachyspermum ammi / Ranjan Bairwa, R. S. Sodha, and B. S. Rajawat / Pharmacogn Rev. 2012 Jan-Jun; 6(11): 56–60. / doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.95871
Extract of spice—omum ( Trachyspermum ammi )-shows antiaggregatory effects and alters arachidonic acid metabolism in human platelets. Prostaglandins Leukot and Essential Fatty Acids / Srivastava KC. / 1988;33:1-6.
ANTHELMINTIC ACTIVITY OF TRACHYSPERMUM AMMI (L) EXTRACT / AISHWARYA K. APTE*, V. S. KHOT, N. S. BIRADAR, S. B. PATIL / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 6 suppl 2, 2014
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of Trachyspermum ammi seeds in collagen induced arthritis in rats. / Sadiq Umar,M. Asif, Mir Sajad, Md. Meraj Ansari, Umar Hussain, Wasim Ahmad, Shadab Ahmad Siddiqui, Sayeed Ahmad and Haider A. Khan* / Int. J. Drug Dev. & Res., Jan-March 2012, 4(1):210-219.
Characterization of Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Trachyspermum ammi Seed as a Potential Medicinal Plant
/ Hashem Akhlaghi*, Bhnam Mahdavi, Hasan Rezaei / Journal of Chemical Health Risks (2014) 4(4), 9–16
Spasmolytic and anti-spasmodic action of Trachyspermum ammi essence on rat's ileum contraction / Seyed Hassan Hejazian, Seyyed Majid Bagheri, Fatemeh Safari / North American Journal of Medical Sciences (2014) Vol 6, Issue 12, Pp 6
Evaluation of antiviral activity of essential oil of Trachyspermum Ammi against Japanese encephalitis virus / Soumen Roy, Pratibha Chaurvedi, Abhay Chowdhary / Pharmacognosy Research, July-September 2015, Vol 7, Issue 3
Larvicidal Activity of Ajowan (Trachyspermum ammi) and Peru Balsam (Myroxylon pereira) Oils and Blends of Their Constituents against Mosquito, Aedes aegypti, Acute Toxicity on Water Flea, Daphnia magna, and Aqueous Residue / Seon-Mi Seo, Hye-Mi Park, and Il-Kwon Park* / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2012, 60 (23), pp 5909–5914 / DOI: 10.1021/jf301296d
Trachyspermum ammi (L.) fruit essential oil influencing on membrane permeability and surface characteristics in inhibiting food-borne pathogens
/ Souren Paul, R.C. Dubey, D.K. Maheswari, Sun Chul Kang * / Food Control 22 (2011) 725e731

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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