What is Bishop Weed? Health Benefits, Uses and Side Effects - An Informative Guide

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What is Bishop Weed? 
3. Morphology
4. Nutritional Value
5. Ajowan Oil 
6. Ayurvedic properties of Bishop Weed
7. Health Benefits & Uses of Bishop Weed
8. Side Effects of Bishop Weed / Ajwain

1. Introduction

Step into the world of Bishop Weed, known by its more colloquial name - Ajwain. This small yet potent seed has been a staple in traditional medicine and culinary traditions for generations, revered for its distinctive flavor and a wide array of potential health benefits.

In this post, we embark on a journey to uncover the hidden treasures of Bishop Weed, delving into its historical significance, remarkable health advantages, and the versatile ways it can be integrated into your daily life. From aiding digestion and alleviating respiratory issues to adding depth to dishes, Ajwain stands as a versatile ingredient that bridges the gap between taste and wellness.

Join us as we explore the fascinating world of Bishop Weed, while also considering the possible side effects and considerations that come with its consumption. Whether you're a culinary explorer, a wellness enthusiast, or simply curious about the potential of natural remedies, Ajwain welcomes you to discover its aromatic charm and its role in enhancing both your health and your culinary experiences. Let's embark on this enlightening journey together, unveiling the secrets of Bishop Weed's timeless allure.

2. What is Bishop Weed? 

Bishop weed botanical name is Trachyspermum Ammi, some other common names are ajwain, ajowan, desi ajwain, nankhwah, dipyaka. It is mainly cultivated in Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan, and India for its fruits, which are commonly used as a spice and medicine.

The Ajowan fruits are used for their characteristic smell and pungent taste in pickles, certain biscuits, confectionery, and beverages.

Bishop weed

3. Morphology

Bishop weed is a small, erect, annual shrub with soft fine hairs, it has many-branched leafy stems, feather-like leaves, and 4 to 12-ray flower heads. Each head bearing 6 to 16 flowers, the fruit are minute, egg-shaped, and greyish.

The fruits have a very pungent aromatic taste and, when rubbed, they evolve a strong aromatic odor resembling that of thyme.

The trade name ajwain or Bishop weed is based on the Indian name which is derived from Adarjawan. It has been used as a carminative medicine from the time of Charaka and Sushruta.

Even Greek physicians like Dioscorides and Glen used it in various carminative medicine. Dome very valuable Unani medicine is prepared from ajwain seeds.

4. Nutritional Value

According to analysis, the Bishop Weed seeds contain 7.4% moisture, 17.1% protein, 21.8% fat, 7.9 % minerals, 21.2% fiber, and 24.6% carbohydrates per 100 grams. Calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin are amongst the vitamins and minerals in it. Its calorific value is 363.

5. Ajowan Seeds Oil Composition

Steam distillation of crushed seeds yields an essential oil that is valued in medicine due to the presence of thymol. For a long time, oil was the chief source of thymol. Studies shows the profiles of ajowan seeds volatile oil indicated the composition as follows, α-pinene (1.48%), β-pinene (5.45%), β-myrcene (1.40%), α-terpinene (0.09%), p-cymene (19.47%), limonene (0.48), γ-terpinene (30.97%), p-cymene (0.06%), menth-2-en-1-ol (0.13%), linalool (0.07%), terpinene-4-ol (0.12%), α-terpineol (0.12%) and thymol (39.36%).

Bishop weed seeds

6. Ayurvedic properties of Bishop Weed

Bishop's Weed, known as "Ajwain" in Ayurveda, is a flavorful spice with various medicinal properties.

Ayurvedic properties of Bishop's Weed:

1. Rasa (Taste): Bishop's Weed is believed to have a combination of pungent (Katu) and bitter (Tikta) tastes.

2. Virya (Potency): It is heating in nature (Ushna Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is pungent (Katu Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Bishop's Weed is primarily used to balance Vata and Kapha doshas due to its heating and drying properties. However, it can increase Pitta dosha in excess.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Digestive Health: Bishop's Weed is well-known for its ability to support digestion. It helps relieve gas, bloating, indigestion, and colic by stimulating digestive juices and promoting healthy digestion.

  2. Respiratory Health: It is used to manage respiratory conditions like cough, bronchitis, and asthma due to its expectorant and antispasmodic properties.

  3. Anti-inflammatory: Bishop's Weed contains compounds with anti-inflammatory effects, making it beneficial for managing inflammatory conditions.

  4. Carminative: It has strong carminative properties that help alleviate gas, flatulence, and abdominal discomfort.

  5. Antimicrobial: Bishop's Weed is used for its potential antimicrobial properties, making it beneficial for supporting immune health.

  6. Pain Relief: It may be used topically or internally to manage pain, especially in cases of muscle spasms or menstrual discomfort.

  7. Weight Management: The heating nature of Bishop's Weed may contribute to boosting metabolism and supporting weight management.

7. What are the Health Benefits and Uses of Bishop Weed / Ajwain?

Ajwain seed oil and thymol contain antimicrobial, ant flatulent, antispasmodic, antirheumatic, diuretic, stimulant, carminative, and expectorant properties.

It is beneficial in flatulence, indigestion, polyuria, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, toothache, various other gastrointestinal disorders, cardialgia, earache, pain in the throat, arthritic and rheumatic pains, and migraine.

Bishop Weed / Ajwain is a highly valued medicine in the traditional medical system as a gastrointestinal medicine and as an antiseptic. It is also used to enhance virility and premature ejaculation.

Here are some health benefits and uses of Bishop Weed / Ajwain

For Gastrointestinal Disorders

Bishop weed has long been used in Indigenous medicine for treating diarrheas, dysentery, atomic dyspepsia, cholera, colic, flatulence, and indigestion. Seeds may eat with betel leaves for relieving flatulence, dyspepsia, and spasmodic disorder.

A tsp of these seeds with a little rock salt is beneficial in indigestion, and gas and gives relief from menstrual stomach pain.

The volatile oil of seeds is also useful in cholera, flatulent colic, diarrhea, atonic dyspepsia, and indigestion. It is usually given in doses of 1 to 3 drops.

Omum water, which is the water distilled from the seeds, is an excellent carminative that relieves flatulence and is antispasmodic in colic and flatulent dyspepsia.

It is also administered in the early stages of cholera in doses of 30 to 60 grams to check to vomit.

For Respiratory Disorders

A mixture of seeds and buttermilk is an effective remedy for relieving difficult expectoration caused by dried phlegm.

The seeds are a popular household remedy for asthma, chewing a pinch of ajwain seeds with a crystal of common salt and clove is an equally effective remedy for cough caused by acute pharyngitis in influenza.

For Common Cold

Bishop Weed is an effective common cold remedy, it has a remarkable powder to open clogged and congested nasal passages. A tbsp. seeds of ajwain crushed and tied in a cloth as a pouch can be used for inhalation.

A similar pouch can place near the pillow while sleeping and also relieves nasal congestion, for infants and small children a small pouch can pin to their dress under the chin when they sleep.

In the case of adults, a tsp of the seeds can boil in water and the vapors inhaled.

For Migraine

The seeds are useful in the treatment of migraine and delirium, it can be either smoked or sniffed frequently to obtain relief.

For Mouth Disorders

An infusion of the seeds mixed with common salt, doing gargling with this is beneficial for the sore and congested throat and hoarseness of the voice due to cold or shouting.

For Earache

The herb is beneficial in earache, about half a tsp of the seeds is heated in 30 ml of milk till the essence of the seeds permeates the milk. Filtered milk and used as ear drops, decreases congestion and relieves pain.

In case of pain caused by boils in the ear, take 3 grams each, ajwain seeds and garlic are boiled together in 40 grams of sesame oil till they turn red. Strained the oil and cooled to body temperature and used as ear drops.

Other Uses

Bishop weed combined with the kernel of tamarind seeds is an effective aphrodisiac, these should be fired in an equal quantity of pure ghee, powdered, and preserved in airtight containers.

A tsp of this powder, mixed with a tbsp. of honey, taken daily with milk before retiring, makes an excellent aphrodisiac. It increases virility and cures premature ejaculation.

8. What are the side effects of Bishop weed?

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they do not have any side effects, but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues.

Overdose of ajwain may cause nausea, headache, vomiting, skin irritation, allergy, stomach ulcer, and heartburn, leading to dizziness and nausea.

Here are some side effects of Bishop weed

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take Bishop weed without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • Do not take Bishop weed, if you are suffering from any kind of critical disease.
  • If you are on diabetes or hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Bishop weed.
  • If you are above 65 years old and want to start Bishop weed, consult the doctor, and talk about your health conditions.
  • If you are on any supplements, vitamins, or herbal medication, consult the doctor before taking Bishop weed.
  • Bishop weed may interact with other medicines like blood sugar or blood pressure allopathy medicines.

Note: This post is about educating the benefits and uses of Bishop weed, consult the Ayurvedic doctor before starting.

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