Bishop’s weed is a Common kitchen herb that finds a place in daily cooking due to its strong aroma and wonderful effects on the body. Bishop’s weed in Ayurveda has also been called as Vatari meaning a drug useful for all vattaj disorders. It relieves pain and is also has an effect on digestive system.
Being also called as Dippaka in Ayurveda, importance of bishop’s weed as a gastric tonic cannot be ruled out. Dippaka means an herb which has carminative, digestive and appetiser properties. Taken regularly and with vatta aggravating foods it prevents indigestion, flatulence and belching. It also acts as an immune-modulator due to the presence of antioxidants in bishop’s weed.
Eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo and tinea versicolor are group of diseases that are treated using Methoxsalen which is a psoralen i.e. a compound which increases the skin sensitivity to light. It promotes production of melanin in skin in response to UV- rays.
Procedure: Apply a paste of bishop’s weed on the affected area and expose to sunlight.
Bishop’s weed or ajwain are aromatic seeds that find numerous medicinal usages except the culinary uses which are as follows.
- Respiratory diseases (श्वास): Powder of bishop’s weed given with hot water is very useful.
- Indigestion (अजीर्ण): It is also very useful in indigestion. Bishop’s weed and sendha lawan (rock salt) is used to treat indigestion.
- Pain abdomen and flatulence: It also finds its use in painful abdomen and flatulence. Local application and hot fomentation is useful in flatulence. In case of children, bishop’s weed arka - (Ajwayan arka available in market) is used but in case of adults 0.5 gram to 1 gram of following mixture is used. (Yavani + sendha lawan (rock salt) + yavakshar + hingu + amla )
- Worms: Use of bishop’s weed is useful especially in hookworms.
- Swellings: In swellings local application of paste or oil is very useful.
- Bite: Local application of paste helps reduce irritation due to scorpion sting bite.
- Gulm: Buttermilk + yavani powder + vid salt acts as carminative and an appetiser.
- Urticaria: One who takes yavani + jaggery keeping on wholesome diet becomes free from urticarial in a week.
- Teeth diseases: In diseases of teeth yavani vacha (acorus calamus) should be chewed at night.
- Poisoning: It is very helpful in chronic opium (अहिफेन/Ahiphena)poisoning and de-addiction of opium.
- Common cold: Inhalation of boiled seeds is effective in common cold.
Bishop’s weed should be consumed raw and its decoction should not be prepared as it contains volatile oils which will be destroyed during the process. It is contraindicated or used with precaution during pregnancy as it can induce uterine contraction.
- Parts used: Seeds / Fruit
- Dose: Powder: 3-6 gram, Oil: 1-3 drops (maximum 30 drops), Arka: 20-50 ml, Satva-30-120 mg
Note: When oil is prepared after cooling the above said ingredients; thymol is settled down and changes its form semi-solid form which is known as yavani satva or sat ajwayan and rest is thymine.
- Hindi name: Ajwain (अजवाइन)
- Sanskrit name: Yavani (यवानी)
- Guna (गुण): Laghu (लघु), ruksha (रुक्ष), tikshna (तीक्ष्ण)
- Rasa (रस): Katu (कटु), tikta (तिक्त)
- Vipaka (विपाक): katu (कटु)
- Virya (वीर्य): ushna (उष्ण)
- Doshkarm (pharmacological action): kaphavatashamak (कफ़वातशामक), pittavardhak (पित्तवर्धक).
The other Ayurvedic properties of Bishop’s weed is:
Modern scientific explanation
- English Name: Bishop’s weed
- Botanical Name: Trachyspermum ammi
- Family: Apiacea
Chemical constituents: Essential and fixed oils. It contains aromatic oil, thymol, carvacrol, thymine, proteins, cumic aldehyde, fibres, minerals, calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium , riboflavin etc.
- It has potent activity against H.pylori even against metronidazole and tinidazole resistant strains.
- Animal study shows thymol present in bishop’s weed helps in lowering blood pressure.
- It is gastro-protective as it has antiulcer properties.
- Khellin in weed can cause uterine contractions and induce abortions.
- Some studies show its effect of inhibition of platelet aggregation.