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Bishop's Weed

Last updated on 20-11-2015, 12:47 HRS
Bishop's Weed image

Bishop's Weed

Botanical Name

Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague



Commercial Part



An erect, glabrous or minutely pubescent, branched annual. The stems are striate; the leaves are rather distant, 2-3-pinnately divided, the segments linear. The flowers occur in terminal or seemingly-lateral pedunculate, compound umbels, white and small; the fruits are ovoid, muricate, aromatic cremocarps, greyish brown; the mericarps, which are the components of the fruit, are compressed, with distinct ridges and tubercular surface, 1-seeded.

Origin and Distribution

Ajwain originated in the Middle East, possibly in Egypt and the Indian Subcontinent, but also in Iran, Egypt and Afghanistan. In India, the major Ajwain producing states are Rajasthan and Gujarat, where Rajasthan produces about 90% of India's total production.


It is traditionally used as a digestive aid, relieves abdominal discomfort due to indigestion and antiseptic. In southern parts of India dry ajwain seeds are powdered and soaked in milk, which is then filtered and fed to babies. Many assume that it relieves colic in babies and for kids it also improves digestion and appetite. Ajwain can be used as digestive mixture in large animals. In the northern part of India, Ajwain is often consumed after a heavy meal. It is commonly offered after dinner parties.

Indian Name of Spices

Hindi : Ajwain Bengali : Jowan or Joan Gujarati : Yavan Kannada : Oma Kashmiri : Jawind Malayalam : Omum Marathi : Onva Oriya : Juani Punjabi : Ajamoda, Avanika Sanskrit : Ajamoda, Avanika Tamil : Omum Telugu : Vamu Urdu : Ajowain

Foreign Name of Spices

Latin : Trachy Spermum Ammi Persian : Zinian, Nankhwah Arabic : Kamme Muluki