An Overview on Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) Pharmacological Effects; Modern and Traditional


Affiliations

  • Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Shiraz, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Medicinal Plants Processing Research Centre, Shiraz, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Shiraz, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Shiraz, Iran, Islamic Republic of

Abstract

Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague or commonly Ajwain is a herbaceous herb belonging to the family Apiaceae and vastly grows in Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India as well as European region. Known as Zenyan or Nankhah in medical and pharmaceutical manuscript of medieval Persia, seeds of Ajwain were highly administered by traditional healers and traditionally employed for different ailments. Due to its various chemical constituents, the herb seeds were also evaluated for its numerous pharmacological properties. Accordingly, current work was carried out to review the traditional and modern pharmacological properties of Ajwain regarding current and medieval reports. To this, respective databases were searched for the terms 'Trachyspermum ammi', 'Carum copticum', 'Ajwain' and 'Ajowan' without limitation up to early 2013. Information on the herb was gathered via electronic search using Pubmed, Scopus, Google scholar and SID (for articles in Persian language) as well as medical and pharmaceutical manuscripts of Persian medicine. Ajwain seeds revealed to possess antiseptic, stimulant, carminative, diuretic, anesthetic, antimicrobial, antiviral, nematicidal, antiulcer, antihypertensive, antitussive, bronchodilatory, antiplatelet and hepatoprotective as well as antihyperlipidemic effects, many of those were remarked by early Persian physicians. With reference to these pharmacological activities, Ajwain seeds can be a good candidate for to be applied in clinical practice. However, in spite of various experimental and animal studies, lack of comprehensive clinical trials aimed on regarded effects is still remained to reconfirm the traditional knowledge.

Keywords

Ajwain, Trachyspermum Ammi (L.) Sprague, Traditional Medicine, Herbal Medicine.

Subject Discipline

Pharmacy and Pharmacology

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