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. Seed-like fruit is very small, ovoid, hispid and ribbed.
- Occasionally cultivated in Batangas and neighboring provinces and in Manila.
- Native of India.
- Cultivated as a spice crop.
- 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)
- GC-MS analysis of seed extract yielded a total of nine compounds. The major bioactive compounds were 3,5-dimethylanisole (83.19%), 6-octadecenoic acid, methyl ester, (Z)-, 7-octadecenoic acid, methyl ester (7.42%), and 2-cyclohexyl-2,5-cyclohexadiene-1,4-dione, 4-oxime (3.01%).
- Seed-like fruits are pale brown schizocarps, resembling seeds of plants in the Apiaceae family, such as caraway, cumin, and fennel. The taste is bitter and pungent, with a flavor akin to anise or oregano. The smell is that of thyme, because of the thymol content, more aromatic and less subtle in taste. A small number of fruits can dominate a dish. (48)
Seeds are considered antispasmodic, bactericidal, anticholinergic, stimulant, tonic, carminative.
- Considered antiseptic.
- Studies have shown antimicrobial, antifungal, antihypertensive, hypolipidemmic, antispasmodic, bronchodilatory, diuretic, hepatoprotective, abortifacient, antitussive, anthelmintic, analgesic, fumigant, nematicidal, antifilarial, antidiarrheal, anti-giardia, antitussive, cholinomimetic, antifertility, antiepileptic, antiviral, anti-platelet aggregating properties.
- Leaves and seeds are edible.
- Seed-like fruits are commonly dry-roasted or fried in ghee (clarified butter). (48)
In India, widely used as a spice in curries and soups.
- Often mixed with other ingredients and spices.
- Seeds used in the flavoring of bread, biscuits, confectionery, beverages.
- Seeds generally crushed and added at the final stages of food preparation to avoid evaporation of essential oils and to preserve fragrance and flavor. (37)
- 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) Leaves used for treatment of helminthiasis. (59)
- In Iranian traditional medicine, considered an aphrodisiac agent. (34)
- Ajowan is an important ingredient in many ayurvedic formulations used for cough, tonsillitis, digestive ailments, urticaria, helminthiasis. Roots used as diuretic, febrifuge, carminative. Used for treatment of piles, abdominal pains and abdominal tumors. Also used as galactagogue: seeds are fried in oil and and made into thin soup. (37)
- Cosmetics: Fruit used as fragrance in cosmetics.
- Ethnovet: Leaf juice use for helmintic infestations in animals. (37)
• Antimicrobial: 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)
Study evaluated the antihyperlipidemic efficacy of T. ammi seed powder in albino rabbits, induced by butter ad libitum and oral intubation of cholesterol 400 mg/kbw. Results showed that 2 g/kg T. ammi seed powder produced hypolipidemic activity, with 49%, 53%, 71%, and 63% reduction in total lipids, triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol. The lipid lowering mechanism may involve enhanced removal or catabolism of lipoproteins, inhibition of HMG-COA reductase, and/or inhibition of lysosomal lipid hydrolytic enzymes secreted by the liver. (35)
• 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)
• Anthelmintic / 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)
Study evaluated the free radical scavenging potential and oxidative damage preventive activity of traditionally uses spices, Trachyspermum ammi (carom) and Foeniculum vulgare (fennel).
Seed extracts of both spices showed comparatively high amount of total phenolics. The seed extracts have potential as highly significant bioresource of antioxidants for day-to-day use and food and pharmaceutical industry applications. (36)
• 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)
• Antiurolithiatic / Anticalcifying Protein / Seed: Study recently purified an anticalcifying protein from the seeds of T. ammi with inhibitory activity against calcium oxalate crystal growth. Study evaluated the antilithiatic activity of the anticalcifying protein in a urolithiatic rat model. Antilithiatic potential of TAP was evidenced by its ability to maintain renal functioning, reduce renal injury and decrease crystal excretion in urine and retention in renal tissues. (31)
• Antimicrobial / Essential Oil / Seeds: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activities of essential oil and fractions of Trachyspermum ammi seeds. Major constituents were y-terpinene (48.07%), p-cymene (33.73%). and thymol (17.41%). Antimicrobial activities of the EO and fractions were evaluated against S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, E. faecalis, S. pyogenes. Fraction II showed better activity than total essential oil, fraction I, and standard thymol. The greater activity of fraction II was attributed to the synergistic effects of the ingredients in the fraction. (32)
• Scolicidal / Hydatid Cyst Protoscolesces / Essential Oil of Fruit: Study evaluated the scolicidal effect of essential oil from fruits of T. ammi. GC and GC-MS analysis yielded 18 compounds representing 99.54% of total oil, with thymol (50.07%), y-terpinene (23.92%), and p-cymeme (22.9%) as major constituents. One hundred percent scolicidal activity was seed with EO concentration of 10 mg/mL. Study suggest potential as a natural scolicidal agent. (33)
• Effect on Spermatogonia Stem Cells Viability / Monoterpenes: Study evaluated the effects of oil from T. ammi on the viability of spermatogonial stem cells in vitro. Results showed the monoterpenes from the oil improved the quality and viability of spermatogonia cells in the cell culture. (34)
• Cytotoxic Effects on Breast Cancer Cells / Thymol: Natural phenolic compounds have inhibition effects on various malignancies: Thymol is one such compound present in the fruit of T. ammi. Study evaluated thymol for its potential cytotoxic activity and its effect on apoptotic gene expression in breast cancer cell line. MTT assay showed the IC50 of thymol on MCF-7 cells for 48 and 72h were 54 and 62 µg/mL, respectively. The compound also significantly affected gene expression of P53 and P21. Thymol can induce the apoptosis process in MCF-7. Study suggests potential as an anticancer agent. (38)
• Prevention of Dental Caries / Inhibition of Streptococcus mutans Biofilm / Seeds: Study evaluated the influence of crude and active solvent fraction of T. ammi on S. mutans cariogenicity, effect on expression of genes involved in biofilm formation and caries development in rats. 2-Isopropyl-5-methyl-phenol was identified as the major compound in crude and active fraction. RT-PCR analysis showed significant suppression of genes involved in biofilm formation. All test groups showed reduction in caries in rats. Results suggest the putative cariostatic properties of T. ammi can be used as alternative medicine to prevent caries infection. (39)
• Hepatoprotective / CCl-4 Hepatotoxicity / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the protective effect of T. ammi essential oil against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. Thymol (44.2%), p-cymene (25.7%) and y-terpinene (25.1%) were the main components of the EO. Results showed T. ammi EO can protect hepatic tissue and regulate liver enzymes in CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity due to its antioxidant compounds. (40)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Collagen Induced Arthritis / Seeds: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of aqueous extract of T. ammi seeds on type II collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in Wistar rats. Treatment with ibuprofen and aqueous extract alone or in combination reduced the measured variables i.e., paw thickness, arthritis score, COX2 and iNOS mRNA levels. The ibuprofen treated group showed more reduction in paw thickness, arthritis score and iNOS mRNA level, while the extract treated group reduced COX2 mRNA more than ibuprofen. (42)
• Effect on Blood Coagulation: Study evaluated the effect of methanol extract of Ajwain on coagulation parameters PT and aPTT. Results showed no significant effect on aPTT but showed a significant increase (p<0.001) on PT. The prolongation of PT, similar to Warfarin, suggests effects on the extrinsic pathway, while the aPTT non-effect suggests no effect on the intrinsic pathway. (43)
• Contraceptive Spermicidal Activity / Essential Oil / Fruits: Study evaluated the spermicidal and contraceptive efficacy of essential oil of T. ammi on human sperm in vitro. GC-MS analysis yielded 30 compounds representing 91.39% of total oil identified. Minimum effective dose (MED) of EO that induced instant immobilization of human spermatozoa was 125 µg/mL. All of the sperm was non viable within 10 minutes. Activity of acrosomal enzymes was reduced. Significant release of 5'-nucleotidase in the surrounding medium was noted after an MED treatment of EO. Results suggest the EO of TA possesses appreciable spermicidal potential, with potential as an effective constituent of vaginal contraceptives. (44)
• Acute and Sub-Chronic Toxicity Studies / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the toxicity of ajowan oil in experimental animals. Acute toxicity testing in rats was done by gavage and subcrhonic testing with 1000 mg/kg of essential oil for 23 to 45 days. In acute studies for lethal dose, LD50 of ajowan EO was about 2294 mg/kg. Results showed the T. ammi EO did not affect chemical parameters of blood and no serious histological change in examined tissues. However, because of the LD50 values, the EO may be classified as moderately toxic. (45)
• Antifungal / Seeds: Study evaluated the antifungal property of T. ammi seeds. A 2% seed powder was added to a plate containing Aspergillus niger molds. Results showed remarkable inhibition in the growth of A. niger and also suppressed growth of other fungi. (46)
• Antibacterial / Leaves and Seeds: Study evaluated aqueous, ethanolic, and methanolic extract of seeds and leaves of T. ammi against B. cereus, B. subtilis, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, L. acidophilus, M. luteus, S. aureus, S. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa. Among all extracts, the ethanolic extract of T. ammi's seeds was found to be effective against all test bacteria. Of the leaves extracts, the alcoholic extract showed low antibacterial activity and the aqueous extract showed no activity at all. (47)
• Anticandidal / Seeds: Candida albicans is the causative agent of candidiasis in immunocompromised patients. Study evaluated the antifungal activity of T. ammi seeds ethanolic extract and hexane fraction against Candida albicans in-vitro and in-vivo. MIC of the hexane fraction was 225 µg/mL, compared to standard amphotericin B (200 µg/mL). In a BALB/c mice model, extract and fraction ointment applied for treatment of cutaneous candidiasis resulted in 90-100% recovery in mice, which was better than standard clotrimazole. Results suggest potential for development of novel antifungal agents. (50)
• Antidermatophytic Activity / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the effect of essential oil of T. ammi and its fractions against fungi causing dermatophytoses in humans. GC-MS analysis yielded 20 compounds, with thymol (58.88%) as major compound followed by p-cymene (24.02%), y-terpinene (13.77%) and ß-pinene (1.90%). Antidermatophytic activity was shown by maximum ZOI against Chrysosporium tropicum (63.83 mm), Trichophyton simii (57 mm), T. rubrum (51.33 mm) and C. indicum (45 mm). Acute dermal irritation assay on albino mice at 3% concentration did not show any irritation on mice skin; at 5% concentration, there was mild erythema in 3; at 7%, all exhibited well defined erythema. Results showed strong antidermatophytic properties with no side effects at low concentration and suggests a potential alternative therapeutic. (51)
• Pain Modulation / Essence: Studies have shown that substances can inhibit pain via inhibition of opioid, serotonergic, and cholinergic pain receptors. This study evaluated the effect of T. ammi essence on modulation of pain score using formalin test in mice. Results demonstrated the possible role of cholinergic signaling in antinociceptive effect. (52)
• Topical Cream for Neuropathic Pain Vs Placebo / Clinical Trial: A four-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of Ajwain 10% topical essential oil cream on neuropathic pain on 92 patients with daily and nocturnal burning feet. Decline in numbness, tingling and allodynia were evaluated. Results showed significant reduction in feet burning scores as well as numbness, tingling, and allodynia in the Ajwain group. There was significant difference between the two groups. Results suggest a good candidate for alleviation of neuropathic feet burning. (53)
• Cytotoxicity to MDR Bacteria / Monoterpene / Fruit Essential Oil: Study evaluated the effect of an herbal extract containing monoterpene against multidrug resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from clinical infection samples. GC-MS analysis of the EO yielded aromatic monoterpenes (thymol, paracymene, and gamma-terpinene) as major (90%) components of the oil. Results showed inhibition of growth of S. aureus strains with IZD between 30-60 mm and MIC <0.02 µL/mL. Oil had no antimicrobial activity against P. aeruginosa. (54)
• Larvicidal Against Malaria Vectors: Study evaluated the larvicidal effects of two native Iranian medicinal plants, seeds of Ajwain (T. spermum) and leaves and shoots of Ziziphora clinopodioides against third and fourth instar larvae of Anopheles stephensi. Phytochemical analysis of EO showed high percentages of thymol (71.989) for T. ammi and pulegone (48.609) for Z. clinopodioides. LC50 and LC90 for T. ammi essential oil were 14.26 and 39.54 ppm. Results showed the effective compounds in the EO had larvicidal properties against malaria vectors. (55)
• Anticancer / MCF-7 Cell Lines / o53 and Bcl-2 mRNA Levels: Study evaluated the anticancer activity of ethanolic extract of T. ammi against MCF-7 cell lines. Phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, carbohydrates, phenols, tannins, and terpenes. IC50 by MTT assay showed greater degree of cytotoxicity at dose of 25 µg/ml, The EE also showed significant signs of apoptosis such as cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing and nuclei DNA fragmentation. Expression of p53 was significantly (p<0.001) increased and expression of anti-apoptotic gene Bcl-2 was significantly (p<0.01) reduced when compared with MCF-7 cell line. (56)
• Antiarthritic / Antigout / Seeds: Study evaluated the in vitro anti-arthritic and anti-gout activity of methanolic and chloroform extracts of T. ammi seeds. Phytochemical screening yielded cardiac glycosides, carbohydrates, phytosterols, saponins, phenolic and tannins in the ME, and alkaloids, saponins, phenolics, tannins, carbohydrates in the CE. The ME showed significant anti-arthritic activity compared to the CE, possibly due to former being rich in polyphenols. The ME also showed highly significant anti-gout activity. (57)
|• Antimicrobial / Chitosan-Based Edible Film / Shelf-Life of Food Products / Essential Oil: Packaging using chitosan-based edible films incorporated with natural essential oils is a safe and economic way to increase shelf life and acceptability of food products, especially chicken meat. Study evaluated the antimicrobial effects of chitosan-based edible film containing T. ammi essential oil on the shelf-life of chicken meat. Antimicrobial effects were dependent on the concentration of T. ammi essential oil (p0.05). Chitosan fil incorporated with 2% T. ammi oil had the highest inhibitory effects on total aerobic, total psychrophilic and coliform bacteria (p<0.05). Results showed incorporation of T. ammi 2% EO has potential for use as developed chitosan edible film in the packaging of chicken meat. (58)
• Anthelmintic / Leaves: In Ayurvedic medicine, leaves are used for treatment of helminthiasis. Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of various leaves extract against Indian earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Albendazole was used as standard reference. Results showed dose dependent decrease of paralysis time and death time. An ethyl acetate extract showed more potency than other extracts and albendazole. (59)
Drug Interaction Concerns
- In vivo animal studies showed hypotensive and bradycardic effects. In vitro studies show inhibitory effects on platelet aggregation. (21)
Pregnancy and Lactation
- Avoid use. Plant was listed as 1 of 14 indigenous medicinal plants used for abortion in some districts of India in 1987. There is also concern for congenital defects. Rat teratogenicity studies raise concern for risk of human fetotoxicity. (49)
Seeds, flower extracts, dietary supplements in capsules, liquids or powder in the cybermarket.