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ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Ajwain • Bengali: জোয়ান Jowan • Gujarati: યવણો Yavano • Hindi: अजवाइन, अजवायन Ajwain • Kannada: ಅಜಮೂಲ, ಅಜಾಮೂಲ Ajamoola, ಅಜಾಮುಲ Ajamula, ಓಡ Oda, ಓದಕ್ಕಿ Odakki, ಓಮ Oma, ಓಮು Omu, ಓವು Ovu, ಅಜಮೋದ Ajamoda ಅಜವಾನ Ajavaana, ಚೋಪಾರ Chopaara • Manipuri: ꯀꯦꯃꯣꯢ Kemoi • Marathi: ओवा Ova • Nepali: जवानो Javano • Sanskrit: अजमोद Ajamoda, अजमोदिका Ajamodika, dipyaka, यवानी yavani, yamanika • Tamil: ஓமம் Omam • Telugu: omaan, vamu • Urdu: Ajwain ﺍﺟﻮﺍﺋﻦ
Botanical name: Trachyspermum ammi    Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)
Synonyms: Carum copticum, Ligusticum ajowan, Carum ajowan

Ajwain is an erect, hairless or minutely pubescent, branched annual herb. The stems are grooved. the leaves are rather distant, 2-3-pinnately divided in narrow linear segments. Flowers are borne in terminal or seemingly-lateral stalked, compound umbels, white and small. The fruits are ovoid, aromatic, greyish brown. The mericarps, which are the components of the fruit, are compressed, with distinct ridges and tubercular surface, 1-seeded. This is what is used as the spice Ajwain, in cooking. Ajwain is native to the Himalayas and parts of NW Asia.
Medicinal uses: Ajwain is also traditionally known as a digestive aid, relieves abdominal discomfort due to indigestion and antiseptic.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Delhi.

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