Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big Ajowan test 2021. Here we present all the products we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best Ajowan for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy ajowan.




Summary

  • Ajwain is a 1-year old plant whose seeds can be used as a spice, remedy and for diet.
  • The alternative to ajwain is thyme because the smell and taste is reminiscent of thyme. Visually, ajwain is more similar to caraway and is therefore also called royal cumin.
  • You can choose between ajwain oil, ajwain seeds, ajwain powder and ajwain as a plant. However, the plant is rarely available for sale. One possibility is therefore to grow the ajwain yourself with the seeds.

The best Ajowan: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying Ajowan

All the questions you ask yourself before buying Ajowan are answered in this section.

What is ajowan?

The scientific name of ajowan is Trachyspermum ammi. This belongs to the umbellifer family. It is an annual plant with white flowers whose seeds are used especially as a spice.

Ajowan-1

Ajowan is also called king cumin. However, this product does not belong to the caraway family.
(Image source: pixabay.com / 12019)

The exact origin is not known. It is assumed that the plant originates from the eastern Mediterranean region, such as Egypt. India is also often cited as the country of origin.

Visually, ajwain is reminiscent of caraway and is therefore also called royal cumin. However, it tastes and smells more like thyme.

What can ajwain be used for?

Ajwain can be used in different ways. Possible uses are:

  • Spice
  • Diet
  • Remedy (Ayurveda)

We have already mentioned that ajwain is used as a spice. Ajwain is especially popular in Indian dishes such as curry. It also goes well with potatoes, pastries and bread. If you want to use ajwain for your diet, you can prepare an ajwain drink. This is supposed to help you lose weight faster. Ajwain is also considered healthy and can be used against colds, coughs, headaches and heartburn. In 2010, a study was conducted by Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, India, to determine whether Trachyspermum ammi can be used effectively against multi-resistant strains of bacteria and fungi. The results showed that multidrug-resistant microorganisms are inhibited by Ajowan. Thus, its use is also recommended by this university. (1) .

With which other spices can ajwain be combined well?

Ajowan can be combined well with thyme, parsley, sage and ginger. A tip from us is to try this combination not only in cooking, but also as a fresh spicy tea. If you like to drink tea and like your teas to be a little spicier, try something different. Take whole ajwain seeds, a few sage leaves and cut a slice of fresh ginger and let this mixture steep in hot water for a while. To add a little sweetness to the tea, you can also add honey.

Ajowan-2

A spicy ajwain tea is good to drink with sage, honey and ginger. Such a tea is also advisable for colds.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Myriam Zilles)

What does Ajowan cost?

The cost of ajwain depends on the form you buy it in, i.e. whole, ground or as oil. The price also depends on the packaging and quantity. We look at the cost per 100 grams/100 millilitres and find that the average price is 5 euros. We divide the following table according to the types.
Product Preisne
Ajowan whole seeds 3 euros to 6 euros
Ajowan ground 3 euros to 12 euros
Ajowan oil 15 euros to 35 euros

Does Ajowan have side effects and is it allowed to take it during pregnancy?

There are no known side effects and no interactions. Ajowan oil belongs to the essential oils. Therefore, one should always dilute it with water before applying it to the skin.

The oral intake of Ajowan oil is not recommended, as it is a high dosage. It is also not known how the body reacts to it, especially in the case of allergy sufferers. In case of pregnancy, taking Ajowan seeds or powder in dishes is not a problem. However, one should be careful with Ajowan oil.

What are the alternatives to ajwain?

An alternative to ajwain is thyme, as it is similar to the taste and smell of thyme. It can be used as a tea or spice in exactly the same way.

Ajowan-3

Thyme is similar to ajwain and can also be used as a spice and remedy.
(Image source: pixabay.com / photosforyou)

Thyme also consists of essential oils. These can have a positive effect on digestive organs. It has also been proven that thyme inhibits the growth of bacteria and viruses. Side effects occur only in rare cases. If you have a pollen allergy, you may well be allergic to thyme. Ajwain would also be more suitable for losing weight. You can find a summary of all the advantages and disadvantages here:

Advantages
  • Can be used as a tea and spice
  • Can be used as a remedy
Disadvantages
  • Possible allergic reaction as a side effect
  • Ajwain is better for weight loss

Decision: What types of ajwain are there and which one is right for you?

When buying ajwain, you can choose between these types:

  • Ajowan Seeds
  • Ajowan oil
  • Ajowan Powder
  • Ajowan plant

We explain the terms in more detail and show you the advantages and disadvantages.

What are the characteristics of whole ajwain seeds and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Whole ajwain seeds look similar to caraway seeds, but when chewed, you immediately notice a bitter and pungent taste. In some cases there is also a feeling of numbness, this is due to the active ingredient thymol contained. This is also used as a painkiller. https://www.instagram.com/p/B1Vpy2ElBNx/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link With whole seeds you can be sure that there are no other additives and that it is a pure product. You can use it as a spice, tea or for diet (ajwain water). If you want to apply ajwain to the skin or rub it into the hair, ajwain oil is more suitable. If you want ajwain to be finer, you need an extra mill to grind it. The positive and negative properties of ajwain seeds can be found here:

Advantages
  • Pure product, best quality
  • Intense taste
  • Different areas of application
Disadvantages
  • Ajowan oil is better for skin and hair
  • Does not dissolve, mill needed for grinding

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Ajowan oil?

Ajowan oil is usually sold in a glass container. The oil is pure and highly dosed. It can be used for skin and hair. The oil is not suitable for internal use. The price is also much higher compared to whole or ground ajwain. https://www.instagram.com/p/ByUrlTbhuoE/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link We summarise all the advantages and disadvantages for you:

Advantages
  • Can be used for rubbing into hair and skin
  • High dose
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for oral use
  • Expensive

What are the advantages and disadvantages of powdered Ajowan?

Ajowan in powder form is very fine and can be dissolved in liquids. The powder form is therefore preferred for soups and sauces. As with whole ajwain seeds, there are different uses. In addition, ground ajwain is also cheaper than oil. https://www.instagram.com/p/B1hQH5JAQap/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link Often you hear about a lower quality of ground spices, because you don't know if simply the leftovers have been used. You also have to make sure that the product does not contain any additives. Often other substances are added to make the spice last longer and to retain the aroma. All the advantages and disadvantages are listed below:

Advantages
  • Mill no longer necessary
  • Dissolves in liquids
  • Various uses
  • Cheap
Disadvantages
  • Not as long-lasting
  • Loses flavour
  • Additives may be present
  • Lower quality

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an Ajowan plant?

An ajwain plant is rarely seen on sale. However, you may find one and decide to grow it at home, as fresh herbs always taste better and have a longer shelf life. However, you need to know that it is only a 1-year-old plant. You can save the seeds and grow them again in your garden. You can find out exactly how this works in chapter 6.2. https://www.instagram.com/p/BqRhDc_AvR6/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link You will then find a summary of all the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages
  • Fresh ajwain
  • Long shelf life
Disadvantages
  • Ajwain plant rarely available
  • 1-year-old plant
  • Care of plant necessary

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate ajowan

To help you decide, compare and evaluate when buying, we show you criteria that you should consider most. The following criteria are decisive when buying ajowan:

We will now go into these aspects in more detail.

Quality

One hundred percent ajwain without additives is a sign of high quality. In addition, as already described, whole ajwain seeds are rated higher in quality than ground ajwain.

If the product is from controlled organic cultivation, this also has a high value. If the packaging is labelled organic, this means that the ajwain has not been genetically modified and that it was grown without the use of synthetic chemicals.

Additives

Ajowan oil or ajowan powder might have other ingredients. A spice mixture with ajwain and ginger and co. may perhaps make cooking Indian dishes easier, but this mixture can then really only be used for cooking. Also, the oil and powder might contain fragrances and preservatives. Although they are not harmful, they should be avoided, especially for people with skin diseases or allergies.

Shelf life

The shelf life of the product is always stated and you should stick to it. Especially if you take ajwain internally.

The spice usually has a shelf life of two to three years. Storing it in the refrigerator does not increase its shelf life.

Whole ajwain seeds can be kept for up to five years if stored properly. The shelf life may also depend on the packaging. Proper storage means storing in a dry place at about 15 degrees, protected from light and air.

Packaging

Ajowan is usually packed in glass, cardboard/paper, plastic or tinplate. Each of these materials has its advantages and disadvantages. The best materials for the environment would be cardboard/paper and tinplate. In third place would be glass. While glass is fully recyclable, it is very costly to produce. From a durability point of view, paper packaging would be the least favourable option. The better solution would be tinplate. That is why tin cans are also made of tinplate. You can find more information in the following table:

Packaging Advantages Disadvantages
Glass Glass does not emit any harmful substances and is also 100 per cent recyclable Glass can break quickly. In addition, a product with glass packaging is somewhat more expensive because it is costly to produce.
Cardboard/paper Cardboard or paper packaging is environmentally friendly and inexpensive. Moisture or oxygen can penetrate the packaging. This means that the product does not have a long shelf life.
Plastic Plastic is cheap, convenient and makes the product last longer. Plastic packaging can release harmful plasticisers and is also harmful to the environment.
Tinplate This thin sheet of steel is impermeable to materials and light, as well as temperature-resistant. Tinplate can also be completely recycled tinplate usually contains undesirable, questionable substances (BPA).

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about Ajowan

Finally, we would like to address the most frequently asked questions about Ajowan.

What else is ajowan called and what is it often confused with?

Ajowan is called "ajowan caraway", "carom seeds" and also "bishop's weed". You often see the term "ajwain" on packaging. This is also a synonym for ajwain.

Did you know that ajwain is often confused with other plants? Because of its appearance, many people think that it is caraway. Likewise, the English name "bishop's weed" creates confusion. Some translate this as bishop's weed, which is not correct.

How is ajwain planted?

If you want to plant ajwain seeds in your garden, a few days after the first frost would be the right time. A semi-shady to sunny spot is best for this. To help the plant thrive, dig the soil well and amend it with compost. After planting the seeds, cover them with soil and water well. Always make sure that the soil stays moist.

How to inhale properly with Ajowan?

Inhaling with Ajowan is very easy. You have to do the following:

  • Boil 2 litres of water
  • Pour this water into a bowl
  • Add 1-2 drops of Ajowan oil
  • Place towel unfolded on head and bowl and inhale the liquid
  • Inhale for five to ten minutes three times a day for colds

Essential oils are not recommended for asthmatics and small children. Saline solutions are better suited for this.

Image source: Hofacker/ 123rf.com

References (1)

1. R, K., M, Z., SH, A., A, L. and AU, K. (2010). Activity of solvent extracts of Prosopis spicigera, Zingiber officinale and Trachyspermum ammi against multidrug resistant bacterial and fungal str... - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
Source

Artículo cientifico de pubMed
R, K., M, Z., SH, A., A, L. and AU, K. (2010). Activity of solvent extracts of Prosopis spicigera, Zingiber officinale and Trachyspermum ammi against multidrug resistant bacterial and fungal str... - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
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