There is a trend in the supplement world toward herbal weight loss. Many people assume that an herbal supplement is automatically safe, and that isn't true. Compound that with the fact than some people ascribe fat-burning or appetite-suppressant qualities to whatever herb happens to be in vogue, and you end up with many disappointed dieters with empty wallets. Ajwain is one such herb. No reputable source makes any weight-loss claims in connection with it, yet people still turn to it in the quest for a leaner body.
Ajwain, also known as Bishop's Weed, has been used as a cooking spice in the Middle East, India and China for centuries. The plant itself is a small shrub with fine hairs, but the small, ridged, brown seed is the part used for cooking. The taste is said to be spicy and bitter, and although ajwain has been used for a long time, it is not widely traded outside its native area.
Besides being a cooking spice, ajwain has been used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. Through various preparation techniques, it is used to treat digestion issues, toothaches, mouth infections and earaches. Despite the long history of its medicinal properties, there is no evidence to support claims regarding its effectiveness. A major component of ajwain essential oil, thymol, is an ingredient in many Western cough medicines and throat soothers.
Effect on Weight Loss
Ajwain is not used specifically as a weight-loss drug. In fact, according to Ayushveda Health and Food, ajwain has appetite-stimulating properties. This is the opposite of what most dieters need. It does, however, have a laxative component that may stimulate bowel movements. If you've been constipated, this could result in the loss of a pound or two, but the weight lost would be water weight and would likely return very quickly.
According to Drugs.com, animal studies regarding the safety of ajwain have shown potential side effects including slow heart rate and low blood pressure. It's safety for use during pregnancy is unknown, but is not advised. High doses of ajwain may be toxic, so if you decide to take the supplement, consult your doctor first, and always follow the recommended dosage instructions.
Exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet in quantities appropriate for your size is the healthiest way to lose weight. Consume 500 calories fewer than you burn every day to lose a pound of fat per week, and get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity on most days of the week. Losing weight naturally and healthfully results in weight loss that sticks, because you develop habits along the way that can keep you from gaining the weight back.