Trachyspermum ammi

This traditional Indian herb, also called carom, ajowan, and bishop’s weed, is both a culinary and a medicinal plant. The leaves are attractive and ridged, so ajwain can be grown in a border or as clumps in ornamental beds. The leaves have a taste reminiscent of thyme, and you can also use the seeds in cooking, resembling cumin seeds with hints of thyme, anise, and oregano. The leaves are best used fresh in vegetable and yogurt dishes, while the seeds can be ground or used whole in curries, sauces, chutneys, and lentils. Ajwain was traditionally used for digestive issues such as upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, and also to treat bacterial and fungal infections, for asthma and other respiratory conditions, to reduce coughing, and as a diuretic.

Water: Moderate

Hardiness: Perennial in the Tropics but tender here, so can be grown as an annual

Habit: Grows to 3' tall and 18" wide

Light: Full Sun

Soil: Any soil rich in organic matter

Origin: India