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Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis): A Medicinal Plant with Promising Health Benefits and Therapeutic Potential

Introduction: Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis), also known as the Devil's Backbone or Hadjod, is a medicinal plant that has been widely used in traditional medicine systems for centuries. With its origins in India, this plant belongs to the Vitaceae family and is characterized by its unique four-angled stem. Hadjod holds significant importance in various cultures due to its potential health benefits and therapeutic properties. Its traditional use can be traced back to ancient Ayurvedic texts, where it is highly regarded for its ability to promote bone health and treat musculoskeletal disorders. Historically, Hadjod has been used as a natural remedy for fractures, bone loss, and joint-related conditions. In Ayurveda, it is classified as a 'Asthisandhaneeya' herb, meaning it has the potential to strengthen bones, promote fracture healing, and improve overall bone health. The plant's name, "Hadjod," is derived from the Hindi word "hadjod,"

Ajamoda: A Versatile Herb in Ayurveda and Culinary Delights


Ajamoda, scientifically known as Carum roxburghianum, is a remarkable herbaceous plant that holds great significance in Ayurvedic medicine and finds application in various culinary traditions. Also known by common names such as Ajmoda, Radhuni, and Wild Celery, this plant has a fascinating history and a range of properties that make it a valuable resource.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Ajamoda has been utilized for centuries due to its therapeutic qualities. Its seeds, leaves, and roots are widely employed to address a multitude of health concerns. From aiding digestion and promoting respiratory health to alleviating menstrual discomfort and supporting overall well-being, Ajamoda holds a significant place in traditional medicine practices.

Beyond its medicinal applications, Ajamoda has also made its mark in the culinary world. Its aromatic seeds are often used as a spice, adding a distinct flavor and enhancing the taste of various dishes. In certain regional cuisines, Ajamoda is an essential ingredient in curries, pickles, chutneys, and spice blends, imparting a unique and delightful essence to culinary creations.

Interesting Fact:

Did you know that Ajamoda's seeds are often mistaken for those of celery due to their similar appearance and flavor? However, despite the resemblance, Ajamoda and celery belong to different botanical families. This intriguing similarity has led to Ajamoda being referred to as "Wild Celery" in some regions, highlighting the intriguing connections between plants and their culinary counterparts.

With its rich history in Ayurveda and its versatile applications in the culinary realm, Ajamoda stands as a fascinating herb that continues to captivate the interest of both herbal enthusiasts and food lovers alike. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into its botanical description, traditional uses, active constituents, cultivation methods, and much more.

Botanical Description:

Ajamoda is an herbaceous plant that exhibits distinct physical characteristics. Here is an overview of its botanical features:

Growth Habits:

Ajamoda typically grows to a height of about 30 to 60 centimeters (12 to 24 inches). It has an erect stem that is slender, branching, and often hollow.

Leaf Arrangement and Structure:

The leaves of Ajamoda are compound and pinnate, meaning they are divided into multiple leaflets arranged in opposite pairs. The leaflets are slender and elongated, with a lanceolate or linear shape. The leaf color is usually bright green, and the texture is smooth.


Ajamoda produces small, clustered flowers that are arranged in umbels. Umbels are umbrella-like clusters where multiple flower stalks originate from a common point. The individual flowers are tiny and white in color. The flowering period typically occurs during the summer months.


After the flowering stage, Ajamoda develops small, oval-shaped fruits. The fruits are typically brown or grayish in color and have a slightly ridged surface. Each fruit contains two tiny seeds, which are the most sought-after part of the plant for their culinary and medicinal uses.


It's important to note that the precise physical characteristics of Ajamoda can vary slightly depending on the specific variety and growing conditions. However, the general description provided above gives a good overview of the plant's appearance and growth habits.

Geographic Distribution:

Ajamoda, or Carum roxburghianum, is native to the Indian subcontinent and is primarily found in several regions and countries in South Asia. Here are some details regarding its natural distribution:

Regions and Countries:

Ajamoda is commonly found in India, particularly in the northern and central parts of the country. It is also found in neighboring countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. In addition, Ajamoda can be found in certain regions of Pakistan and Myanmar.

Climatic and Environmental Conditions:

Ajamoda thrives in regions with a temperate climate. It prefers well-drained soils with adequate moisture. The plant requires a moderate amount of sunlight for optimal growth. It can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but prefers a mild climate.

Variations in Distribution:

While Ajamoda is primarily concentrated in South Asia, it may exhibit variations in distribution within this region. It is more prevalent in certain states and regions of India, such as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

In some areas, Ajamoda may be found growing in the wild, while in others, it may be cultivated in herb gardens or farms to meet the demand for its seeds and other plant parts.


It's worth noting that due to its popularity and utilization in various traditional systems of medicine and culinary practices, Ajamoda may also be cultivated outside its natural range in regions with suitable growing conditions.

Traditional and Medicinal Uses:

Ajamoda (Carum roxburghianum) holds a rich historical and cultural significance in traditional medicine, particularly within Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine. The different parts of the plant, including seeds, leaves, and roots, are utilized for their therapeutic properties. Here are some details about their uses and therapeutic benefits:


Ajamoda seeds are the most widely used part of the plant in Ayurvedic medicine. They are known for their carminative properties, which help relieve flatulence, bloating, and digestive discomfort.

Ajamoda seeds are often used to improve digestion and stimulate appetite. They are also believed to possess antispasmodic properties and may help alleviate stomach cramps and intestinal colic.

 In addition, the seeds are sometimes used as a diuretic to promote urine flow.


The leaves of Ajamoda are less commonly used in traditional medicine compared to the seeds. However, they are known for their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

In Ayurveda, the leaves are occasionally used topically to provide relief from pain and swelling associated with certain skin conditions or joint problems.


Ajamoda roots are occasionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, but their use is less prevalent compared to the seeds. The roots are considered to have mild expectorant properties and are sometimes used in respiratory ailments to help relieve cough and congestion.

Specific Ailments or Conditions:

Digestive Disorders:

Ajamoda is commonly recommended for various digestive disorders such as indigestion, flatulence, and abdominal discomfort.

Appetite Stimulation:

Ajamoda seeds are often used to improve appetite and promote healthy digestion.

Respiratory Conditions:

Ajamoda may be used in respiratory conditions like cough, bronchitis, and asthma to help alleviate symptoms.

Menstrual Discomfort:

Ajamoda seeds are sometimes used to alleviate menstrual cramps and regulate menstrual cycles.

Joint Pain:

The leaves of Ajamoda may be applied topically to reduce pain and inflammation in joint-related conditions.


It's important to note that while Ajamoda has a long history of traditional use, individual experiences and treatment approaches may vary. It's advisable to consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional for personalized guidance and dosage recommendations.

Active Constituents:

Ajamoda (Carum roxburghianum) contains several bioactive compounds that contribute to its medicinal properties. Here are some key constituents found in Ajamoda and their associated pharmacological properties:

Essential Oils:

Ajamoda seeds are rich in essential oils, primarily containing compounds such as thymol, γ-terpinene, p-cymene, and α-pinene. These essential oils exhibit antimicrobial properties, potentially helping to combat various pathogens and microbes.

Research suggests that thymol, one of the major components, possesses antibacterial and antifungal activities, making it useful in the treatment of infectious conditions.


Ajamoda contains flavonoids such as apigenin, luteolin, and quercetin. These flavonoids possess antioxidant properties, which help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

Additionally, they have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, potentially contributing to the plant's traditional use in inflammatory conditions.


Ajamoda contains coumarins, including scopoletin and umbelliferone. Coumarins are known for their anticoagulant properties and are believed to possess blood-thinning effects.

These compounds may contribute to Ajamoda's traditional use in improving blood circulation and reducing the risk of blood clot formation.

It's important to note that while these bioactive compounds have been studied for their potential health benefits, further research is needed to fully understand their mechanisms of action and therapeutic applications. Additionally, it's advisable to consult scientific literature and trusted sources for the most up-to-date research on Ajamoda and its active constituents.

Potential benefits and applications of Ajamoda in Ayurvedic medicine

Ajamoda, with its rich medicinal properties, is a key ingredient in several Ayurvedic products designed to address specific health concerns. Let's explore some of these products and their potential benefits:

Gasovit 170 ml Saunf and Gasovit 170 ml Orange:

·        These Ayurvedic antacids incorporate Ajamoda along with other herbs known for their digestive properties.

·        They are formulated to provide relief from acidity and gas, promoting healthy digestion.

·        Gasovit 170 ml Saunf combines the benefits of Ajamoda with the soothing properties of saunf (fennel seeds), while Gasovit 170 ml Orange offers a citrus twist to aid digestion.

Gasovit 450 ml Orange and Gasovit 450 ml Saunf:

·        These larger bottle sizes of Ayurvedic antacids cater to individuals with greater needs.

·        Gasovit 450 ml Orange and Gasovit 450 ml Saunf contain Ajamoda along with other herbal ingredients to support optimal digestive health.

Vatnasak 200 ml and Vatnasak 450 ml:

·        Vatnasak 200 ml and Vatnasak 450 ml, Ayurvedic formulations serve as vat balancers and pain relievers.

·        Ajamoda, along with other herbs, works synergistically to support joint comfort and provide relief from occasional pain.

·        These products aim to balance the vat dosha, according to Ayurvedic principles, promoting overall wellness.

Dr Relax Capsule:

·        These Ayurvedic pain relief capsules contain a blend of herbs, including Ajamoda, known for their analgesic properties.

·        Dr Relax capsules are formulated to alleviate discomfort and promote a sense of well-being.

These Ayurvedic products by reputable ayurvedic franchise company offer an opportunity to experience the potential benefits of Ajamoda in a convenient and targeted manner, supporting your overall well-being through the wisdom of Ayurveda.

Culinary Applications:

Ajamoda (Carum roxburghianum) has notable culinary uses and is employed in various cuisines. Here's how it is used, its flavor profile, culinary benefits, and traditional recipes where it is commonly employed:

Usage in Different Cuisines:

Ajamoda seeds are commonly used as a spice in Indian, Nepalese, and Bhutanese cuisines. It is a key ingredient in spice blends, such as panch phoron in Bengali cuisine and momo masala in Tibetan and Nepali cuisines.

Ajamoda seeds are often added to curries, dals (lentil dishes), pickles, chutneys, and vegetable preparations to enhance flavor and aroma.

Flavor Profile and Culinary Benefits:

Ajamoda seeds have a distinct, pungent, and slightly bitter flavor. They possess a strong aroma reminiscent of celery and have been used as a substitute for celery seeds in certain culinary applications.

Ajamoda adds depth and complexity to dishes, enhancing the overall taste profile. It provides a warm and earthy undertone, balancing well with other spices and ingredients.

Traditional Recipes:

Ajamoda is commonly used in Indian dishes such as vegetable curries, biryanis, and lentil soups (dal). It is a prominent ingredient in pickles like achari vegetables and mango pickle.

In Bhutanese cuisine, Ajamoda is used in traditional dishes like Ema Datshi (cheese and chili stew) and Jasha Maru (spicy chicken curry).

In Tibetan and Nepali cuisines, it is used in momo masala, a spice mixture used to flavor dumplings.

Tips for Incorporating Ajamoda:

Toasting: Dry roast Ajamoda seeds in a pan over low heat to intensify their flavor before using them in recipes.

Spice Blends: Create your own spice blend by combining Ajamoda seeds with other spices like cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds for added complexity.

Seasoning: Sprinkle ground Ajamoda seeds on roasted vegetables, grilled meats, or salads to impart a distinctive flavor.

Experiment: Don't hesitate to experiment with Ajamoda in different dishes. It can add a unique twist to soups, stews, rice dishes, and marinades.


Remember to start with small quantities of Ajamoda in your recipes, as its flavor can be potent. Adjust the amount according to your taste preferences. Enjoy the exploration of flavors and the culinary benefits Ajamoda brings to your dishes!

Cultivation and Harvesting:

Ajamoda (Carum roxburghianum) can be cultivated with proper care and attention. Here's a brief overview of the cultivation requirements and the harvesting process:

Cultivation Requirements:

Soil: Ajamoda prefers well-drained loamy soil rich in organic matter. It thrives in soil with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5.

Sunlight: Ajamoda requires ample sunlight for optimal growth. It should be cultivated in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.

Water: Adequate moisture is essential for Ajamoda. It is recommended to keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering, as excessive water can lead to root rot. Proper drainage is crucial.

Specific Considerations:

Temperature: Ajamoda prefers a temperate climate with moderate temperatures. It can tolerate both hot summers and mild winters. The ideal temperature range for cultivation is around 15-25°C (59-77°F).

Humidity: Ajamoda can tolerate varying humidity levels. However, it generally prefers moderate humidity without excessive moisture, as high humidity may increase the risk of fungal diseases.

Harvesting Process:

Seeds: The seeds of Ajamoda are the most commonly harvested part. They should be collected when the seed heads turn brown and begin to dry on the plant. The seeds can be harvested by cutting the seed heads and allowing them to further dry in a well-ventilated area. Once fully dry, the seeds can be threshed to separate them from the seed heads.

Leaves: If you wish to harvest Ajamoda leaves, they can be plucked when they are young and tender. Regular pruning of the plant can encourage fresh leaf growth.

Roots: Ajamoda roots can be harvested after the plants have completed their lifecycle, typically in the second year. Carefully dig around the base of the plant to extract the roots.


When harvesting any part of the plant, it's important to handle the plant with care to avoid damaging the delicate parts. Proper drying and storage techniques should be followed to maintain the quality and potency of the harvested plant material.


It's worth noting that Ajamoda can also be propagated through seeds or by dividing mature plants. For successful cultivation, it is advisable to consult local gardening guides or seek advice from experienced gardeners familiar with the specific conditions of your region.

Precautions and Side Effects:

While Ajamoda (Carum roxburghianum) has a long history of traditional use, it's important to be aware of potential precautions and contraindications before using it for medicinal purposes. Here are some important points to consider:

Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to Ajamoda or other plants in the same botanical family (Apiaceae/Umbelliferae), which includes celery, carrots, and parsley.

If you have known allergies to these plants, it is advisable to exercise caution when using Ajamoda and observe any signs of allergic reactions, such as skin rashes, itching, or difficulty breathing.

Interactions with Medications: Ajamoda may interact with certain medications due to its pharmacological properties. For example, its anticoagulant properties may potentially interact with blood-thinning medications, increasing the risk of bleeding.

If you are taking any medications, particularly blood thinners or anticoagulants, it is important to consult a healthcare professional before using Ajamoda for medicinal purposes to assess potential interactions.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: There is limited scientific information available regarding the safety of Ajamoda during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is advisable for pregnant and breastfeeding women to exercise caution and consult a healthcare professional before using Ajamoda as a medicinal herb.

Professional Guidance: It is always advisable to consult a qualified healthcare professional, such as an Ayurvedic practitioner or herbalist, before using Ajamoda for medicinal purposes.


Remember, self-diagnosis and self-medication without professional guidance can carry risks. Consulting a healthcare professional will ensure that Ajamoda is used safely and effectively, minimizing the potential for adverse effects or interactions with other medications.


In conclusion, Ajamoda (Carum roxburghianum) is a versatile herb with significant importance in both traditional medicine and culinary practices. Throughout the article, we have explored various aspects of Ajamoda, including its botanical description, geographic distribution, traditional and medicinal uses, active constituents, culinary applications, and cultivation requirements. Here are the key points discussed:

Ajamoda, scientifically known as Carum roxburghianum, is an herb with a long history in Ayurvedic medicine and is used for its therapeutic properties.

The plant's seeds, leaves, and roots are utilized for their various medicinal benefits, such as improving digestion, relieving flatulence, alleviating respiratory conditions, and reducing menstrual discomfort.

Ajamoda contains bioactive compounds like essential oils, flavonoids, and coumarins, which contribute to its pharmacological properties, including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.

In culinary applications, Ajamoda is used in Indian, Nepalese, and Bhutanese cuisines to add flavor and aroma to curries, pickles, and spice blends.

Ajamoda has specific cultivation requirements, preferring well-drained soil, ample sunlight, and consistent moisture. Harvesting is done when seeds turn brown, leaves are young and tender, or roots have completed their lifecycle.

Precautions should be taken, considering potential allergies, interactions with medications, and consulting healthcare professionals, especially for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Ajamoda's significance lies in its dual role as a medicinal herb and culinary spice. It offers a range of potential health benefits and adds a unique flavor profile to dishes. However, further research is needed to explore its full therapeutic potential and understand its interactions with medications.

In conclusion, Ajamoda invites us to appreciate its rich heritage, encourages us to explore its diverse uses, and underscores the importance of seeking professional advice for safe and effective utilization. By deepening our understanding and expanding research, we can uncover even more about the benefits and potential applications of this remarkable herb.



The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for personalized guidance.

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