Black Caraway Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects – As Per Ayurveda

Black Caraway is an ancient Indian spice. It is widely used in after delivery care of the mother. It is good for eyes, bloating, vomiting etc. It is also used in children’s medicines.  This little spice has huge health benefits with almost nil side effects.
Its botanical name is Carum bulbocastanum  / Bunium bulbocastanum / Carum carvi

Medicinal qualities

Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dry)
Rasa (Taste) – Katu (pungent)
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion) – Katu (pungent)
Veerya (potency) – Ushna (hot)
Effect on Tridosha – Kaphavatashamaka – balances Kapha and Vata, increases Pitta

According to Ayurveda it is a very good
carminative (deepana),
digestive (pachana),
vedanasthapana (anti inflammatory and analgestic),
tikta balya (bitter tonic),
jwaraghna (anti pyretic) and
ruchya (taste enhancer).
It is bitter in taste, possesses light and dry nature and hot in potency.


Availability, varieties

Availability: It is available in Kashmir, Gadhaval, Kumavu, Afghanistan, Baluchisthan, at 6000 – 11000 feet height regions.

There are two herbs used in the name of Black cumin.
Carum bulbocastanum  / Bunium bulbocastanum / Carum carvi – Black cumin,  Black caraway
Nigella sativa – small fennel / Simple nigella / Kalonji

B. Pr. Ni – Jiraka, Krishna Jiraka, Upakunchika
Dh. Ni – Jiraka, Shukla Jiraka, Krishna Jiraka, Vanya Jiraka

Classical categorization

Bh. Pr Ni – Haritakyadi varga

Sanskrit Verses

Black Cumin Health Benefits

Traditional Benefits

Deepana – improves digestion strength
Sangrahi – absorbent, useful in diarrhoea
Medhya – improves intelligence
Jvaraghna – Useful in fever
Pachana – carminative
Vrushya – natural aphrodisiac
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Ruchya – improves taste
Chakshushya – good for eyes, improves vision power
Ruchya – improves taste
Dantashodhani – cleanses teeth
Useful in the treatment of
Adhmana – bloating, gaseous distension of abdomen
Gulma – Abdominal tumor, bloating
Chardi – vomiting
Atisara – diarrhoea, dysentery
Shopha – inflammatory conditions
Jeernajvara – chronic stages of fever
Dose – 1 – 3 grams

Black Caraway Home Remedies

Diarrhea, pain abdomen

Black caraway seed decoction in diarrhoea, pain abdomen and dysentery:
5-10 gram of caraway seeds are taken and slightly roasted. Added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup, filtered. This decoction is administered in the dose of 20-30 ml twice or thrice daily. This helps to reduce diarrhoea, pain abdomen and dysentery:

Body ache, tooth ache

Caraway seed oil in bodyache, toothache and finger web infections:
25-20 gram seeds are soaked with water and next day it is made into fine paste. To this 100 ml each sesame oil and water are added and cooked well in mild intensity of heat. This oil is used to apply over the body parts. It relieves joint pain, body ache, finger web infections etc. In case of tooth ache 3-4 drop of this oil is instilled to the base of the teeth or rub bed to the gum.

Menstrual pain

Black caraway Seed powder with jaggery in menstrual pain:
10 gram each of seed powder and jaggery are taken and mixed well. This bolus is taken twiuce daily for 10-12 days prior to expected date of menstruation. It helps to regularize the period and to relieve menstrual pain and dysmenorrhoea.
Read related: Menstrual Pain, Painful Periods – Natural Ayurvedic Herbal Home Remedies

Abdominal distension, nausea

Cumin, Kali jeeri, remedy for abdominal distension, nausea, bloating, burping etc:
Fine powder of cumin seeds, caraway and rock salt are taken and mixed well. 1 teaspoon of this is taken along with warm water. This is very effective in cases like abdominal distension, digestive disturbances, tastelessness, nausea, bloating, burping etc.

Skin diseases, insect bite

Fine paste of the leaves in skin diseases and wasp bite:
Clean and fresh matured leaves are collected and fresh juice is obtained by pounding. This is applied over the itching skin lesions and over the bitten parts of leeches in forest. Also it is effective in wasp bite.

Mouth freshener

Chewing few grains of cumin and caraway seeds for mouth refreshing:
1-2 pinch of grains of cumin as well as caraway are chewed after or before food. This acts as a mouth refresher and relieves abdominal bloating, nausea etc

Bleeding gums

Roasted caraway seeds with rock salt for bleeding gums:
Roasted caraway seeds and rock salt are taken in 3:1 ratio and mixed well. This is applied or rubbed over the gums in case of gum bleeding.

Anti emetic pill

Traditional anti emetic pill:
10 gram of slightly fried black cumin seeds,
5 gram cumin seeds,
5 gram of jaggery and
3 gram of tamarind fruit pulp are taken together and pounded well.This is made into the pills(bolus) of 1 gram each and dried under shade.
This is taken by chewing in the conditions of vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, etc.
Read related: 8 Traditional Home Remedies Using Tamarind Leaves, Fruit, Seeds

For bilious head ache

Black Caraway powder in bilious head ache:
2-3 gram of fine powder of black cumin seeds are taken along with butter milk or lemon water (5 ml lemon juice and 100 ml water/Sharabath).This pacifies bilious head ache. In all pitta aggravated conditions this is beneficial. In jaundice also this can be used.


Kalijiri taila in alopecia:
Readymade caraway oil is available in the market and this is applied over the hair loss area of alopecia. Constant application helps to regain the hair in the lesion.
Or else the oil can be prepared by cooking 50 gram seeds with 100 ml oil and water till complete evaporation of water.


Black caraway decoction in diarrhoea:
For diarrhea, instant relief is found if the decoction of caraway is administered  2-3 times in the dose of 15 ml, hourly. The abdominal pain, distension, vomiting sensation etc are also relieved and good appetite is observed.

Kidney, liver dysfunction

Krishna jeeraka powder with honey in Kidney and liver dysfunctions:
2-3 gram fine powder of  Caraway is administered with little honey in chronic liver disorders as well as renal problems. It strengthens the organs and keeps the vitals stable.

Pin worm

Papaya seed and Krishna jeeraka powder in pin worms:
Equal quantity of both the above said herbs are taken and fine powder is made. This is administered daily in empty stomach in the dose of 2-3 gram along with warm water. This relieves the long persisting problem of pin worms in children. In adults decoction has to be prepared from the above herbs and to be administered.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD

Black Caraway after delivery

In South Indian custom, after delivery, A water decoction made with black caraway is administered to the mother from day 2 to day 10. In a dose of 15 ml in the morning, empty stomach. It is done to fight post delivery infection and to strengthen the mother’s internal system.

Black Caraway for PCOS

It helps to lose weight, reduce the size of the cyst and to regularize menstruation. People with PCOS can take this in a dose of quarter a teaspoon mixed with honey and swallow with water for 2 months time.


Carum carvi biennial much-branched herb growing up to 30 – 80 cm in height. Leaves are dark green, finely cut and feathery. Flowers are white in color and produced on umbels.


The plant is found in Europe, Siberia, the Caucasus, the near East, the Himalayas, Mongolia and Morocco. (a)

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines using Black cumin seeds:
Madana Kameswari Lehyam – An Aphrodisiac herbal jam
Vayu Gulika – Used in cold, fever, bloating etc.
Virechana Gulika – Used to induce purgation.
Kombanchadi Gulika – Used in fever, cough and cold in kids.

In Ayurvedic classical literatures we find across several important formulations containing Krishna jeeraka and   few among them are –
Jirakadyaarista (Bhaishajya ratnavali, Sutika roga vikara),
Jirakadi modaka (Yogagrantha),
Yogaraja guggulu (Bhaishajya ratnavali, Aamavatadikara),
Ashta choornam (Ashtanga Hrdaya ,Gulma chikitsa),
Krshnajeeraka taila (Gada nigraha) etc.

Vernacular names, Sanskrit synonyms

Names in different languages:
Hindi name –Syah jeera, Kali Jeera, Kala jeera, Krishnajeera
Bengali name – Kala Jeere, Krishna jeera
English name – Meridian Fennel, Black caraway, Black cumin.
Marathi name – Shahaajire, Shahajeeram, Kalejeere
Gujarati name – Shaahjeeru
Telugu name – Sheema jilkar, Shimaisapoo
Tamil name – Shimayishiragam, Shimah shombu
Kannada name – Kari jeerige, Karijeerake
Arabic name – Kamoone aramani
Farsi name – Jeera e syaah

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Kashmirajiraka, Udgarashodhana,
Sugandha, Bahugandha – Fruit has agreeable odor
Ruchya – Increase taste
Jarana – Good digestive
Kali – Bruit is black in colour

Chemical composition

This is  well known anti-helminthic spice. Caraway seeds are rich in essential oils (Carvone, lilmonene, germacrence –D)  triacylglycerols, sterols, petroselinic acid etc. 

Chemical constituents

A valuable essential oil rich in carvone is obtained from the seeds. It is pale yellow in color and possesses strong odour. The distinct flavour and taste of caraway is because of ‘carvones’ and ‘caveols’.

The other important constituents are flavonoid antioxidants such as lutein, carotene, crypto-xanthin and zea-xanthin. It is also an excellent source of minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium copper, zinc and magnesium. The seeds also contain many vital vitamins like A, E, C as well as a number of B-complex vitamins. Thus the seeds are encapsulated like multi dimensional bodily requirements of minerals and trace elements.

Principle volatile compounds of caraway are carvone, limonene, carveol, pinene, cumuninic aldehyde, furfural and thujone. These active constituents are known to have potent antioxidant, digestive, carminative and anti-flatulent properties.

shelf of kitchen. Proper usage will help to prevent as well as to cure several simple ill health


Biennial but occasionally forming a perennial stock
Stem – Erect, branched, 35 -50 cm tall
Leaves – Pinnate with several pairs of segments which are sessile, upper leaves are smaller and less divided
Inflorescence – Umbel having 8 -10 rays
Fruit – around 5 mm long, linear – oblong and usually curved with prominent ribs

Part Used

The seeds/fruits are used in mainly in the baking industry, perfumery, medicines and in the preparation of some beverages. The oil obtained from carvi (Carvi oil) is used chiefly for flavoring wines, scenting soaps, tooth pastes, cosmetics and to add to the perfumes.


Fruit of Bunium persicum


Cuminum cyminum

Side effects

There are no known side effects with Kala Jeera in the said dosage. Like we saw, it is used in mothers, soon after delivery and also in kids. There is no record to say that it is unsafe during pregnancy. However, it is best to avoid during pregnancy.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Black caraway seed oil benefits

This oil is also widely used to improve skin tone, to treat acne, scar, dark spots and as moisturizer.
It is known to promote hair growth.

The oil contains omega-6 linoleic acid , omega-9 oleic acid, thymoquinone, nigellone, melanthin, nigilline, damascenine, and tannins. It is also known to help body produce prostaglandin E1, which is useful to treat erectile dysfunction.
However, its over-dosage must be strictly avoided, due to fear of toxic symptoms.

71 thoughts on “Black Caraway Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects – As Per Ayurveda”

  1. black seed or nigella sativa seems to be different.Doesn’t look like shahjeera.Google search for nigella is showing different pictures.Just FYI

  2. hi black ziri ajwayen &methi dana powder in the morning&night &biack Til after having lunch &dinner .both thing can be consumed.

  3. Hello doctor,
    Which home remedies can be used on a daily basis to improve insulin sensitivity of cells.

  4. What is the active compounds present in Kalijiri (Vernonia anthelmintica) seed in relation with bitter taste.

    • Hello Madam, Abhi jo research hua he uske hisab se Black seed oil ke massage se weight loss hota he.

  5. Whether Kaala jeera or nigella sativa which is availble in market can be used for diabetes treatment or not.If so how to take & what is the dose? Wherher to take raw or heated on pan Please clarify my doubt

  6. When I contacted an Ayurvedic doctor,he told that he does not have knowledge of Kalonji oil seeds.Further Dr Hebbar not confirmed to take seeds raw or advise us to take dose of Kalonji seed oil for diabetes.

  7. I am confused which is black cumin or nigella sativa seeds. There are two different spices shown in the net. One that looks like black sesame and the other which looks like a blacker version of cummin. So when the concoction says black cummin which do I use. I have a combination of black cummin (1part) : fenugreek (5part) : ajwain (2part). All to be toasted lightly n ground. A teaspoon to be consumed with a glass of water after food for cleansing and well being of body. Lease advise if this is okay Abd which black cummin to use. Thanks.

    • Hi, Black cumin is black variety of cumin.
      Nigella sativa is this –

  8. Hello Dr hebbar,

    I made mixture of Methi,Ajwain and Nigella sativa(Kalonji) .AS there is difference betwwen Kala Jera and Kali jeeri.What are best to use from there.?

    i made power of Methi (200) ,Ajwain (100) and Kalonji (50gm).Shall i add Kali Jeeri(centratherum anthelminticum) (50gm) to it?Would it have any effects?I think there ratio will be different.

    please guide me..thank you.

    • Good combination. 3 grams, 2 times a day, after food with water for 2 months is good to take.

    • It is more used for cleansing and detoxifying, rather than nutrition purpose. Hence, it would not be very useful for the said purposes.

    • Not if taken just for two weeks. It is cleansing in nature. And cleansing action is not required during pregnancy

  9. Recently ,i have purchased Manjistha.Would this combination of Methi (200) ,Ajwain (100) and Kalonji (50gm) Kali Jeeri(centratherum anthelminticum) (50gm) and 50-100 gm Manjistha be helpful?
    Please suggest me..

    • Useful in diabetes, bodyache, high cholesterol, high BP, recurrent fever, low immunity, low metabolism, to relieve ama and obesity.

    • There is no need to control blood sugar when we are not diabetic. Just adopting healthy eating and lifestyle habits are good enough.
      Avoid junk foods, aerated drinks, soda and fizz drinks.

  10. There seems to be another one called Kala Jeera (aka ‘black cumin’) used in cooking in northern India. I believe it’s called Bunium persicum. Vernonia is not outdated, and is replaced with Centratherum (anthelminticum). All of them have been indiscriminately called ‘black cumin’. Can you beat that thickheadness?!

  11. Doctor, please clarify whether the proportional combination of these three (mehthi, ajwain and karunjeera) will detoxify the allopathic medicines taken earlier for szhizophrenia for the past 5 years from the body and back to normal body shape ?

    • Rarely the taste and veerya rule does not apply to vrushya action. For eg ashwagandha pippali etc

  12. These seeds are unpalatable and difficult to chew. Anyone have ideas on how best to take them? Also is a teaspoon about a gram? I don’t have a scale.


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