Family • Umbelliferae - Carum copticum (Linn.) Benth. - BISHOP'S WEED - Xiang zhu la jiao

Scientific names

Amni copticum Bois.
Amni copticum Linn.
Amni glaucifolium Blanco
Carum copticum (Linn.) Hiem.
Carum copticum (L.) C. B. Clarke.
Daucus anisodorus Blanco
Ptychotis coptica DC.
Sison amni Linn.
Trachyspermum amni (L.) Sprague ex Turrill

Common names

Damoro (Pamp., Tag.)
Lamudio (Bik., Tag.)
Ajawa seeds (Engl.)
Bishop’s weed (Engl.)
Carom (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

ARABIC: Ajwân, Anîsûn barrî, Kammûn hhabashî, Kamun al muluki, Nakhwah, Taleb el koubs. MALAYALAM: Ayamodakam, Omam.
ASSAMESE: Joan, Joni-guti. MARATHI: Ova, Owa, Vova.
BENGALI: Jowan, Juvani, Yamani. NEPALESE: Agnimanthaa, Jvaanuu.
BULGARIAN: Ажгон Azhgon. ORIYA: Juani.
CHINESE: Yin du zang hui xiang, Xi ye cao guo qin. PERSIAN: Zenyân, Nanavva.
CZECH: Adžvajen. POLISH: Adżwan, Ajowan, Kminek koptyjsk.i
DUTCH: Ajowan PORTUGUESE: Orégano-semente, Semente-de-orégano, Ajowan.
ESTONIAN: Lõhnav karusköömen PUNJABI: Aijvain, Ajvain, Ajowan, Javain.
FINNISH: Koptilainen kumina RUSSIAN: Aiova, Azhgon.
FRENCH: Ajouan, Ajowan , Ammi, Ammi de l’Inde, Anis de l’Inde, Sison. SANSKRIT: Ajamoda, Ajamoda, Ajamodika, Yavanaka, Yavaanika, Yavani, Yawani,Deepyaka.
GERMAN : Adiowan, Ajowan, Ägyptischer Kümmel, Herrenkümmel, Indischer Kümmel, Königskümmel. SINHALESE: Asamodagam, Assamodum.
GUJARATI: Ajamo, Yavan, Jawain. SPANISH: Ajowan, Ayowan.
HINDI: Ajawa, Ajmud, Ajowan, Ajawan, Ajawain, Ajavayan, Carom, Randhuni. TAMIL: Asamtavomam, Asampadam, Amam, Omam.
HUNGARIAN: Ajovan TELUGU: Ajumoda, Omamu, Vamu, Vayu.
ITALIAN: Ajowan (Katz), Ammi, Sisone. THAI: Phak chi.
JAPANESE: Ajowan. TURKISH: Emmus, Mısır anason , Mısır anisonu.
KANNADA: Ajamodhavoma, Oma omakki, Omu URDU: Ajwain, Buranikataya.
MALAY: Jintan

Damoro is an erect, annual herb growing from 30 to 90 centimeters high. Leaves are rather distant, 2- or 3-pinnate; the ultimate segments are linear; and 1.2 to 2.5 centimeters long. Flowers are white and grow in compound umbels. Fruit is very small, ovoid, hispid and ribbed.


– Introduced.
– Occasionally cultivated in Batangas and neighboring provinces and in Manila.
– Native of India.


– Plant yields a volatile oil, 0.12%; some phellandrene; about 1 % thymol.
– Fruit contains a volatile oil, 3 to 4 %; with 45 to 55 percent thymol; p-cymol, 1%.
– Seeds contain an aromatic volatile essential oil and crystalline substance called stearoptene, a crude thymol.

– Seeds are considered antispasmodic, bactericidal, anticholinergic, stimulant, tonic, carminative.
– Considered antiseptic.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antimicrobial evaluation of some medicinal plants for their anti-enteric potential against multi-drug resistant Salmonella typhi / Phulan Rani, Neeraj Khullar / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 18 Issue 8, Pages 670 – 673 / Publ Online: 8 Oct 2004

(2) Antinociceptive Effects of Carum copticum Extract in Mice Using Formalin Test / Seyed Hassa Hejazian et al / World Applied Science Journal, 3(2):215-219, 2008

(3) Protease Activity in Seeds Commonly Used as Herbal Medicine / Shaukat Ali, Qazi A H, Khan M R / Pakistan J. Med. Res. Vol. 42 No.2, 2003

(4) Fumigant toxicity of Carum copticum and Vitex pseudo-negundo essential oils against eggs, larvae and adults of Callosobruchus maculatus / Bibi Zahra Sahaf and Saeid Moharramipour / Journal of Pest Science, Volume 81, Number 4 / December, 2008 / DOI 10.1007/s10340-008-0208-y

(5) ANTIINFLAMMATORY POTENTIAL OF THE SEEDS OF CARUM COPTICUM LINN. / C Thangham and R Dhananjayan / Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2003; 35: 388-391

(6) Antitussive effect of Carum copticum in guinea pigs / Boskabady MH, Jandaghi P et al / J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Feb 10;97(1):79-82. Epub 2004 Dec 9.

(7) Cholinomimetic effects of aqueous extracts from Carum copticum seeds / G Devasankaraiah; I Hanin; P S Haranath; P S Ramanamurthy / British journal of pharmacology, Vol 52, 1974

(8) Relaxant Effect of Carum copticum on Intestinal Motility in Ileum of Rat / S J Hejazian et al / World Journal of Zoology 2 (2): 15-18, 2007


(10) Studies on Antifungal Properties of Essential Oil of Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague / S. C. Tripathi, S. P. Singh, S. Dube / Journal of Phytopathology, Volume 116, Issue 2, pages 113–120, June 1986 / DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0434.1986.tb00902.x

(11) Sorting Trachyspermum names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(12) Antidiarrhoeal activity of ethanol and aqueous extracts of Carum copticum seeds in experimental rats /
G Balaji, M Chalamaiah, B Ramesh*, Y Amarnath Reddy / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2012)S1151-S1155 / doi:10.1016/S2221-1691(12)60376-1

(13) CARUM COPTICUM ESSENTIAL OILS AS NATURAL ANTIOXIDANT IN DRESSING / Seyed Mohammad Bagher Hashemi, Mohsen Gavahian, Amin Mousavi Khaneghah* / Journal of Hygienic Engineering and Design

(14) Anti-Giardia Activity of Carum copticum on Giardia lamblia Cysts in Vitro / S Shahabi, F Ayazi Roozbehani *, M Kamalinejad , A Abadi / Pejouhesh. 2008; 32 (4) :303-307


Parts used

– Fruit used with “buyo” for chewing for a carminative effect.
– Seeds used for flatulence, atonic dyspepsia, diarrhea; often recommended for cholera, usually used with asafoetida, myrobalans and rock salt.
– Decoction used for discharges, sometimes used as a lotion.
– Decoction of seeds a common ingredient of cough mixtures.
– As topical remedy, used with astringents for sore throats.
– During the 1st World War, sought after for its thymol content, which is considered antiseptic.
– In India, used for flatulence, dyspepsia, intestinal colic. Also, used to stimulate the appetite, for diarrhea, and as a gargle for laryngitis.
– In southern parts of India, seeds are powdered and soaked in milk, filtered and fed to babies for colic and to help digestion.
– Used by nursing mothers to increase milk flow. Antispasmodic use of the seeds for
Used for menstrual cramps.

Study Findings
• Antimicrobial: In a screening of plants used in the Ayurvedic system in India to treat enteric diseases, the methanol extract of Carum copticum showed moderate antimicrobial activity against multi-drug resistant Salmonella typhi.
• Antihypertensive / Antispasmodic / Bronchodilator / Hepatoprotective: Study of seed extract of Carum copticum caused a dose-dependent fall in arterial blood pressure in anesthetized rats. It showed a calcium channel blocking effect confirming the presence of calcium antagonists. In Isolated guinea-pig tracheal preparations, it caused inhibition of induced-bronchoconstriction. It prevented CCl4-induced prolongation in pentobarbital-induced sleeping time confirming hepatoprotectivity.
• Antinociceptive: Study showed CC fruit extract had antinociceptive effects, more on the late phase than early phase.
• Analgesic: Study Study showed clear-cut analgesic effect. The positive results in analgesiometric testing indicate the antinociceptive action of Carum copticum may be of the opioid type.
• Protease Activity: As digestive aid to humans, study showed Carum copticum was effective in the stomach and small intestine, while Allium sepa was effective only in the small intestine.
• Fumigant Activity: In a study comparing the fumigant activity of essential oil vapors distilled from C. copticum and Vitex pseudo-negundo tested against eggs, larvae and adults of Callosobruchus maculatus, CC was almost more toxic than VPN on all growth stages of C maculatus. Results suggest the essential oils may be potential grain protectants as botanical alternative fumigants.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed the total alcoholic extract and total aqueous extract of the seeds of Carum copticum exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity in both rat models of carrageenan induced paw edema and cotton pellet induced granuloma.
• Anti-Tussive Effect: Study showed antitussive effects of Carum copticum to be even greater than that of codeine at concentrations used. The effect was not due to its main constituent, carvacrol.
• Bronchodilator Effect: Study of boiled extract from Caricum copticum showed a bronchodilator effect on asthmatic airways which was comparable to the effect of theophylline.
• Cholinomimetic Effect: Study of aqueous extract from roasted seeds of Carum copticum showed cholinomimetic effects, with muscarinic effects on rabbit duodenum, guinea-pig ileum and rat jejunum, and on blood pressure of rat and cat. Chromatography studies showed the presence of acetylcholine and choline in the roasted seed extract.
• Inhibition of Acetylcholine-Induced Ileal Contraction: Study showed an aqueous extract of Carum copticum reduces basal contractile activity of rat’s ileum, reduced acetylcholine induced contraction.
• Anti-Hyperlipidemic Effect: Study of Trachyspermum ammi (Ajowain) extracts in albino rats showed the methanol and petroleum ether extracts to have a hypolipidemic effect in albino rabbits, with the PEE showing greater potency than the methanol extract with also greater reduction of atherogenic index.
• Anti-Fertility Effects: Study of ethanolic extract of Trachyspermum ammi fruits showed significant dose-dependent anti-fertility effects in male rats. Results suggest a potential for a male contraceptive formulation.
• Antifungal / Essential Oil: Study of essential oil from fruits of Trachyspermum ammi exhibited cidal toxicity against Aspergillus flavus and A. niger. Thymol and p-cymene were isolated as antifungal principles.
• Antidiarrheal / Seeds: Study investigated a 95% total alcoholic extract and total aqueous extract of seeds for antidiarrheal activity in experimentally in male Wistar rats. Results showed significant decrease in diarrheal droppings in castor oil diarrhea, decreased in transit of charcoal meal, and reduction in enteropooling. Results suggest seed extracts could be used for diarrhea treatment.
• Essential Oil as Natural Antioxidant in Dressings: Study showed all concentrations of essential oils were suitable antioxidants for preserving of dressing against oxidation. Synthetic antioxidants like BHA and BHT can be substituted with EO if used in higher concentrations.
• Anti-Giardia Activity: Giardiasis, a widespread small intestine parasitic infection, is one of the main causes of human diarrhea. Study evaluated the in vitro effects of an alcoholic extract of essential oil on Giardia lamblia. Results showed C. copticum is effective in vitro against Giardia lamblia cysts.
Seeds and extracts in the cybermarket.