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Ph.D. (Biochemistry), M.Sc (Human Genomics)
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated
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Kalijiri

Kalijiri
Kalijiri, also known as Bitter Cumin, is a commonly grown plant in India and Southeast Asia. The seeds are brownish in color, with a sharp bitter taste. Raw seeds are difficult to consume directly. They are traditionally used as an ingredient of classical Ayurvedic preparations.
Kalijiri seeds are beneficial in respiratory problems like asthma due to the presence of bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also useful in vitiligo due to its ability to promote melanin synthesis.
Kalijiri is used as an ingredient in Ayurvedic creams and oils used for managing skin infections due to its antibacterial properties. The antioxidants present in Kalijiri also helps in wound healing by accelerating the wound contraction. As per Ayurveda, applying Kalijiri seeds paste along with Neem or Coconut oil helps in early wound healing due to its Kashaya (astringent) property [10-12].

What are the synonyms of Kalijiri?

Centratherum anthelminticum, Vernonia anthelmintica, Somaraaj, Purple Flebane, Worm Seed Fleabane, Kaaleejeeree, Kadavijeeree, Kaalijeeree, Karajiri, Soharaai, Kaadujeerage, Kaarijirige, Krimishatru, Kattujirakam, Kadujire, Kaattuchirakam, Chittilai, Adavijilakaroa, Garetikamma, Somaraji[15].

What is the source of Kalijiri?

Plant Based

Benefits of Kalijiri

1. Indigestion
Kalijiri helps to manage indigestion. According to Ayurveda, indigestion means the state of an incomplete process of digestion. The main reason for indigestion is aggravated Kapha that causes Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). Using Kalijiri in your diet helps to improve Agni (digestive fire) and digests the food easily. This is due to its Deepan (appetizer) property.

Tips for using Kalijiri for indigestion
a. A well-known way of consuming Kalijiri is by mixing it with Methi seeds and Ajwain.
b. Take and sieve all the above-mentioned ingredients separately to remove any stones or other impurities.
c. Now roast Kalijiri in a dry roast for a minute.
d. Repeat this process for the other 2 ingredients also.
e. Grind each ingredient separately to get powder.
f. Mix three powders to get Kalijiri, Methi, and Ajwain Powder.
g. Take 1-3gm (or as directed by the physician) of this mixture with hot water at bedtime to get rid of the symptoms of indigestion.

2. Asthma
The main Doshas involved in Asthma are Vata and Kapha. The vitiated ‘Vata’ combines with deranged ‘Kapha dosha’ in the lungs causing obstruction in the respiratory passages. This results in gasping and labored breathing. This condition is known as Swas Roga (Asthma). Kalijiri helps manage asthma due to its Vata-Kapha balancing and Ushna (hot) properties. It also helps to clear the obstruction and ease breathing.

3. Cough
Cough is quite a common ailment, which usually happens with the cold. It is commonly known as Kapha disorder in Ayurveda. A cough is generally caused by the accumulation of mucus in the respiratory tract. Kalijiri helps manage cough due to its Kapha balancing and Ushna (hot) properties. It helps in the easy expulsion of the accumulated mucus and thus provides relief.

4. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Urinary tract infection is described under the broad term of Mutrakcchra in Ayurveda. Mutra means ooze, krichra means painful. Thus, dysuria and painful urination is called as Mutrakcchra. Kalijiri helps manage urinary tract infections due to its Mutral (diuretic) properties. It increases the urine flow and reduces the symptoms of urinary tract infection.

Precautions when using Kalijiri

Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available about the use of Kalijiri during breastfeeding. So, it is advisable to consult a physician before using Kalijiri during breastfeeding.
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available about the use of Kalijiri during pregnancy. So, it is advisable to consult a physician before using Kalijiri during pregnancy.

How to use Kalijiri

Kalijiri Powder
A well known way of consuming Kalijiri is by mixing it with Methi seeds and Ajwain.
a. Take and sieve all the above-mentioned ingredients separately to remove any stones or other impurities.
b. Now roast Kalijiri in a dry roast for a minute.
c. Repeat this process for the other 2 ingredients also.
d. Grind each ingredient separately to get powder.
e. Mix all the three powders to get Kalijiri, Methi and Ajwain Powder.
f. Take 1-3gm (or as directed by the physician) of this mixture with hot water at bedtime to get rid of the symptoms of indigestion.

Benefits of Kalijiri

Wound Healing
Wound occurs due to any external injury and leads to certain conditions like pain, swelling or sometimes bleeding. This is because of aggravated Vata dosha at the site of injury. Kalijiri helps manage wounds due to its Vata balancing and Kashay (astringent) properties. It reduces the symptoms of wound like pain or bleeding and promotes quick healing.

Tips for using Kalijiri powder.
a. Take a few Kalijiri seeds.
b. Grind them to make powder.
c. Mix this powder with Neem oil or coconut oil.
d. Apply it on the affected area once a day to get quick relief in wound or skin infections.

Precautions when using Kalijiri

Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available about the use of Kalijiri during breastfeeding. So, it is advisable to consult a physician before using Kalijiri during breastfeeding.
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available about the use of Kalijiri during pregnancy. So, it is advisable to consult a physician before using Kalijiri during pregnancy.

How to use Kalijiri

Kalijiri Paste
a. Take a few Kalijiri seeds.
b. Grind them to make powder.
c. Mix this powder with Neem oil or Coconut oil to form a paste.
d. Apply this paste on the affected area once a day to get quick relief in wound or skin infections.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Is Kalijiri available in market?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kalijiri seeds and seed powder is easily available in the market. It can be purchased either online or from the market.

Q. What is the taste of Kalijiri seeds?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kalijiri seeds have a bitter taste. Taking Kalijiri seeds alone is difficult so it is taken along with other herbs like Methi and Ajwain.

Q. Are Kalijiri and Jeera same?

scientific
Modern Science View
No, Kalijiri and Jeera are not the same. Kalijiri is used for its medicinal value and not much for cooking due to its bitter taste. Jeera on the other hand have a strong aroma as well as flavor and is a commonly used spice in Indian kitchen.

Q. Does Kalijiri help in diabetes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kalijiri seeds might help in diabetes as it has anti-diabetic properties. It contains antioxidants which prevents the pancreatic cells from the damage caused by free radicals. This increases the levels of insulin and helps in managing diabetes[1][2].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Diabetes is also known as Madhumeha is due to an imbalance of Vata-Kapha dosha and impaired digestion. Impaired digestion leads to an accumulation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) in the pancreatic cells and impairs the function of insulin. Kalijiri helps manage diabetes due to its Vata-Kapha balancing and Tikta (bitter) properties. It also reduces the symptoms of diabetes by maintaining the normal function of insulin.

Q. Is Kalijiri helpful in kidney stones?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kalijiri might be helpful in kidney stones as it has an anti-urolithiatic property which prevents the formation of urinary stones. It also increases urine production and helps in the excretion of calcium and phosphorus which otherwise promote the formation of kidney stones due to the presence of diuretic properties[3].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Kalijiri is helpful in kidney stones due to its Mutral (diuretic) property. It increases urine production and leads to easy passage of kidney stones through urine thus providing relief.

Q. Does Kalijiri help in hypertension?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kalijiri seeds might help in hypertension as it has diuretic properties. It increases the production of urine and helps in excretion of sodium ions which relaxes the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure[4].

Q. Can Kalijiri help with breathing difficulties?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kalijiri seed might provide relief in breathing difficulties due to its bronchodilator property. It relaxes the respiratory passages and increases the airflow. It also reduces inflammation in the respiratory passages due to the presence of certain constituents that possess anti-inflammatory properties[5].

Q. Is Kalijiri helpful in fever?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kalijiri might be helpful in fever as it has antipyretic properties. It lowers body temperature and also reduces the pain associated with fever due to its analgesic property[6].

Q. Can Kalijiri help manage vitiligo?

scientific
Modern Science View
Vitiligo or leucoderma is a disorder where white patches appear on the skin. Kalijiri fruit might help manage vitiligo as it contains certain constituents (flavonoids) which increases the synthesis of melanin. This helps in reducing the depigmentation and manages vitiligo[8].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder in which melanocytes in the skin are destroyed. In Ayurveda Vitiligo or Shwitra is caused due to an imbalance of any of the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) in the body. Imbalanced doshas lead to the formation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) which consequently impairs deeper body tissues. This ultimately causes depigmentation of the skin. Kalijiri helps reduce the symptoms of vitiligo by reducing Ama in the body due to its Deepan(appetizer) property. It also balances Vata and Kapha which helps in recovery of white patches.

Q. Can Kalijiri be used in arthritis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kalijiri might be used in arthritis as it reduces the symptoms like pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. It contains certain constituents (flavonoids, phytosterols, phenols) that possess anti-inflammatory properties. These constituents inhibit the mediators of inflammation and reduces the symptoms of arthritis[9].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Kalijiri can be beneficial in case of arthritis which occurs due to an imbalance of mainly Vata dosha. This imbalance leads to certain symptoms like pain or inflammation. Kalijiri helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis due to its Vata balancing and Ushna (hot) properties.

Q. Is Kalijiri beneficial in fungal infections?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kalijiri seeds might be beneficial in fungal infections. It contains certain constituents (phenols) that possess antifungal activities. It inhibits the growth and multiplication of fungi responsible for infections[13].

Q. Does Kalijiri help in diarrhea?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kalijiri might be used in diarrhea due to its astringent properties. It helps in contraction of mucous membranes and reduce the discharge of mucous secretions. Kalijiri fruit is boiled with garlic and black pepper and its decoction is used in diarrhea[14].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Diarrhea is known as Atisar in Ayurveda. Certain factors like improper food, impure water, toxins, mental stress and Agnimandya (weak digestive fire) are responsible for aggravating Vata. This aggravated Vata brings fluid in the intestine from various tissues from the body and mixes it with the stools. This leads to loose, watery motions or diarrhea. Kalijiri helps control diarrhea due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Kashaya (astringent) properties. It helps to reduce excessive water loss, and prevents diarrhea.

Q. Is Kalijiri beneficial for deworming?

scientific
Modern Science View
The seeds of the Kalijiri have been used in traditional medicine for the evacuation of parasitic intestinal worms and showed positive results in deworming small children and adults[16].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
According to Ayurveda, Kalijiri is also known as Krimishatru (like antiworm) that helps to inhibit the growth of intestinal worms. This makes it an effective remedy for the treatment of worm infestation in children and adults.

Q. What are the benefits of Kalijiri?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kalijiri seeds are beneficial in digestive and respiratory problems. Using Kalijiri seeds as medicine helps to correct the poor digestion and give relief in indigestion because of its Deepan and Pachan properties. Along with that, these seeds have Kapha balancing nature which helps reduce the symptoms of the respiratory disorder like asthma or difficulty of breathing.

Q. Can Kalijiri heal skin injuries?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kalijiri might help in skin injuries as it has wound healing property. It contains certain constituents (fatty acids, flavonoids, saponins) which causes contraction of wound tissues and increases collagen production. It also reduces inflammation at wound site and promotes quick wound healing[10].

Q. Is Kalijiri helpful in skin infections?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, the topical application of Kalijiri seeds might help in managing skin infections. It has strong antibacterial properties which inhibits the growth of bacteria and prevents infections[11][12].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Skin infections generally occur due to an imbalance of any of the three doshas. This imbalance leads to certain conditions like itching, irritation or sometimes bleeding. Kalijiri helps manage skin infections due to its Vata-Kapha balancing and Kashaya (astringent) properties. It reduces the symptoms and provides relief.

Q. Can Kalijiri help to control mosquitoes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kalijiri leaves and fruits extract might be used as a natural preventive agent against the spread of mosquitoes. It helps in controlling mosquitoes by inhibiting the growth of Anopheles mosquito(vector of malaria) at the larval stage due to its larvicidal property. Thus, preventing the spread of malaria[7].

Q. Does Kalijiri have inflammatory properties?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kalijiri or Bitter Cumin does contain some constituents which possess anti-inflammatory properties[9]. These inflammatory properties help to provide relief from blocked respiratory passages, thereby providing aid in treating breathing-related problems.

References

  1. Arya A, Looi CY, Cheah SC, et.al.Anti-diabetic effects of Centratherum anthelminticum seeds methanolic fraction on pancreatic cells, β-TC6 and its alleviating role in type 2 diabetic rats.J Ethnopharmacol.2012;144(1):22-32.External Link
  2. Shah J, Patel M, Patel K, et.al.Evaluation of Anti-diabetic and Anti-oxidant Activity of Centratherum anthelmintica in STZ – induced Diabetic Rats.The Internet Journal of Pharmacology.2007;6(1).External Link
  3. Galani VJ, Panchal RR.Antiurolithiatic activity of centratherum anthelminticum (l.) kuntze seeds against ethylene glycol induced urolithiasis in rats.IJPR.2014:4(1):29-38.External Link
  4. Koti BC, Purnima A.Diuretic activity of extracts of Centratherum anthelminticum.Int J Green Pharm.2008;2(4):228-231.External Link
  5. Shah S, Patel K, Suraj K.Evaluation of anti-asthmatic activity of centratherum anthelminticum linn. In experimental animals.J Pharm Res.2017;16(1):19-24.External Link
  6. Purnima A, Koti BC, Tikare VP, et.al.Evaluation of Analgesic and Antipyretic Activities of Centratherum anthelminticum (L) Kuntze Seed.Indian J Pharm Sci.2009;71(4):461–464. External Link
  7. Srivastava A, Bartarya R, Tonk S, et.al.Larvicidal activity of an indigenous plant, Centratherum anthelminticum.J Environ Biol.2008;29(5):669-72.External Link
  8. Zhou J, Shang J, Ping F, et.al.Alcohol extract from Vernonia anthelmintica (L.) wild seed enhances melanin synthesis through activation of the p38 MAPK signaling pathway in B16F10 cells and primary melanocytes. J Ethnopharmacol.2012;143(2):639-647.External Link
  9. Mital M, Desai T.In-vitro Anti-inflammatory and Anti-Arthritic Activities of Fruits of Vernonia anthelmintica Willd (Asteraceae).Asian J Pharm Res.2014;4:186-188.External Link
  10. Sahoo H, Sagar R, Kumar V.Wound healing activity of Centratherum anthelminticum Linn.Molecular & Clinical Pharmacology.2012;3(1):1-7.External Link
  11. Paydar M, Moharam BA, Wong YL, et.al.Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) Kuntze a Potential Medicinal Plant with Pleiotropic Pharmacological and Biological Activities.Int J Pharmacol.2013;9(3):211-226.External Link
  12. Amir F, Chin KY.The Chemical Constituents and Pharmacology of Centratherum anthelminticum.IJPRIF.2011;3(3):1772-1779.External Link
  13. Negi D, Semwal A, Juyal V, et.al.Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity of Centratherum anthelminticum seeds Asteraceae (Compositae).IJPMR. 2014;2:136-139.External Link
  14. Tupe PN, Dhodi JB, Nagmoti DM, et.al.Antidepressant Potential of Vernonia Anthelmintica Willd Extracts in Experimental Animals.JNR.2014;14(2):199-207.External Link
  15. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India. Part 1 Volume 1.
  16. Paydar M, Moharam BA, Wong YL, and Looi CY. Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) Kuntze a Potential Medicinal Plant with Pleiotropic Pharmacological and Biological Activities. Int J Pharmacol. 2013. 9(3). External Link
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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