Botanical NameCarum carvi L.
SynonymsBunium carvi (L.) M.Bieb., Carum aromaticum Salisb., Carum gracile Lindl., Carum officinale Gray, Carum rosellum Woronow, Carum velenovskyi Rohlena, Carvi careum Bubani, Foeniculum carvi (L.) Link, Pimpinella carvi (L.) Jess., Sium carvi (L.) Bernh.
Regional NameEnglish : Black Caraway, Hindi : Kalajira, Sanskrit : Asitajiraka, Urdu : Zira Siyah, Kala Zira, Punjabi : Zira Siyah, Kalajira, Assamese : Krisnjeera, Ka1ajira, Kaljira, Bengali : Kala jira, Gujrati : Shahjirun, Kannada : Kari jeerige, Shahajeerige, Kashmiri : Krihunzur, Malayalam : Karunjiraka, Karinjeerakam, Marathi : Shahira, Shahajira, Oriya : Kalajira, Tamil : Karamjiragam, Shimai shambu, Telugu : Nalla Jeelakarra.
DescriptionKala jira is a biennial herb, 30-90 cm high, cultivated as a cold season crop in plains of India and as summer crop in hilly areas of Kashmir, Kumaon, Garhwal and Chamba. Fruits are greenish-brown, slightly curved, elongated, mericarps, usually separate, free from the pedicel, carpophores, upto 7 mm long, 2 mm broad almost equally five sided, narrow, tapering to each end, arcuate, glabrous, brown with five very narrow, yellowish primary ridges';, odour and taste, aromatic and characteristic.
PhytoconstituentsEssential oils (carvone and carvacrol). Kalajira seeds contain 2-7% of essential oil consisting of carvone (45-65%), smaller amounts of limonene, carveol and some other substances.
Ayurvedic PropertiesRasa : Katu , Guna : Laghu , Virya : Usna , Vipaka : Katu , Karma : sothahara, Caksusya, Dipana, Jvaraghna, Pacana, Rucya, Sangrahi.
Ayurvedic ApplicationsJirakadyarista, Jirakadi Modaka.
Medicinal UsesKala jira is used to treat dyspepsia, hysteria. Seeds of kala jira seem to activate the glands and they increase the functions of the kidneys. It has been used to relieve gas, indigestion, colic in infants since ancient times. In Lactating mother, it is used to produce more milk and is also used for relieving diarrhea, ulcers and bronchitis. Kala jira is used for digestive problems including heartburn, bloating, gas, loss of appetite, and mild spasms of the stomach and intestines. It is also used to help people cough up phlegm, improve control of urination, kill bacteria in the body, and relieve constipation. It is used in mouthwashes and in skin rubs to improve local blood flow. It is also commonly used as a fragrance in toothpaste, soap, and cosmetics.