Hiccups are so awkward. They happen at the most inconvenient times… right before a meeting, a job interview or right before you’re going to be on live TV (<- my former life as a reporter…). So what if I told you there was a way to get rid of hiccups pretty much instantly and that you only needed one ingredient to do so? The answer: Carom Seeds aka Ajwain in Hindi.
I used to keep a tiny bag of carom seeds in my purse at all times during my time in the news biz. I think my greatest fear was having the hiccups on air (second fear: sneezing on air). That would make for a super awkward live shot… the kind that would probably go viral on youtube (sorry dude). Thankfully I only had to use the seeds twice… and the hiccups were gone well before I was to go live (btw, be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel for cooking videos – to come!).
Interestingly, I don’t get hiccups as often as I used to – which leads me to believe that they were probably caused by stress from the job. Or maybe because back then – if I wanted to eat dinner, I’d have to scarf down whatever food that I could.
So, here’s how it works – put a pinch of the seeds in your mouth – chew for a minute or so – then wash them down with a few sips of water. Yup, that’s it. Heads up: carom seeds have a very pungent flavor – so eating them raw isn’t going to be pleasant.
Carom seeds are often used as ayurvedic medicine to treat digestive issues. They’re very aromatic and taste sort of like thyme only much, much stronger. That’s because ajwain contains the chemical, thymol, known for its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Research shows that ajwain/thymol can help control a variety of fungal infections and destroy disease causing organisms. I’ve described ajwain in previous blog posts as “like thyme… on speed.” I stand by that description.
Now, this isn’t going to work for everyone – but it has always worked for me and so if you have persistent hiccups it might be worth a try. Please be sure that these seeds are safe for you to consume – if you’re pregnant you should always talk to your doctor before trying anything new.
I actually love the taste of ajwain when cooked with foods – like in this gluten-free Indian biscuit (mathi) recipe. You can also add it to foods that cause… ahem… flatulence (i.e. lentils). I also use ajwain to make this aged lemon pickle – a great way to use up leftover lemons and just a spoonful can help with stomach aches.
So the next time someone tells you there’s no cure for hiccups… hand them some carom seeds. Save someone from an awkward situation and share this post. By sharing, you’d also be doing me a solid. People still say that, right? Right.Disclaimer: I’m not a scientist or a doctor, so I can’t give you any expert health or medical advice. I’m just a paleo food blogger who likes to eat. The information on my blog should not be construed as professional medical advice. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. If you have any health concerns, contact your physician or another health care professional.