KRISHNAJEERAKA – Black caraway – Ayurvedic Herb





Krishnajeeraka is as famous as Jeeraka in the Ayurvedic texts since Sushrutha mentioned Jeeraka dravya.

Chakrapani commented that Karvi means Krishnajeeraka.

Charaka described it as rochana and pachana in nature. Krishnajeeraka is mainly indicated for jeernajwara(Chrinic fever) and grahani disorders.



Krishnajeeraka:- The seeds resemble like jeeraka and black in colour.

Sugandha:- Having pleasant smell.

Udarashodan:- That which relieves udara or belching by its deepan action.

Jarna:- Having deepan property.

Kanajeeraka:- Same like jeeraka grain.

Kasmirjeeraka:- Grows in Kashmir.

Varshakali/Kalapeshika:- The seeds having black colour.

Bahugand:- Strong aromatic smell.

Bedini:- Having bedini property.

Ruchya:- Improve taste

Nila/Nilakana/Varnakali:- The grains are dark in colour

Danta shodini:- Useful in dental diseases

Hridva: Useful in heart diseases

Kalajeeraka:- Like jeeraka but black in colour



Certain Nighantu works described:


Six varieties










Sanskrit: Krishnajeeraka

Hindi: Kalajeera

Kannada: Karijireege, Shahajirige

Tamil: Karamjeeragam,Shimaishambu

Telugu: Nallajeelalkara

Malayalam: Karunjeeraka,Karinjeerakam

English: Black caraway, Black cumin, Indian caraway

Bengali: So-jeera

Persian: Jeerya-riza, Zira

Marathi: Jeere

Arabilc: Kamuna,Karum-aswad

Espernato: Karvio

Francais: Carvi

Gujarati: Shahijeerum

Hornjoserbsce: Kirnjeleka

Italiano: Carvi

Kashmiri: Krihunzur

Kurdi: Jaj

Latina: Carecum,

Latviesu: Plavas Kirnene

Magyar: Kormerry

Nederlands: Karwij

Norsk: Karve

Origa: Kalajira

Polski: Krninek Zwyezajrry

Portugues: Alcaravia

Punjabi: Zira Siyah

Roman: Chirnan

Shquip: Qumnoni

Slovencina: Rasca, Kumina

Suomi: Kumina

Svenska: Kummin

Urdu: Zira siyah,Kalajeera

Veneto: Kumo



Rasa: Katu

Guna: Ruksha

Veerya: Ushna

Vipaka: Katu

Doshakarma: Kafavathashamaka



Dhanwanthari nighantu Raja nighantu Madhanapala nighantu

Ruchya Gulma Sangrahi

Ajeerna Adhmana Medhya

Jwaragna Athisara Garbashayavishudhi

Chakshushy Grahni Adhmana

Krimi Chardhi




Mukhapaka: Krishnajeeraka,Kushta and indrayava are to be

chewed together for three days (Yogaratnakara)

Vishamajwara: Krishnajeeraka should be given with jaggery.


Pratishyaya: Krishnajeeraka is packed in a piece of cloth and

used for smelling in case of cold/nasal obstruction.


The Arka prepared from krishnajeeraka is used in children to relieve the vatha in abdomen.

Malarial fever: In take of krishnajeeraka with equal quantity of

jaggery and a bit of Maricha. (Bhavaprakasha)

Krishnajeeraka is also used as an anupan for other medication.

The oil is used to give pleasant smell for other medicines.


The kavatha prepared out of krishnajeeraka is used for givening fomentation in inflammation of Arshas. In vishamajwara krishnajeeraka is given with equal quantity of Guda. The fruits are useful as stomachic,carminative and lactagogue. It is abortifacient, antihelmenthic, aromatice, astringent, cardiac, lactogogue, purgative stimulant, stomachic and tonic. It is a flavouring agent, it is one of the ingredients in curry power, they have powerful odour and flavor. They are useful in amenorrhea, blood. Omitting with bile, general debility and dyspepsia, it is useful and eye wash for strengthening vision.

It is given in intermittent fever, painful swellings and protruding piles, it is used inrheumatism and worms. The seeds with sugar and jaggery mixed with a bit of maricha are given in malarial fever. The seeds mixed with other suitable drugs drugs and vehicles are given to check all types of anorexia.


  • SEED



Oblong, laterally compressed and slightly curved fruits upto long and 1.5mm broad. Tapering towards both ends. The mericarp is yellowish brown in colour and shows five equal sides with five narrow ridges which are very distinct, endosperm brown and somewhat oily.

Odour:- Characteristic

Taste:- Pungent.



Choorna: 1-3 grams



Jirakady arista –Bhaishajya ratnavali Sutika roga vikara

Jirakadi modaka-Yogagrantha

Yogaraja guggulu-Bhaishajya ratnavali Aamavatadikara

Ashtachoorna-Ashtanga Hrdaya Gulma chikitsa

Krshnajeeraka taila

Soubhagya shunti choorna



Seeds: Essential oil, triacylglycerols, sterols petroselinic acid etc.


Eeesential oil: Carvone, lilmonene, germacrence –D

Belemenle, P-cymene, cuminal trans-and

cis-carveol, carveol etc.


The dried and crushed seeds on steam distillation gave a pale yellow to light brown essential oil (known as CARWAY OIL) with a strong aromatic odour, carvone and limonene are the chief constituents of the oil and is odour and flavor are mainly attribuded to them.



Caraway in British pharmacopy and Indian Pharmacopy drug. Caraway is an aromatic carminative used as caraway water in the treatment of flatulent colic of infants. Caraway water is suitable vehicle for childrens mixture.



Rainy season, autumn and cold seasons,

Winter season crop.



(Preparation for market)


Caraway does best when the seeds are sawn in the autumn, as soon as ripe, though they may be sawn in March, sown in drills, one foot part, the plants when strong enough, being thinned out to about 8 inches in the rows. The ground will require an occasional hoeing to keep it clean and assist the growth of plants. From an autumn sown crop, seeds will be produced in the following summer ripening about August.

When the fruit ripens the plant is cut and the caraway are separated by threshing. They can be dried either on trays in the sun or by very gentle heat overa stove, shaking occasionally. There are several varieties the English, Duch and German (obtained from plants extensively cultivated in Moravia and Prussia) and other varieties imported from Norway, Finland, Russia and the Morocco ports.



Fruits of Bunium persicum (Boiss) Fedt. Syn carum bubocastamum Koch known as Kalazira or shimai shiragam is commonly used as substitute. The fruits of this species are larger in size (upto 7 mm long and 2mm. wide) darker in colur seminterete in shape and carvy a heavy spicy odour. The two ventral vittae in Bunium persicm are of carum carvi, where dorsal and ventral vittae are of the same size coloured fruits of cumini cynimu inn are sometimes found as adultrants in commercial samples.



Carveol showed antihistaminic and antianaphylasctic effects in guinea pigs (Zhejiang yike Daxue xacbow 1988, 17, 115).



P.V.Sharmaji considered carum carvi as Karavi and

C.Bulbocastanum as krishnajeerak. Bapalalji also accepted carum carvi as Karagi (krishnajeeraka). Dr.Nishteshwar.K. mentioned C.carvi as krishnajeeraka in his text . Thakurji quoted C.cyminum and C. carvi as shwetha and Krishna varieties of jeeraka, prithvika as C. bulbocastanum and Nigella sativa as Upakwncika. This school appears to be more appropriate and relevant.



A chemically standardized butanolic fraction of carway seeds enhanced the plasma level of three anti tubercular drugs. Rifampicin (RIF), pyrazinamide (PZA) & Isoniacid (INH), when co-dosed in combination with rat. In the presence of the herbal fraction of carway, C max & AVC of RIF where enhanced by 63% & 53%, for PZA it was 57% & 35% & for INH – 40% & 25%. It is due to penneating enhancing effect of carway.


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