There's that moment in the south where we all know spring has arrived: It's when we walk out to the driveway and the car is covered with a fine layer of yellow pollen. It's around this time that I get an itchy nose, and morning frog throat.
The ajwain seed has all the properties that make it an excellent antidote to the seasonal distresses of spring, including congestion and allergies (it is also excellent for gas and bloating, upset stomach, and other digestive issues). In terms of taste, I think it's closest to celery seed, although I've never tried brewing celery seeds. It's very bitter, so careful about over brewing!
I started adding the seeds to my morning lemon and ginger water, and I can attest that it has definitely helped with any phlegmy feelings.
Ajwain is readily available at Indian super markets and specialty stores or online. Here's one such market: Pure Indian Foods
Ajwain Lemon Water
2 C filtered water
2 tsp ajwain (carom) seeds
1/2 inch ginger roughly diced (no need to remove skin
1/2 a lemon
honey (or sweetener of choice) to taste
boil the water with ajwain and ginger for 8-10 minutes (water will reduce to about a 1 1/2 C or less)
strain into cup
add the juice of half lemon
wait for mixture to come to drinkable temperature, then add sweetener