Botanical Name: Carum carvi Family: Umbelliferae (carrot) - Apiaceae (parsley) Other common names: Kummel, Caraway Fruit, Oleum Carvi, Oleum Cari
Another old favorite in the kitchen, Caraway is also an old favorite for relieving gas and indigestion. Try it for other digestive problems as well, including constipation, heartburn, colic, and irritable bowel syndrome. Caraway has a spicy past: It was used in ancient times as an aphrodisiac in love potions.
Caraway is an annual or biennial herb with finely divided leaves and slender stems that grow from one to two feet in height and are topped by small white flowers. The plant has long taproots that can effectively break up and aerate heavy soils. It is native to the Old World and had been used in the Middle East for five thousand years before its introduction to Europe in the thirteenth century. Caraway grows wild in Europe and temperate parts of Asia and was naturalized in the United States and Great Britain. It is cultivated commercially in Morocco, Holland and England for culinary and medicinal purposes. An herb with a pedigree, Caraway has been found in the remains of Stone Age meals, Egyptian tombs and ancient caravan stops along the Silk Road. Its botanical name, according to the first-century naturalist, Pliny, was derived from Caria, an ancient region of Asia Minor, and the name Caraway comes down to us from ancient Arabic peoples who called the seeds karawya, the name they still bear in the East. Years ago, Caraway was believed to have magnetic properties, and potions were used to attract a person's love. Moreover, Caraway Seeds were sprinkled on people's most prized possessions to protect them from theft or at least magically hold any would-be thief in place until the owner returned. Caraway Seeds were widely known for their mildly spicy, aromatic flavor that were not only used in herbal medicine, helping to relieve digestive ailments (Dioscorides even prescribed Caraway for "pale-faced girls"), but it has also been an important ingredient in baked goods, soups, salads, cordials, confectionery, soaps and perfumery. The typical fragrance of Caraway is produced by carvone, which comprises much of the volatile oils in the seeds and said to have both stimulating and anesthetic effects. Other volatile oil compounds include and to a lesser extent dihydrocarvone, dihydrocarveol, carveol, d-perillyl alcohol and d dihydropinol. The oils of caraway grown in different locations differ from each other in quantity, quality and composition.
Caraway Seed is famous for improving the appetite and treating conditions of the digestive system, including heartburn, indigestion, colic, nausea, upset stomach and stomach ulcers. It is considered a harmless calmative. As a further aid to the digestive system, Caraway relieves constipation, expels flatulence and eases the "griping" (pain and grumbling) in the bowels and intestines that frequently accompanies gas. Herbalists consider it one of the most important herbs for strengthening the intestines.
Caraway Seed is considered an antispasmodic and helps to relieve uterine and menstrual cramps. For centuries midwives used Caraway to stimulate breast milk in nursing mothers and for easing colic in infants.
Caraway Seed is thought to have both antiseptic and anesthetic properties. It is said to make an excellent mouthwash, ease laryngitis and even relieve dental pain.
As an effective expectorant, Caraway is said to encourage productive coughs due to colds and relieve bronchitis.
**Provided itself beneficial in research that involved people. Therapeutic use, endorsed by Germany’s Commission E for Bronchitis, Colds, Coughing, Fever, Gallbladder problems, Lack of Appetite, Sore Throat.
*Provided itself beneficial in research that did not involve people. Therapeutic use, the study could have been done in a test tube, petri dish or animals for Anemia, Bacterial Infections, Colic, Cramps, Gas, Indigestion, Infections, Liver problems, Muscle Spasms, Stomach problems, Yeast Infections.
Infusion: 1-2 tsp crushed seeds in 1 C of water, 3 x’s a day OR, seeds soaked overnight in cold water and 2 tbsp doses until relief obtained. OR small amount of powdered seed with a tsp of sugar in a wine glass of hot water.
Infusion Infant: for colic put seeds in cold water for 6 hrs, strain, 1 3 tsp doses every hour.
Combine with: Slippery elm bark with a few caraway seeds taken both before and after chemo therapy to allay nausea.
Fennel, Anise, Yarrow, plus 2 parts of Chamomile and Peppermint leaves in infusion form (1 tsp of the mixed placed in 1/2 C boiling water and taken 1 -1½ C a day, a mouthful at a time), for high blood pressure.
4 parts Caraway, 4 parts Chamomile, 1 part Anise, 8 parts American Senna (a highly laxative combination), blood cleanser.
4 parts Caraway, 3 parts Fennel, 3 parts Anise, 1 tsp of the combined crushed seeds added to 1C of water just off the boil and steeped 10 minutes, for Flatulence.
Decoction: 1 tsp seeds to 1/2 C water. Boil briefly, steep, covered, for 10 mins, strain, 1- 1½ C a day, one mouthful at a time. Alternately, 3 tsp seeds in 1/2 cup milk, boiling briefly then steeping for 10 minutes.
Tincture: 1 to 2 ml) or ½ tsp 3x’s a day.
Seeds: Food “farm-acy “ Chewed 1 tsp seeds 3 -4 x’s a day or sprinkle on your salad.
Powder: 1/4 to 1 tsp at a time, 2 to 3 times daily.
Oil: Infant for colic rub a single drop of oil on the abdomen of the infant until it was absorbed.
Gargle: infusion of the tea for laryngitis, coughs, bronchitis, asthma, colds and as a preventative for shortness of breath with physical exertion.
Poultice: powdered seeds for bruises, swellings of the breasts and testicles.
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Disclaimer: The information presented herein by Organic Herbs Medicine Cabinet is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider