Name: Carum carvi
Names: Carum, Caraway
Volatile oil, consisting of carvone (40-60%) and limonene, with dihydrocarvone,
carveol, dihydrocarveol, pinen, thujone, and other minor constituents
Flavonoids; mainly quercetin derivatives
Miscellaneous; polysaccharide, protein, fixed oil calcium oxalate.
Caraway had been used since the ancient times to calm the digestive tract and expel gas. Caraway seeds have been found in prehistoric food remains from 3500 B.C. The ancient Greek physician Dioscorides mentioned the seeds to aid digestion, and herbals down through the ages have recommended them for indigestion, gas, and infant colic.
Throughout history, in Europe, the Middle East, and early America, caraway was a favorite addition to laxative herbs because it tempered their often violent effects. It was also used for menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, and milk promotion in nursing mothers.
Carminative, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue, galactogogue, astringent, anti-microbial.
Caraway is useful as:
Two chemicals present in caraway seeds (carvol and carvene) soothe the smooth muscle tissue of the digestive tract and help expel gas.
Antispasmodic properties of caraway seed can be taken advantage of in soothing the digestive tract, muscles such as uterus, etc. It is useful for menstrual cramps.
Caraway is used as a calming herb to ease flatulent dyspepsia and intestinal colic, especially in children. It stimulate the appetite. Its astringency is taken advantage of in the treatment of
diarrhea, and in laryngitis as a gargle. It is also used in the treatment for bronchitis and bronchial asthma. It has been used to increase milk flow in nursing mothers.
Native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, widely cultivated.
Caraway is an attractive perennial that reaches 2 feet. It has feathery leaves and umbrella like clusters of tiny white flowers, which bloom in early summer. The seeds are
deep brown, flat and oblong in shape.
Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l teaspoonful of freshly crushed seeds and leave to infuse for
10 - 15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
Tincture: take l-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.
Oil: Take 3 to 4 drops of caraway oil, three times a day.
Powder: Take 1/4 to 1/2 tsp., two to three times a day.
Combinations : For flatulence and colic Caraway combines well with Chamomile and Calamus, in
diarrhea with Agrimony and Bayberry and in bronchitis with White Horehound.
No reports of harm about the use of caraway is available. It is in the list of herbs considered as safe by FDA. Caraway is safe in amounts specified. If you experience any side reactions, please see your doctor immediately and stop taking the herb.
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