Carum carvi (Plant Family: Apiaceae/Umbelliferae)


Type of plant: Flowering plant growing up to 2 feet in height, with feathery leaves and umbels of small white or pink flowers

Part used: Seeds

Method of extraction: Steam distillation

Data: The seeds are sickle-shaped and striped. As the plant easily self-seeds, it can be found in many parts of Asia, Europe, and the United States. Caraway seeds have been found fossilized in ancient European sites, so we know they were being consumed at least 8,000 years ago. Caraway was known to the ancient Egyptians and the Romans, and indeed, caraway is still used across a huge geographical area, including all of Europe and India.

Principal places of production: Finland, Egypt, Poland, Holland, Denmark, Hungary, Germany, Austria, India, Spain, Russia, Tunisia, Pakistan, England

When buying look for: Colorless to pale-yellow liquid that darkens with age, with a fresh, fruity, spicy aroma

Therapeutic properties: Antibacterial, anti-histaminic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, calmative, carminative, digestive, expectorant, nervine, pectoral, stomachic

Therapeutic uses: Gastrointestinal conditions, dyspepsia, abdominal spasm, colic, flatulence, intestinal cramp and spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, diverticulitis, gastric ulceration, allergic rhinitis, bronchitis, coughs, nervousness

Blends well with: Angelica seed, aniseed, bergamot, cardamom, carrot seed, chamomile roman, clary sage, copaiba, coriander seed, dill seed, eucalyptus peppermint, fennel (sweet), galbanum, geranium, grapefruit, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), palmarosa, petitgrain, spearmint

Precautionary advice: No contraindications known. GRAS status.


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