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.