Caraway

Carum carvi

Umbelliferae

Habitat: Native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, widely cultivated.

Collection: The flowering heads (umbels) are collected in July and left to ripen. The seeds are then easily collected as they can be shaken off.

Part Used: The seeds.

Constituents:

  • Volatile oil, consisting of carvone
    (40-60%) andlimonene, with dihydrocarvone, carveol, dihydrocarveol, pinen, thujone, and other minor constiruents
  • Flavonoids; mainly quercetin derivatives
  • Miscellaneous; polysaccharide, protein, fixed oil calcium oxalate.

Actions: Carminative, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue, galactogogue, astringent, anti-microbial.

Indications: Caraway is used as a calming herb to ease flatulentdyspepsia and intestinal colic, especially in children. It will stimulate the appetite. Its  stringency will help in the treatment ofdiarrhoea as well as in laryngitis as a  gargle, It can be used in bronchitis and bronchial asthma. Its anti-spasmodic actions help in the relief of period pains. It has been used to increase milkflow in nursing mothers.

Combinations: For flatulence and colic Caraway combines well with Chamomile and Calamus, in diarrhea with Agrimony and Bayberry and in bronchitis with White Horehound.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l teaspoonful of freshly crushed seeds and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: take l-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

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David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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