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Alternative medicine: Caraway
Wed, 23 Jan 2008 22:59:26
By Patricia Khashayar, MD., Press TV, Tehran
Caraway oil has long been used as a carminative herbal remedy, effective in treating
dyspepsia, hysteria and many other disorders.
Botanical: Carum Carvi (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
Caraway is native to Central Europe and Western Asia.
Caraway is a biennial plant with small reddish-white flowers and crescent-shaped fruits.
Part Used Medicinally:
Fruits incorrectly called 'caraway seeds'.
The seeds or fruit contain 3% to 7% essential oil and fatty oil. Caraway oil contains 50-65%
D-carvone and 20-30% limonene; the other components such as carveol, dihydrocarveol,
alpha and beta-pinene, sabinene and perillyl alcohol are of minor importance.
At one time, caraway was widely employed as a carminative cordial, and recommended in
dyspepsia and hysteria.
Carminatives are herbs that help alleviate gastrointestinal pain, and flatulence.
Caraway also helps treat liver and gallbladder problems and dysmenorrhea.
It aids in treating bronchitis, colds, coughs, sore throats and fever.
It possesses tonic properties and improves appetite.
Caraway also reduces blood cholesterol levels.
Distilled Caraway water is considered a useful remedy in infantile flatulent colic.
Because of its high limonene content chewing fresh caraway seed helps combat bad breath.
The pounded seeds were a traditional earache remedy and are effective in treating bruises.
Caraway's volatile oil is a useful remedy for bowel spasms and irritable bowel syndrome. It
also has anti-cancer, antibacterial, and antidiabetic properties.
Caraway tea is good for periodontal disease and canker sores. It can prevent and treat iron-
deficiency anemia by facilitating the intestine's iron absorption.