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Alternative medicine: Carrot
Wed, 31 Oct 2007 22:53:21
The carrot gets its characteristic orange color from beta-carotene, an antioxidant which
metabolizes into vitamin A after consumption.
Botanical: Daucus carota (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
Synonym: Philtron (Old Greek). Bird's Neat.
The wild ancestor of the carrot is likely to have come from Afghanistan. Centuries of selective
breeding of the wild carrot has produced the familiar garden vegetable which is now found all
over the world.
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange, white, or pink in color, and a crisp texture
when fresh. The carrot's edible part is a taproot.
It is a biennial plant which grows a rosette of leaves in the spring and summer of the first
year, while building up the stout taproot, storing large amounts of sugar for the plant to
flower in the second year. The flowering stem grows to about 1 m tall, with an umbel of white
The Carrot is well distinguished from other plants of the same order by the umbel's central
flower or a tiny bright red or deep purple umbellule.
Part Used Medicinally:
The whole herb, the seeds and root.
The carrot is an excellent source of carotene, vitamins B and C, potassium, thiamine, folic
acid, magnesium, calcium pectate, and an extraordinary pectin fibre which has cholesterol-
The carrot's phenolic compounds are also antioxidants. It contains 89 percent water and its
most distinguishable dietetic substance is sugar (4.5 percent).
It also contains, in smaller amounts, essential oils and nitrogenous composites.
Carrot juice contains crystallizable and uncrystallizable sugar, a little starch, extractine
gluten, albumen, volatile oil, vegetable jelly or pectin, saline matter, malic acid and carotin.
Different colored carrots are believed to have different health affects:
Orange carrots which originate from Europe and the Middle East, contain beta and alpha-
carotene, both orange pigments. They are high in Vitamin A essential for the well-being and
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Yellow carrots also originating from the Middle East, contain xanthophylls and lutene,
pigments similar to beta carotene, which helps fight against macular degeneration, prevents
lung and other cancers and reduces the risk of astherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Originally from India and China, red carrots are tinted by lycopene, (another form of
carotene) which reduces the risk of macular degeneration, serum lipid oxidation, helps
prevent heart disease and a wide variety of cancers including prostate cancer.
Purple carrots (usually orange inside) originate from Turkey, the Middle and the Far East.
They have even more beta carotene than their orange cousins, and get their pigment from
anthocyanins which act as powerful antioxidants. They help prevent heart disease by slowing
blood clotting and are good anti inflammatory agents.
White carrots originate from Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. They lack pigment, but contain
other health-promoting substances called phytochemicals.
Black carrots contain anthocyanins, part of the flavonoid family. Flavonoids are currently
under investigation as anticancer compounds, as free radical scavengers in living systems, as
well as LDL (the bad) cholesterol inhibitors.
Carrots are well-known for their sweetening, antianemic, healing, remineralizing and sedative
Old writers tell us that a poultice made of carrot root has been found to mitigate the pain of
cancerous ulcers, and that the leaves, applied with honey, cleanse running sores and ulcers.
An infusion of the root was also used as aperients.
An infusion of the whole herb is considered an active and valuable remedy in treating edema,
chronic kidney diseases and bladder infections.
Carrot tea, taken night and morning, is considered excellent for lithic acid or gouty
disposition. A strong decoction is very useful in gravel and stone, and is good for flatulence.
The seeds are carminative, stimulant and also useful in flatulence, windy colic, hiccups,
dysentery, and chronic coughs. They were at one time considered a valuable remedy for
The chief virtues of the carrot lie in its strong antiseptic qualities, which prevent all putrescent
changes within the body. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungicidal properties. Carrot seed oil
helps control itchiness of the scalp and provides essential nutrients for hair growth.
Carrots are also reported to be helpful in maintaining optimum health and weight loss.
It is believed to be good for treating prostate adenoma due to its beta-sitosterol.
Carrot seeds reduce the blood sugar level on account of glucoquininin (herbal insulin). It
regulates the glucose level in diabetic patients.
Carrot sugar extracted from the roots is good for relieving coughs and fighting bronchitis.
Carrot juice has anti-carcinogen properties and is believed to have cancer-curing properties.
Beta carotene is an anti-oxidant which prevents cell degeneration and slows down the ageing
Carrots are also good for the skin. They improve muscle, flesh, and skin health, and protect
the skin from sun damage and reduce acne.