✵The article gives records of the herb Caraway, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Carum carvi L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Caraway, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, other common uses, and administration guide.
English Name: Caraway.
Latin Name: Carum carvi L.
Common Names: Caraway, carum, Fruit of Caraway, Caraway fruit, etc.
Property and flavor: warm in nature, tastes pungent, sweet.
Brief introduction: The caraway fruit is a kind of spice, it can be used for culinary purposes and medicine. The fruit looks like cumin, but it tastes like fennel, it is a spice easy to confuse, fruits can be used as spices for cooking various foods such as sausages, barbecues, stuffing, pickles, etc. Their green leaves can sometimes be eaten as herbs, except for uses as a spice and flavoring in various food, the fruit oil is also used in digestive liqueurs, and as a fragrance in lotions, mouthwashes, and cosmetics.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Caraway as the fruits of the species (1).Carum carvi L. It is a plant species of the Carum genus, the Apiaceae family (Umbelliferae, parsley family). The fruits and essential oil from the fruits are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Carum carvi L.
Botanical description: Carum carvi is a biennial or perennial herb, it grows up to 30~80 cm tall, the whole plant is glabrous, the root is cylindrical, fleshy, 10~25 cm long, 5~10 mm in diameter, and branches at the upper part of the stem. The petiole of the basal leaf and the lower part of the stem is nearly as long as or slightly shorter than the leaf blade, with two to three pinnately parted leaves. The outline of the leaf blade is oblong and lanceolate, 3 to 5 mm long and 1 to 3 mm wide, with broad leaf sheaths and membranous edges, white or pink.
Composite umbel is terminal or lateral, pedicel is 5~8 cm long, no involucral bracts, 1~3, linear; Umbrella 5~10, 1~4 cm long, no involucre or occasionally 1~3 pieces, linear; Petals are white or reddish, flower stalks are unequal in length, and style is about twice as long as style base. The fruit is oval, 4~5 mm long, 2 mm wide, yellow-brown when mature, and with obvious edges. There is 1 oil pipe in each edge groove, and 2 oil pipes on connate surface. The flowering and fruiting period is from May to August.
Ecological environment: Caraway is found in Europe, Siberia, the Caucasus, the Near East, Morocco, and China, it was also introduced to North America.
Growth characteristics: Carum carvi grows on the roadside, forest edges, river beach grass, alpine meadow, etc.
Characters of herbs: The medicinal part is the fruit and the oil from the squashed fruit when ripe. From July to August, harvest the whole plant of the fruit to be ripe, dry it in the sun, lay the seeds, remove impurities, and store it aside.
Pharmacological actions: ①.stimulate appetite; ②.carminative herb; ③.antifungal, antibacterial, larvicidal properties; ④.anti-cancer and anti-tumor; ⑤.prevent iron-deficiency; ⑥.relieving asthma; etc.
According to related studies, caraway fruit stimulates appetite by promoting the secretion of gastric juice; there are different conclusions on its carminative effects between experts from North America and Europe; Caraway fruit oil has notable antifungal, antibacterial, and larvicidal properties, its anti-microbial effect has been demonstrated against bacillus, pseudomonas, aspergillus and candida species, and also inhibit dermatomyces; Anti-cancer property of the caraway fruit oil has been identified from its component carvene, caraway fruit oil also delay the appearance of skin tumors, tumor development and regress of tumors in an animal experiment; Caraway tea can help to prevent or treat iron-deficiency anemia in children and adults, it notably increases intestinal iron absorption in a laboratory animal. Related studies found the herb can relieve asthma; etc.
Medicinal efficacy: Caraway seed was used in Europe since earlier than the ancient Grecian epoch, it was added to drinks including bread and liqueurs for it has an aromatic odor and mildy spicy tastes, except for culinary use, it was used to boost digestion, expelling excess gas, for stomach spasms and colics, boosting the appetite, relieve menstrual discomforts, incontinence, countering spasms, and tempering the effects of laxative herbs. Today's herbalists recommend caraway seed tea for clearing congestion in coughs and colds, boosting breast milk production, and relieving nausea, the essential oil is used in mouthwashes and gastrointestinal remedies, etc. In Europe, the herb caraway is approved for dyspeptic complaints, it's not approved uses are for gastrointestinal cramps, flatulence and feelings of fullness, nervous cardiac-gastric complaints, and in folk medicine, it is used to improve lactation in nursing mothers, the essential oil is used in mouthwashes and bath additives. In TCM works, the herb is recorded as Qi-regulating, stimulating appetite, eliminating cold to stop the pain, indicated for abdominal cold pain, vomiting and throwing up, dyspepsia or indigestion, hernia and colic pain, cold stagnation and low back pain, etc.
Other uses: The caraway fruit is also used as a spice and flavoring in various food including bread to cheese, the oil is also used in digestive liqueurs, and as a fragrance in lotions, mouthwashes, and cosmetics.
Administration of Caraway (Caraway fruit):
Administration Guide of Caraway (Caraway fruit)
Herbal classic books and TCM Books:
An infusion is advised to prepare with 1 to 2 teaspoons of freshly crushed seeds and is drunk two to four times per day between meals. The seeds are recommended to be chewed a teaspoon at a time three to four times per day. The tincture is advised to be taken in dosages of a half to 1 teaspoon up to three times per day. In TCM works, the herb is recommended internally as water decoction, 3~6 grams.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Caraway fruits have been used as a food and medicine for centuries without incident, and both the seeds and seed oil appear to be very safe. But the plant can certainly cause an allergic reaction if you are sensitive to it or have an allergy to other members of the daisy family. Some herbalists advised that the herb caraway should be avoided by pregnant women, for its antispasmodic and uterine-relaxing properties, although the herb has been used for generations to promote menstruation. There are no reports of miscarriage.
In TCM works, caution is recorded that the herb should be avoided in conditions of fire excess from Yin deficiency, no cold syndrome.