Native to Mediterranean countries, caraway benefits have been known and used for centuries as a seasoning plant. Vegetables, bread, pies, cheese, and many other meals and sauces take advantage of the aroma of this plant.
Caraway Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name – Carum carvi L.
- French – Cumin des prés.
- Spanish – Alcaravea.
- Environment – Common in meadows and grasslands of mountain areas, caraway is also cultivated. It is spread all over Europe and North America, although it is used worldwide.
- Description – Biennial plant of the Umbelliferae family, growing up from 20 to 60 cm high, with few fine leaves and small flowers growing in umbels. Its fruit is small but very aromatic.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally – The fruits.
As with other plants of the Umbelliferae family, such as anise or fennel, caraway contains many essences, the most abundant being carvone, to which the plant’s fruits owe their fruits carminative (anti-flatulent) properties.
Andrés de Laguna, an outstanding Spanish botanist and physician of the 16th century, said of this plant that “it solves stomach flatulence.” Indeed caraway is one of the plants with a more substantial carminative property, thus being recommended whenever there is an excess of gas.
- Aerophagia – Air-swallowing followed by belches.
- Aerogastria – A stomach dilation caused by gas.
- Aerocolia – An excess of gas in the intestine.
Caraway cures flatulence and eases intestinal spasms. It benefits babies with excess gases, to whom it can be administered mixed with their milk. This plant is also eupeptic (promotes digestion), has mildly diuretic properties, and favors breastfeeding women’s milk secretion (Galactogenic).
How to use Caraway
- Infusion with half a teaspoonful of fruits per cup of water. Drink a cup after every meal.
- Essence – The recommended dose is up to three drops daily. Children still on milk should be given one or two drops in sweetened water twice a day.
- Mixed with milk – Add half a teaspoonful per liter of milk, or boil it in one liter of water, with which the milk will be prepared. Strain and administer.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 355. Print. [caraway benefits]