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Herbs & Supplements «Caraway Seed Benefits and Information»

While native to Europe, Asia and regions of Africa, Caraway, is cultivated in many parts of the world. The fruit and seed of the caraway plant are used to prepare medicinal remedies.

Caraway's Uses and Constituents

The primary active constituent in caraway is volatile oil (4-6 on average), which itself is made up of carvone and limonene. The fruit of the caraway plant contains fixed oil along with carbohydrate and protein. Caraway is a carminative. Carminatives are herbs that help to ameliorate gastrointestinal pain, and associated gas pain. The volatile oil of caraway may also be a useful remedy for bowel spasms.

Other medicinal indications of caraway include the following:
  • Appetite loss
  • Bronchitis
  • Colds
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Liver and gallbladder problems
  • Sore throat
  • Tendency to infection
  • Gingivitis - A mouthwash made from sage oils, peppermint oil, menthol, chamomile tincture, Echinacea, myrrh tincture, clove oil, and caraway seed has been shown effective when used in connection with gingivitis.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - When combined with peppermint, fennel, caraway, and wormwood, it appears to have a soothing effect on the gastrointestinal system. To date there is not sufficient clinical evidence to support the efficacy of caraway by itself. However, it has been used with a verifiable level of success when used in connection with peppermint oil for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Dosage and Administration

Caraway is usually administered in the form of a tea you can drink. A caraway tea is prepared by adding 1-2 tsp. of pressed seeds to 150 ml. of boiling water, left for 10-15 minutes to sit and then drained. The finished tea should be taken 1 to 3 times per day.

When taken in the form of an essential oil, 2 to 3 drops should be administered daily.

Possible Side Effects

Under normal dosage and administration, there have been no known side effects or health hazards associated with caraway supplementation. However, when large doses of the volatile oil are taken for long periods, potential kidney and liver damage has been noted.

Supporting Literature

Schulz V, Hänsel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy, 3rd ed. Berlin, Germany: Springer Verlag, 1998, 180.

Wichtl M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1994, 128-129.

Wren RC. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparation. Essex, England: CW Daniel Co., 1985, 59-60.

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