Caraway is an excellent digestive herb - it soothes any kind of indigestion and stomach related problems, it aids weight loss, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, and is full of beneficial antioxidants!
Caraway seeds are a delicious addition to your kitchen, medicine cabinet and food recipes! The unique flavor of caraway seeds is due to the high concentration of natural essential oils. These oils, combined with the dense supply of antioxidants give the Caraway seeds many of the medicinal and health benefits:
Caraway seeds have long been used as a natural remedy for digestive issues, such as gas, bloating and constipation. This is thanks in part to their high fiber content. Just one tablespoon supplies 2.5 grams of fiber.
Fiber passes through the digestive tract very slowly and helps add bulk to the stool to relieve constipation and support regularity. Studies show that upping your intake of fiber can aid in the treatment of constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and intestinal ulcers. One study even found that Caraway was effective at reducing symptom severity and providing relief for patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
For conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Caraway helps rebuild intestinal flora and yeast. Caraway also has some antimicrobial properties that may support the development of beneficial intestinal bacteria, such as bifidobacteria, a common ingredient in probiotics, while fighting off bacteria like streptococcus.
The European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (“ESCOP”) has also officially recognized caraway for use in resolving stomach difficulties and flatulence in children.
In infants, caraway helps facilitate the digestion of breast milk and simultaneously promotes lactation for the mother during breast-feeding. For infants, add one tablespoon of tea to the bottle.
Caraway has also received official recognition in treating Roemhild syndrome, a condition involving anxiety and panic attacks arising from chest pains derived from large accumulations of gas in the stomach and intestines.
Caraway seeds can be a great addition to a healthy diet to help curb cravings, reduce appetite and boost weight loss with minimal effort required. According to a 2013 study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, supplementing with caraway tincture for 90 days resulted in a significant reduction in weight and body fat of participants, even with no other changes to diet or exercise.
Another study had similar findings, reporting that consuming 30 milliliters of caraway extract led to significant reductions in appetite, carbohydrate intake and body weight after just 90 days.
Foods which are rich in fiber like caraway seeds can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Reducing overall and LDL cholesterol, in turn, reduces your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. The natural antioxidants found in caraway seeds also play a vital role in cardiac health by neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals.
Some research suggests that adding caraway seed to your diet can help regulate blood sugar levels to protect against diabetes symptoms, such as increased thirst, fatigue and unintentional weight changes.
Plus, caraway seeds are also a great source of fiber. Fiber can have a powerful impact on blood sugar control and can help slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Among many other health benefits, Caraway has also been shown to resolve mild lung conditions. Famous herbalists recommend using caraway seasoning regularly in foods for people with asthma. In addition, whether used with a warm towel on the forehead, or in tea, caraway is an effective home remedy for headaches and migraines.
Caraway seeds are loaded with antioxidants. These powerful compounds help fight free radicals and prevent damage to the cells. In addition to neutralizing free radicals and reducing oxidative stress, antioxidants are thought to aid in the prevention of chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Caraway seeds contain a highly concentrated amount of antioxidants, which are powerful compounds that help neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Thanks to their rich content of antioxidants, caraway seeds are believed to have potent cancer-fighting properties.
In various animal studies, Caraway was found to improve the antioxidant status and prevent lesion formation in colon cancer. Another study also found that consuming caraway seeds helped block the growth of new tumor cells in the colon.
Keeping the antioxidant levels high can be beneficial for prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases, but it can also be a helpful addition to other cancer treatments, as well as a protector from side-effects of chemotherapy or radiation.
Dosage and preparation:
Tea - Crush the Caraway seeds to let all the essential oils come out. Use 1-2 teaspoons to a cup of hot (not boiled) water. Let it steep for at least 10 minutes. Drink 3 times a day.
Tincture - 20 to 30 drops, 3 times a day.
Spice: You can use the whole caraway seeds in dishes to add spice, flavor, and texture. Caraway is popular in traditional German cooking as a seasoning for cabbage dishes, sauerkraut, breads, onion tart, fried potatoes, and much more. They can be used on bread, biscuits and even sprinkled on cheese or salad. If you want a milder flavor, take them out after cooking.
Digestive issues: For a good digestive aid combination, mix equal parts caraway, peppermint, and chamomile. This blend represents the ideal combination for the entire digestive tract. Caraway extract dampens flatulence and soothes the intestines, peppermint resolves cramps and relieves stomach pain, and chamomile has antibacterial and mild relaxing effects.
Roemhild syndrome: Mix 6 parts caraway, 2 parts pepper, 1 part fenugreek and add one cup of hot (not boiling) water. Let it steep for 10 minutes. Drink 3 times a day.
Headaches/Migraines: Make two cups of Caraway tea. Drink one, and soak a towel in the other one and place it on your forehead.
The taste: Caraway seeds have an anise-like (mild licorice) flavor, though it is more complex and less pronounced than the anise flavor in fennel seeds. Like fennel seeds, caraway can be used as an anise seed substitute, but they do have a distinct flavor of their own.
Caraway seeds also have an herbal bitterness with pronounced aromatic qualities. This is why caraway seeds are a common savory spice in traditional European cooking and baking.
Precaution: For most people, caraway seeds consumed in food amounts are safe and can be enjoyed with minimal risk of side effects.
Because it may lower blood sugar levels, it may also interact with certain medications for diabetes. If you take any medications to lower your blood sugar, it’s best to keep intake in moderation and discuss any concerns with your doctor.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is based on research from the internet, books, articles and studies and/or companies selling herbs online. Statements in this website have not necessarily been evaluated and should not be considered as medical advice. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. for diagnosis or treatment consult your physician.Use herbs in moderation and watch for allergic reactions.If you are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breast feeding or suffering from a medical condition and/or are at all concerned about any of the advice or ingredients consult your doctor before taking the herbs.Remember that diet, exercise and relaxation are equally important to your health..
Scientifically known as Carum carvi, Caraway seeds belong to the Umbelliferae family of plants which also includes other well-known spices like fennel, cumin, anise, and dill.It is therefore unsurprising that Caraway, much like their other family members, have a variety of health benefits to give your cooking and your health the boost it needs.
Caraway is native to Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. It grows wild in damp meadows, pastures, and roadsides. The caraway plant has also been widely cultivated, so it can easily be an addition to anyone's home or garden.
As a biennial plant, caraway won’t mature (produce fruit) until the second growing season, though its leaves in the first year can be a nice addition to a soup or salad. The caraway plant can grow up to three feet tall, with delicate, feathery leaves. Caraway will bloom white or pink flowers from May to July before producing its fruit.
Actually, Caraway seeds are not seeds at all. The caraway plant produces its seeds in achenes. Achenes are a type of fruit defined by its simple, dried form – and that they contain only one seed. So technically, the “seeds” we use from the caraway plant are actually an achene, or fruit. The fruit (and leaves) of the caraway plant are very similar to other plants in the celery family, which is why caraway is sometimes confused with fennel or cumin.
People have been using caraway as both a culinary and medicinal plant for a very long time. In fact, humans began harvesting caraway in the Neolithic period. During the Middle Ages, people consumed caraway as a digestive aid after a big feast to prevent bloating and other digestive issues.
Thanks to their medicinal properties, they have also been used in several holistic forms of medicine and are considered one of the top herbs and spices for healing.
In Ayurvedic medicine, for example, caraway seeds are used to detoxify the body, stimulate digestion and increase circulation. They are thought to alkalize the body, decrease feelings of pain, settle the stomach and soothe cramps.
Meanwhile, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, caraway seeds are considered warming and pungent. They are also used to circulate qi, the vital energy of all living things. Caraway seeds are sometimes used to treat liver qi stagnation, which can cause issues like mood changes, constipation, abdominal pain and decreased appetite.
The early uses of caraway remain consistent with its use in Germany today. Germans believe that all dishes are easier on the stomach when accompanied by caraway.
You may be familiar with caraway as a spice in breads or ethnic deserts. European, African, and Asian cultures have widely used caraway as a flavoring spice.
Caraway seeds are considered a staple ingredient in many areas around world. In the Middle East, for instance, caraway seeds are added to desserts, such as keleacha, a sweet Syrian scone and meghli, a type of pudding served during Ramadan. In Serbia, they’re used to add flavor to cheeses and scones, such as pogačice s kimom. Meanwhile, the seeds are commonly added to rye bread and Irish soda bread in other parts of the world.
Today, caraway plants are cultivated throughout Europe, with Finland accounting for about 28 percent of global production. In addition to being widely used in many types of cuisine, the essential oils are also extracted for use in medications and liqueurs.