Composition of Caraway Seeds
Strongly aromatic, caraway is a member of the parsley or Umbelliferae family. Caraway is related to dill, fennel and anise and has many of the same medicinal properties.
Health benefits of Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds and their potent oil contain carvone and limonene, which have long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for gastrointestinal problems and other disease conditions. Its potent components of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants work singly or combine with each other to enhance the body’s immunity, prevent diseases or alleviate the symptoms of certain conditions. Caraway seeds have been shown to: Relieve flatulence and its resulting colic by drinking a cup of tea made from the caraway seeds. The tea is brewed by boiling a teaspoon of the seeds in a liter of water, letting simmer over slow fire for 15 minutes, then straining it. Taken three times a day after meals, the tea cures flatulence.Prevent constipation; one hundred grams of caraway seeds provide 38 grams of fiber, increasing the bulk of stool and easing its passage through the intestines.Ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome which include intestinal pain, spasms, constipation and gas.Aid in the treatment of stomach ulcers.Stimulate the appetite in individuals who are underweight.Reduce the risk for gastrointestinal cancer by the action of fiber binding to toxins and eliminating them from the body.
History of Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds have been used since the beginning of time. It was once used to protect children from witches and is thought to inhibit fickleness.
The history of caraway dates back to the Stone Age. Caraway seeds were discovered in the refuse areas of prehistoric communities in southern Europe. Those finds are believed to indicate that the plant was a part of early man’s daily life.
The roots of caraway plants were said to warm and stimulate a cold, languid stomach. It was combined with milk to make a bread which formed the chara of Julius Caesar that was eaten by the soldiers of Valerius.
Dioscorides, an ancient Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist at the time of Nero, advised using caraway oil for ‘pale-faced girls’.