Caraway (Carum carvi)
The caraway is familiar to us primarily as an aromatic kitchen spice for foods that are difficult to digest. On the other hand, in our latitudes it is also a well-tried and valued medicinal herb.
Among the three umbellifers anise, fennel and caraway, it is the spice with the strongest effect against flatulence and gastrointestinal cramps. Of the three, caraway is also the plant with the most northerly distribution. It has been found in Neolithic pile-dwelling settlements, whereas it was unknown to the doctors of antiquity.
The value-determining ingredients of the caraway plant are found in the hard seeds, which contain up to 3 % essential oils. 50 – 60 % of these are carvone, and over 30 % are limonene. In addition, the dark caraway fruits contain flavonoids.
Caraway is antiflatulent, antispasmodic, anti-fermentative, it promotes blood circulation in the gastrointestinal mucosa and also has an antimicrobial and antioxidant effect. Flatulence, colic and gastrointestinal cramps are the main areas of application for the umbellifer. It also stimulates the appetite, digestion and bile flow. This is why it is also popular in the form of caraway schnapps (“Köm”).
Another interesting effect of caraway is that it stimulates milk production. Many young mothers will be familiar with the “lactation tea” made from aniseed, fennel and caraway. Caraway is also very popular with livestock.
In the home, the caraway fruits are usually crushed and used as a tea or infusion, as a powder for ingestion or chewed. Alcoholic tinctures are also prepared from the crushed seeds or the essential caraway oil is used.
Cumin – a familiar spice with healing power
Content: We like to add aromatic caraway to foods that are difficult to digest. In this respect, we are familiar with it as a kitchen spice. But this medicinal herb can do more than just make dishes more digestible.
Speaker: Dr. Gabriele Arndt | Recording: 19.04.2022