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Caraway – (Carum carvi)


Caraway is native to the Mediterranean, North Africa and most of Europe and is used as both a herb and a spice. Although the seeds are used primarily, you can also eat the leaves and root, which are edible. It has been used in food since around 3,000 BC, and the Egyptians buried it with the dead to ward off evil spirits. The Roman army ate bread made from its root. It was also used, according to legend, to prevent items from being lost or stolen and as a love potion. It is a favorite of chickens and pigeons, and was used to keep these birds from straying from home.

Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Caraway has been used in herbal remedies to treat digestive problems like colic, bloating, griping, heartburn and flatulence. It is gentle enough to use for infant colic. The seeds were often chewed after a heavy meal to make one more comfortable. The herb also increases milk production for nursing mothers. It also has sedative qualities and relieves anxiety and tension. It is sometimes used to relieve menstrual cramps.

Externally – Caraway seeds are chewed to sweeten the breath. It is also used in toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum and can help gingivitis inflammation.

Other Uses – Caraway is used as a spice in many European cuisines. It is used to flavor cheese, liqueurs and baked goods. The roots can be cooked as a vegetable like carrots or parsnips.

Herbs to Combine/Supplement

Combined with peppermint oil, caraway is very helpful for irritable bowel syndrome. For a mouthwash that will also help prevent periodontal disease, mix with sage, peppermint oil, menthol, myrrh tincture, Echinacea, chamomile tincture and clove oil.

Parts Used

Seeds – Seeds are used to make medicinal remedies.


Caraway is considered to be safe. The essential oil should not be used for children under the age of two because it can cause irritation. Pregnant women should also avoid the oil, as it can cause miscarriage. There are no known drug interactions with this herb.

Preparation and Dosage

To make a tea, use ¼ to ½ teaspoon of powdered caraway seed added to 1 cup of boiling water. Drink this tea three times per day. Tincture can also be used three times per day in a dose of 0.5 to 4 ml each dose. The oil can be taken in an enteric-coated capsule up to three times per day in conjunction with enteric-coated peppermint oil for irritable bowel syndrome.

Caraway Herbal Remedies Top