Caraway

Carum carvi, Umbelliferae. This plant is also called kummel. The seeds are the part of the plant used.

The flower heads are collected in mid summer and allowed to ripen. The seeds can then be easily shaken out.

Functions of caraway

Caraway is a calmative herb. It:

  • is used to ease flatulence and intestinal colic, especially in children.
  • is an appetite stimulant.
  • has astringency which will help in the treatment of diarrhea, as well as laryngitis as a gargle.
  • can be used in the treatment of bronchitis and bronchial asthma.
  • has an anti-spasmodic action which will help in the relief of menstrual pain.
  • has been used to increase the milk flow in nursing mothers.

Notes on caraway

  • For flatulence and colic caraway combines well with chamomile and calamus.
  • For diarrhea it combines with agrimony and bayberry.
  • For bronchitis it combines well with horehound.

Dosages

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoonful of the freshly crushed seeds and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day.

Tincture: take 1-4 ml of the tincture three times per day.

For the gardener

Caraway is a biennial plant which grows to 2 feet (60 cm). It prefers a neutral, well drained soil in the full sun.

The seeds can be planted in the spring or autumn. Germination is slow. Keep the plants about 8 inches apart. In cold climates protect the plants with plenty of mulch in the winter.

References

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Marcin, M. M. 1990, Herbal Teas: Growing Harvesting and Brewing. Collins.

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.

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