Latin name: Carum carvi (Linn.) (Apiaceae/Umbelliferae)
Sanskrit/Indian name: Krishna jeeraka, Krishnajiraka, Kala Jira, Shiajira, Jira
For centuries, Caraway was cultivated in the Middle East and is known for its aromatic property. It was later exported to Europe when the herb’s health benefits became known. Today, according to The Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India, the essential oil extracted from the seeds are indicated in dyspeptic problems such as mild spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, bloating and fullness. The seed is also documented in the treatment of chronic fevers.
The dried and crushed seeds, once distilled with steam, give off a pale yellow to light brown essential oil, known as Caraway oil, with a strong aromatic odor. Carvone and limonene are the chief constituents of Caraway oil, which give it a distinct odor and flavor. The essential oil shows moderate antibacterial and antifungal activity against several bacteria and fungi.
Key therapeutic benefits:
- Caraway is a carminative, which ameliorates gastrointestinal pain. It is also a remedy for bowel spasms.
- Caraway is helpful in treating gingivitis.
- A sore throat and other respiratory ailments can be soothed by the herb.