Caraway Materia Medica


Caraway has been used as a medicinal agent since ancient times to treat dyspepsia and flatulence. The first century Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides prescribed caraway seeds to girls who had pallid complexions and to treat stomach problems. Caraway was once widely used as a carminative cordial, and to treat dyspepsia and symptoms associated with hysteria. Its employment as a medicine has decreased in recent years and both the herb and the essential oil now serve principally as adjuncts to other medicines (e.g. in combination with a purgative to temper its effects and taste).

Some of caraway’s medicinal value is related to its rich nutritional content. Raw caraway seeds contain significant amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, flavonoids (most prominently quercitin), minerals (calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silica, sodium and zinc) phytosterols, and vitamins (A, B-complex, C, E).

Download this chapter to learn more about CARAWAY—Carum carvi L.

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