Caraway Seeds, Carum carvi, come from a plant native to western Asia, Europe, and North Africa. It is a biennial plant which means that it completes its life cycle over a two-year period and only bears fruit (what we call the seeds) in the second year. Caraway seeds are harvested in the late summer to early fall after the second year when the flower heads die and the seeds have formed. It is a member of the parsley family and is closely related to anise, dill, fennel, and cumin. The flowers and leaves resemble those of the wild carrot or Queen Anne’s lace.
Caraway seeds have a long history of culinary and medicinal use. Its culinary use is a seasoning. It has a flavor profile is similar to anise, though it is a bit sweeter. Caraway oil is used to flavor Aquavit an alcoholic beverage that is principally produced in Scandinavian countries. As a medicinal herb, caraway seeds have been used to treat disorders of the digestive tract like upset stomach, colic, and flatulence. In Ayurveda, it is called karavi and is one of the oldest herbs used in Ayurvedic healing.
The essential oil of caraway, steam distilled from the crushed seeds, has antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent, and disinfectant properties. When applied topically it should always be mixed with a carrier oil. The oil can help balance oily skin, clear acne, heal bruises and wounds, promote new cell growth, and reduce wrinkles.
In hair care, it soothes itchy scalps and helps with dandruff and other scalp problems.
In aromatherapy, caraway is an uplifting, energizing oil that helps calm nerves, boost mood, and alleviate mental strain and emotional fatigue.
Pregnancy and Children: We do not provide information on the safety of essential oils during Pregnancy or for use in Children because the available information is very ambiguous and often contradictory. If you’re interested in using essential oils during pregnancy or with young children please do your own research and consult your doctor, midwife, or health care professional before use.
Precautions: If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, have a medical condition, or have any medical concerns regarding yourself or your family consult a qualified, licensed health professional prior to use. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. Keep out of reach of children.