If you aren’t familiar with caraway, you should be. It’s a biennial herb with feathery, thread-like leaves and flowers that have naturalized all over the country. The caraway fruits, or seeds, are small and crescent-shaped with five slight ridges. Is caraway good for you? Many gardeners are impressed by the health benefits of caraway and grow it for medicinal purposes. For information on using caraway for health, read on.
Is Caraway Good for You?
Caraway is a member of the carrot family, with the same type of feathery leaves. Its tiny flower clusters become caraway fruits. Caraway seeds are actually half-seeds, and they are used in cooking and holistic medicine. Flowers, foliage, and fruits of the caraway are all edible and all have caraway benefits. It is both good to eat and also offers significant health benefits.
Caraway Plant Uses
Most people have eaten rye bread with crunchy caraway seeds on top of it, but putting the delicious seeds on rye is only one of the many caraway plant uses that can be applied. The seeds taste like licorice and are great in potato and other types of soup. You can crush the seeds to prepare caraway oil. It has a strong, warm odor, is sweet and spicy, and you can blend it together with other spicy oils. The roots of the plants are also edible. Cook them like carrots. The fresh leaves of the caraway taste delicious in salad.
Using Caraway for Health
The benefits of caraway in cooking are well known. You can use caraway, especially the seeds, for health as well. For what conditions is caraway used medicinally? This spice is very effective in reducing or preventing gassy bloating. Vapors from caraway seeds are said to relieve pain and swelling in patients that have back pain too. Caraway benefits include remedying colds, chest congestion, and coughing. The plant contains mild antihistamines that reduce coughing by relaxing the muscle spasms. Many different home medicines are made with caraway seeds. Some people use caraway preparations to treat rheumatism. Others swear that the spice helps eye infections and toothaches. The oil made from caraway seeds is used to treat different types of infections. These include fungal infections and candida infections. The oil can be mixed with peppermint oil to treat both irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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