CARAWAY: “Digestive Aid Since Ancient Egypt”
Also Known As: Carum
Caraway is known as the seed that flavors foods but mostly rye bread. The seeds have a unique flavor and are also used in breads, soaps, salads, stews, sauerkraut and meat dishes. For centuries, caraway has been used to calm the digestive system and found in foods since the pre-historic times of 3500 B.C.
Ancient Egyptians and Greek physicians used caraway for digestion and also for infant colic. In Shakespeare’s time, baked apple was made using caraway seeds was considered an abdominal soothing desert. In early America and throughout Europe, caraway was a favorite addition as a laxative. Other uses of caraway have been for menstrual cramps, menstrual promotion and milk production in mothers.
For a pleasant tasting infusion that aids in digestion and relieve menstrual cramps, use 2 to 3 teaspoons of bruised or crushed seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 20 minutes and drink up to 3 cups daily.
If a tincture is preferred, take a half to one teaspoon up to 3 times per day.
USE: (Grow Your Own)
Caraway is a perennial that reaches up to 2 feet. It has feathery leaves and white umbrella cluster like flowers that bloom early during the summer. Start planting in the spring. Plant seeds one half inch deep, spreading them 8 inches apart. Rich, self drained soil is preferred. Plant under full sun, keeping the plants moist but not wet.
Small rosette’s of leaves will appear during the first year along with a long tap root. Once the plant has become established, do not transfer it. Harvest as soon as plant ripens. Leave some seeds behind so that plants will self sow themselves.
No reports of harm have been documented from the use of caraway. This herb is on the FDA’s list and is generally regarded as safe.