Caraway is said to be effective for treating nearly all diseases, having many medicinal properties: stimulant, antioxidant, anti-spasmodic, antibacterial, expectorant, cardiac, aperitif, tonic (digestive), stomachic, carminative, vermifuge, diuretic, anti-histaminic, astringent, galactogogue, emmenagogue.
Most of these medicinal properties are due to the substances present in its essential oil (carvone, furfurol, acetaldehyde, cumuninic aldehyde, limonene, carveol, pinene, and thujone), but caraway seeds, from which the oil is extracted, are also rich in dietary fibers (38 g/100 g – 152%DV), vitamins (especially vitamin C: 21 mg/100 g – 35%DV, and thiamin: 0.4 mg/100 g – 26%DV) and minerals (especially iron: 16.2 mg/100 g – 90%DV, calcium: 689 mg/100 g – 69%DV, manganese: 1.3 mg/100 g – 65%DV, magnesium: 258 mg/100 g – 64%DV, phosphorus: 568 mg/100 g – 57%DV, copper: 0.9 mg/100 g – 46%DV, potassium: 1351 mg/100 g – 39%DV, and zinc: 5.5 mg/100 g – 37%DV).
- Depression, fatigue, nervousness, loss of memory
- Headache, toothache, back pain
- Muscle spasms, hiccups
- Bacterial and viral infections (including warts) (The results of a study of the antibacterial activity of cumin and caraway, published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2005, suggest “the potential use of the above essential oils for the control of bacterial diseases.”)
- Oxidative stress (The results of a study published in Pharmaceutical Biology in 2011 suggest that “caraway oils probably have a protective role in kidney tissue against oxidative injury in advanced stages of sepsis.” Also, a study of the antioxidant and hepatoprotective potential of essential oils of coriander and caraway, published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2010, showed “leak of antioxidative capacity of coriander essential oil, whereas the essential oil of caraway appeared promising for safe use in folk medicine and the pharmaceutical and food industries.”)
- Arrhythmia, heart insufficiency
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels (The results of a study on streptozocin-induced diabetic rats, published in Journal of Dietary Supplements in 2014, suggest that “caraway can exhibit blood glucose and lipid lowering activities in diabetes.” Another study on streptozocin-induced diabetic rats, published in Saudi Medical Journal in 2011, concluded that “caraway has both antihyperglycemic and hypolipidemic activity.”)
- Obesity (The results of a study published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2013 suggest “a dietary caraway extract with no restriction in food intake, when combined with exercise, is of value in the management of obesity in women wishing to lower their weight, body mass index, body fat percentage, and body size, with no clinical side effects.”
- Water retention
- Kidney stones
- Arthritis, rheumatism, gout
- Irregular menstruation, post menopause syndrome
- Inappetence, vomiting, slow digestion, gastric ulcer, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease (A study of the effects of caraway hydroalcoholic extract and its essential oil in an immunological model of colitis in rats, published in Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2013, concluded that “caraway fractions are both effective and possess anti-colitic activity irrespective of the dose and route of administration.”)
- Intestinal worms
- Hair loss
Never use any essential oil directly on the skin. Dilute it with sunflower, olive, sesame or sweet almond oil (1 drop of essential oil per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil).
For bath, dilute 8-10 drops of essential oil in a cup of epsom salt or milk.
For internal use, dilute 1 drop of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of honey.