Botanical name: Carum Carvi
Commonly known as: Caraway
Parts used: Leaves, roots, dried ripe fruits (called as seeds)
Extraction method: Steam distillation
Colour and odor: The essential oil is pale yellow in color and has a sweet, sharp, slightly spicy aroma.
Caraway is a plant that has an interesting place in legend. Superstitions held that caraway had the power to prevent the theft of any object that contained the seed and to keep lovers from losing interest in one another. These days, some people think caraway has healing power, and they use the oil, fruit, and seeds as medicine.
Caraway is used for digestive problems including heartburn, bloating, gas, loss of appetite, and mild spasms of the stomach and intestines. Caraway oil is also used to help people cough up phlegm, improve control of urination, kill bacteria in the body, and relieve constipation.
Women use caraway oil to start menstruation and relieve menstrual cramps; nursing mothers use it to increase the flow of breast milk.
Caraway is used in mouthwashes and in skin rubs to improve local blood flow.
In foods, caraway is used as a cooking spice.
In manufacturing, caraway oil is used to flavor certain medications. It is also commonly used as a fragrance in toothpaste, soap, and cosmetics.