CarawayCaraway is a biennial plant that grows wild in Europe, among others. You can find them in pastures, roadsides, and embankments. In Many and June you can see them blooming with white and pink little flowers. Caraway belongs to the Apiaceae family, to which cumin, fennel, anise, dill, chervil, lovage and parsley also belong. The seeds of these species have similar medicinal uses in herbal medicine. For example, the herbs from this family are used to promote digestion, and they are used in preparing cough syrups.

Caraway is often confused with cumin, this is partly because they use a common name for the two species. And sometimes caraway seeds are referred to as wild cumin. You can easily distinguish the seeds because caraway seeds have a bent form, and cumin seeds have a straight shape. Caraway and cumin seeds give the same taste in food, and can be replaced by one another in recipes, the taste of caraway is stronger so you will need less of them.

 

Caraway helps when you suffer from digestive problems, it promotes the intestinal peristalsis, the stomach is stimulated and calmed as well. The seeds also promote the production of gall. Caraway seeds are also a very good remedy for flatulence, and a caraway drink was often given to babies to relieve cramps.

 

Caraway can easily be added to a herbal tea. You only have to put the seeds in boiling water and let it infuse for some 10 minutes. They combine very well with other herbs and spices for making a delicious herbal tea. Caraway seeds where also often used in the old days to add to grain liquor, this would give them the medicinal properties of the caraway seeds by drinking a glass of the infused liquor after dinner. Caraway seeds are globally used in the kitchen to make such hearty dishes such as Indian curries, sauerkraut and many North African dishes. It also gives a good taste to bread, cakes and cheeses.

 

Buy preferably whole caraway seeds because they will maintain their healthy properties and taste much better and also much longer. They can easily be ground into a powder with a mortar and pestle.

 

Caraway seeds have just as many other seeds from the Apiaceae family lots of healthy properties, here follow a few summed up:

  • Caraway seeds are a good source of the minerals iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
  • Caraway seeds contain the vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 (folates), C & E.
  • Caraway seeds are a good source of dietary fiber.
  • Caraway seeds contain lots of antioxidants.
  • Caraway seeds are beneficial for the whole digestive system.
  • Caraway seeds promote the absorption of other herbs, spices and medicines.
  • Caraway seeds freshen the breath.
  • Caraway seeds stimulate the appetite.
  • Caraway seeds stimulate the production of breast milk.
  • Caraway seeds reduce menstrual cramps.
  • Caraway seeds are helpful when suffering from a cold because it has an expectorant effect and their also effectively combat infections.

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