Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds are one of the oldest seeds used for a variety of purposes. In fact, it also has a very special place in folklore where people would believe that the seeds had special powers to prevent anything that contains them from being stolen as well as preventing lovers from losing affection for each other. Grown all over the world, caraway seeds are known by a host of different names. Some of the more common names include Jeera, Karwiya, Kummel, Semen Cumini Pratensi and haravi. The caraway plant needs to be grown for about 2 years before it can start to produce the seeds that have medicinal use. The tree itself will grow to about 2 feet in height and bears small, feathery leaves with the seeds looking very similar to cumin. The harvesting of the leaves is performed in the early hours of the morning after the cut pants are staked and allowed to dry before the seeds are threshed.

The nutritional value of caraway seeds is considerable as the seeds are rich in antioxidant as well as vitamin and mineral reserves. The antioxidant properties of the seeds help in destroying any free radicals that exist within the body and play a significant role in a number of very damaging illnesses. Moreover, caraway seeds are rich in dietary fiber – with statistics showing that 100 grams of the seeds provide about 38 grams of fiber. This serves to increase the bulk of the food consumed – thereby preventing constipation and speeding up the movement of food through the gut. Caraway seeds also contain a number of health benefiting oils such as limonene, carveol, pinen and furfurolk that help in activating the digestive, antioxidant and carminative properties of the seeds. The spice made from these seeds is known to be an excellent source of minerals such as zinc, copper, manganese, zinc and selenium. The copper present in the seeds help in the production of red blood cells while the iron is essential for red blood cell formation. The many vitamins present in the seeds include vitamin A, Vitamin C, vitamin E and B-Complex vitamins.

Amongst the medicinal uses, caraway seeds are very popular when it comes to the treatment of indigestion and flatulence while a number of mouthwash brands and toothpastes will also include it as a prominent constituent. Simply making a habit of chewing on caraway seeds two or three times a day for a few minutes will go a long way into helping you deal with any digestive problems that you might be facing. Another option is to put about 3 grams of the seeds in a cup and pour some boiling water over it before covering it up to allow the infusion to take place and then allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Once done, strain and drink the liquid. Follow this three times a day for best results. The presence of a chemical known as rubefacient is known to help soothe muscle sores and clear the cold as a remedy in bronchitis as well as irritable bowel syndrome.
The side effects of excessive caraway seed consumption lies in the fact that it is known to lower blood sugar levels in some cases and could play a significant role in post surgery care. Individuals that suffer from diabetes should also make it a point to watch their blood sugar levels carefully as it dosages will need to be adjusted once in a way. Expecting mothers and women that are breastfeeding should also avoid consumption of caraway as the oils present are known to trigger menstruation and could potentially cause a miscarriage.