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Caraway - Carum carvi

A biennial herb, up to 0.75 metres high, with a much branched stem and finely cut leaves and umbels of white flowers, with a thick and tapering root. The curved small seeds have 5 distinct pale ridges.

Folklore holds caraway seeds as a guard against theft - laid among possessions it was believed to keep away thieves, whilst wives would hide caraway seeds in their husbands pockets to ‘secure them from the whiles of other women.’

Used extensively in bread, cakes, and cheeses, the seeds are also used to make the German brandy ‘kummel’. Traditionally used as a remedy for poor appetite,Caraway seeds can also be used to ease indigestion, relieve menstrual cramps and nervous tension, and is also used as a remedy for treating colic in babies : simmer half a teaspoon of caraway seeds ina small cup of boiling water for 5 minutes, then leave covered to infuse for another 5 minutes, cool, strain and administer in tiny drops.

As a medicine in food, caraway seeds can be added to cabbage dishes as a remedy to the windiness caused by overcooked cabbage.

For indigestion after meals Danielle Ryman suggests the following : “chew a few caraway seeds slowly, sipping a glass of warm water, and breathing deeply for 10 minutes...”

! Avoid in regular large or therapeutic doses during pregnancy !


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