By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD
Meridian Fennel is known as Kalajeera / Black carawa or Syahajeera in Hindi and Krishnajeeraka in Sanskrit.
Its botanical name is Carum carvi and it belongs to Apiaceae family. It is native to western Asia, Europe and northern Africa.
The seeds/fruits are used in mainly in the baking industry, perfumery, medicines and in the preparation of some beverages. The oil obtained from carvi (Carvi oil) is used chiefly for flavoring wines, scenting soaps, tooth pastes, cosmetics and to add to the perfumes.
A valuable essential oil rich in carvone is obtained from the seeds. It is pale yellow in color and possesses strong odour. The distinct flavour and taste of caraway is because of ‘carvones’ and ‘caveols’.
The other important constituents are flavonoid antioxidants such as lutein, carotene, crypto-xanthin and zea-xanthin. It is also an excellent source of minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium copper, zinc and magnesium. The seeds also contain many vital vitamins like A, E, C as well as a number of B-complex vitamins. Thus the seeds are encapsulated like multi dimensional bodily requirements of minerals and trace elements.
Principle volatile compounds of caraway are carvone, limonene, carveol, pinene, cumuninic aldehyde, furfural and thujone. These active constituents are known to have potent antioxidant, digestive, carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
Read related: Black Cumin Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects – As Per Ayurveda
In Ayurveda the fruits of carvi are appreciated as appetizers, digestive, astringent, bitter tonic and improving the lactation. It is also prescribed in heart diseases, swellings, nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal distension, pain abdomen, tastelessness, vomiting, poor digestion, fever etc.
Jeerakadi choorna, Krishnajeeraka kashaya, Jeerakavalehya, Kalajajyadi kashaya, Hingwashtaka choorna etc are the important formulations derived out of caraway.
Few important and simple home remedies of caraway are mentioned here below-
Diarrhea, pain abdomen
1. Black caraway seed decoction in diarrhoea, pain abdomen and dysentery:
5-10 gram of caraway seeds are taken and slightly roasted. Added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup, filtered. This decoction is administered in the dose of 20-30 ml twice or thrice daily. This helps to reduce diarrhoea, pain abdomen and dysentery:
Body ache, tooth ache
2. Caraway seed oil in bodyache, toothache and finger web infections:
25-20 gram seeds are soaked with water and next day it is made into fine paste. To this 100 ml each sesame oil and water are added and cooked well in mild intensity of heat. This oil is used to apply over the body parts. It relieves joint pain, body ache, finger web infections etc. In case of tooth ache 3-4 drop of this oil is instilled to the base of the teeth or rub bed to the gum.
3. Black cumin Seed powder with jaggery in menstrual pain:
10 gram each of seed powder and jaggery are taken and mixed well. This bolus is taken twiuce daily for 10-12 days prior to expected date of menstruation. It helps to regularize the period and to relieve menstrual pain and dysmenorrhoea.
Read related: Menstrual Pain, Painful Periods – Natural Ayurvedic Herbal Home Remedies
Abdominal distension, nausea
4. Cumin, Kali jeeri, remedy for abdominal distension, nausea, bloating, burping etc:
Fine powder of cumin seeds, caraway and rock salt are taken and mixed well. 1 teaspoon of this is taken along with warm water. This is very effective in cases like abdominal distension, digestive disturbances, tastelessness, nausea, bloating, burping etc.
Skin diseases, insect bite
5. Fine paste of the leaves in skin diseases and wasp bite:
Clean and fresh matured leaves are collected and fresh juice is obtained by pounding. This is applied over the itching skin lesions and over the bitten parts of leeches in forest. Also it is effective in wasp bite.
6. Chewing few grains of cumin and caraway seeds for mouth refreshing:
1-2 pinch of grains of cumin as well as caraway are chewed after or before food. This acts as a mouth refresher and relieves abdominal bloating, nausea etc
7. Roasted caraway seeds with rock salt for bleeding gums:
Roasted caraway seeds and rock salt are taken in 3:1 ratio and mixed well. This is applied or rubbed over the gums in case of gum bleeding.
Cumin and caraway are twin appetizers which have significant health benefits being in the shelf of kitchen. Proper usage will help to prevent as well as to cure several simple ill health conditions especially of Gastro intestinal origin.
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