Caraway seeds are typically used as a spice to flavor up a variety of dishes.
This super spice is used all over the world for its distinct aromatic flavor and health benefits.
This unique spice is known to be beneficial for your overall well being.
So let’s get straight to the point and look at how caraway seeds can help us live a healthy life and at the same time act as a super beauty aid!
Also in this article, you will find:
- What Are Caraway Seeds?
- Nutrient Facts of Caraway Seeds
- Health Benefits of Caraway Seeds
- Home Remedies of Caraway Seeds for Skin and Hair
- Precautions and Side Effects
What are Caraway Seeds?
Caraway, also known as Carum carvi, is an aromatic plant best known for its seeds.
Caraway, being considered one of the oldest cultivated spices is widely found all around Europe, Northern Africa and parts of Western Asia.
The biennial plant generally grows to a height of two feet, blooms every other year with white or cream colored flowers.
The caraway plant’s seeds are somewhat similar to the cumin seeds that appear as dark brown, crescent-shaped with some stripes running on the surface of them.
The plant is harvested during the day and allowed to dry under the sun before their seeds are extracted manually or with a machine.
Apart from the seeds, other parts of this plant are edible as well such as the leaves and roots.
Key Nutrient Facts
Caraway plants, known by names like Persian Cumin and Meridian Fennel are a good source of many nutrients like minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins, phytonutrients, and so forth making it very beneficial for our health.
The list below contains nutritional information based on one tablespoon (6.7g) serving of caraway seeds. The percentage values are for a 2,000 calorie diet.
- Calories 3
- Sodium 1.1 mg
- Potassium 5mg
- Protein 3g
- Fiber 2.5g
- Vitamin D 0μg
- Vitamin A 2μg
- Vitamin C 1.4mg
- Vitamin E 0.2mg
- Calcium 2mg
- Magnesium 17.3mg
- Phosphorus 38.1mg
- Iron 1.1mg
Caraway seeds also contain many B-complex vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and niacin.
Health Benefits of Caraway Seeds
Although much research is yet to be conducted to see all the health effects of caraway seeds, some preliminary studies show specific health benefits such as:
1. Good for Digestive Health
Researchers have found various therapeutic uses of caraway seeds in the treatment of several indigenous healing systems .
Regular consumption of caraway seeds is very beneficial for the stomach as it helps to keep the digestive system healthy due to the presence of dietary fibers in them.
Dietary fiber, the edible part of plants or similar carbohydrates is known to be resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestine .
The presence of dietary fibers in caraway seeds act as a natural laxative that improves bowel movement, ensuring elimination of waste from our system.
Apart from dietary fibers, caraway seeds also contain a rich source of antioxidants and compounds such as flavonoids .
The antioxidants found in caraway seeds help to reduce the risk of colon cancer, stomach cancer, stomach infections, and so forth.
From studies, it has emerged that the primary compounds occurring in caraway extracts are carvacrol, carvone, α-pinene, limonene, γ-terpinene, Linalool, carvenone, andp-cymene that gives caraway seeds its unique properties.
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2. Strengthens Our Immune System
Our body’s defense mechanism known as the “Immune system” protects our body from a wide range of pathogens and keeps us healthy .
Even if pathogens get into our body, the immune system fights those pathogens and makes us healthy again.
Caraway seeds are known to make our immune system stronger due to the presence of many antioxidants and other relevant compounds like flavonoids, phytonutrients in them.
The antioxidants found in them help to stabilize profoundly harmful and reactive molecules called free radicals .
The antioxidants also prevent the oxidative damage to our cells especially the white blood cells that form the backbone of our entire immune system.
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3. Helps to Sleep Better
Almost 50% of older adults have insomnia, feeling unrefreshed on waking up.
For this reason, magnesium supplements are given to improve insomnia among the elderly .
A study conducted in 2012, wanted to determine the efficacy of magnesium supplementation to improve insomnia .
In the study, a group of elderly subjects aged 46 (placebo group) received 500 mg magnesium or placebo daily for eight weeks .
The results showed that the placebo group had improved measures of sleep efficacy, sleep time, early morning awakening, and even serum cortisol .
Magnesium, directly linked to better quality and duration of sleep, is the reason for its usage as a supplement.
Surprisingly, caraway seeds contain a right amount of magnesium, thus providing a natural solution for people suffering from such poor sleep pattern.
Caraway seeds also help to regulate metabolism that in turn aids in overcoming sleeping issues.
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4. Relieves Heartburn
Heartburn is a widespread problem seen in many people of all age group.
It is a condition where some of the stomach contents are forced into the esophagus causing a burning pain in the lower chest .
Consuming caraway seeds have been found to be very beneficial for providing relief from the painful burning sensation caused by the heartburn.
Many doctors suggested taking products that contain caraway oil along with peppermint oil by mouth seemed to reduce feelings of fullness and stomach spasms .
Apart from heartburn, the severity of acid reflux, stomach pain, cramping, nausea, and vomiting are also seen to be reduced due to the daily and moderate consumption of products containing caraway .
Other health benefits of caraway seeds include:
- Weight Loss
- Menstrual Cramps
- Boosting Bone Health
- Managing Inflammation
- Increases Milk Production During Lactation
- Provides Anti-Fungal and Anti-Yeast (antiseptic) Properties
Caraway Seeds for Skin
Caraway seeds help to produce new cells that lead to the shedding off of dead cells and thus contribute to remove scars that cause acne.
This, in turn, boosts the skin health making you look young and refreshed.
Below are some of the home remedies that are beneficial for skin:
5. Caraway & Multani Mitti Face Mask for Acne Scars
What You’ll Need:
- Two tablespoons of Multani mitti (fuller’s earth)
- One teaspoon of powdered caraway seeds
- One-two tablespoons of rose water/normal water
- In a bowl add Multani mitti, powdered caraway seeds and rose water to form a paste.
- Apply the paste to your face evenly.
- Leave it for 15-20 minutes or until dry.
- Wash it with lukewarm water.
- Apply this face thrice a week at night for three weeks to get rid of acne and scar problems.
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6. Caraway, Gram Flour and Multani Mitti Face Pack for Sun Tan
What You’ll Need:
- One tablespoon of gram flour (chickpea flour)
- One tablespoon of Multani mitti
- 4-5 drops of caraway essential oil
- Half to one tablespoon of water
- In a bowl, mix Multani mitti, gram flour, and water to form a paste.
- Add few drops of caraway essential oil to the paste and apply it on your face
- Leave this pack on your face for 10-15 minutes and then wash it off with cool water
- Apply this home remedy twice a week for visible results
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7. Caraway Seeds for Hair
Due to the presence of beneficial nutrients found in caraway seeds, it helps in improving hair texture.
Below is a home remedy that is highly beneficial for the hair:
What You’ll Need:
- Two tablespoons of caraway seeds
- A jug full of water
- Soak the caraway seeds in a jar full of water and leave it overnight.
- In the following morning, filter the water separating the seeds from the water
- Pour the water (soaked with caraway seeds) on your hair and then shampoo your hair
- This home remedy will rejuvenate your hair and make it shiner.
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Precautions and Side Effects
Since caraway is a spice, it’s advisable to consume it in small amounts as higher amounts of caraway seeds can cause gastrointestinal irritation and stomach ulcers in some people.
The essential oil obtained from caraway seeds can cause miscarriage as it may contain some amount of neurotoxin, so it’s advisable for pregnant women to avoid using it.
Caraway is found to lower blood sugar level; hence diabetic people shouldn’t consume it without checking his/her blood sugar level checked.
Nowadays caraway is used more than just spice for seasoning food.
Although more research is needed to understand the full potential of this spice, some preliminary researchers show its health benefits.
Besides health benefits, caraway seeds prove to be beneficial for skin and hair as well.
So next time you see caraway seeds lying on the kitchen shelf, don’t just think of it as a spice, think of it as a super seed!