Caraway seeds may sound exotic and uncommon but they are actually very popular and used in preparing meals. Owing to localization and differences in translation, Caraway seeds are essentially the same as fennel or cumin. Interestingly, some people argue that they are really not the same.
The scientific name of Caraway is Carum Carvi but because of localization, it sometimes goes by the name Apium Carvi. It is found abundantly throughout Europe and the middle east, as well as most of northern Africa, where it has been used for centuries in local cuisine and for its medicinal benefits which are appreciated by health experts the world over.
Caraway seeds have a host of health benefits which includes supporting breast milk production, alleviating allergic reactions, relieving cough, combating bacteria, inhibiting intestinal worms, relieving spasms, and lowering blood pressure. Other benefits include inducing appetite, reducing stress, maintaining a healthy skin, high fiber content, promoting cardiovascular health, supporting eye health, and regulating sleep patterns.
Now, let’s talk more about the amazing health benefits of consuming caraway seeds.
Help Prevent Allergic Reactions
For people who experience seasonal asthma or allergies, springtime could be a nightmare for them. During springtime, there appears to be an abundance of pollen in the air that could trigger histamine reactions in the immune system. These reactions can result in either enhanced mucus production to clear the airways, sneezing, or itching. It is important to stay away from pollen as it could find its way to the lungs. Also, springtime is a miserable time as people suffer shortness of breath, runny nose, contrition of asthmatics, and nasal congestion. A regular consumption of caraway seeds, especially during allergy season, can help to keep asthma attacks and hay fever away. This is, in fact, why caraway seeds are known as natural anti-histaminic.
Can Help Prevent Intestinal Worms
Some people believe uncleanliness is the cause of intestinal parasites, but the truth is that anyone can fall ill just from eating foods already contaminated with larvae of the worm. Luckily, routine de-worming exercises may take care of this problem but may be more difficult in countries with poor medical services. However, caraway seeds are a natural alternative treatment. These seeds are made up of a compound called carvone, which can kill intestinal worms because of its anti-helminthic properties. Consuming caraway seeds regulate inhibits an infestation of the worms, as it eliminates both the adult and larvae.
Promotes Breast Milk Production
For one reason or the other, some new mothers find it difficult meeting the milk production requirements for their babies. However, most often than not, milk production is inhibited either as a result of engorged breasts (a situation where the ducts become swollen or blocked) or simply due to the new mother’s inability to appropriately stimulate milk production. Thankfully, caraway seeds are a galactagogue, which are substances that induce the production of milk. The good thing is it is safe for the baby and can be taken daily to help mothers meet their milk production requirements.
After a period of illness, most people lose appetite and struggle to eat as like they used too. It is important to note that nutrition deficiencies may make recovery slower even more. It is very essential to eat to replenish strength and health, as. In this case, it is best to brew the seeds into a tea and drink every day to induce your appetite once more.
Has Anti-Spasmodic Properties
Spasms of the digestive tract, especially the intestines can be uncomfortable as well as painful. The spasms are usually as a result of an infection and accumulation of gas from food consumed. Caraway seeds then help in relieving the spasms linked to these conditions, and can also relieve menstrual cramps. The seeds can be brewed into a tea, cooled and stored to be consumed in the future.
Thanks to its antitussive and expectorant properties, caraway seeds can assist in relieving cough by breaking down and expelling mucus from the lungs. The seeds do this while acting on the brain and directly suppressing the need to cough. Its expectorant properties are better suited for chesty coughs, while its antitussive components are is most useful in dry coughs.
Possesses Anti-Bacterial Properties
When caraway seeds are consumed regularly, it not only lowers the chances of you being susceptible to certain bacterial illnesses, it can also support recovery if you do fall sick. Additionally, the essential oils extracted from caraway seeds prevent the growth and multiplication of various strains of bacteria, which makes it easier for immune cells to function well. The oils found in caraway seeds also can be applied to wounds as a topical anti-bacterial agent. It also prevents infections and hastens healing.
Has Adaptogen Properties
An adaptogen makes it easier for the body to reduce fatigue, handle stress, and encourage a good mood. The adaptogen properties in caraway seeds also help to stimulate the mind and keep you alert when tiredness is about to set in.
Possesses Diuretic Properties
Urination or normal diuresis is not an issue for many people, but sadly, some people may need help in promoting urination, especially those suffering from kidney stones and high blood pressure. The diuretic properties of caraway seeds can improve regular urination; prevent stone formation, and lowers blood pressure in individuals who experience water retention.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Due to its host of nutrients and phytocompounds, caraway seeds are capable of promoting several aspects of cardiovascular health. For instance, potassium helps with blood vessels dilation by flushing out excess fluid from the body. Fiber also supports the elimination of cholesterol, stops atherosclerotic plaques from developing on the walls of blood vessels. Other nutrients also help to forestall oxidative damage to the lining of blood vessel walls.
Caraway Seeds Promote Eye Health
The vitamin A, carotenoid anti-oxidants lutein, and zeaxanthin in caraway seeds help to slow down macular degeneration prematurely and maintain a healthy optic nerve.
A Good Source of Fiber
It is recommended that everyone takes a tablespoon of fiber serving daily. The good news is, caraway seeds can provide the body with about 10% of the daily fiber requirement. This may be seen as inconsequential but it is more than many vegetable and fruits full servings. Fiber actually aids digestion by preventing constipation.
Helps to Keep the Skin Healthy
Caraway seeds contain good fats and vitamin E, both of which can stop the skin from losing excess water loss and prevent UV damage caused by the sun. The seeds also contain some vitamin C which is vital for stimulating the production of collagen and preserving skin’s structural state.
Induces Good Sleep
Caraway seeds possess magnesium, a mineral that balances out neurotransmitter levels in the brain. By doing this, the seeds help to induce sleep by elevating GABA and serotonin levels, which are both key chemicals in the brain responsible for inducing sleep.
The Bottom Line
Evidently, caraway seeds are not some exotic herb, but rather a very common and potent ingredient that you may already be incorporating into your diet. The seeds are good for overall health and can be used in preparing sweet or delicious meals.