caraway

Caraway: is a carminative herb that improves digestion, eases colic and wind, and stimulates the appetite ...

Common Names: Caraway

Botanical Name: Carum carvi

Family: Apiaceae

Plant Type: Biennial

Parts Used: Whole plant

Native to Egypt and East-Mediterranean countries, caraway is grown all over Europe, West Asia, Morocco, Turkey and America.

Description: Caraway has aromatic, feathery, finely cut leaves and a thick, tapering root. During the second year, tiny white or pink flowers and reddish brown, crescent-shaped fruits develop. Plants generally grow 75 - 150 cm high in flower.

Cultivation: Caraway is a biennial herb, hardy to zone 3. It prefers light, dry soil, in full sun to part shade, with a pH of about 6.4. If the plant thrives, it will self-seed for future years.

Harvesting: Collect the fruit in August.

Culinary Uses: The whole plant is edible. Most people are familiar with caraway used in rye bread. You can also use the seeds in egg dishes, beets, fish, potatoes, or in pickling spice. It is an essential ingredient in Hungarian goulash, or beef stew. It can be baked in cakes and pastries or with fruit as a sweet dish, or added to soup, cheese, cabbage or bread as a savory.

Caraway Magick

Mental Powers. Protection. Lust. Health.

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Mercury

Element: Air

Bake into breads or cakes to induce lust.

Any object which holds some caraway seeds is theft-proof.

Place caraway seeds in sachets and carry to attract a mate.

Use caraway as protection from evil spirits, entities, and negativity.

A bag of caraway seeds placed in a child's bed protects against disease.

Herbal Healing with Caraway

Medicinal Actions: Abortifacient, antibacterial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aperitive, astringent, cardiac, carminative, depurative, digestive, disinfectant, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant (mild), galactagogue, parasiticide, regenerator (tissue), stimulant (circulation; digestive and glandular systems), stomachic, tonic (nerves and digestive organs), vermifuge

Medicinal Uses: Use an infusion of the seeds to treat dyspepsia and colic, especially in children. Caraway is used to promote the flow of breast milk, and to stimulate the flow of mucus in bronchitis and bronchitic asthma.

Healing Combinations with Caraway

Caraway is a useful remedy for childhood colic, and its mild astringent property helps to calm loose bowels.

It combines well with German chamomile (Matricaria), lemon balm (Melissa), and agrimony (Agrimonia)

Source: The Herb Handbook by Su Bristow

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INFUSION

Steep the recommended quantity of leaves or flowers of the herb in one cup of just-boiled water for 10 minutes (this makes one dose). Strain before drinking, or leave the herbs as sprigs and simply remove them. Always cover infusions if you intend to store them, and use them within 24 hours. Drink hot or cold.


DECOCTION

Place the relevant quantity of herbs in 800ml cold water (makes three doses) in a pan. Boil, then simmer for 1 hour to reduce the liquid by a third. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug and store, in a cool place, for up to 24 hours. Drink hot or cold.


TINCTURE

Tinctures can be used to prepare roots or leaves. They include alcohol and water to extract the properties from the herbs which would not be available if a water preparation alone was used. It is possible to replace the alcohol with glycerol or vinegar.

A tincture will last for up to two years, which makes it a very convenient method if you intend long-term use of the herbs.


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