Caraway is good for the stomach

Caraway is the medicinal plant of 2015. Image: pixelaway - fotolia

Caraway seeds should not be missing on the spice rack or in the medicine cabinet. The “Study Group Development History of Medicinal Plant Science” at the University of Würzburg has chosen the meadow cumin as Medicinal Plant of the Year 2016. Because it is used in natural medicine for gastrointestinal complaints and a feeling of fullness. Caraway seeds promote gastric juice secretion and blood flow to the gastric and intestinal mucosa.


Above all, however, the medicinal plant drives away flatulence, has an antispasmodic effect and inhibits the growth of harmful germs. Caraway seed oil provides relief from irritable bowel syndrome. Purely externally, it is used in infants and toddlers for flatulence. The pure caraway oil is obtained from the dried fruits by steam distillation. The clear, colorless to yellow liquid contains 60 percent carvone, the main active ingredient in caraway.

Caraway is the medicinal plant of 2015. Image: pixelaway - fotolia

The preparation of caraway fruits as tea is milder, but also less effective. One to two teaspoons of caraway seeds are briefly pounded in a mortar so that the essential oil can escape. Then pour a cup of hot water over it and leave it covered for ten minutes.

The spice is widely used in the kitchen, even if not everyone likes it. Caraway has a slightly sweet, anise-like aroma with a certain sharpness. It refines pastries, bread, sauerkraut, potato and cabbage dishes and makes hearty stews more digestible. A classic is Harz cheese with onion vinaigrette and caraway (“hand cheese with music”).

The real caraway (Carum carvi), also called meadow cumin, is a biennial plant from the umbelliferous family. It grows wild on meadows in temperate zones in Europe and Asia. However, if you have little experience collecting is not recommended, as the caraway looks very similar to poisonous umbelliferous flowers such as the dog parsley and the meadow hemlock. The main growing areas are southern France, Holland, England, Central Germany, Sweden, Russia and Egypt, the herb is also grown. For medicinal purposes, only the fruits that contain essential oil are of interest. (Heike Kreutz, aid)

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