Caraway is a biennial plant, 30-80 cm tall, with its characteristic smell. The root is thick, fleshy, branched and white in color. The leaves are arranged alternately, elongated, divided into two or three parts. The flowers are small, white or pinkish, collected in an inflorescence - a complex shield 4-8 cm in diameter.
The fruit, an elongated, slightly flattened seed, 3-5 mm in length, bursts into two parts when ripe, emitting a strong aroma. The plant blooms in May-June, the seeds ripen in July-August.
Caraway seeds (Fructus Carvi) are used for medicinal purposes. Collect the seeds early in the morning or in the evening, when at least half of the inflorescence is ripe (its color changes). The stems are cut and hay is bundled. Dry the equipment by spreading a cloth underneath, on which the seeds will fall as they mature. Seeds can be stored for up to 3 years in closed containers.
Caraway seeds contain up to 8.2% essential oil, the main components of which are d-carvone, d-limonene, carvacrol, dihydrocarvone, dihydrocarveol. In addition, the seeds are vegetable fats (<20%), which contain various fatty acids (butyric acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid), phytosterols (sitosterol), triterpenoids, flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol), tannins and proteins, phenolic carbonate acids, coumarins , waxes, resins and mineral salts (selenium accumulates).
Preparations made from Caraway have antiseptic, analgesic, choleretic, sedative properties, they stimulate the secretion of digestive glands, help expel phlegm from the bronchi, have an antispasmodic effect, and also relax the smooth muscles of the internal organs. Caraway also increases the amount of milk during lactation and promotes urine output in case of edema.
Caraway water, Caraway oil and Caraway essential oil are used in official medicine.
Caraway is included in soothing, laxative, digestive, carminative mixtures.
Caraway essential oil is used for aromatizing medicinal products.
Thanks to the many valuable properties of Caraway , it is widely used in folk medicine. It is used orally in infusions, decoctions and teas to treat chronic gastritis, intestinal inflammation, dyspepsia in children, atonic constipation, flatulence, spastic pain in the stomach and intestines, cholecystitis, pancreatitis, as an expectorant in bronchitis, tuberculosis, pneumonia and bronchial asthma.
Caraway oil extract is used for colds and to kill skin parasites.