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Caraway

General Information

Caraway is native to Northern Africa, Europe, and Asia. People have used caraway around the globe as a cooking spice. Caraway oil serves as a fragrance in the manufacturing of toothpaste, soap, and cosmetics.

Common Name(s)

caraway, carum

Scientific Name(s)

Carum carvi L. (Apiaceae)

How is this product usually used?

The dried seed (fruit) or oil of the caraway plant are used medicinally. It is an herb that is taken orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed). In general the doses are:

Dried seed (fruit):

Adults (19 years or older)

Adolescents (10 to 18 years old)

  • dried seed (fruit): 1.5 g to 6 g dried seed per day
  • infusion: 1 g to 5 g dried seed 1 to 3 times per day

Children and adolescents (4 to 9 years old)

  • dried seed (fruit): 1 g to 4 g dried seed per day

Children (1 to 3 years old)

  • dried seed (fruit): 1 g to 2 g dried seed per day

Infants (6 months to less than 1 year old)

  • dried seed (fruit): 1 g dried seed per day
  • infusion: 0.06 g dried seed per day

Oil

Adults (19 years or older)

  • 3 to 6 drops caraway oil per day

Children and adolescents (4 to 18 years old)

  • 3 to 6 drops caraway oil per day

Children (1 to 3 years old)

  • 2 to 4 drops caraway oil per day

Infants (6 months to less than 1 year old)

  • 1 to 2 drops caraway oil per day

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Caraway has been used for:

Research suggests that a specific caraway combination product (containing caraway oil 50 mg and enteric-coated peppermint oil 90 mg) may help relieve indigestion. Research also shows that using another specific caraway combination product (also containing clown's mustard plant, peppermint leaf, German chamomile, licorice, milk thistle, angelica, celandine, and lemon balm) relieves nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and cramps.

More reliable information is needed to find out whether caraway is helpful for other uses including aiding digestion and stimulating appetite.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Side effects of a caraway combination product with peppermint oil include a burning sensation around the breastbone, belching, nausea, and vomiting. Caraway may also cause allergic reactions, which could cause skin hives or rash, difficulty breathing, and chest or throat tightness.

Caraway can interact with some medications. It may increase the effects of diabetes medications (e.g., metformin, glyburide) and cause blood sugar levels to be too low.

Caraway may also increase the effects of herbs that decrease blood sugar levels. If you are taking diabetes medications or herbal products, you should consult your health care provider before using caraway.

If you are having sudden stomach pain, consult your health care provider before using caraway. If your symptoms persist or worsen after using caraway, consult your doctor.

Avoid using caraway at least 2 weeks before surgery as it may affect your normal blood sugar levels.

You should avoid caraway if you are allergic to plants of the Apiaceae/Carrot and Compositae family.

You should not use caraway if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Consult your health care provider if you have any questions.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

Source(s)

  1. Health Canada. Drugs & Health Products. Monograph - Caraway. www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/applications/licen-prod/monograph/mono_caraway-carvi-eng.php, accessed 25 March 2011.
  2. Micromedex Healthcare Series. Caraway. www.thomsonhc.com/hcs/librarian/ND_T/HCS/ND_P...mmon.RetrieveDocumentCommon/DocId/38/ContentSetId/60, accessed 24 March 2011.
  3. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Caraway. www.naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com.proxy.lib.uwaterloo.ca/nd/PrintVersion.aspx?id=204, accessed 24 March 2011.
  4. Natural Standard- the Authority on Integrative Medicine. Caraway. www.naturalstandard.com.proxy.lib.uwaterloo.ca/databases/herbssupplements/carawayoil.asp, accessed 25 March 2011.

All material © 1996- MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.