Caraway seeds (Meridian Fennel-Persian Cumin) health benefits

Caraway is the dried fruit of a biennial herbaceous plant ( Garum carvi -Family : Umbelliferae)



Caraway is a biennial of the family Apiaceae (formerly called the Umbelliferae for the typical umbrella shaped flower head), and is related to dill, cumin, fennel and anise which also produce aromatic fruits, commonly called seeds. It is native to Europe and Asia Minor and is somewhat naturalized in the United States. The Greek author Pliny thought it was named for the province of Caria (in present day Turkey); the common name seems to derive from the Arabic name for the seed,karawya. Caraway has been used for the last 5000 years.

Caraway plant -seeds – oil 

Bluish green leaves, much divided into threadlike segments, grow from a somewhat fleshy taproot. First year plants are very hardy and keep their leaves most of the winter. It usually flowers in May of its second year with white to pink flowers, and when the seeds ripen the tops and roots die.

The seeds are popularly used to mask breath especially alcoholic breath.  In olden times,it is attributed with many virtues like controlling gas formation,fighting anemia,as antidote to biting of venomous beasts and even as protection form with craft.  The seeds are small but elongated and slightly curved,with a length of approximately half centimeter.  On steam distillation dry spice yield 7 to 8% volatile oil.  Seed contains about 15% fixed oil.  The aroma and flavour are distinctly savoury

Caraway seed culinary uses -medicinal values-health benefits -commercial uses

caraway seeds rusk bread

caraway seeds medicinal values


Caraway seed is popular in north European cooking to flavor breads, cakes, sauerkraut,stews, cabbage, cheeses, and cooked fruits. Seeds covered with sugar are used for comfits or to decorate cookies and cakes. Mrs. Grieve writes that it is a Scottish custom to dip the buttered side of bread into a dish of caraway seeds, and that this is called “salt water jelly.” Kummel is a caraway-flavored liqueur. Oil extracted from the seeds is used for colic and digestive disturbances, and in laxatives to reduce griping. The oil is used commercially for flavoring and in perfumery.

Caraway seed and oil are used in meat,seafood,soups,salads,dips and bakery products.  Caraway oil is used for flavouring liqueurs.  It is also used in chewing gum,toothpaste and mouth washes.  The steam distilled oil is more used than the seeds